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The generation betrayed by Boris The cohort of youngsters whose futures were crushed by lockdown may never forgive the Tories

Will the kids be alright? Credit: Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Will the kids be alright? Credit: Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images


August 24, 2020   5 mins

There is an unusual feature of the Covid-19 virus. This quirk is aggravating a source of social tension that has been growing increasingly urgent. It is this: most diseases have a u-shaped mortality curve, posing the greatest risk to two groups, the very young and the very old. This coronavirus does not.

David Spiegelhalter, the chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk at Cambridge University, suggests that the risk posed to children by Covid-19 is “tiny”, with under-15s more likely to be struck by lightning than die of the virus. Young adults are slightly more at risk, but not by much. Seroprevalence surveys suggest that this age group are more likely than any other to have already come into contact with and recovered from the virus, which makes sense given the daily habits of young adults who are disproportionately likely to live in cities and to have work and social lives that bring them into contact with large numbers of people. Almost all young people experience Covid-19 as a mild illness, and often suffer no symptoms at all, meaning that the age-mortality graph for this disease looks less like a u-shape, and more like a hockey stick.

And here is the political problem. Many young people feel resentment towards the generation born between roughly 1945 and 1965, otherwise known as ‘boomers’, a word often spoken with derision by young adults, and sometimes with a snarl.

Boomers, according to the narrative popular among my peer group, had it easy. Boomer landlords sit atop the housing market and exploit their young tenants; boomer students enjoyed free tuition courtesy of the taxpayer while today’s students pay through the nose; boomer public sector workers are living the high life on gold plated pensions while their descendants suffer the effects of austerity; boomer voters gave us Brexit, against the wishes of the majority of the young; boomer job-seekers benefited from an economy that offered opportunities that today’s millennials, coming of age in the wake of the 2008 crash, can only dream of.

There are flaws in this narrative, of course, since the image of the complacent boomer doesn’t always fit with reality. A quarter of baby boomers don’t own their homes, the vast majority didn’t go to university, and almost a third can expect to enter old age with no financial security, since they have no private pension to call on. Plus younger members of the boomer cohort are likely to suffer terribly as a result of job losses, with a quarter of a million over-50s predicted to never work again.

But the narrative is nevertheless attractive to a generation feeling the sting of downward social mobility. And now we have a new, even more enraging component to add to this tale of boomer entitlement: the fact that the lockdown has disproportionately protected the over 55s, who are at risk from a virus that is dangerous to them, but not to their children or grandchildren, while causing devastation to the economy. And it is not boomers who are predicted to foot the bill.

This framing relies upon abstraction. Even the young people most sceptical about the need for lockdown, and most resistant to its strictures, have no desire to put their older relatives in harm’s way because, as with all unpleasant political problems, it is difficult to support a policy when the costs must be borne by people you personally know and love.

But when the fear of death has lifted and this crisis ends, how will its story be told? We could well be suffering the consequences — economic and others — of these last six months for decades to come, and the precautionary principle that persuaded so many people that lockdown was a necessary evil will not have the same persuasive power once the panic induced by the pandemic recedes in the collective memory.

For a group of young people already comfortable with the vocabulary of ‘privilege’ and ‘oppression’, it might not take much to definitively add ‘boomers’ to the list of wrongdoers, alongside other reviled groups. And we might find that the generation who lost out most from lockdown will adopt a divisive myth about the crisis of 2020 that goes something like this: “Boris Johnson’s government destroyed our futures in order to protect Tory voting boomers.”

All it needs is a grain of truth. A longstanding Tory preference among older voters is as strong as ever, with the Conservatives currently leading Labour by 34 points among the over 65s. And children and young adults have endured some unique harms as a result of lockdown, with the closure of schools and the A Level fiasco doubtless leaving some permanent mark on students in this cohort. Meanwhile, surveys suggest that the mental health of the young has been particularly badly damaged by the experience of lockdown. And all this before the forecast global depression even arrives with its full and terrible force.

The boomer narrative doesn’t require perfect accuracy in order to thrive. The fact, for instance, that the approach adopted by the British government was similar to that of most other Western countries, and a good deal less restrictive than some, will not necessarily counteract the mythological power of a story of old betraying young.

The inaccuracy, for instance, of the ‘lions led by donkeys’ account of the First World War has done little to undermine its potency. The phrase was already in use during the war, was quickly adopted in the years immediately following, and then further popularised in 1961 by Alan Clark’s The Donkeys, a book that excoriated the British leadership on the Western Front. The musical Oh What A Lovely War! and television series Blackadder embedded the image of heartless old generals sending brave young men to their deaths and, despite the best efforts of revisionist historians, this remains the popular view of the conflict. When a story is compelling enough, inconvenient details tend to be forgotten.

