BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Thursday 18 February 2010

Sarah McDermott | 11:41 UK time, Thursday, 18 February 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAIL ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:

Tonight we'll be looking at the huge question - how do we pay for the elderly?

With a growing elderly population and concerns about the standard of current care services, there is considerable debate about how to reform social care provision.

Tomorrow the Health Secretary Andy Burnham is hosting a conference on the issue, after more than a week of bickering between the main political parties.

Currently, those who have assets of more than £23,000 (including their house - so pretty much anyone who owns a home) have to fund their own care, whether at home or in residential housing. As a result many older people have no option but to sell their homes to fund their care. Is that fair?

Could we actually afford to pay for more? And if so how? We'll discuss this tonight with Joan Bakewell, the editor of Saga magazine Emma Soames and the Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

The Dalai Lama has been meeting President Obama today. Big deal you might think. Well, the US and China both think it is.

China warned the meeting could damage already febrile relations further. Beijing flexed its financial muscle in December by selling billions of dollars of US bonds and expressing concerns over its investments in the States.

And there have been further ructions over the US sale of arms to Taiwan, Google's withdrawal from China and even the Copenhagen climate negotiations.

Tonight Paul Mason will look at the state of relations between China and America and we'll be discussing where it might all end.

And Steve Smith will be examining the work and life of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century - Henry Moore.

ENTRY FROM 1141GMT

We will be looking further into the Dubai Hamas killing, as the Israeli ambassador to the UK meets officials at the foreign office to discuss the fraudulent use of British by the alleged killers of a Hamas commander.

And we'll discuss whether a row is brewing over the Falkland islands. Argentina has announced tighter controls on all ships passing through its waters over UK plans to drill for oil.

And Stephen Smith visits Tate Britain in the run up to their Henry Moore exhibition. It's a major reappraisal of the experimental sculptor and artist's work.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Agree with George Melly - Moore - over rated

  • Comment number 2.

    passport

    i see the israeli internet warfare team is busy on the comments section of internet versions of uk newspapers. out come the hasbara handbook tactics.

    the Times floats the idea the use of the uk passports was in response to the uk courts having warrants for the arrest of israelis on war crimes. which reminds one of the israeli 'beat the dog in his kennel' policy towards the uk they had when they were the terrorists after ww2.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7032246.ece

    however it seems to have resulted in the possibility of more international arrest warrants against israelis as from dubai we read

    ...police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim called for Interpol to issue "a red notice against the head of Mossad ... as a killer in case Mossad if proved to be behind the crime, which is likely now."

    milliband is a bit of a doormat keeping the information quiet for 2 weeks which is when dubai say that was when they informed the govts relating to the passports [the other countries kept quiet too]. the israeli ambassodor seemed unworried by the invitation to the FO .

    is there a crisis of loyalty at the FO? which country's interests to put first? if there is then maybe some should resign?

  • Comment number 3.

    "We will be looking further into the Dubai Hamas killing...."
    I hope this is true and that you won't just waste our time giving airtime to apologists for Israeli murderers.

  • Comment number 4.

    The government is refusing to protect the British public from crimes commited against them by another state, which is its primary and overriding responsibility. The government has just lost its last shred of legitimacy and this is exactly what leads to revolutions. I really hope they change what they are doing because otherwise it spells disaster for us all.

  • Comment number 5.

    'how do we pay for the elderly? '

    My father is 90 and very physically fit. Last year he went to London on the coach about four times on his own. Its probably in his genes and that's where the solution will be found plus changing the foods available in supermarkets that cause us to get ill. So like my father we wont need to pay for the elderly or at least it should be less so.

    Oh yes banning the sale of tobacco and limiting sale of alcohol would be good as well - why should we pay for those who self inflict ill health.

  • Comment number 6.

    Is it really any surprise that that Britons who live in Israel, speak Hebrew, and qualify for Israeli citizenship, are prone to lose their identity?

  • Comment number 7.

    It is disgusting, that pensioners who have paid their NI/taxes etc, worked hard all their lives and contributed to the economy are being left out in the cold to fend for themselves. These are the very people in society who are the most vulnerable and need the most support - if anything, they should have far more help given to them.

    My solution - get rid of all these bogus asylum seekers/terrorists who cannot be deported because their "human rights will be compromised" so they stay in jail at a mimimum of £40k courtesy of the tax payer. Added to this are benefit fraudsters who just come into the UK from the EU, register for benefits and then leave. Opt out of the Human Rights Act, and bring common sense back :p

  • Comment number 8.

