Erasing England’s elderly — whilst working them to death

A few days ago I was disappointed to learn that, yet again, England’s elderly are being nudged to give up their houses to live in flats. What’s worse, they are expected to work in their dotage.

The excuse offered is that their houses are ‘prisons’ and that work can provide outlets for companionship. Give over!

My three posts on the topic explain more about this appalling idea:

‘MORAL DERELICTION: Britain’s elderly to downsize and work — continued’

‘Could Britain’s elderly be the new kulaks?’

‘The British think tanks behind behavioural change’

I’ve said ‘Britain’, although I have since read that this programme may be intended only for England. It beggars belief that the Tories have hired an adviser to Tony Blair — David Halpern — to put forward this plan, which Housing Minister Grant Shapps endorses. Redbridge Council are currently trialling it.

After all the loyalty England’s elderly have shown the Conservative Party, this is what they get in return?

I’ve highlighted articles from the Telegraph in my posts and read the approximately 4,000 comments following them. Most readers agree that this is a parlous notion, yet, those supporting it say that it pertains only to certain situations involving the elderly.

Surely, taking the decision to sell or rent one’s house is something which our elders have been doing for generations, so why not leave it to them and their families? ‘Oh, but you see, we need that housing stock now.’  Too bad. The elderly did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to pay the consequences for it? Instead, why not make it less attractive for so many newcomers to arrive on our shores? The UK would not be the first nation in history to disregard treaties made over the years. Yet, our politicians don’t seem to care. They appear to care more for strangers than they do for people whose families have lived here for generations, if not centuries.

The localism aspect is also important. Should Redbridge Council find this pilot programme a success, it could spread to other councils around the country. Localism gives councils the freedom to tweak programmes as necessary.  Consider how our rubbish collections differ; we have no uniform method there, not even in terms of bin colour. So, how does a council define the relationship between the elderly homeowner and their house? For those who find this alarmist, think of what this scheme could look like in 10, 20, 30 years’ time. Who would have thought 20 years ago that in the 21st century our rubbish would be picked up only fortnightly and that every house would have an assortment of bins in order to notionally save the planet?

This is where the kulaks enter the discussion. I’ve explained their story in my second post. At first, these enterprising yet middling farmers were viewed suspiciously by the Soviet authorities. Later, the authorities forced them off their land and, in some instances, they were executed by the State or killed by baying mobs.  No one was even clear on what constituted a kulak, and the criteria differed from place to place. Generally, it was an independent farmer who had more property than was considered ‘normal’. Well, who defines ‘normal’ and what is ‘normal’?  Does — and would — the definition change over time?

Therefore, the ethics involving English elderly, property ownership and control over one’s personal life are up for consideration. As other bloggers have pointed out, people living alone are not necessarily lonely. Their houses are not ‘prisons’, as Grant Shapps has said, but homes — castles — full of memories, security and comfort. Furthermore, why would the State expect a lifelong taxpayer to begin working again — especially under the guise of finding companionship? Another peculiar idea.  Also, we have so few jobs available today that work is an absurd suggestion, even for those pensioners who would like to re-enter the job market.

And what of personal property? It seems as if Dr Halpern and his think tank mates would like to disabuse us of the notion that our property is ours. Last autumn, I had read that there is a new trend in the West supported by the elites which is designed to make people feel guilty about their property and possessions so that the end result would be that no one would ever think that what they had worked for was really their own. Ideally, we would share everything communally. And now it seems that, even in retirement, our time cannot truly be our own. The Government wants a piece of that, too. What a chilling thought.

Of course, the elites — including Dr Halpern — will never have to worry about that eventuality. ‘For thee, but not for me’. Do you think Mr Cameron will be asking his widowed mother to give up her property for ‘families in need’? I doubt it very much.

It would also be interesting to know if any special interests are involved in this ‘nudge’. A Telegraph reader randomly posted two links possibly referring to Dr Halpern, who looks to be a thirty-something: here and here. Let us hope that there is no connection between them.

Our think tanks, not just in Britain, but elsewhere in the West seem to have increasing influence in driving policy.  Our politicians don’t seem to mind it much, either.  France’s Terra Nova is another case in point.

The parallels between Terra Nova and the two British think tanks with which Halpern is affiliated, NESTA and the Institute of Government, appear to be turning our society on its head. In France, Terra Nova wants the Socialist Party to drop its support of the working man in favour of immigrants and women, which François Hollande as this year’s PS presidential candidate is eager to do, despite distancing himself from the organisation, originally intended to help Dominique Strauss-Kahn in transitioning from the IMF to PS candidacy.  In Britain, the likes of Dr Halpern push their ‘nudges’ with a threat of legislation should we not comply. They are guiding the Conservatives away from their most loyal supporters and backbone of the party, the ‘blue rinse brigade’.

France’s working class and England’s elderly are so last century, don’t you know.  It looks as if the elites would like for these two demographic groups to be out of their way.

