Sunday, July 01, 2012

could it be an age thing?

Although I kept a weather-eye on what was happening in the world, via the internet, while I was away on Iona for two months, I feel as if I’ve been spending a fair amount of time since my return playing catch-up as far as news+newspapers are concerned (yes, I HAVE been aware of the main action in the Leveson Inquiry and the fact that Paul Lambert has become the new Villa manager!).
Strangely, it seems that the matter of “age” has been a common factor recently:
1.    David Beckham’s failure to make it into the GB Olympic team has been put down to age (they overlooked me too, so I think they might have a point!).
2.    I found myself fascinated by much of the debate around Jeremy Paxman’s TV humiliation of junior Treasury minister, Chloe Smith (regarding the deferred 3p rise in fuel duty) on Newsnight and her earlier (apparently equally poor) “performance” on Channel 4 News… it seems as though her boss (George) was dining with friends at the time and had been unavailable! In some quarters, Paxman was being criticised because she was just a young, inexperienced minister and he was an experienced street-fighting media-man!
3.    Interesting, there was an article by Steve Richards in The Independent which also talked about politicians (in this case, Cameron+Osborne) being out of their depth due to their inexperience (here's a brief extract): "They are by no means alone in this, but they are much the most exposed. In spite of the storms, both are still fairly effective performers. Most of the time they are calm and witty in the Commons and in interviews. But in terms of policy-making, and in the confused projection of their agenda, they struggle to stay afloat. For illumination, always follow the policy trail, not the public demeanour of the policy-makers".
4.     Ironically, the next article I read (in the Guardian) was talking about the possibility of Tony Blair becoming Prime Minister again!
5.    In the light of the latest recent Banking scandals, there was an intriguing article by Ian Leslie, again in the Guardian, linked to bankers and City traders entitled “The Problem with Testosterone”. Here’s just a brief extract: “The researchers found that on days when the traders beat their previous monthly average, their testosterone levels would go through the roof. One trader, for example, enjoyed a winning streak that saw his profits reach twice his historic average – and his testosterone increase by 76%. Even more significantly, Coates and Herbert found that when traders' morning levels of testosterone were higher than normal, they made higher profits than days when they started off with low levels. In other words, better trades produced more testosterone, and testosterone made them better traders. What makes you a better trader for a day or a week, however, can in the long term lead you to take disastrous mistakes”. So, maybe that’s an age-thing too!?
Too old? Too young?
Somewhat ironically, all this comes after I’ve spent the past two months working with volunteers in the Iona Community – whose ages ranged from 18 up to mid-60s.
For what it's worth, I think we complemented each other beautifully (but I would say that, wouldn't I)!
Photo: little mouse Chloe and big, bad Jeremy on Newsnight.

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