Why are we ruled by idiots?

It shows a hunched couple walking with the aid of a walking stick and is used to warn drivers to beware older people crossing the road.

But the government’s tsar for the elderly says the road sign should be banned because they convey a message that older people are ‘frail and disabled’ and discourage employers from hiring someone over 50.

Dr Ros Altmann, the government’s business champion for older workers, claims the ‘elderly people’ sign is discriminatory because it puts off employers.

Stupid cow. She’s failed Chesterton’s Fence.
Why do we have such signs? Because some of the elderly are indeed frail and take rather longer to cross the road etc. That’s why we warn people if there’s lots of elderly around. Sure, it’s discrimination but it’s rational discrimination. Just like issuing blind people with white sticks is discrimination but it’s sensible discrimination.

35 thoughts on “Why are we ruled by idiots?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Just like issuing blind people with white sticks is discrimination but it’s sensible discrimination.

    Well obviously that is discrimination. It is outrageous that they are all White and so proving Britain has not come to terms with its vibrant post-Imperial diversity. In fact, I have just had a great idea for one with dreadlocks. I call it a Rasta-stick.

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    They need a “Slow Down For No Obvious Reason We Can Mention” sign.

    I suggest it should show East Asia’s famous Three Monkeys. To show that it is now almost illegal to see the blatantly obvious, to hear the blatantly obvious or to speak the blatantly obvious.

  3. I cannot even see the connection. The truly elderly looking couple do the job just fine. Nice to know that an old people’s home (can I say that?) might have one on the road outside.

    50 is now hardly middle-aged. Elderly? What is the connection. Is is the Daily Mail or does she really have nothing better to do. Imagining stupid cause and effects?

    It looks more like a campaign to lower pension costs by making sure we run over a few more pensioners!

    How much are we paying this old woman? Is she over 50? Why has she still got a job? Should she not be run over?

    Yeah, today started badly. Sorry, guys and gals.

  4. All discrimination makes sense to the person using it. Discrimination is a mental heuristic based on playing a numbers game , usually based on past experience or received wisdom. It saves your brain having to start from first principles in every situation and saves massive amounts of time and effort. It is true that thinking in this way can mean you miss things, but that is for the person doing the thinking to deal with. It is frankly bizarre that the government tries to dictate the way our minds work.

  5. What if the good outcome (drivers slowing outside an old people’s home) is outweighed by the bad outcome (opportunity cost to old people and employers of not employing old people because employers think if all old people as doddery)?

    Then taken on its own the sign would be rational and beneficial, rather than discriminatory. But overall its effect is harmful.

  6. Luke

    Your logic is impeccable, sort of!

    Do you really think that employment policy might be somehow affected by that sign?


    The couple depicted are clearly not over 50, they’re over 80, not looking for a job and don’t want to have to dodge the cars.

    Looks like Sainsburys are really affected. When back in UK, they seem to be staffed by pubescent spotties and hundreds of wrinklies. Exploiting child labour and enslaving the old and decrepit.

    Dem clearly off message.

  7. “Why are we ruled by idiots”

    Because we are a country of idiots, obviously. The joys of unlimited representative democracy.

    I would almost prefer that every single idiot had a button on the tv remote with which to vote on the issues of the day. At least that way we would have nobody to blame but our stupid selves and the stupid process we devised.

  8. Tomsmith:

    It is true that thinking in this way can mean you miss things

    Hopefully the frail old couple, at least. Personally, I prefer the discriminatory sign than trying to deduce from first principles, discarded Werthers Original wrappers, that there may be old people about.

  9. I suggest a new sign.

    Trainers hanging off telephone wires have been used to mark gang boundaries; the wrinklies could use tartan slippers to mark their areas.

  10. “Why are we ruled by idiots?”

    What Tom said – demos going ga ga…


    I think you’ve nailed it. And isn’t it wrong too that the old couple are very clearly depicted as a man and a woman; that just makes it worse.

  11. Yes, this sign is pure heteronormative filth.

    Oh, and for the record, this government apparently includes ‘conservatives’

  12. Surely it is discriminatory because the man is leading with the woman getting support from his arm?
    This ignores the shorter life expectancy of men who will get frailer earlier and rely on women to support them.
    I blame his shirt.

  13. It’s a similar level of stupidude to that row over the comet lander scientist’s shirt.

    He could have personally cured cancer but for the identity politics fanatics all that would matter is the shirt.

  14. What about elderly Islamists who have their elderly wife dressed in a black body bag and walking at least one metre behind him to show due respect?

  15. And bilbaoboy has it: the clown hasn’t even demonstrated a logical connection between a sign depicting elderly frail people and the over-fifties, let alone an actual connection supported by evidence.

    I’ve said it before, but I simply cannot get my head around how people who are obsessed with identity politics think. Everything which happens in the world is viewed through this filter. These people are mentally ill.

