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Google honoured Confucius’s birthday on 28th September with a special doodle on its website. This looks like sound business sense, given the sage’s advocacy of elder-veneration and the demographics of our ageing population. Taking a longer view, more than half the babies born this year will probably live for over a century. If trends continue, kowtowing to the elderly will be de rigueur in politics.

This is not, however, good news for anyone drafting a national pension policy. George Osborne’s party conference announcement that the Tories would like to extend the retirement age by a year may cost them…

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