LIKE a Norman Tebbit tribute band, Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, tells the over-50s to get on their bikes – and deliver pizza for a living.
That’s the problem with tribute bands. They are never as good as the real thing.
Cabinet minister Mel Stride has urged over 50s to help the economy by taking on jobs with DeliverooCredit: AFP or licensors
“There are loads of great opportunities out there for people,” Stride gushed while on a visit to Deliveroo’s HQ in London.
“And it’s of course good for people to consider options they might not have otherwise thought of.”
Would you like some extra corn on that, minister?
Stride got one thing right — our country certainly has an employment problem.
There are job vacancies in every part of the economy.
Yet there are also eight million people — a shocking 20 per cent of working-age adults — who are what we now call “economically inactive”.
According tofor National Statistics, more than 3.4million of them are over 50 but below retirement age.
That’s who Mel Stride is urging to get on their bikes.
Yet the idea that Stride is going to persuade millions of the over-50s to climb on a scooter lugging a dozen curries is just patronising cobblers.
Why not tell the over-50s to get a paper round?
Stride, a chubby-cheeked 61, shyly confesses that he “finds himself identifying” with Abdul Javid, 51, a grandfather from Kingston upon Thames, who has happily lost 1st 8lb since working for Deliveroo.
But no matter how much Mel “identifies” with Mr Javid, I doubt that the MP for Central Devon sees himself delivering pizza if it all goes pear-shaped for his Westminster career.
Mel Stride wants older people to consider their options to try and support the economyCredit: The Mega Agency
I have only admiration for Deliveroo workers.
I meet a few of them every week.
Their riders are almost always hard-working, cheerful and efficient.
But riding a scooter and delivering takeaways is a young person’s game.
We can all see that the pandemic of idleness inis real.
The long Covid years of lounging around in jim-jams and calling it working from home have done nothing for our nation’s work ethic.
There are currently a record 2.5million people who are not in employment because of long-term sickness.
Yes, some of them are genuinely unwell. But 2.5million sick notes?
Sadly, there are no official statistics on lazy bastards who are allergic to work.
But the answer is not to tell the oldies to start delivering takeaways.
Our political masters should never instruct the common people to do something that they would not dream of doing themselves.
When Norman Tebbit made his famous “bike” speech he was talking from personal experience.
Responding to a Young Conservative who suggested that rioting was a natural response to unemployment, Tebbit recalled his own childhood during the. “I grew up in the Thirties with our unemployed father,” Norman told the Conservative Party Conference in 1981.
“He did not riot — he got on his bike and looked for work.”
Norman Tebbit never actually told anyone to get on their bike.
And unlike the Tories of today, Tebbit (a working class boy who became a pilot) never talked down to anyone.
Give up your polluting cars! Stop taking wicked foreign holidays — they are bad for the planet! Get a job delivering pizza!
Why is it always ordinary people who are expected to embrace sacrifice and never the elite?
Sorry, minister. When you are on the far side of 50 you want to stop and smell the roses not the margarita pizza with extra pepperoni.
PAUL McCARTNEY has finally confirmed the rumours that he was recorded chewing celery on the Beach Boys’ record Smiley Smile in 1967.
I bet nobody ever munched celery quite so melodically.
Margot Robbie’s Barbie has been a huge hit across the world, even in ChinaCredit: Mega
BARBIE is a huge hit everywhere – including China.
The Margot Robbie movie has taken nearly £400million worldwide, including a stunning £15million in China, where they are used to more patriotic, po-faced films.
After seeing Barbie, I understand the appeal.
Barbie is not ultimately about misogyny and masculinity, female empowerment and the patriarchy.
It’s main aim is surely taking the p*** out of everyone in sight.
Ryan Gosling’s Ken: “I have all the genitals!”
Margot Robbie’s Barbie – a vision of perfection suddenly discovering cellulite.
And Will Ferrell as the CEO at Mattel, upon seeing Midge, Barbie’s pregnant pal: “I thought we discontinued her!”
I can’t remember laughing so much at the cinema.
