The Hippy, Hippy Shake

You remember I told you about my rather drunken evening with some old workmates last Friday. You do? Can you put in me the know 'cause I don't recall a thing!

Anyway, we believe the bar was selling a highly intoxicating alcoholic beverage but with a time fuse. I swear that when I left the wine bar,  Davy's Tapster in Westminster, I was as sober as a judge: when I arrived home my wife reports that I was plainly pissed. Somewhere between Victoria and Walthamstow on the Victoria Line I went drunk.

If anyone reading this was on that tube around 11:30 pm on Friday heading home and was startled by a quiet elderly gentleman suddenly jumping out of his seat singing "Save Your Love, My Dahlin' Save Your Love .." and banging on and on about how good were the 70's - please keep quiet. Thank you.

No, listen. It wasn't just me that was affected. My recently retired friend and colleague David was similarly struck down by the booze time bomb. He caught his train to Tonbridge Wells - a delightful Kentish town - and woke up 15 miles past his destination. Actually he was awoken by the guard. It was the last stop and he and the driver wanted to get off home to bed. It was also the last train in any direction so he had a 15 mile taxi ride home. Apparently this happens a lot: must do, since his missus said not a word.

Where is all this leading? You may well ask.

There has been some considerable e-mailing between we drunken, happy  few trying to find out what actually took place on Friday night. In correspondence I alluded to the fact that we pensioners could only afford a cheap Chilian SavBlanc whereas our mandarin ex colleagues in the Treasury were used to guzzling top notch White Burgundy as a mouth wash before briefing Ministers on pension reform.

This was taken up by one of our party who works in the Department forWork and Pensions  helpfully reassuring us that he and his department were looking out for we pensioners. To prove this he reproduced the Department's Public Service Agreements (PSAs)  which states:

"Our PSA 17 measures progress in delivering the outcomes to enable older people to have a fulfilling later life. We are heavily engaged with OGDs (Other Government Departments), Government Offices, LAs (Local Authorities) and wider stakeholders to deliver the PSA outcomes, and to embed the LinkAge Plus principles, joining-up services for older people.

Our citizen-facing work focuses on the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing and the annual UK Older People’s day.  The Forum is jointly chaired by DWP/DoH Ministers, and encourages better engagement between Government and older people across the 9 English Regions and the devolved nations. Our analytical team underpins all this, providing a sound evidence base."

I am so grateful. I can't say how much it means to me that the DWP is measuring progress in delivering the outcomes and that they're heavily engaged and embedded. But at the same time joining up and being citizen facing to better engage us oldies and the Government.

I have it on good authority that this gobbledegook was the work of a random word generator with a psychotic personality.

And Ministers wonder why they are disconnected from the voters and mistrusted by most of us.

To end of a happy note. Can I recommend Fifty50's blog - if only because he found a much loved record for me - see


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