Friday Focus: It doesn't sound like protecting the needy

PUBLISHED: 12:09 10 February 2006 | UPDATED: 21:40 28 May 2010

The march of the politically correct brigade has opened the nation s eyes to the wrongs of sexism along with other isms of varying degrees of relevance. Now another ism is in their sights - ageism. And their plans will do many thousands of old people no f

The march of the politically correct brigade has opened the nation's eyes to the wrongs of sexism along with other isms of varying degrees of relevance.

Now another ism is in their sights - ageism. And their plans will do many thousands of old people no favours at all.

The Government has announced proposals for a new law to protect the old - getting rid of ageism once and for all.

Whereas the elderly will, quite rightly, be able to work if they wish, or serve as magistrates or jurors under this new law, other important concessions will disappear.

Unless there is a re-think those pensioners who have to make every penny count will find there will be no more free bus passes, no more special deals for holidays or at the DIY store, no more concessionary haircuts or cheap cinema and theatre tickets.

This hardly sounds like a Labour Government protecting the interests of the needy.

So we have another new party, trying to break the mould of British politics - England's Parliamentary Party.

And its policies? Well it doesn't seem to have any; it just takes a childish and crass swipe at the other parties.

Its manifesto, according to its introductory press release is simple, or rather simplistic: The EPP has no rent boy scandals, homosexual affairs or major drink problems (a pop at the Liberal Democrats), no extra-marital affairs or illegitimate children (Labour and the Conservatives) and no-one avoiding payment of council tax (Labour).

The party's view is that those responsible for the above sins are MPs who were supposed to set an example to us all; the public has been badly let down and, therefore, it is time for a completely fresh start.

With such deep political thinking how will the nation be able to resist?

And yet another twist in the ongoing battle to identify the elements of Britishness and Englishness. After my piece last week about the make-up of the average Britisher comes the result of a website competition organised by the Department for Media and Sport to find England's most cherished cultural treasure.

The Government is said to be none too pleased that hunting claimed 91 per cent of the vote, leaving fish and chips, the cup of tea, Stonehenge and the double decker bus trailing in its wake.

Clearly the English public has a sense of humour, even if the Government does not.

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