‘Old age’ is no excuse for stupidity

When relatively young people use ‘old age’ as an excuse for ‘purported memory lapse’ it is simply disrespectful.

At a time when we all have to be mindful for the well-being of the community I find the weak excuses of the prominent and famous an insult. Does it stem from a sense of entitlement, superiority, arrogance – or do these people just not care? Or perhaps those that rise to the top are not always the brightest lights on the tree?

News today is that Gary Lineker – celebrity footballer, TV broadcaster, the highest paid star on the BBC payroll – went shopping without a face mask. He has criticised others for failing to do this; his excuse though, “old age”. Lineker is 59. It really does take the p***. He is paid a phenomenal amount for being a football pundit. How would he react if he was edged out because his ‘advanced age’ made him unreliable as a presenter?

Not so long ago there was Captain Tom who at 99 decided to raise money for the NHS by walking around his garden. By the time he was 100 he had raised £32m, and counting. More recently another 100-year-old featured in the news: he missed seeing family and friends so, rather than let it get him down, he decided to paint pictures of past holidays to relive the memories. There are probably many, many people around the world who refuse to let ‘old age’ hinder them. They certainly would not use it as an excuse for their own failings.

In politics we’ve had two high-profile cases both involving political figures who used the excuse of Covid for, in effect, breaking laws that less-exalted mortals would be fined for. First Cummings, who has assumed the mantle of effectively deciding how the country responds to the pandemic, using the excuse that ‘he wasn’t thinking straight as he was so concerned about his family’s safety’. Then the Scottish MP who travelled by public transport from London to Scotland and attended church, after having felt sufficiently unwell to get a Covid-19 test, saying that coronavirus made her ‘act out of character’. Well, that’s all right then.

Are you inspired by stories of people you know, or feature in your local news who will not let anything stand in their way? Perhaps you’ve had high-profile people getting away with law infringement just because they are who they are? How does this make you feel?
Thank you for reading my words.
Marilyn X