    OLD PEOPLE* 'WHAT WOULD NATURE DO?'

    At 72, I have had two hernia operations, one infection that would have killed me without Penicillin, and I live by 'managing' a bunch of malfunctions, all of which will get worse. I have supplies of clean water, warmth and nutritional supplements, courtesy of pensions (for now!). Had I been required to live in a cave or hut, without modern support, I would be long gone.

    To 'death and taxes', we now have to add the extra certainty of the 'pointless old' vast swathes of them - of whom I shall soon be one (if not already). For a solution, why not enquire of specialists in the field - i.e. US? Don't ask the Church or the political spokespersons or the do-gooders - ASK US. You might get a surprisingly constructive answer.

    Wasn't Captain Oates elevated to a hero?

    All this wittering about 'terminal illness' is to miss the point. Many more of us are looking at 'non-terminal pointlessness' and this is something WE can address far better than any nice people. Let's get real.

    Nature is, without doubt, APPALLED at the current mess.

  • Comment number 9.

    ASTERISK (#8)

    * Old people - aka 'the elderly'. (:o)

  • Comment number 10.

    shocking really that the only response as if it is some minor passport violation rather than a murder.

    i would think we would have invaded iran by now if it had been found that some iranian death squad had killed an israeli .

    but the gut feeling of many (including robert fisk) is that the uk was colluding with israel.

    the bbc reporting of it has been dismissive and low key in the main.

  • Comment number 11.

    "milliband is a bit of a doormat keeping the information quiet for 2 weeks which is when dubai say that was when they informed the govts relating to the passports [the other countries kept quiet too]. the israeli ambassodor seemed unworried by the invitation to the FO .

    is there a crisis of loyalty at the FO? which country's interests to put first? if there is then maybe some should resign?"

    this apparent subservience to israels whims is quite curious and unfathomable , william hague was earlier today on the bbc news channel demanding that visiting 'moderate' (his description) leaders shouldnt be subject to arrest (due to alleged war crimes) and was asking the uk govt to make changes in the law.

  • Comment number 12.

    11

    the network of 'friends' that help fund the political system with donations and free trips.


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/16/pro-israel-lobby-conservatives-channel4-dispatches

    we have seen how MPs love their wallet and so those who give money get a voice. If the muslims donated then no doubt a bit of balance will suddenly start to appear in the language Mps use.

    money = power. so its not really curious or unfathomable? :)

  • Comment number 13.

    7. Mistress76uk 'It is disgusting, that pensioners who have paid their NI/taxes etc, worked hard all their lives and contributed to the economy are being left out in the cold to fend for themselves.'

    The realities are that we have a) an ageing population b) which is living longer and c) it can cost £1000 a week to provide nursing home care which doesn't really amount to much in terms of great quality of life (cost is a function of staff:resident ratio even at close to minimal wage). 24/7 support at home can be even more expensive!

    The very harsh reality is that even providing very basic care to many reaching old age is extremely expensive, and not very dignified. It's thus a very bold (or very ignorant) person who demands solutions to this new, growing, resource intensive, problem.

  • Comment number 14.

    8. barriesingleton 'To 'death and taxes', we now have to add the extra certainty of the 'pointless old' vast swathes of them - of whom I shall soon be one (if not already).'

    Rest assured, you're not! That's a fact.

  • Comment number 15.

    Alex Thomson's well-worn bias has been much in evidence this week.

    Today, he apparently claims to speak on behalf of the Dubai government and believes they are incapable of conducting two operations - investigating a murder and speaking to a (non-existent) ambassador - simultaneously.

    If Channel 4 cares one jot for its professionalism, he should be first for the chop.

    I'm continuing my boycott of Channel 4 advertisers and a list of them will follow at some point, alongside, maybe, a Facebook page. I can't abide Facebook, but I may venture to its shores just for Channel 4.

    P.S. Who tipped-off Channel 4 about the assassination?

  • Comment number 16.

    OLD PEOPLE POSE A PROBLEM! - SEND FOR BURNHAM! - WHY BURNHAM?

    Burnham appears to consist of politics-sport-bean-counting. Where is his empathy with old people - his experience - his expertise?

    Brown is old enough to know better - there's a thought.

