Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 July 2012

Review: BBC TV documentary "When I get older"

Terry Pearce
BBC Documentary: When I Get Older, photo BBC

BBC Documentary: When I Get Older, photo BBC   (Click to enlarge)

Acute poverty and loneliness face many pensioners in Britain. This programme asked four pensionable age 'celebrities' to stay with four `ordinary` pensioners in their homes, highlighting the lifestyle gulf between celebrities and the rest of us.

TV presenter Gloria Hunniford stayed with Ivy Ward, who suffers from depression, living alone and existing on 3.24 a day disposable income, as do two million other pensioners. Gloria found it impossible to shop for food on such a poverty budget. One million pensioners are under-nourished.

Pat was struggling to care for her husband Malcolm. Leslie Joseph stayed with Pat and was her carer for four days. Pat needed respite from the daily grind of caring for Malcolm. Half a million pensioners only go out one day a week, which must be especially hard for those providing 24-hour care for loved ones.

The celebrities then spent three days in care homes, most of which are now privately owned and run. Activities and stimulation are very limited. In the home Leslie Joseph visited there was only one activity a day, no minibus and a meagre 100 a month budget for activities.

Several celebs commented on lack of stimulation in the homes leading to boredom and depression. The government should put vastly more resources into social care and take the private sector out of the equation. Lack of resources is leading to deteriorating social care both at home and in care homes.

Care of the elderly should not be run by profit-hungry private providers, it should be paid for out of taxation and run by the public sector with staff paid a decent wage and properly trained.

The programmes offered no solutions. Some pensioners confronted Jeremy Paxman and Tory minister David Willetts on Newsnight. Instead of placing the blame with the greedy bankers, these establishment figures tried to blame pensioners for young unemployed people's plight, parroting the Tory mantra that pensioners receive pensions and benefits that the country cannot afford.

The pensioners said they put 40 billion into the economy while corporate tax-dodgers rob society. They also pointed out that they should have the right to retire at 60, allowing young people more jobs!

Pensioners are fighting for better pensions now and for all those coming along behind them. We also need better care for the elderly. A united fight of pensioners and youth based on a socialist programme is the way to end pensioner poverty once and for all.

Rich Tory MP tries flying a few kites

Nick Boles, yet another rich public school/Oxbridge educated Tory MP, has been flying kites testing how much resistance right-wing policies on old people might face.

His suggestion that pensioners' winter fuel payments, free bus passes and TV licences should be means-tested or even abolished is only slightly more extreme than ideas pushed by the Cameron government.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) points out that universal benefits "help to mitigate against the UK's totally inadequate state pension.

Attacking the winter fuel allowance will only cost more in the long run as older people suffer from the cold and put more of a strain on health services." The NPC is organising a lobby of parliament in October as a shot across Boles' bows.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 18 July 2012:

Socialist Party news and analysis

March and strike against austerity

Miliband and Labour - no real alternative to Con-Dems

Tories stick the boot in on care funding

Oppose the closure of the Independent Living Fund

Witch-hunting Unison leadership "shabby" declares judge

Wales NHS - Reject the Case for Cuts report

Them... & Us

Socialist Party workplace news

Support striking Remploy workers!

RMT cleaners Trans-Pennine Express strike

Fighting against exploitation of seafarers and port workers

2012 London Olympics

Olympics: The greatest sporting, and money-making, show on earth

Olympics G4S scandal shows failure of privatisation


Bosses bank in on corporate olympics - we get austerity!

Teachers fight school privatisation

Top-up fees: 50,000 debt leads to to 50,000 less students

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: two Labour councillors vote against Labour council cuts

Bristol protests counter racist EDL

Tolpuddle festival shows fightback needed today

Obituary: Reg Fitch

International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: 'Miracle' economy slows

Spain: Class struggle erupts

Solidarity picket of Turkish Airlines

Reviews and comments

Review: BBC TV documentary "When I get older"

Bankers are "useless mouths"

Music review: Long live the struggle by The King Blues


Home   |   The Socialist 18 July 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleBBC yawning pay gaps revealed

triangleLondon: Cuts Cost Lives #ToriesOut national demonstration


trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleBT attack on pension benefits

triangle'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing


triangleEnd Tory war on poor

triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

triangleChild poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now


triangle900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

triangleAristocrats to hold byelection for one of their 92 reps


triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

Care Homes:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



The Socialist Inbox



Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane


Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed



Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike


Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears



The Socialist inbox


The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox



TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act


Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict



The Socialist inbox



Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017



Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict



The Socialist inbox



The Socialist inbox


Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice