Dear God, can\’t Polly get anything right?

Only the state can provide the care we need in old age

It\’s an inconvenient truth for George Osborne but the numbers don\’t lie: privately we can\’t afford to look after ourselves

This is simply nonsense.

The State has no magic money tree: whatever is spent on providing care in old age has to come from us, the population. We can afford it simply because there is no alternative to use being the people who afford it: we\’re the only people possible to pay for it.

Where the State does come in is that they are the only people capable of providing us with the insurance. That risk spreading across the population of some of us being healthy up to the three minutes in which we croak and others dribbling into their Alzheimer\’s for 15 years.

The State can indeed be the enabler, the insurer, but there\’s precisely fuck all reason why the State needs to be the provider.

8 thoughts on “Dear God, can\’t Polly get anything right?”

  1. So often care is merely time. It is uncomfortable because it means giving up doing stuff for us and doing it for our aged family members.

    There is time and there are ways. If you really want.

    I am happy for the state to come in and help according to REAL need (and even take responsibility when there is nobody to do so), but the responsibility for my family, Dad, my widowed mother-in-law, my kids is mine. Frequently, it is a responsibility shared. My wife: her mother and our kids. Her mother; her brothers. My father; his new partner and my brothers.

    Of course, it sometimes means interrupting a ski holiday (with snow to die for), but that is what true solidarity is about.

    We can’t aford to put granny in a home? Then maybe she should be in her own home and we spend time sorting things or, God forbid, maybe she should be with us. I know, I know, she pees herself and we have to give her injections and she smells so we have to bathe her…..

  2. Come no, bilbaoboy, isn’t it much more sensible for the state to coerce vast sums of money from other people, piss a load of it away on pointless admin, give half of the rest to a bunch of wasters and use what’s left on caring for your family?

  3. My coal-miner grandfather and wife who died aged 87 and 83 respectively, managed to provide the care they needed in old age without any State intervention, apart from the Old Aged Pension.

    Of course they, having been born at the end of the 19th Century, understood the concept of self-reliance and self-responsibility before the corrupting influence of the Welfare State took over.

    They had “put a bit by” each week or when they could, for their old age.

    When they died, their funerals and burial plot had already been bought so as not to be a burden to the surviving family.

    Of course there was little money left to inherit as it had been spent by them on the care they needed.

  4. After the decline and death of my parents-in-law, I asked myself what more the State could have done. Three things:

    (1) Improved the roads, traffic management and perhaps public transport so that we could be surer of how long it would take us to reach them.

    (2) Refrained from infecting the old boy with MRSA.

    (3) Adopted policies that would have averted the repeated burglaries of their property.

  5. dearieme,your point 3 – the death penalty for burglaries would work. Some might find it a bit much though….
    Before I purchased my house it had been burgled a number of times. A few enhancements, and not burgled since. Could still be done, but only with far more attention possible. People may take notice of someone removing an entire kitchen window….

  6. Been thinking a lot on this subject, the last few weeks. Mum just died in a nursing home. Father’s resident in a different one. What do I owe him?
    I can appreciate Bilbaoboy’s attitude. Wish I could share it. Trouble is my family’s not like that.
    Only child. Probably a mistake. A father who liked the idea of a son but never came to terms with the notion little boys stop playing with model airplanes & grow up. Self centred & overly possessive. Home for me was somewhere I slept until I was old enough, get the hell out of it.
    Now, by default, I’m effectively running things. Picking through the lives of two people I hardly know. Last ‘family’ Christmas was mid 80’s sometime. Me temporarily sans a current squeeze. G/f’s were never welcome. They’ve never crossed the doorstep of anywhere I’ve ever lived. Even from a half hour drive away. I never told them when I got married. Whole thing would have been too complicated to explain.
    Extended families work. There’s enough bonding between the generations. The family home is just that. Where the kids return with the grandchildren. It’s something they’re still part of. Looking after the elderly is a natural progression. But there’s a lot of families like mine. My generation seems to have produced more than its share. The ones who went off, do their own thing, when their offspring had flown.
    So what are my responsibilities to an old geezer who’s a stranger to me? Luckily there’s enough money to keep him in his expensive nursing home. What if their wasn’t?

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “So what are my responsibilities to an old geezer who’s a stranger to me? Luckily there’s enough money to keep him in his expensive nursing home. What if their wasn’t?”

    He gave you life. That is not nothing. But even if we ignored that, what are my responsibilities to an old geezer who isn’t even a stranger to me? Why should I have to pay for him?

    So leave him to die in the gutter? Or force me to be the good son he did not raise (for whatever, and I am sure highly complex, reason)?

  8. SMFS
    Yeah, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. I do it because I feel it’s the right thing. But how far should that obligation go? To the point where it destroys the carer’s life?
    There’s something deeply wrong with the post war, Welfare State, generations. We’ve always taken out a little bit more than we put back. Put the bills behind the clock on the mantelpiece & forgotten them Now they’re coming due.

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