Age, Politicians and Good Morning Britain

And so it goes on. Coronavirus is gathering strength and making life difficult for all of us, even though it would seem that a few politicians and all the usual gloom and doom merchants are revelling in it. Bunter Johnson continually uses the word war and looks grimly serious for once, even though I am sure most of us would prefer his normal ‘bumbling clot but ruddy good chap’ persona. Perhaps he sees himself as his hero Winston Churchill in a time of crisis.

And time of crisis it would appear to be. My only complaint about the measures being taken – after all, this is an unprecedented situation – is why on earth I should be locked up for the next twelve weeks simply because of my age. Where on earth is the evidence that says being over seventy is more likely to result in death or hospitalisation? So far out of all the deaths we have heard about, the sufferers had one thing in common – health problems. 

 

Surely it is better to lock down everybody of any age with underlying health problems – as well as the very elderly – and leave the rest of us to get on with life? 

The Government wants what it describes as ‘herd immunity’ (whatever that may mean) but under this policy, we will be without any immunity at all when the wretched virus strikes again as the experts tell us it probably will.

Then what? Another three months of isolation for those of us who despite our age are still fit and strong? 

I understand that retired doctors and nurses are being asked to return for the duration of the crisis. Where is the logic in that? With a general retirement age of sixty six, many of them must be over seventy too. Shouldn’t they too be locked away?

I know that whenever any policy is introduced there has to be an arbitrary line somewhere but what is the sense in indiscriminately lumping together those who were in their sixties yesterday with those who will be ninety next week? Many people in their seventies still work so quite apart from the impact on their own finances, how does it help to take them out of the economy?

As for being told how to run my life by the likes of Gavin Williamson, Matt Hancock and Grant Shapps – second rate politicians with all the worldly know how and charisma of peanut salesmen – the only reaction to this gang of Dad’s Army characters must be one of incredulity. What do they know about anything damnit?!

I am more inclined to listen to the apparently calm Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, who says the people who should ‘minimise social contact’ are over seventy, pregnant women and those eligible for a flu vaccination because of other health issues.

Minimise social contact by all means. That is common sense, but loneliness also kills off the elderly so why lock us all away.

Besides, there’s no evidence that my generation are more likely to spread this disease than twenty-somethings who eat out more and have a more active social life. Condemning healthy old toppies who have staved off mental and physical degeneration by choosing a fulfilling life, seems unnecessary and cruel. Most of us are well balanced and sensible and quite capable of looking after ourselves. After all, I completed walking over three thousand kilometres of the wild Zambezi Valley (read In Livingstone’s Footsteps) just three months before my seventieth birthday. Had this edict come out then, I think I would have marched on Downing Street myself and challenged the incumbent of Number Ten – I think it was Crafty Cameron then – to match my physical prowess.

And now the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak is spending money like water on his ‘war effort’ only days after promising the earth in his budget speech. Where will this money come from, I wonder?

I have never been complimentary about Theresa Maybe but I did admire her for sounding a warning note about the budget splurge last week.

 Not just because what she was saying made sense. It was more that after being Prime Minister, she did her duty and returned to the backbenches to serve her constituents and the public after being in high office. 

Unlike David Cameron and George Osborne, who thought something so mundane was beneath them – and swanned off to make millions writing books and editing newspapers instead.

Unfortunately Mother Maybe is the exception rather than the rule in this regard. The rest of them are too busy feeding off the public purse. 

I turned on the idiot box on Monday morning because I hadn’t watched the news over the weekend. Quite by chance, it was on the ITV channel and I found myself watching Good Morning Britain, hosted by Piers Morgan.

The entire set up appalled me. Contributors – of course the programme was all about the coronabug – shouted over each other and Morgan shouted over them all. Appalled but strangely fascinated by the argumentative chaos, I watched again on Tuesday and it was if possible, even worse. Although Morgan’s co presenter from the Monday edition is apparently in quarantine, she was replaced by an even ruder and noisier harridan while Morgan himself pontificated as though he was George Washington.

I have read and sometimes agreed with this man’s somewhat controversial views in various media outlets but what a horrible piece of work he is in the flesh – at least on television. He was rude, bumptious and appallingly egotistical. I don’t know how many people watch this chaotic daily programme but if it is a sizeable portion of the population then it is no wonder Britain is in a mess. Needless to say the television in my adopted mansion will remain firmly off in the mornings – and probably the evenings as well – from now on. A shame really as the screen is five times as large as the one we have at home.

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