    The BUPA home that stored my brother to death, for his last five months, was commercially caring. I could recount a range of improprieties and indignities arising from time/language/cultural/human factors, but what stayed with me most strongly, and is worth recording here, was the unstinting love in the hearts of many of those shit-waged ladies.

    I wonder if Burnham has spent hours in a room with the living-dead, beset by the sobs and cries of others of similar pointlessness, in a terminal battery-house?
    If he has been at all, he will have, no doubt, had to rush away to catch 'The Match'.

    If Terror and evil stalk this land, it is not from Afghanistan, but in the hearts of our leaders.




  • Comment number 17.

    BBC " click online " did a feature on the future of OAP care, suggesting that the infirm could live in high tech housing units where every move of the occupant was recorded by sensors. They claim that they could tell whether you were able to bend down, whether you were washing due to the amount of water used plus a range of other factors. Apparently the whole object of the exercise was not to send anyone to check on you unless you were apparently dead or close to it. All your movements would be on CCTV video also.

  • Comment number 18.

    #8

    ''The 'pointless old' vast swathes of them - of whom I shall soon be one (if not already). ''


    I object Barrie, as a 40 year old professional engineer and family man in good health I want to make it absolutely clear that I also consider myself to be pointless, I merely temporarily share in the same delusion of countless others like me that I am not.




  • Comment number 19.

    NN has killed off the Hamas killing story, apparently the BBCs "Memory Hole" is very efficient.

  • Comment number 20.

    Have I really just witnessed Newsnight soliciting the views of the elderly according to whether they perform star jumps or run on the spot? Not seen anything like it since Jeremy Vine's coverage of the council elections in 2008 where he was break dancing along side a hologram of Menzies Campbell, or doing a mock cowboy accent while shooting from the hip.

    What is this? A competition to see who can make it onto Charlie Bookers Newswipe?

  • Comment number 21.

    Re the Newsnight discussion on paying for care for the elderly. As I recall it we used to have such a system which from 1947 until the mid 80s offered 'guaranteed' care from cradle to grave!
    It was called National Insurance!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Why not put the NI rate up then? Surely that is the fairest way of providing care for the elderly?

    A "death tax" is too much, and paying a lump sum of £25k is also unattainable for many pensioners.

  • Comment number 23.

    #6 Exactly as I was thinking Statist.

  • Comment number 24.

    Could Canada's slightly-greater concern, than usual, about its 'international' image be due to the increased world-wide interest in 'the games', owing to the death of a competitor?

    The 'rubber neck' phenomenon, if you will.

  • Comment number 25.

    Israeli spokesmen have hinted that the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and our security services have willingly collaborated with them in the conduct of their outrage in misusing British passports and committing murder in Dubai. The government's supine response to this crime, which implicates the UK and its citizens, is outrageous, incomprehensible and inexcusable. What is Newsnight's excuse?

  • Comment number 26.

    LUXURY!

    In all my time spent haunting a care home, I rarely saw so much carefree attention as portrayed in the footage tonight. The carers I observed, in real life, were all too often under pressure of bleeps, cries, and colleagues' requests to double-up for H&S reasons.

    As for the erudite discussion - was it in the 'art zone'? Giant blurred wall images and a level of lighting that left much to the imagination, regarding the guests. Bravo.

    I would like to suggest a trade-off with the Tories, regarding the 'death tax'. If they waive my payment, I'll push off the moment I need public money spent on me. I shall, of course, want free access to a legal (and lethal) Mickey Finn.

  • Comment number 27.

    'ROBBING CHILDREN OF THEIR CHILDHOOD' - BUT IS THAT ALL?

    Cameron sees votes in calling for little girls to grow up free of sexualisation by commerce. Any chance he might also notice the Mammonisation of all tots from age 3, through schooling? And surely he must have noticed that women are being robbed of motherhood by a combination of commerce, Mammon and early schooling? It is reported women might want to be mothers after all! Dave - hello!

  • Comment number 28.

    THE CONSOLATION OF PHILOSOPHY (#18)

    Your grasp of the human condition exquisite, Jericoa.

    Respect.

  • Comment number 29.

    HOW TO LOOK LIKE A PILLOCK WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON (#20)

    Why the Canadians care two hoots about our media when Newsnight goes from gravitas to crazy-farce in one slick move is a mystery.

    Perhaps voting by star-jump and spot-running will sweep the world, overcoming hanging chads and postal fraud.

