Sunday 27 December 2020

Britain in 2020 was no longer a country for and said "Farewell" to 20 remarkable Old Men


8th November : Jim Radford

23rd October : Chris Killip

23rd September : Sam McBratney

11th September : Paul Knight

3rd September : James Partridge

25th July : Peter Green

2nd June : Bryan Wharton

29th May : Bob Weighton

23rd May : Richard Sadler

29th April : Jonathan Barden

2nd April : Bill Frankland

29th March : Paul Nicolson

19th January : Derek Fowlds

13th January : Roger Scruton

11th January : Charles Sprawson

And lost, before their time, to Coronavirus : 

Tim Brooke-Taylor
Eddie Large
Andrew Jack
Umar Afzal
Dixon J.Scott
Michael Gerard
Leonard 'Nipper' Read
Sir John Laws

Thursday 24 December 2020

Britain is a country where old men know that, until their time runs out and sure of their cause, they must continue to oppose Brexit

In these dark days it is time to reprise the spirit of the article Will Hutton wrote in the Guardian this time last year : 

In it he reminded readers that : 'Remain Britain – half the population – has no champion.' However, he said that : 'Brexit must be opposed in every dimension. This is a Conservative project. The Tories must be its sole sponsor and live with the consequences. I think it will break them.'

He ended by suggesting that :
'So at 11pm on 31 January, dismiss Johnson’s extravagant claims for what lies ahead and the faux celebrations. Light a candle in a window, at your door, in your garden; find friends to do it together. We stand for a European Britain. We will be back.'

Although Old Men know that it is unlikely that they will not see Britain rejoin Europe in their lifetimes, in their continued opposition to the anathema, they can take heart from the words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who said in 1941, in the darkest days of the Second World War : 

"You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period - 
this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Britain's Medway Towns in the County of Kent : the most dangerous places in Britain, for old men in Covid winter

Last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued a stark warning to the people of Kent.

He said there was a "very serious problem" in Kent and that every person there should "act with responsibility" and approach each situation as if they have a virus.

According to the Office of National Statistics the average age of people who have died from Coronavirus in Britain is above 80, with more than 9 in 10 deaths among the over 65s. In addition, the statistics also show that there are more deaths among boys, young men, middle aged and old men than girls, young women, middle aged women and old women, up to the age of 84.

Against this background, analysis has shown that a new strain of the Coronavirus has appeared in Kent and the South East of England, including London, which could increase the reproductive rate by 0.4 or more and that it may be up to 70% more transmissible than the old variant. Although these areas are now under the Government's most restrictive measures, with Family reunions at Christmas banned, it is expected that this dangerous variant will spread to all areas of Britain. However, at this point in time it is the old men of Kent who are in the firing line.

Not unsurprisingly, the number of Coronavirus cases have increased dramatically in Kent in the last week and latest figures show that almost one in 100 people living in the Medway Towns in North Kent could have the disease. Old men will make up the majority of the 1050 cases recorded in these Towns today and will have made up the lion's share of the 13,000 total number of cases. By way of comparison, the old men in the cathedral city of Canterbury, in the heart of Kent, are marginally better off with their total of 186 daily cases being added to their 4,897 overall total.

Most old men in the Medway Towns are blithely unaware of the danger they are in of contracting this new variant, with its all-too-often, tragic conclusion. They continue to do their Christmas shopping in their local supermarket, completely ignorant of the fact that their chances of picking up the virus from an infected shopper are now almost twice as great as they were a week or so ago and there's a good chance that there is at least one infected shopper present. In most cases they take their elderly partners along on their shopping trips. It's even possible that they may have read the Sun's headline a week of so ago and ignored its implications : 

 Sadly, for too many, this will be their last Christmas, spent in the I.C.U. in Medway's Maritime Hospital.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Britain is no country for 800,000 Home Alone Old Men this Coronavirus Christmas, locked in a Silent Epidemic of Loneliness

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Twice the number of people as normal are expecting to spend Christmas alone this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the issue is particularly acute among those old men and women aged 65 and over, with as many as 1.7 million of them saying they expected to be alone on Christmas Day. 

A new Opinium Poll for the Observer Newspaper has revealed that :

*  overall people expecting to spend Christmas on their own has gone up from 4% in a normal year to 8% this year

* among the over-64s, the figure has risen from 7% to 14% – or 1.7 million people

* just 23% of adults say they will spend Christmas with their parents this year, down from 35% in normal times

The survey results follow a growing body of research raising concerns about the impact of loneliness during the pandemic. Similar polling for the British Red Cross in the autumn found that among adults :

* 39% had not had a meaningful conversation with someone in the preceding fortnight

* 32% worried that should something happen to them, no one would notice

Zoe Abrams, the Executive Director of Communications and Advocacy at the charity, said the seasonal impact of loneliness on top of the pandemic “cannot be underestimated” and “Shorter daylight hours and a very different Christmas for many could compound feelings of isolation, especially for those who may have lost family members this year. Loneliness is a public health issue – it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia. We’d encourage civil society organisations to involve people dealing with loneliness in designing solutions. We’d also like all governments across the four nations to have a Winter Loneliness Plan.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said while digital technology would help many older people connect with family over Christmas, hundreds of thousands will be “totally on their own and won’t hear from or speak to anyone at all. As you move up the age range far fewer older people are online too, more than half from about the age of 75, making them more cut off still. With coronavirus still a very present threat it is more important than ever that we keep up the spirits of the older people in our lives by making the effort to stay in contact. A friendly phone call, a note through the door of a neighbour offering help with shopping, a letter or Christmas card to someone further away will all help beat back the intense feelings of loneliness.”

Ed Davey, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said : 

“This pandemic has created a silent epidemic of loneliness".