Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Corpse Pride

I should really set up a system for worrying as I am concerning myself randomly at present and, worse, fretting responsively. I am knee-jerking in time with BBC News 24 which means that I’m living in a state of high anxiety, quite often about things that should not deplete my natural serotonin such as the FTSE and childhood obesity. I am reasonably certain that mental age is not a factor in childhood obesity terms.

I’ve decided to be more organised about my worrying so, from today, I am instituting a Worry Timetable. I will try to stick to this as far as possible so that I don’t spend the entire day traumatised over a multitude of issues that I can do very little about. This system will also minimise the tendency to find spurious connections between individual topics of stress.

Worry Timetable

Monday - Climate change

Tuesday - Identity theft

Wednesday - World poverty

Thursday - The war in Iraq

Friday - Terrorism

Saturday - Crime and the causes of crime

Sunday - Binge drinking

Looking at the list now, Wednesday through Friday seems like a rough seventy-two hours. I might have to consider taking the occasional sabbatical. If there’s a ceasefire or telethon then I can obviously stand the worry beads down temporarily. There will be holidays where I will fret about nothing except whether or not I get a window seat. I’ll only stress about airline carbon emissions if I’m actually travelling on a Monday. You can pay a bounty which will eliminate your personal culpability now anyway. For a mere £3, someone will plant a tree for you which will carbon neutralise your plane journey. That seems very civilised.

So, today is Wednesday and I will concern myself with poverty. One thousand old age pensioners, some dressed as skeletons, are petitioning Parliament today to get the pension raised by about £30 a week. According to the National Pensions Convention (NCP), around 2.5 million pensioners in Britain are living below the poverty line. The Government has promised to restore the link between pensions and the cost of living which was severed in 1980 by the Thatcher Government. The problem is that they have said this will happen in 2012. This date has been set because the Labour Government couldn’t possibly still be in power then and it will be someone else’s job to tell elderly people that they have changed their minds and can’t give them any more money after all.

The NCP says ‘Three million pensioners will die before the link between pensions and earnings is restored in 2012’. Older people do have a tendency to die which is why they make wills and buy burial plots. There is very little incentive to do this if you are just starting out in life. Most young people haven’t reproduced people to leave their money to yet or decided where they want to die as they haven’t seen that much of the world. They don’t want to spend their money on funeral plots as they need it for carbon neutralising trees and a new iPod.

The Government tells us that there are not enough people of working age paying into the tax system to pay a decent pension yet it tries to limit the number of people of working age entering the country. If it does let people of working age in, it puts a great big stamp on their passport which says, Not eligible to work in the UK. These people immediately go off and work for their cousin who is a dodgy builder. Neither of them pays tax and both of them eventually leave the country with their entire earnings and a new iPod.

Like most people, I worry that by the time I get to be a pensioner, there won’t be a pension at all. There are a dozen or so wealthy people in the world who think that it would work much better if they had all the money and they got all the other people, including pensioners, to work in their cola and computer chip factories or as dispensable extras on their disaster movies. In return they would receive basic food, water, shelter and the chance to win an iPod as long as they remained productive. These entrepreneurs are having one of their swimming pools in each country where they have built a mansion converted into a money bin to hold their surplus cash. This philanthropic action on their part will conserve vitally needed water. They are also planting many carbon neutralising trees to shade their money.

On the bright side, the protesting pensioners will have something to wear on Halloween later in the week. The future of the planet seems assured so I will stop worrying now.

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