And I thought that the Lib Dems were the nice lot in politics? All of us should take an interest in what has happened to Sir Menzies Campbell because deep down there is some shameful ageism at work. If we do not tackle it then we will suffer from the way our society views and values older people.
Is 66 too old to be a leader? ‘Age was an issue’ commented Paddy Ashdown. At their party conference Campbell told his party: ‘ With age comes experience, and with experience comes judgement’. Pity a few more of his colleagues didnt think what that meant for them, their party and public life. The resignation reflects vile prejudice towards age and older people.
Communication – managing people – sharing vision – independence of thought- originality and confidence are not the preserve of the young!! And what of wisdom and experience – qualities that only age can bring.
We need more older people in positions of responsibilty. We need to provide more opportunities for older people to share their talent. Public life needs all ages – youth needs to be balanced with a wider perspective. Winston Churchill became Prime Minister at 66. Alan Greenspan retired from the US Federal Reserve aged 80 but still works. Campbell was not too old for the job and shame on those who persecuted him for looking old. Just you wait!!
Lets look at our ageism and seek a shift in perception and practice before we become victims of it!!