Former Newsnight host, Jeremy Paxman, made some inappropriate jokes about elderly people during his warm up gig for his new Edinburge Fringe show at an Islington theatre in the United Kingdom.
The problem with old people is they are bloody everywhere. You cannot get on a train or go to a country pub. They are all full of old people. Through no fault of their own, they believe the state owes them a living. They are under the illusion they have paid to a pension fund all their lives. But they haven’t.”
Their pensions are being paid out of what you earn. So we all have to keep working so they can stay in that state of euphoria.I would like to invite you all to join my crowd-funded project for franchises of Dignitas clinics.We will have them on every street corner. It would be rather like Sweeney Todd’s pie shop and will be disguised as tea shops. You will take Aunty Doris there and drop her off and she will say “see you next Tuesday” and you’ll say “probably”.
To refresh your memory, the musical Sweeney Todd is about a man who seeks revenge on a community and opens a slaughter shop disguised as a barbershop. Sweeney Todd kills anyone who comes to his shop by slitting their throat and has them baked into pies. The ironic thing about Mr. Paxman’s statement is that he is 64-years-old and qualifies for his own pension next year. On stage he said: “The dislike of old people – I share this prejudice despite almost being one myself. ”
Additionally, his statement reveals his support for Dignitas, which is an organization in the Switzerland that “helps” people commit suicide when they have a terminal or severe mental or physical illness. According to the Daily Mail some groups were not too happy with the comedians comments. Neil White, Director of Southward Pensioners Centre said the following about Mr. Paxman’s comments:
A lot of people have paid into this county through many decades of their lives and everyone has the right to pay into it and later withdraw a pension. The older generation are the ones who fought for our rights and our dignity as a country.
They deserve retirement, a lot of them have worked for many years and supported their children through many difficult circumstances. They have paid in so they deserve to reap the benefits. It’s unfair and not very considerate what Mr. Paxman said. Everyone has grandparents and parents, you only have to speak with them to see the challenges they have gone through and face now.
If Mr. Paxman would like to find out how the other half live we’d love to introduce him to some of our members who have fought for this country and sacrificed a lot to pay into the system and support their families and communities.
Mr. White concluded,”The Dignitas comment is not a helpful comment, it’s a controversial issue and he would be more advised to do more research and find out what the real situation is.”
Since when was it ok to suggest that we should kill elderly people by setting up euthanasia shops on every corner? Mr. Paxman’s “jokes” were not only disrespectful; they were disturbing. Hopefully, when he gets older his family won’t treat him the way he suggested we treat the elderly.