The silver-haired British hooligans

If you went somewhere sunny this bank holiday, you probably spotted some misbehaving over-55s...

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Much though you probably love grey skies, drizzling sleet, extensive traffic jams and James Bond repeats, we’re guessing that a few of you probably took advantage of the four-day break afforded by the Easter weekend to jet off to warmer climes (even if it’s not great for your carbon footprint). But it turns out there’s now one more thing for us to worry about when we go away: hordes of British pensioners storming around causing trouble.

According to the Foreign Office, older British holidaymakers are getting into the kind of bother normally associated with an England away trip. It says the over-55s are getting so carried away by the holiday spirit that they’re drinking and eating far too much, abusing resort staff, and having a go at adventure sports like bungee jumping. Whatever happened to the good old days of bingo and crown green bowls?

Apparently, more than half of these hoary reprobates reckon they drink more on holiday than they do at home, while 20% will try activities they’d never have touched with a bargepole back in the UK. Yet despite the fact that they seem more willing to endanger their health recklessly, almost two-thirds don’t even bother taking out travel insurance. Even though they make three times as many claims as everyone else. Not much of an example to the younger generation, is it?

‘The Foreign Office is all for over-55s having fun on holiday’, said Foreign Office Minister Meg Munn (in a tone that suggested it couldn’t think of anything worse), ‘but it is crucial they make some simple preparations to help avoid encountering difficulties whilst abroad’. Like travel insurance and a full health check, for a start.

We’re used to Club 18-30 types bringing the UK’s good name into disrepute overseas – but with plenty of disposable income and lots of free time in which to spend it, clearly the older generation are fast becoming the ones to watch.

We think it’s about time these people grew up. And if they don’t, we can always take away their pensions.

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