I have to say I seethed when I heard comfortably off blonde bimbo, Gaby Logan, describing retirement as being "on the scrapheap". Having retired on health grounds, I resent being described as "scrap". I don't consider I'm uselessly rusting; and even if I were useless, which maybe I shall become, I still won't be material for the crusher.
She was speaking during an item about the scrapping of compulsory retirement at 65. I don't have a problem with that per se, but I wonder about its timing. Here we are at a time when youngsters are struggling to find jobs. I noticed something similar in the BBC's ageism case. I'm sure the management are ruing their easing Miriam O'Reilly (53) out of Countryfile because "of those wrinkles when high definition comes in" (allegedly!!). Some agents seem to manage to persuade Auntie to retain their aging clients such as Sue Barker's (55). However there is a place for making room for new talent; in fact there's a need to.
There can be few things more socially counterproductive than a high rate of youth unemployment. If we wrinklies who've had a full working life and have some savings or a pension won't get off the job ladder, there can be no room to start for others at the bottom. On a day when Manchester Council alone announces the loss of 2,000 jobs, it's naïve to think that there'll be room both at the top and at the bottom of the jobs ladder. Although I can see the attraction for employers of retaining their experienced 65-year old employees and avoiding the expense of training youngsters, it's plain short-sightedness. By all means encourage people to work extended years when the economy is booming and employment is flush, but now it's daft - and dangerously disillusioning for our young people. Give the youngsters a break!
And by the way on Mr Michael Gove's newly announced "English Baccalaureate" I'm proud (or should that be ashamed?) to say that I would be among the failure statistics. Of course it was then GCEs, but I obtained neither of the humanities (Geography or History). As far as I recall there were a Maths (or two), an English (or two), a science and a few languages - but NO HUMANITY. Failure! That was because my teachers guided me to subjects which they thought I'd do well in - and enjoy (Now there's a novel concept!). On the whole, that's what good teachers do - guide their students to subjects which they'll do well in and, as a bonus, enjoy. Frankly I suspect the demand for a foreign language for those who have trouble enough with English is cloud-cuckoo land. Poor old state education - the place where ideologue politicians of every complexion flex their muscles! Anyway enough griping. Actually my retrospective failure amused me.