Wednesday 9th November 2011
I SPY: great game, popular with kids on long journeys; occupies the mind; but not much fun played on your own.
Twice lately I have been accused of being childish – on a Facebook thread, for suggesting elected parliamentarians should not call each other ‘honourable’ and ‘right honourable’ because they aren’t (besides, it smacks of smug, self-aggrandizement)… and, as a supporter of the Occupy movement, by Revd Peter Mullen who thinks we’re doing nothing more other than shouting ‘it’s not fair!’, likening us to a class of infants.
“The poor are always with you,” he reminds Daily Mail readers, as if that, in itself, was a justification for Barclays paying CEO Robert Diamond £10 million in salary and bonuses last year.
When you’re a senior citizen, being called childish hurts. You feel belittled and dishonoured.
It takes a bit of getting used to, this pensioner malarkey: the longer Post Office queues; the fiddly machines that have replaced human beings at railway stations, in libraries and supermarkets; the decreased mobility and the increased sense of vulnerability.
You get your free bus pass and a leaflet about bowel cancer screening, complete with do-it-yourself motion sample collecting kit: how exciting – I haven’t been in a collectors club since joining the I-Spy Tribe, aged about eight.
And I’ll be off to get my free eye test on Friday. Difficulty reading the small print, you see; especially those hidden news items you need a stronger pair of specs to spot; for example…
The world is likely to build so many power stations, factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating climate change will be “lost for ever”, according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.
…which today’s BBC News and Daily Mail websites don’t consider important enough to report.
But worrying about the planet’s welfare is probably just me being childish.