Longevity is the main theme of today's posting. The news that one in five of current UK residents will live to be 100 years old is staggering. We have massive demographic challenges ahead of us because while that one in five may have longevity on their (our hopefully) side the chances are that these 10 million people will be frail and that presents a public policy headache. How do we provide services to help maintain the quality of life for so many frail people with dwindling resources? This has been a recurring theme of my time in administration - making what little we have go a very very long way.The problem will just get more and more acute not least because every school leaver in the near future is going to have to work in the care sector just to look after those who need care.
The death of Jazz legend Billy Taylor was announced today. Taylor was the composer of I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free an anthem for the US Civil Rights Movement so perfectly articulated by Nina Simone. It was also the theme tune for Barry Norman's Film shows on the BBC for many years.
Billy Taylor died at the age of 89 with a string of lifetime milestones. What strikes me about jazz is the longevity of composers and performers many who live well into their late 80's. I am especially struck by the ability of Jazz drummers to play such a physical instrument well into old age. Now I accept that there are exceptions to this but compare the life expectancy of a major Jazz star to say a comic. British comedy is stacked with greats who never saw 60. I do wonder if the freedom jazz gives its performers might be the key to this. It is very much an art form that empowers its performers. Improvise is very much the name of the game. There is evidence that empowerment is very good for your health.
As usual I would be interested in your thoughts on this.