The Aging in America conference is over and the delegates left the Marriot ballroom in good order telling each other that they would meet again in Las Vegas next March! I wonder if I could get away with that trip on parish expenses? I wondered about home and Temple Balsall on the Sunday that is traditionally known as Low Sunday. After a short service at 7am in the local church I headed for the city – most of my fellow worshippers were off to play golf – God and Golf – what a combination. The conference got political today with the three Presidential running candidates senior policy advisors taking questions. They were all impressive and very nice to each other but there was a disappointing level of direct answers. I was interested to note that the crisis over spending and health is more acute in the States than the UK – and no one wanting to admit that raising taxes might be the only solution for dealing with the need for extra spending on older people.
There is an acceptance here that this election ( till not until the Autumn) is the most important in a generation and that there is sense of an end to the Conservative era begun in the 1980’s. No agreement about which politician might be able to sieze the moment. ‘This is a moment of progressive opportunity’ claimed a leading journalist form The Washington Post, ‘an opportunity for making our society more just’. The audience roared with approval – I don’t think we English get as excited by politics – perhaps we do not think that they matter as much ? One thing that many were agreed upon – the issue of older people is one that frightens politicians – they need their votes but fear the political challenges that seniors represent.
All this debate took place in a very civilised way – we were seated around tables and breakfast served by an army of waiters. I have never seen as many muffins in all my life!!! ‘Who would you vote?’ for asked my neighbour – a health promotion expert from Minneapolis – ‘thats easy’ I replied ‘ I haven’t a vote – I’m English!’ That avoided any conflict nicely – and she told me of her admiration for Hilary Clinton who she believed is the only candidate that has any real wisdom about health and social care issues.
I walked into the Centre to see the White House – clean but rather small – and surrounded by a thousand guns. Back to VTS and the nice suprise that a parishoner ( Cliff Morrey) is following the blog – thanks Cliff!!!