lunes, 6 de febrero de 2017

Best friends forever? | MercatorNet

Best friends forever?

Best friends forever?

Best friends forever?

The logic of caring for your own elderly parents gets more compelling.
Joanna Roughton | Feb 6 2017 | comment 

So it’s been said. Officially. People have just as much of a duty to look after their elderly parents as they do to care for their own children.
The words came from a Government minister in the House of Commons. David Mowat, a health minister, was addressing the select committee on communities and local government. But he was really speaking to the the great elephant in the room of state expenditure. Social care.
Hitherto, the conventional wisdom in policy-making circles has been to demand greater resources for social care. With a rapidly ageing population, this has led to fears that the taxpayer could face an unlimited bill for looking after our old folk in care homes.
Occasionally, a new element is introduced into this discussion, often by MPs or commentators whose roots lie outside of the UK. People born in the Indian sub-continent or Africa struggle to comprehend the unwillingness of their Western neighbours to share a home with their elderly parents. After a while they stop noticing and cease drawing unfavourable parallels.
Which makes Mr Mowat’s intervention all the more remarkable. Here’s an excerpt of what he told the select committee.
“One of the things that has struck me is no one ever questions that we look after our children – that is obvious. No one says that is a caring responsibility, it is what we do,” he said.
“I think some of that logic and some of the way we think about that in terms the volume of numbers that we are seeing coming down the track will have to impinge on the way that we think about caring for our parents. Because it is a responsibility in terms of our life cycle which is similar.”
In a sense what Mr Mowat is arguing for, a seemingly revolutionary shift in social attitudes, may not be quite as far fetched as it might appear.
We are already witnessing a quiet evolution in household composition. Parents and children no longer obey the old rules. Those rules involved a child leaving home in their late teens or early 20s and forging their way in the world. The symbol of that new found independence was a roof over their heads. Now, of course, things are different. Young people struggle to get a foot on the housing ladder and even those who leave home to attend university often ‘boomerang’ back to the family nest.
So the clear delineation between childhood and adulthood has blurred. Many parents, particularly parents of small families, now freight their parenthood with expectations that previous generations would have been shocked by. It is now normal for a mother to expect a daughter to become her BFF – her Best Friend Forever.
We do not know where this process will end. Long term co-habitation with ageing parents may become the norm for a cohort of younger people who can never afford their own property.
The question we do not yet have an answer for is this: Will a generation of children who never fly the parental home, feel an enhanced sense of filial obligation?
It is reasonable to assume that having saved on the expense of a mortgage, and the inconvenience of running a home themselves, they will owe mum and dad a debt?
It is also reasonable to assume that having lived with their parents for longer, they will have deeper bonds of association?
A Best Friend Forever must, surely, feel more inclined to care for an increasingly frail parent than a child who left home at 18. This is why Mr Mowat may be onto something.
Joanna Roughton is the editor of BeHome, the blog of the Home Renaissance Foundation, where this article was first published. Republished with permission.
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Congratulations to the New England Patriots for their thrilling 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl. Even down here, deep in the Southern Hemisphere, the improbable fourth-quarter come-back was pretty riveting.

What intrigued me, apart from Tom Brady’s amazing ability to keep cool under pressure, was how easily the game can be spun politically.

The Patriots recently won the trophy as America’s most disliked NFL team, by a margin of 2% over the Dallas Cowboys. As a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote at half-time, “If Patriots rally to win, I will move to Mexico and start to build the border wall myself.” And at full-time: If it were my call, the United States would secede from New England.”

I predict that the amazing game will be used by Trump supporters as a parable for the victory of their improbable and disliked candidate.

But Boston is a city where Donald Trump got about six votes, five mailed in from registered voters who are working in Wyoming and one from Tom Brady, who is a friend of Mr Trump. It’s a place where Patriots fans say things like “In such a time of darkness, this is so light, so good.” So maybe the analogy is not that strong after all.

But one thing is sure: the Patriots have made New England great again.

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Best friends forever?

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