    Newsnight - gi's a look at the consummate genius who conceived that delight. Is there REALLY a person in media, at any level, who could actually fail to realise JUST HOW CRASS it looked?

  • Comment number 30.

    #18

    Surely ot, Jericoa, unless you look from the ultimate universe perspective. What are we if not just a speck of dust, if that, in the immensity of timeless spatial eternity?

    And yet, if we're able to 'descend' on to the planes, valleys and hills of here and now, it can be quite amazing how significant we can be in the lives of others. First and foremost in the lives of our close and dear and then, if we get things right, on a larger scale, even if we're not endowed with such talents like those of Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Shakespeare, Copernicus, Mozoart, Beethoven or Elvis, to name but just a few.

    To think that completely deaf Beethoven had it in him to carry on creating for us, and at the time out of the sheer force of self-belief, pieces like the 'Moonlight Sonata' shows that if one stays connected to, or in other words stays tuned into, one's own humanity the perspective from 'hopeless', 'useless' and 'unimportant' can change dramatically, even if we only carry on by preservation and continuation of that precious, specifically human thread which is creativity in whaterver form it manifests itself.

    mim

  • Comment number 31.

    #16 barrie
    My wife’s experience mirrors that of your brother, but from the opposite side of the bed as it were. I am indeed fortunate to have married a born carer who has nursed several terminally ill persons, and I’m on her future list, so Andy doesn’t have to concern himself about me.

    Just before our holiday, she was notified that the Nursing Home was being shut down, following extensive investigation. The circumstances involved poor record keeping by the owner, and (allegedly) a vindictive NHS official whose inmate father had complained about the service and had transferred elsewhere. To me it seems draconian to peremptorily sack some 30 carers and nursing staff and force old people to move against their will, rather than to put an NHS official in charge if the establishment was failing in a technical area. An appeal is ongoing, but the damage has been done to staff, residents and relatives – all due to a lack of pragmatism.

    Your comment was apt: staff often receive strong verbal (and occasionally physical) abuse from residents, but most carers understand that they are looking after people in their second childhood and share the distress (and thanks) of relatives when there is a loss.
    In this area of Health and Social Care experience proves that there are still people with a vocation of dedication and care of the aged; sadly, fewer and fewer of them are home-grown, due to the downside effects of the benefits system and the obsession with university education for all.

    #8
    “Wasn't Captain Oates elevated to a hero?” That’s right; now I’ve gone outside and may be some time - but I’ll be back in UK on Tuesday next!

  • Comment number 32.

    ..Israeli agents tipped off British intelligence that they were going to carry out an 'overseas operation' using fake British passports

    The Mossad man said Israeli intelligence chiefs understood British authorities would have to "slap them on the wrist" and added:

    "The British government has to be seen to be going through the motions."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1252034/Hamas-assassination-Two-Palestinians-helped-Mossad-agents-murder-plot.html

    going through the motions? synonyms might be... an act. a pantomime. a lie.

    if true then the fact the israelis are letting the world know they told the uk is also another slap down for the UK? the abasement and prostration of the FO to the interests of another state is complete. The FO has no credibility and cannot pretend it is not totally penetrated by a foreign power. reminds one of days of Philby.

    there is something seriously anti british at the centre of the uk govt that lies to the british people to promote the interests of another state and thus place the lives of british people in danger.

  • Comment number 33.

    why is china so terrified of tibet that they get so worked up about it? guilty conscience?

  • Comment number 34.

    23. ecolizzy '#6 Exactly as I was thinking Statist.'

    Sadly, it's then a perfectly logical step to infer that 'ineligible citizens' are attacked domestically in order to induce them to support wars on the citizens' enemies (aka 'terrorists') - and it really helps if the 'ineligible citizens' (aka cannon fodder) aren't the sharpest tools in the box, as when this is pointed out to them, they can't/won't believe it - especially if they're a product of an education system which has been massively inflated!

    Maybe Newsnight could look into this...........?

  • Comment number 35.

    32. jauntycyclist 'there is something seriously anti british at the centre of the uk govt that lies to the british people to promote the interests of another state and thus place the lives of british people in danger.'

    Only if one can't see how the modern Irgun and Stern Gang are 'our' friends, and why it's repugnant/racist/nationalist/protectionist (i.e very bad) to harp on about what's 'British'.....note what's happening to NI, Scotland, Wales, London, Midlands, NE, NW, SE, SW.....?

