I’m not old …

At Enterprise Britain we know that the weight of paperwork is almost unbearable… I know my back is breaking under the mountain we have to complete.

That’s why we’re pretty vociferous whenever we get the chance about stupid, idiotic and largely unnecessary legislation. And then some eejit goes and blows all out hard work.

Take ageism. I don’t believe we need legislation to avoid discrimination against older people. Take my granddad, bless him. He was a Postman for years, retired at 65 and then took another job in a warehouse, where he worked until he was nearly 75, when he finally retired. He died at the grand old age of 92, having lived well and long.

He enjoyed work and so he kept working… his calm approach and experience was a great benefit for his employer. No discrimination, no anti old people rhetoric, no legislation needed.

Now, take my Dad. Worked as a carpenter for years and then in a car dealership. For the last five years he counted down the number of pay packets until he could leave work forever. No discrimination, no anti old people rhetoric, no legislation needed.

It’s all about choice.

The only consideration should be – can this person do the job I need them to do? If they can, then their name goes into the pot to be considered for the job along with everybody else, no matter what their age.

The only thing legislation does is make people feel hard done by.

If someone younger gets the job, it’s discrimination, even if they were the better candidate. If someone older gets the job, it was because the employer had to take them because of the law (and I know the law works in both ways). The employer just lives in fear of a letter from the Citizens Advice Bureau accusing them of discrimination.

We don’t need this legislation.

And then there’s the BBC and Strictly Come Dancing. Arlene Phillips gets booted off, allegedly because she’s 64, to be replaced by Aleisha Dixon, who’s 30. Could it be that Aleisha is a better presenter? We no longer care – we just think poor Arlene is being discriminated against.

The same thing happens to the oldest Female Dancer. 39 year old Karen Hardy… replaced by two younger dancers! For God’s sake, she won the competition three years ago!

And now the bureaucrats have their justification. I can almost hear them saying in their Mr Bean voices: ‘I told you we needed that legislation. If the BBC does it, everyone will be at it.’

Thank you BBC.

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