The computer age has been a bane, for my generation, the over sixties, vulgarly referred to as ‘The Wrinklies’. We use it, some badly; it is used against us, it is unreliable and open to a level of crime in £bns per year, when we only think in thousands. We were brought up, and brought our children up with the adage ‘Look after the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.’ So when a young person deprecatingly says, ‘Sure, you can get nothing for a fiver, these days!’, it is unsurprising that those of us who, in the 40s to 50s were paid £5 a week, have the ‘vapours’ and faint on the spot.
For starters, we, who toed the line, were politically correct and, indeed uncritical, now, from bitter experience, believe nothing our politicians tell us, there is always an underlying agenda we know nothing about until later, and a lot is rhetoric to gain political advantage rather than to improve the future. Just watch PM’s Question Time on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, these proposals can also be rescinded at any time. This is how some of my generation are now viewing the promises Brown made concerning the security of savings since the Northern Rock debacle. I have related the case of a friend who lost her driving licence, only to discover the information it carried had been used to open an account and purchase in her name £20,000 worth of goods. Our savings are therefore no longer secure for many reasons, and my generation is still entrenched in frugality, and saving for a rainy day.
Because I have not the energy to do the research, I cannot give book and verse on the cost to the tax payer of honouring Brown’s promise of securing the top £30,000 in any savings account, if the wheels really do come off. The Northern Rock support will give some idea. Don’t go away with the idea it is in £Bns, it’s an unimaginably Hell of a lot more, I imagine! (That garbled statement shows how confused and worried we wrinklies really are.) As a result there are those considering reverting to the tin box under the bed, but they have forgotten the computer hacker. He will have been checking the accounts in the Inland Revenue records, banks and building societies, of people randomly closing accounts, and then passing the information on to those interested in looking under beds, when the oldies are asleep. When I was young there was a phrase that covers this, it was the name of a novel, ‘Catch 22’.