The most telling criticism of the U-turn over the dementia tax is that the Prime Minister has been robotic. She was robotic in Wales squawking “nothing has changed” like a Dalek and she was robotic with Andrew Neil. It is not attractive as it does not show her or her party’s humanity. It is off-putting and the electorate hate it.
She had no need to move to robot-mode. What has happened is that she has messed up. She has moved too fast for her party and now she is going to have to eat some humble pie and accept she cannot make up policy in #10 for general distribution.
I too was wrong, I thought she could – but she couldn’t. John Godwin is a good judge – he was right.
Now May will have to look a little embarrassed and accept that she has to walk backwards and open other doors. She will have a green paper, a debate and maybe she will end up where she wanted to be. Maybe she won’t.
She doesn’t like it that she has been proved beatable, but she will be beaten many times in the battle for Brexit. Being beaten in a battle is not to lose the war.
I am for the original policy on care, provided that the details can be worked out. I have argued why in blogs over the past five days and won’t bore you again with my views.
I am glad that the elephant is out of the room. It may bounce about a bit and knock Theresa May over and it is certainly doing a few Blue Peter poos on the way, but it should still be a useful elephant that will get us to a sustainable policy that Britain can afford.
“In 10 years – there’ll be 2 million more of us over 75”
We cannot escape this truth. We are not planning for it, either through Treasury policy or with our personal finances.
We cannot escape the simple truth that we spend too much on today and too little on tomorrow.
The need to invest for our future includes investment for our physical decline. Unpalatable as it is to consider our own vulnerability, there is a need to plan for it.
The funny side of growing old
A sense of humanity, displayed as a sense of humour – is missing! We can deal with matters of life and death but not it seems of cogitative decline. The matters that accompany old-age are the loss of short-term memory, of judgement and the physical lapses into incontinence and incapacity.
We shun the thought of them as if they are not part of our humanity. But dementia comes to one in six of us and almost all of us will live long enough to experience the impact of long-term decline.
May has been brave to put these issues at the centre of our campaign and she would be foolish not to keep them there. She now needs to show the nation some real leadership and demand that we shape up and think about old-age properly.
We are all gerontologists now!
You don’t have to be from the left or the right to have a view on old age. Until recently I thought of Debora Price (a left-wing gerontologist) and Theresa May (a right wing prime minister) as at either ends of the scale. But no more.
In getting us to focus on old age – even through the lens of a “dementia tax” , the Prime Minister has further the aims of gerontology (the study of old age).
Now we must challenge why May was not right in the first place and why Dilnot might have been right after all. My friend Con says we should abolish tax-free cash from pensions and put the tax relief saved by the Treasury in a social care fund! There are worse ideas. The debate has started -bring it on.
In the meantime, Theresa May should put a smile back on her face, accept she has made a bad move and now move on. There is a lot of governing to do in Government. If she continues to act like a robotic despot, she will open the door for Jeremy Corbyn and she will only have herself to blame if she does!