  16. What the fuck business is it of Ros Altmann who I want to hire? I literally don’t get it, even if this maniac bullshit about the signs made any sense.

  17. They should probably be taken away because they probably don’t make any sodding difference to the likelihood of anyone (elderly or otherwise) getting hit [citation needed].

    There are warnings everywhere, so they become background noise. If you want people to be extra careful when driving down certain streets then force the issue.. change the environment a bit with traffic calming measures like they do for schools. Also, give the oldies more pelican crossings, with extended crossing periods. If there’s a genuine risk then address it possibly. Just sticking up another sign to alert someone who is already ignoring the speed limit and/or not driving with the care and attention required is futile. It’s doing something for the sake of doing something.

  18. I’d like to see proposals for replacement signs. Perhaps a sign showing people who look completely normal from a distance but, if you get up to a couple of inches away from the sign and squint, you can make out wrinkles? That would be really handy for glancing at while moving at high speed.

  19. Absolutely Tim – spot on.

    The phrase started as “Pre-judicial discrimination”, a practice which is rightly loathed because it doesn’t accept the humanity of the individual.
    Pre-judging all old people as frail would indeed be incorrect, but that’s not what this sign is warning of, when placed outside an old-peoples home set up specifically for people now too old and infirm to live alone.

    But somehow people starting using the shortcut of just “discrimination”, and started stating that that alone was a bad thing. It’s not – people of African origin, for example, are more likely to have genetics predisposed to Sickle Cell Anemia, and we rightly discrimate in doctors’ surgeries to look out for that as a diagnosis.

    It’s the “prejudicial” word that needs to be brought back into usage, and frowned upon.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    Luke – “What if the good outcome (drivers slowing outside an old people’s home) is outweighed by the bad outcome (opportunity cost to old people and employers of not employing old people because employers think if all old people as doddery)?”

    Which group do you think is likely to have the most rational and realistic assessment of elderly people and their work abilities – some random bint who has spent her entire life in the Politically Correct Qango-world or people whose bottom line depends on hiring and keeping good workers?

    Why do you think this sort of childish identity politics has any connection with the real world?

  21. I confess to being confused. From images in the media I am supposed to think that all people over 50 are ‘old’ and need looking after (and as I’m 52 and recently ran a Tough Mudder assault course in 2’45” I find that insulting) and also that all ‘old’ people look at least 80 years of age (every advert for services for the ‘over 50s’ has a picture of someone looking near death’s door, unless they are ballroom dancing when they look tired but determined).

    Meanwhile rock’n’roll compliation albums are deemed a ‘great gift for dads’ at Christmas and Father’s Day when I suspect many dads today are too young to have heard Nirvana first time round.

    As for the over 50s having sex, that’s clearly a sign of a dangerous pervert unless you’re a woman and shagging some bloke half your age when it’s fashionable these days.

    I’m assuming that all these images and messages are designed by people under 35 who are convinced that some magical transformation happens to people in their 40s which renders them incapable of doing anything more than just about making it to the toilet in time. Well, I’ve a message for all you young people. Fuck off.

  22. Martin: Back when I was a student in the dieing days of the twentieth century, I opposed a motion setting out an equal opps policy or some such at the Students’ Union because (amongst other reasons) it said the Union was against all forms of discrimintation when I pointed out that that would make it tricky to pick staff, the proposer (a generally sound chap) said the word was used being used in policy-speak. I then proceded to oppose it on the grounds policy should be written in English…

  23. “the government’s business champion for older workers” That’s a deficit reduction opportunity right there.

    We could probably save a few quid closing down whatever establishment awarded her a doctorate too…

  24. Change the sign so it shows the old people doing cartwheels. It’ll keep the Ros’s of this world happy, and has the added benefit of showing what happens if oldies ignore the sign and get hit by a moving vehicle

  25. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Ros Altmann is costing the taxpayer a bare minimum of £100,000 a year (salary, NI, pension, office space etc.) and probably much more. Can her and a million or so similarly parasitical non-entities and you’ve just saved a hundred billion quid.

  26. 156ns

    That’s the average time between the Government creating some pointless non-job and said job being hijacked as a conduit for spraying “Progressive” ordure over everyone.

  27. I actually think this is good stuff. Used to be only a few of us could see the bullshit but they’re now overreaching themselves and eventually even the bloke down the pub is going to notice. When his wife notices it they’re fucked.

  28. The obvious answer is to give us oldies a gun. preferably an automatic. This would create respect for the elderly .
    As well there would free bed and breakfast to any of us seniors who got a bit too enthusiastic and accidentally knocked off all the multiculturals.

  29. Time for unisex public toilets. That little picture of a woman in a skirt, and a man in trousers are definitely discriminatory.

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