• October 1, 2018


Latterly there has been a lot of talk from some COMIN members about the population demographic and the fact that are ageing population is a problem.

I can remember a time (just) when Ministers were a bit more gracious with their comments indeed back in April 2014 Policy and Reform Minister John Shimmin said far from seeing the growing number of older people as a drain on public services, the benefits they bring to society should be celebrated.Indeed at the time it was reported that The Manx government was promising to help the Island’s ageing population make the most of their lives.

I don’t know about you but being something of an ‘old crock’ I haven’t noticed any great initiatives to enable the elderly to make the most of their lives indeed the only great event I can recall was designed to empty their pockets when candidates for elderly sheltered housing were subject to means testing. As far as I’m aware no other area is subjected to this.

Monday October 1st is ‘The International day of Older Persons’ (UNIDOP). My colleague (the Secretary of the Manx branch of the Celtic League and International Officer of Mec Vannin) notified me that he spotted a notice about the event in some out of the way village in the Basque country where he is enjoying a sojourn.

The 2018 UNIDOP theme aims to:

Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what it means in the daily lives of older persons;

Raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately;

Reflect on progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons; and

Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights at all stages of life.

Apparently the Basques must (as John Shimmin put it) ‘celebrate’ the contribution of their ageing population.

I wonder what Howard, Alf, Laurence, Chris and other COMIN (Council of Ministers) colleagues have in store for us on Monday – you guessed it nothing!

Bernard Moffatt

Mannin Branch Celtic League

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