  • Comment number 36.

    22. Mistress76uk 'Why not put the NI rate up then? Surely that is the fairest way of providing care for the elderly?'

    That would have been a very good idea when we had a UK etc, but today, we are 'dissoluting', and any talk of (let alone planning for) national anything reeks of protectionism/statism and is strictly politically incorrect.

    Shame on you for posting such non unsocial ('terrorist') international ideas. Go wash you keyboard out with a CFC-free spray and make a donation to an international lost cause NGO as penance!

  • Comment number 37.

    33. jauntycyclist 'why is china so terrified of tibet that they get so worked up about it? guilty conscience?'

    No, separatism is unconstitutional. Look it up. Unlike the 1930s USSR Stalinist constitution, the Chinese version (which it follows in most other respects) specifically proscribes secession. The Chinese, by law, see any talk of independence as subversion/treason. See the riots in West China in recent times? Contrast with the British government's anarchism viz the 'UK'.

  • Comment number 38.

    #18 Jericoa

    Is it possible to be delusional if you recognise the delusion????????????

    Surely such self awareness cancels the delusion, if not the object of it?

    I'm a little older, not similarly qualified, and just as pointless.

    Perhaps we could start a new 'Pointless Party' in time for the forthcoming election.

    Oh drat. Just checked. Already got three!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    #34

    Statist

    Just in case -

    Having read your #34 on inelligibility, I've reread my #30 which I reallise may seen difficult to 'decipher'. However, I stick by what I say there but admit that the style has a form of stream of consciousnes and if it misunderstood then, well, it will just have to remain misunderstood. I now have a ditty about the forthcoming Spring circulating in my mind....

    mim

  • Comment number 40.


    THE VICIOUS 'CRADLE TO GRAVE' CIRCLE
    #22 Mistress 76

    Surely the BEST way to provide care for the elderly is to re-establish a strong senses of family and community.

    The terrible cycle of expectation for self fulfilment and diminishing social conscience whilst relegating the care of our offspring, our weak, our ill, our vulnerable, our elderly to 'paid' institutionalising organisations MUST surely be broken or we are all DOOMED.

    Then the scant resources in tax/NI coffers can be used as they were intended - to support those with NO means of self help. A relatively small group of people.

  • Comment number 41.

    35

    i suppose what is going on is not new in british history

    as in henry v.... 'english monsters'... 'who accepted a few coins'

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK4K7CV_PGY

  • Comment number 42.

    37

    historically tibet has been seperate from china. so its not seperatism by tibet but imperialism by china.

  • Comment number 43.

    42. jauntycyclist 'historically tibet has been seperate from china. so its not seperatism by tibet but imperialism by china.'

    I respectfully disagree grass-hopper.

    I suggest you look into the Seventeen Point Agreement and you will see that the imperialism of which you speak, is, as usual, American anti-statist free-market imperialism (Faustian libertarianism).

    PS. If you follow my 'helpful corrections' (thwaaaaack), grass-hopper, I think it will strengthen your overall position elsewhere, which I continue to think shows great promise...;-)

  • Comment number 44.

    43
    tibet

    its like saying wales is not [and has never been] an independent country that is still under occupation after going through centuries of ethnic and cultural cleansing by the english.

    a union not based on consent is rape.

  • Comment number 45.

    41. jauntycyclist - Sure, or one could look back to 1492, the Exodus to to greater Holland, our Civil War (the ousting of Catholic statists), the later 1688 'invasion' and the migration of Dutch/German investment banking to London and expansion of the libertarian empire. My point is pragmatic. Whether it's old age and its social funding, we're becoming less and less a nation are we not, and more and more individual consumers? Discussions on NN about how 'we' will pay for X, Y and Z are, as Barrie Singleton and others have astutely pointed out, somewhat out of touch with the practical realities of what is going on (i.e. in terms of dissolution of the nation). Now we have to look to Europe for our laws do we not? Why isn't NN doing that? Is it because a 'faux' election is coming up?

  • Comment number 46.

    As I see it, the great European subterfuge of the last 2000 years or so has finally hit a wall, the Great Wall of China. In the past, migrations or Exodii from one European state to another (and finally, in the late 19th and early 20th century) to the USA, was possible only because of the 'deliberate policy of ambiguity' of identity possible within the European 'race'. China renders this impossible, as any attempt to scale the wall will be glaringly obvious to all.

