There's no way I could do a week as a carer in an old folks home. Just the prospect would haunt me.

I wouldn't sleep well the night before. Then I'd be haunted - in slo-mo, freeze-frame, and 3D - plus a bonus 4th dimension of blunt-force smell.

Afterwards, I'd experience post-traumatic haunting, and stare off, mouth agape, unable to talk, the only indication of life being the occasional blink. You would know that I'd seen things.

Yet, a week working as a carer, undercover, is what Judy McGregor did - by choice - while she was the Equal Opportunities Commissioner. She was the boss of the commission, but she didn't send a minion to do it, to report back.


Nor did she do a royal visit to a rest home, put on white gloves and just shake everyone's hand over morning tea.

It's as if a general in World War I left the leather and mahogany of the War Room, grabbed a rifle and dived headfirst into a trench. In other words, like no general ever.

McGregor's week as a carer must qualify as the least glamorous undercover operation ever. No baccarat table, no cocktail dress, no gadgets issued by Q. Like Mata Hari going undercover with a mop, to infiltrate an enemy toilet block.

And if, like me, you find a week of being a carer unfathomable, how about the people who do this week in, week out? For decades? They are in the trenches, and the trenches are a latrine.

Of course, there's more to the job than that, and I'm glad it's meaningful and rewarding - but that's the aspect that springs to mind. As much as we may deny it, we are biology. And unlike sex, ablutions are something best done alone.

So hats off to the Government for finally agreeing to raise the wages of carers, even if it's taken till this election year to do it.

Certainly, hats off to the unions who fought for it.

McGregor did her week undercover in 2012. Imagine if this settlement had kicked in then. For some of them, five years not earning 50 per cent more, is 20 months of salary which they haven't received. (But that's probably not the most cheerful way to look at things.)


Certainly, this is something to celebrate. Until this settlement, carers were paid in prices from the past, prices in black and white, seemingly calculated during the heyday of their customers. It's surprising they weren't paid in pounds and shillings.

If anyone deserves a "Lest we forget", it's carers. Talk about your unknown soldier.
Questions arise how this settlement will affect the economy. What will carers do with the extra money? Well, since they're a bunch of do-gooders, they'll probably donate it to charity.

The ageing population means this carer business is only going to increase. They can't really be replaced by robots or apps - unless the elderly themselves become androids to restore their faculties.

Meanwhile, speaking of impaired faculties, we should congratulate Trump on getting to 90 days as President, without starting even one nuclear war.

There's more evidence his own set of marbles is becoming less and less complete.

In an interview, while waxing lyrical about a chocolate cake, he said he bombed Iraq, when he meant Syria. (My personal theory is that the airfield in Syria was bombed by mistake - while Ivanka was teaching him to use Siri. Nek minnit, he's pocket-dialled a general, keeps shouting Siri, Siri, Siri into his phone - and jets are scrambled.)

Trump thinks the Kim now in charge of North Korea is the same Kim that Bill Clinton dealt with in the 90s. Maybe he'd understand the real situation if someone explained that's like confusing him with Tiffany. Trump's disgust at the idea might make the distinction stick.

These are the public trip-ups, the ones we know about. For all we know, his repeated, Groundhog Day rounds of golf, are him intending to play just the one round, but he keeps forgetting he's already done it.

On the bright side, surely - surely - he can't remember the nuclear codes. Let's hope he also can't remember where he's hidden them. And one piece of advice to America: in future, get the tax returns first; before you hand over the nuclear codes.

If it's nerve-racking for us, this far away, imagine how stressful it must be to live in South Korea. If South Korea have any sense, they'll forget about the UN, and lobby instead to have a say in the Electoral College.