Radical neoliberalism must be met with radical socialist policies to dispel the potential suffering of so many, Labour party activist Tom Hinchcliffe writes.
Relatively few employers are introducing changes to encourage older people to stay in the workforce
Having been in work for the majority of their lives, most people valued free-time over work if they had the option in older age. Perhaps unsurprising I admit, but what is interesting is how views on retirement differ between men and women.
Chancellor George Osborne today announced plans to reduce British life expectancy to 70 by 2050. "Lowering life expectancy
Certainly, we should celebrate the fact that people are living longer, remaining active and that their activity is contributing to the UK's economy. But it is a mixed picture we see of older workers who are valued and celebrated as success stories on one hand while others despair of the endemic ageism they confront.
Joe, 91, lost his wife 10 years ago and his only son died of Cancer. "I think about them all the time" the charmingly humble man tells me, "its just that Christmas brings back memories of family Christmases when my boy was little.. it is one time of year I don't look forward to.."
Today is Older People's Day - a welcome celebration of the contribution that older people make to society. There will be much written, and still more done, to underline the importance of building bonds and relationships between people of all ages. Less, however, might be said about the issue of 'active ageing', what it means to older people and how we might achieve it.
If the government wants to realise its agenda of extending working lives, it must make working past retirement age a realistic option for people across the labour market. Too many older unemployed are not given the support and training they need to find re-employment - one out of two is long-tem unemployed, higher than for any other age group.
If your education system preaches success and attainment, what do you do when confronted with failure and loss? And, importantly, what do you do when the myth of hard work leading to success is exposed as false?
Life may sometimes feel short at a philosophical level, and there is always the chance we may die young. But for most people in well-off countries today, life is not, as the 17th-century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously put it, 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short'.