Generation Warfare – Is Bollocks

As someone who is apparently – or at least according to those bastions of truth the Daily Mail and Sun – of an age that we are being blamed by the young for all of the ills of the country all I can say is,

“What utter, utter bollocks”.

I can’t prevent those who want to justify their own prejudices by trying to set generation against generation in the same way that I can’t prevent the Westminster Government of doing the same to justify their patently unfair, cruel and callous policies.

What I can do is be one small, and hopefully one amongst many, voices who will stand up and tell those who are trying to play one generation off against another just exactly where they can go.

Of course the young are facing problems and issues that we the older generation didn’t have to face when we were their age.

But when we talk about the older people being to blame who exactly are we talking about

In other words which older people?

My fathers generation, or at least those who are still with us are now in their late 80’s and 90’s so what did they do for us that we who are only in our 50’s and late 60’s can blame them for.

Well to start with they, after almost five years of involvement in a world wide conflict stormed the beaches of Normamdy, or fought their way along the length of Italy and then came home and voted in to power a socialist Government.

OK – they gave the National Health Service, Nationalised Coal and Steel and other essential services and faced years of austerity with a level of stoicism that we can now only wonder at.

What that generation did of course was to have children who brought up during the late 1940’s and 1950’s suddenly entered a period of the 1960’s as teenagers when jobs were plentiful and life appeared to be endlessly hopeful.

The generation of the “Baby Boomers” who according to those who see the generations as being at odds with each are to blame for everything.

There is of course the others who see the modern generation – those between 18 and 35 – as a bunch of shiftless, lazy and idle freeloaders who should be condemned for their lack of interest in the world.

This is also utter bollocks.

As one of the “baby boomers” I’d be the first to admit we have in many ways not only destroyed but in fact betrayed the trust of our parents and the generation who risked everything to give us the life and opportunities that we have been fortunate to have enjoyed.

Politically it was my generation that voted to elect Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair to be Prime Ministers for a good portion of our lives both of who encouraged the ingrained attitudes of selfishness and “me, me, and only me” on which many of the current MP’s were raised.

But my generation aren’t the enemy nor are we competition against the young who if it hasn’t struck you already are actually my generations children and grandchildren.

At what point did those who want to set the generations against each other fail to notice that young people in Britain are the result of old people having had sex with each other some time during the 1970’s and 1980’s?

If you are young and don’t like the image of crinklies having sex remember we were all young once and to put it delicately we too “had our moments”.

The fact is this Government don’t see the older generations as a resource whose experience, knowledge and dare I say it wisdom that can be useful to society but instead as a source of worked for wealth that they somehow are going to take from us.

It isn’t only our savings, pensions and homes they have decided to attack but also the services that the older generation have the temerity to ask for and expect to be provided such as healthcare, fair pensions and decent homes.

The young in the meantime are facing years of debt, a lack of available homes, decent employment opportunities and the prospect of having to work into their 70’s.

It’s a problem that shouldn’t be seen as a conflict between the generations but one that they need to recognise and understand is one that they will have to resolve together.

And that will only happen if the generations ignore those who want to see them fight against each other – people such as journalists and politicians – and stand together against such attitudes.

Or to put it bluntly tell them they are speaking “bollocks”