With all the anti-English sentiment from English politicians, it would appear that this latest scheme for the elderly — who will probably end up living together in colonies with a shuttle bus provided to take them to work every day — is designed to start the process of erasing England from our memory banks. For them, pensioners are a great place to start; after all, they can give you social history from 50, 60, 70 years ago.  They can tell you about the national loyalty, the manufacturing industries and orderly society which England took great pride in — and rightly so.

It’s a brave new world, and it’s up to us to resist this increasing encroachment on our elderly, our lives and our dreams.

If you wish to comment where it counts, email grant.shapps@communities.gsi.gov.uk

15 comments for “Erasing England’s elderly — whilst working them to death

  1. Andrew Duffin
    February 19, 2012 at 8:23 am

    The Leviathan state’s need for cash has become so overwhelming that anyone at all who might have a bit of property or savings must give it up (or have it inflated away) in order to keep the elite (and the payroll vote) in the manner to which it’s become accustomed.

    Expect more initiatives of this sort.

    • February 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Vigorously underscored. Envious eyes.

  2. john in cheshire
    February 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Churchmouse, I’m forwarding this posting to Mr Shapps, for what good it will do. I hope someone has put his name on the list.

    • February 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Many thanks, John — and much appreciated. Please, when time allows, let me know how he reacted (if at all).

  3. February 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

    “The elderly did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to pay the consequences for it?”

    Ahem, I might as well say:

    “Young people did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to pay the consequences for it?”

    or

    “The elderly did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to reap the benefits from it, such as higher house prices and rents?”

    • February 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      I thought you might come up with said response. 😉

      But, equally, why should anyone — old or young — pay for the Government’s mistake?

      • February 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

        it’s known as tu quoque 😉

  4. wiggiatlarge
    February 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Mark Wadsworth
    “Young people did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to pay the consequences for it?”
    So you agree that the elderly should pay ?
    “The elderly did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to reap the benefits from it, such as higher house prices and rents?”

    And the the elderly engineered this for their own benefit ?
    Are you for real, or are you of the compulsory euthanasia at 65 believers ?

    • February 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you, wiggiatlarge!!

  5. myqui
    February 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    This from Mark:

    ‘The elderly did not create a situation of unlimited immigration, so why should they be expected to reap the benefits from it, such as higher house prices and rents?’

    I very much doubt the elderly that I know would ever suggest such a thing and yet could it be they are expecting as much? are they expecting it?

    Well, the only thing within my own experience that I can confidently comment upon is that the elderly I have contact with care not one whit about ‘benefiting from higher house prices and rents’ They are all most asuredly happy within their homes. That is all I know for sure.

    • February 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

      This is the same as my experience. This “benefiting from high house prices” is an artificial construct used by the LVT brigade to create a demon to knock down. The elderly did not create high house prices, nor do they benefit from them. As you say, they live in the houses they bought. Same as the rest of us.

  6. February 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The elderly I have contact with care not one whit about ‘benefiting from higher house prices and rents’ They are all most asuredly happy within their homes.

    Indeed.

    No one was even clear on what constituted a kulak, and the criteria differed from place to place. Generally, it was an independent farmer who had more property than was considered ‘normal’.

    This is the politics of envy which blights society and the debate between equality of opportunity and mediocracy.

  7. Monty
    February 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    The thing about elderly folk living out their final years in their own house, reveals quite a lot about the people who claim to have a problem with that. If the councils or the government wanted to boost the social housing stock, they could buy up suitable houses on the open market, or grant themselves planning permission to build new social housing.
    What happens now? The elderly eventually pass away, and their house forms the estate which passes down to their heirs. Who then sell it. In other words, the treasury and the council don’t get a windfall out of it because the majority of estates don’t attract inheritance tax. The only other way they can burrow into private assets, is to get more fee paying old folk into the old people’s homes. so they can be massively overcharged to subsidise the patients with no assets. People are starting to resist being used as milch cows.

    Monty

    • February 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      ‘In other words, the treasury and the council don’t get a windfall out of it because the majority of estates don’t attract inheritance tax.’

      Well said.

      What the Government could do is lift VAT on refurbishing older properties, such as the section of Victorian terraces in Manchester, on which, I believe, are still pending a decision on demolition or possible redevelopment. A number of Mancunians would like to live in those terraces, but it’s just too expensive for residents to renovate them. A bit of tax relief wouldn’t hurt. However, that goes towards the interests of local residents, not the council. That says it all.

      The decision to earmark these terraces for demolition is a hangover from Labour.

      • Monty
        February 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm

        If there was a way by which groups of neighbours could form a partnership to get tax relief and grants for improving their local housing stock, there would be some hope of a successful outcome. Local people are the ones who know what is needed, and in many cases they regret the lack of a garage, and the generally insecure nature of back lanes open to the public.There are ways of addressing that kind of thing if neighbours and house buyers collaborate in the alterations, and if they can get the finance.

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