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Old Age Care In 2017 And Did We Have The Answer To The Problem In 1967?

14/07/2017 11:45 BST | Updated 14/07/2017 11:45 BST

What happened to that hot potato of the general election? The one ministers got their fingers burnt on while tossing it back and forth between each other? "Ouch! you take it". "Yeow!, I don't bloody want it". "Ow! me neither". (Perhaps they should have stuck to passing the buck - much less painful.)

As we now know, it was this scalding spud which did it for the Tories. However, the very thing that poisoned them in the minds of so many core voters quickly turned into nothing more than a cold, unappealing pile of congealed lumpy, grey mash, which Theresa May and her cabinet colleagues couldn't wait to scrape off their parliamentary plates to join the host of other leftover manifesto promises in the Westminster waste bin.

Capitalising on their rival's misfortune, you'd think the other parties would currently be crowing about their own wonderful alternatives. But no. Instead they just seem relieved that the whole issue has gone away, albeit temporarily.

And who can blame them? I too wish I could forget about the social care of the elderly. Alas, I can't. As the Deputy for my mother's affairs, I'm legally obliged by the Office of the Public Guardian to fill out a yearly and lengthy form - bureaucracy's very own War and (Rest in) Peace - detailing how I am safeguarding her financial welfare from those who might wish to exploit the complete lack of her mental state due to the fact she is suffering from the effects of advanced dementia. This is slightly ironic considering she's being exploited to the self-funded tune of £4700 a month by the care facility she presently resides in.

Ideally, no one should be a deputy anything. You always end up being an ineffectual puppet (unless you're Deputy Dawg, in which case you end up being an ineffectual cartoon character) for someone else who can't be bothered to undertake the task at hand. Eventually you get the blame when something goes wrong, despite it not really being your fault. I have a feeling that as the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson might soon find this out to his cost.

As I was recently completing the aforementioned form, it struck me that it isn't only politicians who aren't discussing the ticking time bomb that is the welfare of our ageing population. It's literally everyone. From the media to the humble man and woman in the street, no one appears that troubled about it. Or if they are, they're certainly pretending that they aren't. Wheres only a couple of months' ago, we spoke of little else, now we talk of anything but.

It's as if the societal equivalent of a giant can of Febreze, a staple - for obvious reasons - in any nursing home has been wafted over the nation to disguise the presence of the problem that's only going to get worse the longer we live.

Heaven it appears can increasingly wait and wait and wait and wait and...leaving millions of us to be a drain on a finite amount of resources, be they personal or public.

Science with its many advancements has undoubtably played a major part in our continuing longevity. Maybe science fiction can provide the solution to the dilemma it has helped create.

In theory, could Logan's Run, the 1967 book and its subsequent 1976 film adaptation provide the blueprint for pensioner welfare. For those unfamiliar with both works, the novel had us shuffling off this mortal coil at 21. While the movie had us departing for pastures new at a still far from senile 30

Perish the thought any of us should become perishable at anywhere near that. But suppose our Live By Date; a sort of human Sell By Date was something more akin to our present retirement age? How about 70?

Until then we've probably kept ourselves in relatively decent nick and been fit and healthy - not too much of a burden on the state. Unfortunately, by the time we reach this milestone, like a car out of warranty, things tend to start going wrong. There's also the argument that if we haven't made our indelible mark on the world by then, we're unlikely to. Little wonder that at 68, Jeremy Corbyn is so keen to have another election.

Anyway, threescore and ten seems to be a pretty good innings. Yet it would be an incredibly brave, not to mention an unbelievably stupid government of any political leaning to suggest anything so radical.

Therefore, expect the thorny issue of social care to shortly raise its ugly head again and continue to be a major headache for a country that cannot possibly finance its ageing population.

On that joyous note, I don't know about you, but from a personal and purely selfish perspective, I hope I live till 120, while milking the system for all its worth.