Friday, 12 February 2016

Feeling my age.

It used to be that people commented, semi-despairingly, on how young the policemen were becoming. Of course, that was back when there were regularly bobbies on the beat and you even got to have a nodding acquaintance with your regular policeman. I thought I had heard that they intended to bring back bobbies on the beat but I can't say I have seen a whole lot of them. 

Anyway, nowadays it is beginning to seem that the go-to group for resignedly admitting that you are getting older is journalists: not any old journalist but the ones who write specialist columns on politics, economics, the environment and social issues. There is always a photo of the journalist at the head of the column in a newspaper, so even if they are not bright young pundits giving their views on the television you can still have an idea of what they look like. 

Such a one is a certain Owen Jones. I looked at his head-of-column photo the other day and decided that either he has not renewed his photo for some years or he is far too young to be doing his job. Or perhaps, like a 21st century Dorian Grey, he has an ageing photo posted to a special Facebook page in a virtual attic somewhere. Far from looking old enough to be writing deep and meaningful stuff, explaining the economic problems and hi-jinks of the modern world, he looks as if he should be sitting his A-Levels in Politics and Economics this year! 

A good friend of mine went to hear Owen Jones speak at Home, the multi-media arts centre which has replaced The Cornerhouse in Manchester. I think it was last night as she was enthusing about it on Facebook this morning. The last time I saw her she was expressing her surprise at how much she had to play for a ticket to hear him speak: something like £15, I seem to remember. When I told her that this was a cheap deal, she laughed and said that another friend had told her the very same thing. After all, we pay around £60 to go to classical music concerts at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and anything between £50 and £100+ to see individual musical artists of our choice. Indeed, I know of people who pay upwards of £150 to see singers and groups I would pay never to hear again! All is relative! 

With ticket prices in mind, I was interested to read about the football fans who walked out of the Liverpool match recently at the 77th minute, in protest at the £77 ticket price. Liverpool's owners have apologised to fans but did try to justify the prices on the grounds that they put a lot of it back into the club. But they have now set a top price of £59 and have ended the system which meant that fans paid more if their team was playing a high-ranked team. 

Good for them! 

And yet, £59 still seems an awful lot of money to me, even if that is the top price. How do fans afford to pay these prices. I imagine a family, a couple of fans who want to take their two kids to the football match. A good family day out! Except that it must cost close on £200 for that really good day out, and that's before you factor in transport costs, hot drinks and snacks, and possibly a proper meal on the way home. 

Goodness me! It all makes me feel tired and old!

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