Saturday, 4 July 2009

Britain - a country where the class to which old men belong, still dictates how long they live.

Life expectancy for men in England has risen to an average of 77.7 years compared to 77.3, three years ago and for women to 81.6 years. The Minister for Public Health, Gillian Merron said : " The health of the nation is improving..It is good to see that you can expect to live longer, that early deaths from heart disease, cancer and smoking related diseases are decreasing." However, the fact is that there are wide regional and social variations. For example, the expectancy for men in Blackpool is 73.2 whereas in ultra-middle class Kensington and Chelsea in London, it is 83.7. That's a whacking ten and a half years difference !

The Professor of Social Policy and Gerontology at the University of Sheffield has pointed out that healthy life styles are more likely in middle class, professional households, than in working class homes and households on state benefits. He made the point that " when you are poor you can't choose what you eat...The health inequality statistics are a mirror of other inequalities. Those differences are getting wider".

So my fellow baby boomers,those of you leading comfortable, middle class lives are probably going to live longer than your working class contemporaries. As 'twas the the case in the past, so 'tis now.

Britain - a country where, despite the work of 'socialist' governments in this and the last century, social inequality lives on , alive, well, unabated and reflected in the lives of our old men.

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