I seem to be on very good terms with other people's muses this week - first an idea from the Urchin and then this from Ma Peachum, the Tavern's resident Wise Woman.
Care for the elderly, reasons Ma Peachum, is in something of a parlous state in Britain. Therefore, many of those approaching their twilight years have less to fear from imprisonment than younger folk - at least prison would guarantee them hot food, clean clothes and access to recreational facilities*.
Now it's not hard to find someone of advanced years who bears a grudge against the public sector or the financial institutions - a lifetime's experience of petty bureaucracy and startling incompetence breeds more than a little discontent, compounded by the way officialdom mistakes politeness for passive acceptance.
So Ma Peachum suggests that today's Oldies should rise up and take direct action when they feel the hand of time weighs heavily. The bank swallows your money while the bosses reap huge bonuses? March up and down outside with a banner! The hospital loses your records yet again? Chain yourself to their front door and shout about it!
After all, what's the worst they can do - send you to prison? It's probably a damn sight more comfortable than some care homes and, what's more, the government pays, allowing you to preserve your remaining hard-earned assets for your children and grandchildren**.
*Coincidentally, this idea was posted on recently by a fellow blogger, but since he has withdrawn the post, I shan't credit him unless authorised to do so.
**For those who have not yet encountered this situation, anyone with assets over £23,000 (including property) must pay for long-term nursing care in full until the money is reduced to that level.
A Hundred Years Ago
2 minutes ago