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Former journalist’s new book praised by David Blunkett

A former regional newspaper journalist whose first book has been published at the age of 67 has won praise from former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

Maurice Jones, who has worked at a number of regional titles and also edited the Cyprus Mail, has had Last Resort published – a novel which tells the story of what could happen if Thai resorts were converted into care homes for Britain’s elderly people.

The book has seen Maurice compared to satirical writer Tom Sharpe by the former Home Secretary who praised the book for its “lashings of humour and great originality”.

Last Resort has currently been printed as an e-book and the print edition will be published later this month.

The book centred on the character of Arnold Ratledge, now the elected Mayor of a financially-troubled local authority, who steals the idea of converting hard-pressed Thai resorts into ultra-cheap care homes for Britain’s elderly.

This is initially lauded as the answer to financial and demographic problems posed by the elderly – but what follows is a series of disasters, misunderstandings, sex-related deaths and allegations of euthanasia.

Maurice said: “I’m told that it’s as rare as rocking horse droppings for a debut novelist to be taken on – especially at 67. I really hope that this encourages others.

“Older people have an enormous amount to offer. And if they want to – how do I say this – go out with a bang, why not. Nothing wrong in growing old a little disgracefully.”

The book has also been praised by actress June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton in EastEnders, who said: “The timing of this book could not be better. Grandads, grandmas all shoved into care homes. It’s an awful business.”

Maurice’s career has included being the news editor at Luton on Sunday, editing the National Union of Mineworkers’ paper The Miner and time at the Sheffield Telegraph and the Rotherham Advertiser.

He is a hobby pilot and spends his retirement years in the UK, Finland and Thailand.

The e-book is available on Amazon.