Is age discrimination always bad?
When I was a child, racial prejudice was accepted by many people as commonplace, and it was only in my middle age that prejudices based on gender, sexual orientation and disability began to be seriously eroded. So it’s bad luck that, as I enter old age, the one remaining area of discrimination still widely regarded as socially acceptable is that affecting elderly people. Feeble but offensive jokes about age on birthday cards and the radio are routine. TV companies pension off ageing presenters on the grounds that audiences, even when they include substantial numbers of older people, cannot identify or sympathise with anyone much over 50. The media express astonishment at people’s ability to continue doing quite natural things â€“ â€œeven at 60, the great Iggy Pop has still got an amazing lust for lifeâ€ (The Guardian), or â€œSteve Davis continues to play top level snooker even as he approaches fiftyâ€ (BBC TV). If gays or women or ethnic minorities were subject to this sort of abuse, people of goodwill