On June 25, in an article about under-25s losing Housing Benefit, we had dismal hack Ed Howker taking a swipe at the over-65s, bitching that “Young people will be forced in with mum and dad while wealthy pensioners keep their freedom passes.”
For a start, I know a lot of pensioners – hell, I am one – and I know very few who could be considered wealthy. I do know that those who are actually reasonably comfortable are more likely to have cars, or take taxis, than use free travel passes, not least, where I live, because public transport is abysmal. Truly wealthy pensioners are, I suspect, comparatively rare, despite Howker’s implication that pensioner is synonymous with wealthy, and his cynical use of “freedom passes” (rather than travel passes), to point up the “fact” that the poor youngsters are “trapped,” is straight out of the Disinformation 101 Handbook.
And, today, another moronic hack is at it. In an article about proposed free/discounted bus travel for young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs), Gwyn Topham feels moved to observe that the scheme is “…still far less generous than the passes enjoyed by all over-65s.”.
It neither case is there any logic to the petulant bitching. Me having a travel pass is sod all to do with the guy down the street having to live with his parents until he turns 25 (which might well have happened anyway, rents being what they are), nor does Topham, the mendacious pillock, have the slightest idea whether or not kids will get less subsidy than pensioners,** as the details of the scheme are unlikely to be known for months.
**Which varies widely across the country anyway, thus making Topham’s wild generalisation meaningless.
Seriously, people, WTF is going on here? It smells suspiciously like a deliberate attempt, by these two journalists, to demonise the old in the eyes of the young (otherwise, why draw extremely dubious comparisons?). And these are just two articles – there might well be more. This trend bears watching.