One of Morag’s first cultural shocks upon moving to these scepter’d isles was seeing that people were expected to put their ages on CV’s. I used to work at a recruitment office in New York (one of the many places I have called home) and I’d be more likely to put bra-size and Preferred Positions on a CV than my age.
I quickly realised that one of the diseases most rotting the foundations of British culture is Ageism. How we are treated or others feel about us because of our age is one thing but frankly how we feel about ourselves is just as bad and twice as damaging. Forget about racism (well don’t forget about it just put it to one side for a moment) – forget about The Class Wars – age is the ‘-ism’ that is the biggest danger to the spirit of this society. It robs us of our spirit, our get-up-and-go as the Yanks say; and it turns us into a nation of decrepit whingers.
It is nasty this attitude towards age here. Morag goes to Paris a lot and there you see women “Of a Certain Age” swinging it about and no one complains, in fact the lads quite like it – but here if you’re over 27 (such as myself) and you act as if there’s still a bit of lead in your pencil you’ll be made a laughing stock.
Given my feelings on the subject you would think I would be thrilled about Alistair Darling’s proclamations concerning the new Age Discrimination Rules that go into place on October 1st. I should be delighted to hear Darling’s proclamation that from now on “we” will no longer be able to discriminate against people in the areas of recruitment, promotion and training. He believes (bless his naive wee cotton socks) that “It will make a difference not just in the law but also in changing people’s hearts and minds”………..
Saints preserve us from these people. Do they honestly, hand on these hearts they are always so quick to talk about, believe that a bit of legislation is going to change a damn thing? OK now Morag will be able to insist that they give her a job down at TopShop on Oxford Street. But will that stop you from laughing at her – HELL NO! I know a lot of you reading this are men and secretly feel that all this doesn’t really apply to you. After all you’re only as old as the woman that you feel – wrrrrrrrrrong. Don’t fool yourself in your long shorts and hair products, you’re getting laughed at as much as we women are.
This week is the Homeless World Cup in South Africa and there is a brilliant quote from an 18 year old English player after one of his matches :”We thought, we’re all young guys, fit and if you look at them, well……..” WELL my you-know-what. The wee, fat baldy middle-aged blokes from Kazakhstan wupped their arses but proper! And why? Because they knew they could. They knew that though they were a little long in the tooth and round in the belly they had the nous to get the job done. Or as the English player said….they were this that and the other”but they knew how to use the ball”.
And that’s what we need to do. Stop waiting for the likes of the happy-clappy fellas at Downing Street to tell us “It’s OK to be Old” ——-“Oh and listen all you nasty people stop being mean to those people who are Old! Stop it and stop it right now or I’ll be cross!”
CODSWALLOP ! You cannot legislate how people feel, trust me on this one. So any of you out there who think that yet again the government is going to solve your problems and make everyone ‘be nice to you’…grow up! That’s not what government is for and the sooner you get up off your backsides and figure that out – the better your lives will be.
Morag reaches for the fishnets as she heads off down to TopShop. Better to be mutton-dressed-as-lamb than mutton-dressed-as-mutton anyday 😉