But Barbie is taken deadly seriously in China, where there are now almost 40,000 screenings every day of a film that “flew under the radar” of China’s censors.
Siqi Zhang, a 25-year-old marketing specialist, saw Barbie with seven of her female friends in Shenzhen this week and recommended the film to “every girlfriend of mine”.
“It leaves women feeling empowered,” she said.
Barbie will be for ever linked with Robert Oppenheimer, the reluctant father of the atomic bomb, due to both movies being released at the same time.
Everything we know about Oppenheimer indicates that he was the kind of human who is born every 1,000 years or so – a 20th Century Leonardo da Vinci or Galileo.
But it is Barbie who is changing the world.
FOR the first time in my life, I am suddenly madly in love with cricket.
Forced to play as a schoolboy, I have never been a fan of the sport.
But England’s epic Ashes clash againsthad me gripped from beginning to end.
When it was over, I had the kind of comedown usually experienced after a football World Cup.
One question from a cricket convert: Why do they abandon play when it starts raining?
Surely that would make it even more exciting.
Damson Idris is the surprise new contender to be named the next James BondCredit: Getty
BOOKIES report a flurry of bets being placed on Damson Idris – no relation to Idris Elba – becoming theJames Bond.
This is the first time Damson’s name has been suggested for 007.
James Norton, Richard Madden, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba himself are more usually mentioned.
But if I had the ear of producer Barbara Broccoli, I’d recommend she consider one of the Jacks – either Jack Lowden (The Gold, Slow Horses) or Jack O’Connell (SAS Rogue Heroes, Unbroken).
But the real problem for the 007 producers is not finding the next Bond.
The big problem is surely that in No Time To Die – the last Daniel Craig outing as our hero – they, er, killed him off.
Pop legend Kylie Minogue has struck gold with her Las Vegas residencyCredit: Getty
KYLIE MINOGUE is going to play a three-month residency at the Voltaire in Las Vegas.
You can see the appeal. Kylie does not need to haul her perfect bottom around the world on a gruelling tour, because the world comes to her.
Her fans get to see a superstar in an intimate, 1,000-seater venue.
That makes Vegas the best place in the world to watch music.
It is an outrage protesters were able to scale Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s homeCredit: PA
LET us contemplate those images of Rishi Sunak’s Yorkshire home, draped in a black shroud by followers of the new green.
Where were the police? Where were the secret service?
Next year is the 40th anniversary of the Brighton bomb.
The IRA had secretly planted a bomb at the Grand Hotel, killing five and inflicting 31 life-changing injuries in their assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher.
What was stopping a terrorist doing the same at Sunak’s home, where his daughters sleep?
These smirking goons were gambolling around for two hours before some dopey looking bobbies showed up, fretting that the poor little lambs on the roof might hurt themselves.
This is insane. All of it. That in a country where politicians have been murdered, Sunak’s home is left so scandalously unprotected.
That our cops bow and grovel and do the lambada with any green goon who wants to stuff a grievance down our throat.
Do the pious morons of Greenpeace really imagine they are doing their cause any good at all?
They do it nothing but harm.
IT looks very likely that the UK and Ireland will jointly host football’s Euro 2028.
If you have any memory of the final of Euro 2020 – played in 2021 due to pandemic disruption – this can’t be a source of unalloyed joy.
It is nothing less than a miracle that no one was killed at Wembley when the England v Italy final was stormed by ticketless thugs.
The party started early that day.
An image that sticks in our collective memory is of a fan with a lit flare stuck right up his bare-cheeked Wembley Way.
If we host Euro 2028, I do hope none of that is coming home.
BEYONCE has her own toilet seat flown in to each destination on her world tour.
Talk about living the dream.
HOW messed up is the US? The presidential election of 2024 looks likely to be fought between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Even though this week Trump was charged with attempting to frustrate the peaceful transition of power after losing that 2020 election.
Even though Biden’s own aides can offer no explanation for his deranged outbursts, such as ending a speech on gun safety with the words: “God save the Queen!”
This could be the first presidential election in history where one candidate is in a care home and the other one is in jail.