“a key adviser to David Cameron suggested that elderly people should be encouraged to go back to work and move into smaller homes”
which prompted the Telegraph headline “Government accused of ‘social engineering’ over plan to make elderly move out of their homes”
This does indeed sound very much like Social Engineering. It also sounds very much like real life mirroring the lyrics of the Genesis song “Get ‘Em Out by Friday”.
I should like to suggest that there is a parallel between the song and what is being suggested by Dr. David Halpern and supported by David Cameron:
The song by Genesis, in the style of a play, was set back in the 60’s and 70’s when there were many unscrupulous landlords. John Pebble was a satirical take on landlords similar to Peter Rachman, a notorious London slum landlord who used “winkling” (a mixture of threats and inducements) to remove tenants on low rents from properties and enable their profitable reletting or redevelopment.Hence the Mark Hall character in the song, also known as “The Winkler”. The song moves verse by verse through time and enforced population movement. Ultimately bringing the listener, to the year 2012 where Genetic Control has announced that they are restricting the height of all humans to four feet. It is then revealed that the reason behind the restriction is so that Genetic Control, who has recently bought some properties, will be able to accommodate twice as many people in the same tower block.
- David Cameron: A business man (John Pebble)
Cameron the head of UK Limited has a problem. His employee, Joe Public, and Joe’s ever-increasing family need housing. Cameron also has to find money to pay to many of Joes family members who don’t actually work and therefore do not contribute to UK Limiteds profit margin. In addition he has to find the money to pay to retirees. Retirees are ex employees of UK Limited. They are employees who had previously contributed to the well-being of UK Limited but have reached the end of their useful working lives. Leastways, according to the rules drawn up by Cameron’s predecessors, the previous heads of UK Limited.
- David Halpern: A Cameron advisor (Mark Hall aka “The Winkler”)
Mr Halpern, the director of the No.10 Behavioural Insight Team, known as the “nudge unit”. He heads the government team which has the task of developing ways to change people’s behaviour that do not require legislation or other heavy-handed actions from the state.
Halpern has two brilliant ideas.
- Suggests that Cameron “increase the retirement age in line with life expectancy which could see workers remaining in employment until well into their seventies” Therefore UK Limited could delay paying the pension and therefore save millions of pounds.
- Suggests that it is the retirees who are inhabiting homes that they purchased with their hard-earned money. Homes that, now that their children have moved out, are too big for them. His suggest is that these selfish people should move to smaller homes therefore making their larger homes available for Joe Public’s offspring. This eviction of the retirees can be hidden under a very clever smoke screen, the “dangers associated with elderly people becoming lonely and isolated after retiring”. Convince them that they would be better off living in a care home or sheltered accommodation.
In this way Halpern, at a stroke, resolves two of Cameron’s most difficult problems.
- Joe Public : Employee of UK Limited (Mrs Barrow)
Joe’s family is made up of a wide range of population types. But, due to improving health care is tending to live longer. During their working lives many of Joes family members have worked hard to be able to buy their own homes. This they were encouraged to do by the various bosses of UK Limited. They were encouraged to share in the prosperity of UK Limited and by buying their own homes they were ploughing the wages back into the company.
However, many of Joe’s family are becoming nervous about how they are going to survive especially if the rules are changed to make them work longer and if they are coerced into moving out of their own homes. Homes that have memories associated with bringing up their own children.
OK we don’t have Genetic Control, Yet !!!
Does anyone out there think that it is a bit creepy that our government has a department called
Behavioural Insight Team, known as the “nudge unit” which has the task of developing ways to change people’s behaviour that do not require legislation or other heavy-handed actions from the state.