Friday, July 02, 2010
Closing the Gap
There’s been a revelation from the National Audit Office (NAO) that rich people live longer than poor people, and that the gap in life expectancy is growing. Apparently that’s a bad thing, and we have to fix it, by improving the health of the poor.
We will do this through the tried and tested method of forming committees, commissioning a report which will cost £12 million, take three years to prepare, and run to seven thousand pages of blindingly obvious proposals, half of which will never be implemented. The other half will be implemented, and will not work.
It’s time for new thinking. Where the health authorities are going wrong is in assuming that poor people living longer is a good thing. It isn’t. For those living on state benefits in run-down council housing estates in Croydon, their ghastly, meaningless existence is wretched enough already without trying to squeeze another couple of pointless years out of it.
Rich people living longer isn’t a good thing either, what with them being not only annoying, but also responsible for all the evil in the world and everything. Anyway, I’m all in favour of equality, so the obvious answer is to reduce the life expectancy of the rich.
And this is where it gets interesting. I propose that, at a given age - and the current poor person’s life expectancy of 76 years seems appropriate – we bus the rich old people to the most impoverished parts of the UK, where the poor will be allowed to hunt them down like dogs.
Or maybe with dogs. The kind of dogs poor people go in for would certainly make a much better job of it than those stupid floppy-eared things rich people use for hunting foxes, although I accept that an opportunity for irony in bucket-loads would be wasted.
Although the rich old people should be easy enough to bring down and slaughter, the modest amount of exercise the poor people would get in running after them would undoubtedly improve their health, which is kind of where the NAO are coming from, I think.
Funny how the answers to just about everything are so much more obvious as you get older.