Auberon Waugh

The Fruits of Old Age

 

Nobody objected to proposals in the House of Commons for a Warm Homes Bill providing increased grants for old people to insulate and heat their homes in winter. It may seem an entirely benign suggestion but I wonder if the Commons are out of touch with public opinion. What the Warm Homes Bill Campaign is trying to do, apart from its amiable desire to keep oldies warm, is to keep them alive longer. For as long as anyone can remember, this has been another of those good causes which nobody bothered to challenge. Of course people should be helped to live as long as possible. That is what politicians are for.

But perhaps they are not aware of a change in attitude over the last ten years or so. Our ageing population is now seen as a major social problem. For the first time in recorded history, twenty-year-olds are outnumbered by sixty-year-olds. When young

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