Sunday, 30 January 2011

Britain is a country with a corporation called the BBC which is no place for old women and Ancient Greece was a country for old men

I found an article published in the Guardian newspaper earlier this month. It was written by Sheena McDonald about, the here smiling, Miriam O'Reilly and was entitled :

Britain is no country for old folk
Will Miriam O'Reilly's tribunal victory against the BBC herald an era of fair treatment for those over 50?

It dealt with the case of the erstwhile presenter of the B.B.C programme 'Countryfile', Miriam O'Reilly, who was sacked from her job in 2008 and her attempt to expose the prejudice against the 50-plus generations.

A tribunal found that the 53-year-old presenter was dropped because of age and the BBC may have to pay out six-figure sum.

What intrigued me, however, was less the case and more the other points Sheena made in her article :

' I was recently at a formal dinner, trying to read the menu. "I can't do this without glasses these days," I said, ruefully, to the stranger beside me. He turned out to be an eye specialist. "Ah," he said, "that's presbyopia! More than 70% of people in their mid-40s develop it, and start having to use glasses!"

I was intrigued, having been brought up in a Presbyterian manse. And my father, literate in classical languages, instantly located the Greek source: 'presbys' means 'old man' or 'elder'. This is not a term of disapprobation, but rather one that carries due recognition of acquired wisdom and experience. This can, then, qualify those fortunate enough to have survived the tumultuous decades of early life to shoulder enhanced responsibilities – assuming responsibility for governing a Protestant church in Scotland, for instance.

But Britain does not follow the ancient Greek model. 'Old man' is not a term of respect on our shores, far less 'old woman', as television broadcasters vie to attract what is seen as the demographically ideal audience of 16- to 24-year-olds. Wisdom and experience are apparently not qualities that rate highly with those attempting to win these elusive viewers.'

Sheena'a article :

And Plato and Socrates, where would Western Civilisation be without you?

Greek philosophers :

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