    Hence 'End Game'.

  • Comment number 47.

    Jaunty

    I may have misunderstood you at times unless you're changing your position kevseywevesey style.

    I have to admit that this time I agree with what you're saying above re: China, Tibet and rape.

    I'm not sure which one of you one day is all for the Queen, i.e. Queen Elizabeth II, then another day for the Soviet or China way of running this country and the world as a matter of fact, as well as for abolishibng the monarchy altogether and installing a president, like let's say in France or America. Isn't called letting oneself being drifted by the windmills of one's mind or being blown about by the winds of opportunism?

    mim

  • Comment number 48.

    #46

    Statist

    'Endgame'?

    Have you decided to depart back into the past or to pastures new?

  • Comment number 49.

    #40

    Brightyangthing

    Humane words of wisdom.

    Good to see you communicating on these pages again.

    mim

  • Comment number 50.

    #7. Mistress76uk wrote:
    "It is disgusting, that pensioners who have paid their NI/taxes etc, worked hard all their lives and contributed to the economy are being left out in the cold to fend for themselves. These are the very people in society who are the most vulnerable and need the most support - if anything, they should have far more help given to them."
    = = = = =

    100% agree. Having made NI contriubutions for 40+ years on the basis that I'd be looked after, health-wise, until my number's up, I'm extremely resentful at these latest ideas. It's another twist of "British justice", that well-known contradiction in terms: Those who have bothered to work all their lives, support themselves and families and avoided being an economic burden on society, are the losers.

    It's despicable taxing the dead when, alive, some paid tax at 40%. I mean: HOW MUCH DOES THE GOVERNMENT WANT??? WHY NOT JUST CONFISCATE THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED AND MAYBE HAND BACK A FEW BOB TO THE BENEFICIARY as a sop to keep them quiet, to try to mislead them into thinking the system is all worthwhile.

    Why did we bother to work? On the bottom line, work for most people has never been better than a life-frittering, soul-destroying way to pass the time between leaving school and retirement/death. Too many reach retirement, look back and realise they have done nothing for themselves, just been slaves to a system that hands them a little pocket money so that they can consume, get into debt thus need to go to work. Strip the idea of "work" of all the fancy stuff talked by psychologists and HR people and it's a drudge.

    I'm left feeling that it's all been a waste of time. I will pay for my care if I need it. I'd be happier if EUTHENASIA could be legalised so that if I reach the state of NEEDING the crutch of constant care, I could be put down. (There's a note in my living will to this effect, should it be legalised - or if I could be transported to a country where it is legal.)

    An insurance scheme - just another tax that will be frittered like the NI contributions. Most people won't need it. Will their next of kin get the money back if they don't?

    Once again we are faced with the WINNERS being those who have not bothered to save; many not bothering to work and milking us taxpayers for all they're worth on benefits. They'll get their old-age care entirely free.

  • Comment number 51.

    I saw 'Percy Jackson and the Thief of Lightning' yesterday and enjoyed it.

    Apart from it being entertaining, well made and played, etc, it's an opportunity for teachers to talk to the young about Greek mythology, ethics, the need to be on the ball, as they say to 'stay awake', as well as family and personal love, etc.

    mim

  • Comment number 52.

    50. doctor bob 'I mean: HOW MUCH DOES THE GOVERNMENT WANT??? WHY NOT JUST CONFISCATE THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED AND MAYBE HAND BACK A FEW BOB TO THE BENEFICIARY as a sop to keep them quiet, to try to mislead them into thinking the system is all worthwhile.'

    Have you done the maths?

    Say one is aiming for the £1000 a week it costs for good Nursing Home care.

    For one year, one needs £52,000 per resident.

    For a population of 1 million elderly that would be £52 billion. How many people does the country have in an age band - answer: about 1% of the population, although obviously that declines with age. As healthcare improves and the population ages (note, 'ageing population refers specifically to the below replacement level very low birth rate hence fewer younger people to work and support the older via taxes, not that the population has aged people per se), roughly, multiply the 52 billion by X for each age-band. Then consider sources of income HMG has, and the other expenditures (other healthcare, education, DWP, defence, etc etc).

    Don't get angry - get thinking.... statism/socialism costs - bigtime.

  • Comment number 53.

