Saturday, 20 May 2017

It wasn't me

No, we baby boomers aren't to blame for every problem on the planet.
No, we aren't all greedy, selfish, irrespon-sible, heartless monsters.
No, we aren't deliberately kicking away the ladders we once climbed.
No, we aren't personally answerable for tuition fees, unaffordable houses, unaffordable rents, unpaid internships, static wages, awful working conditions, and all those other things the young are struggling with.

I've always wanted every new generation to be better off than the previous one.
That used to be the case right through the last century.
It greatly distresses me that things are getting worse for the young and not better.
It greatly distresses me that the young are being treated so badly.
But I'm not running the country and I'm not responsible.
Put the blame where it belongs - with politicians, estate agents, big business, landlords, and all the people who actually drove through those destructive changes and turned the clock back sixty years.
A lot of those changes weren't in manifestoes and didn't have public approval.

Personally I'd like to see an end to tuition fees, more council housing, rent controls, decent wages for all, an end to zero hours contracts, and stronger trade unions.
But there's little I can do to bring all that about.
I put crosses on ballot papers, sign petitions, attend rallies, write to my MP.
Is anyone listening? Is anyone taking any notice? Will anything change?
It doesn't seem very likely.
The politicians don't care much about the young and their problems.
The politicians are far removed from such difficulties.
Most are comfortably off, with nice houses, nice salaries, staff to look after them.
They don't know what it means to be struggling and debt-ridden.
So blame them and not the baby boomers.
Blame those who have the power to improve people's lives but prefer to make them worse.

19 comments:

helen devries said...

Vote Labour...for the first time in many years it`s worth doing so.

tammy j said...

far removed is right.
it's like they're all saying...
"let them eat cake!"
the world today makes minimalist living even more attractive I think.
it's hard enough for young or old for that matter... to simply cover the basics! though in truth maybe it always was. I don't know.
I know if you're content with less you'll be a happier person though!
and whoever said that comparison will rob you of joy is right. they apparently blame baby boomers because we're living in an age of BLAME. look at our president. he blames everyone but himself!
great post once again. you're on your game.

Nick said...

Helen: I can't vote Labour in Northern Ireland as the Labour Party don't put up any candidates here. We're disenfranchised. Their policies are excellent but Jeremy Corbyn just isn't convincing people that he would be an effective Prime Minister.

Nick said...

Tammy: Thanks! Yes, it's very much the elitist "let them eat cake" approach from all those well-heeled politicians. There are some honorable exceptions though, those MPs who actually care deeply about their constituents.

Indeed, it's an age of blame where people are all too ready to attack fashionable scapegoats rather than sorting out the complexities of a situation.

Keith Smith said...

These new rules have already affected me and the Tories have not even been voted back into "power" yet. My mobility allowance is to be halved soon, so if I want Dial-a-Ride or a Taxi (I don't have a car now) to get to the surgery or Health Centre for treatment it will come out of my OAP pension, which is too low anyway. I can see the day coming when, like my neighbour, I will have to go to the food bank to do my shopping!

Nick said...

Keith: The government is determined to slash every welfare benefit and to hell with the consequences. Then they wonder why so many people are using food banks. And there's no sign of any change of economic direction.

Keith Smith said...

We now have TWO food banks in the town, one of them doubles as a "soup kitchen". Now there's progress for you, what more could you want in the third richest country in the world?

Nick said...

Keith: Income and wealth inequality in the UK is growing all the time, and nobody seems able to stop it. There are now clothing banks as well as food banks, for people who can't even afford to replace worn-out clothing.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/11/britain-clothes-banks-poverty-sharewear

Rummuser said...

I don't think that Indians born between 1946 and 1964 can fall into the same category as of those born in the Western post WWII countries. Indians have been producing children in much larger numbers than the West till active birth control measures were introduced in 1951 with remarkable results that took time to show but have now stabilised. I however was born in the immediate post war period and grew up in a nation that was noted for its shortages of everything and poverty till well into the 90s. India today is a vastly different nation than it was when I was growing up and so to compare my values of then to those of the youngsters of today is unrealistic. The latter are growing up in a very uncertain and highly competitive world and we do not have the safety nets that most Western nations offer their citizens.

I would therefore accept that the values are different but would not call them better or worse than mine was at that age.

Dave Martin said...

Yep, that pretty much sums it up, Nick.
Trouble is, no matter how you vote, in the back of your mind is the knowledge that it's always a two horse race.
Until the masses break away from the 'better the devil you know' mindset, nothing will change.

Nick said...

Ramana: Even without the safety nets, and with the competitive culture, it sounds as if the young in India are much better off than you were as a youngster, with universal shortages and poverty. But as you say, India is a very different place from the UK or USA, with very different attitudes.

Nick said...

Dave: Yes, once again it's effectively a two-horse race, though this time there's a very stark contrast between Labour, who genuinely want to reduce inequality and help those who are in difficulty, and the Tories, who whatever they say are stuck in the same old callous elitism and believe the poor just need to "get a grip".

Bijoux said...

You've got too much to tackle for me to even make a reasonable comment!

Nick said...

Bijoux: I know, there are so many issues involved. And I can't see things getting better for the young any time soon.

Cheerfulmonk said...

Of course, here in the U.S. enough people were so desperate for change they voted for Trump. Not an ideal solution.

Nick said...

Jean: If young people voted for Trump in the hope their lives would be made easier, they're going to be sadly disillusioned.

CheerfulMonk said...

Some of them didn't hold out much hope but felt he was their only chance. The Democrats had given up on them. I've read that about 90% of his supporters are still sticking with him.

joared said...

Stereotyping is the pits whether Boomers, old people or other, but a lot of that going on. Our situation didn't get to this point overnight and we won't turn it around quickly either -- in fact, probably less likely with the bunch in the U.S. running things now. The other major group needs to reexamine their priorities and focus on ordinary people. Wonder how things will proceed in France, the rest of Europe, but Great Britain.

Nick said...

Jean: It amazes me that so many voters are sticking by him when he has done virtually nothing for them since his inauguration. I think it's called blind faith.

Joared: As you say, things won't be turned around quickly. If at all, under Trump, who seems keener on tweeting and playing golf than helping ordinary Americans. Of course Hillary won the popular vote but was shafted by the peculiarities of the electoral college.