First let’s get this out of the way – 50 is not old.
People are living longer. They eat healthier, exercise more.
Adolescence now, apparently, lasts until you are 25. So 25 is the new 18.
But some argue there is an even longer adolescence. People are having to wait longer to earn enough money for a home and to start a family.
So maybe 30-odd is the new 18, which would mean everything else moves further on a bit and you only really actually start when you’re 50.
With this in mind, it was odd this week to see an article about “best restaurants for the over-50s”.
What does that mean? The menus are in big letters? There are panic buttons, and they only serve soft food?
Nah. The article came to the conclusion that those over 50 like comfortable chairs, quiet restaurants, and food they enjoy.
But where turning 50 is really causing alarm is in the Tory Party.
A study released this week shows people don’t start voting Conservative until they’re 51.
It’s been a long-standing problem for the Tories that they can’t connect with younger voters. Or voters who are alive.
We know from information released last year that the Conservatives received twice as much money from the dead as they did from the living.
But this 51 figure is new and has sparked panic in Tory ranks. It used to be that the “natural age” to vote Conservative would be early to mid-thirties.
But that has gradually got higher and their traditional support is eroding.
In your thirties you would expect to have a job, a house, a family.
But steady, well-paid jobs are harder to come by and few can afford a house/family, which means things are moving in the wrong direction for the Tories.
At the 2017 general election, the average age of a Tory voter was 47. There are other factors, of course, as well as the austerity inflicted since 2010.
Also, young people don’t like Brexit or tuition fees and are worried about climate change. There’s also the growth of online sharing, a move to cities, which are more left-wing than rural areas, and Labour’s dominance of social media.
And, of course, The Tories have been in government a long time.
You get fed-up of anything.
So in light of these new findings there will attempts by the Conservatives to court the younger vote.
But that never works out.
For example, a couple of days ago the government announced a new youth charter.
It was immediately greeted by the Local Government Association saying that if the Conservatives really wanted to make a difference they should invest in local services.
Council spending on youth services has fallen from £652million in 2010/11 to £352million in 2017/18.
People see through gimmicks now and recognise where the cuts are coming from.
It’s bad news for the Tories and a problem that will need more thought than their most famous attempt – William Hague in a baseball cap.