    Next time you see a news item which openly or covertly attacks statism abroad (usually depicting their leaders as cruel, nasty, oppressive, tyrannical, freedom-sappers), just think what's happening closer to home, who profits from it and what the longer term consequences are.

  • Comment number 54.

    A Fable For Old Age...

    http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/grasshopper/mstory.htm

    In a simple form so that the labour party can understand it.

    #50 Dr Bob agree with your entire post. My parents are very elderly, and they have to pay for all care, (not mine!) they saved, bought a house, didn't go on expensive holidays or live a lavish lifestyle. So because they've been deligent and thrifty they are penalised and have to pay, whereas their siblings are all housed and cared for free, because they didn't bother saving, although earning much the same wages.

    Now I find my generation will have to pay a compulsory tax of £20,000 even if I never use any care, and by the time I peg out, it will be nearer £30,000, never known the labour lot to lower a tax, if they can soak the slightly better off. Vote labour, never!

    I hope this isn't too emotive Stat, but you're doing quite well on that front as well this morning!; )

  • Comment number 55.

    PUBLIC SERVICE REVISION (#54 link)

    A lady grasshopper hailed a passing ant: "I've done all my egg-laying for this year." "Good move" replied the ant. "Back at the colony the queens and drones have all flown and mated, so we are just waiting to die - naturally. Job's a good'n."

    "Those humans have got no idea. Could learn a lot from us" said the Grasshopper. That they could" replied the ant. "And their knowledge of ants and grasshoppers could do with a tweak!"

    They both died laughing. But the next year, there was no shortage of either.

  • Comment number 56.

    54. ecolizzy - Just trying to facilitate a few connections in aid of 'consensus building'...

  • Comment number 57.

    BS #55 - the problem is that in the modern version of the tale, the lady grasshopper is on her way to the IVF clinic and the ant has raised a claim for age discrimination.

    I've every sympathy for Dr Bob's point of view BUT I also have sympathy for today's teenagers who will have to pay the bill but didn't cause the problem. They didn't get a chance to vote for the politicians who promised to provide care to the grave.

  • Comment number 58.

    #54. ecolizzy wrote:
    [......]"#50 Dr Bob agree with your entire post. My parents are very elderly, and they have to pay for all care, (not mine!) they saved, bought a house, didn't go on expensive holidays or live a lavish lifestyle. So because they've been deligent and thrifty they are penalised and have to pay, whereas their siblings are all housed and cared for free, because they didn't bother saving, although earning much the same wages.

    Now I find my generation will have to pay a compulsory tax of £20,000 even if I never use any care, and by the time I peg out, it will be nearer £30,000, never known the labour lot to lower a tax, if they can soak the slightly better off. Vote labour, never!"

    = = = = = = = =

    Absolutely. What worries me about politicians getting involved in the management of elderly care is their usual organisational incompetence. On the one hand they fill a function to fit a given sum. Think of the recent parliamentary expenses watchdog: costing £6 million to look after 640 claimants. That's just under £10,000 per claimant!!

    On the other hand if they tax everyone for care (by whatever means) we KNOW that the provision will go to the lowest bidder. AND be filled with countless high-earning ne'er-do-wells. Look at the NHS and the money wasted on Trust managers, their accountants and upstart MBA graddies. They'll also likely try to centralise everything as they have with hospitals. Down to the government there'd probably be one vast "old people's home" in the Midlands somewhere, making visiting difficult and expensive - anything to throw the social cost onto the potential victims).

    And the "care" turned into factory processes where (social) relationships between the cared and carers are impossible to develop - things that would substitute a little for the absence of relatives and loved ones. (I recently did a project in one of the major elderly care providers and it was obvious that mistrust and isolation featured in most of those elderly lives simply because different faces turned up every time, rather than the same carers).

    Everyone should have someone's hand to hold when they're aware they're at death's door. If the government have a say it would be some robot hand with a cackling computer voice issuing assurances as the person crosses that particular threshold. Then the instant the pulse monitor registers a flatline, the invoice is totalled up, supplemented with a funeral charge, then sent to the NHS billing service.

    Horrible, I demand the right to have someone help me close the curtains before all that!

  • Comment number 59.

    #56 Statist you had me laughing out loud! :D

    #58 And then I read your post dr bob, and got rather sad. Perhaps we've all got to learn to live as families again in the west, as BYT pointed out in an earlier post.

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.