The great institution of British justice, the High Court, has decreed that employers can force their staff to retire at the age of 65, whether they like it or not.
Mr. Justice Blake said that, there was also a very strong case for the idea of raising the age at which people retire. This also raises the question; do we really want more Victor Meldrew’s roaming the streets of suburbia and the car parks of Tesco? Do we want more grumpy old men with nothing to do but complain about the world that surrounds, and alienates them?
The ruling is in relation to the Default Retirement Age , which the government brought in to force in 2006. The ruling was supposed to bring the UK into line with EU reg’s making 65 the age when all employees, useful or not, should be put out to rose-pruning pasture.
But what happens to these past-their-sell-by-date employees once they have no reason to get up at 6am and make a mad dash for the Waterloo bound train? The answer is often they revert to stereotype, and become Victor Meldrew; they wander though the remaining years of their lives looking for something to complain about.
The reason is, that despite what half-cocked EU gnomes and Gordon–should-be-compulsory-retired-Brown think, many 65 year olds still have a lot to offer society, and their 25 year old, fast-tracked, know-nothing bosses.
Age Concern and Help the Aged, who presumably exist to assist the wrinklies of Britain, are both against the ceremonial job cut off date, celebrated with a carriage clock, and want to do away with compulsory retirement all together.
They must believe that being old does not necessarily mean that everyone over 65 should be sucked into cheap bus travel to ‘somewhere for the day’, and Saga holidays to Malta .
The old farts may actually have something to offer an employee, like er … experience. No amount of University training, and rapid corporate climbing, can ever compare to a lifetime of actually doing the job.
Instead the government believes that they should cut older people off from working society, giving them nothing to do but whine and moan about how crappy the world has become, based mainly on the concept that they have nothing to do, and are plain bored ridged with an empty life.
The great Richard Wilson, once said of his iconic creation Victor Meldrew, that he believed that he was perfectly sane and reasonable, it was everyone around him who were complete idiots.