Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. This fifth commandment was issued to the Israelites during their exodus and search for their promised land.
As the build up to the forthcoming general election gains momentum, I’ve been reading the manifestos of our political parties with more than a passing interest. I’ve also followed the arguments and debates that have raged about how the costs of each party’s proposals might be met. Have they all forgotten that Brexiteers promised us savings of £350 million per week? Won’t that go a long way to re-nationalising the railways, improving our schools and health services? Having prevailed on 23 June 2016, where are Messrs Farage and Johnson when you need them?
What all the parties seem to agree on, however, is that it’s going to cost one heck of a lot to provide for the UK’s ageing population. Without really noticing it ‘til now, I’ve become one of ‘em; the pensioners that they have in their sights. Old age has snuck up on me, making this the second election at which I’ve been a pensioner. And, I don’t really get a warm feeling from what I’m reading. Looks as if my triple-lock and winter fuel allowance might go, but thankfully there’s been no mentions (yet) of any threat to my free travel pass.
How we provide for people in their old age, of course, affects all of us. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been arguing against the rising charges raised by the care home in which my mother resides. I’m under no illusions about how much getting old can cost. But it’s important that we, as a nation, enable people to live with dignity, whatever their needs. This is a huge challenge for all political parties that will require consensus. And its starting point should be the fifth commandment, Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Only by honouring, in every sense, those older than us will we have any chance of success.