At the very beginning of lockdown, Max Hastings, a military historian who understands the power of popular narrative, wrote with impressive candour about the coming generational conflict. Echoing the sentiments of the most resentful twenty-somethings, Hastings described his own generation as collectively “monumentally selfish”:

“Despite our affluence relative to the young, the grey vote has fought tooth and nail against the BBC’s sensible termination of our free TV licences; deterred politicians from means-testing free travel passes; resisted fiscal curbs on our pension privileges, and the entirely just depletion of personal resources to fund care home costs.”

Expressions of this kind of anti-boomer sentiment will only grow louder without some kind of government intervention. The proposal to end the triple lock on state pensions in order to pay for this crisis may go some way towards repairing the generational rift. As Scott Corfe, the research director of The Social Market Foundation, said in response to this proposal, “[t]here is a clear case for intergenerational reciprocation when it comes to meeting the fiscal costs of the crisis in the years ahead.”

It might also become necessary to increase taxes on assets, or even introduce a means test for pensions — a controversial proposal in the UK, although long established in Australia — in order to settle the lockdown bill. And we should expect those moves to be resisted “tooth and nail”, just as Max Hastings describes. This isn’t an easy problem for the Government to solve, and the age profile of Tory voters disincentives action.

But the effects of this crisis demand some kind of action, if we are to avoid a toxic narrative of exploitation which casts millennials as vulnerable lions, and boomers as entitled donkeys. Covid-19 could have had a classic u-shaped mortality curve, or it could even — like the 1918 flu — have been most dangerous to working age adults. Instead, by a stroke of dumb luck, the young turned out to be peculiarly resistant to this virus. And now, without some effort to remedy the generational inequality feeding the anti-boomer narrative, that flap of the butterfly’s wing could have ugly political consequences.


Louise Perry is a freelance writer and campaigner against sexual violence.

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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago

Barely a day goes by without another (presumably) well-meaning journalist penning an article detailing how hard-done-by Millennials are compared to those who came before them.

The previous generation spent their young life under the cloud of potential annihilation in a nuclear exchange. Generations before that living through thousand-bomber raids over our cities every night.

The many hundreds of preceding generations lived (or mostly died) through several millennia of wars, disease, grinding poverty, hunger and grief.

Yet this generation, no doubt suffering post traumatic stress at the price of avocados and having to live with their parents rent-free, are so ground down by life that they sit around in a circle-jerk of onanistic self-pity bleating at every perceived slight and injustice that has been so unfairly heaped upon them.

Poor little lambs. My heart goes out to them.

(In truth I don’t know any millennials who fit the pathetic picture that is painted of them daily. All the young people I know get on with their lives with the good cheer and optimism that characterises anyone of sense and spirit. But when journalists write this sort of guff they just make it too easy to mock this generation.

If the author actually wanted to help them, then I would suggest she should stop doing it)

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

We had ‘avocado’ coloured bathrooms. The Millennials have real avocados. I didn’t see a real avocado until 2004. Millennials have no idea how lucky they are.

Jane Robertson
Jane Robertson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

So true. The only green edible I saw till my 20s was home grown cabbage.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane Robertson

Peas too… And the odd green bean

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane Robertson

The cabbage is a very noble vegetable. For evidence look no further than William Morris’ famous ‘Cabbage & Vine’ tapestry.

Tim Barraclough
Tim Barraclough
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Wherever were you living? Even in rural Suffolk we had avocados in the 1980s. Rather a full state pension and free university education than mashed avocado on sourdough, thank you

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I am being somewhat facetious. I was exposed to numerous ‘exotic’ fruits and vegetables in the Staffordshire Moorlands even in the 1970s, and on annual trips around Europe.

That said, I had to laugh recently when some kids in Manchester were shown an avocado and assumed it to be a hand grenade.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I never saw an avocado in the east midlands until at least the mid 90’s, in fact you probably still cant get them there now unless you take out a major search party Lol!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

A large potato with three Gillette double sided razor blades inserted into it, is far more effective for Close Quarter Battle.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

On the other hand, a friend of mine born in 1945 recently told me that some time in the late 1960s he quit a job without having another one to go to, because he was perfectly confident that he would find a new one in the few weeks his savings would last. And he did!

I’d give heaven and earth to have spend my youth and early adulthood in the early postwar decades. Being in my early forties, I still had a pretty good deal (free education to 21, for instance) and was lucky enough to get onto the property ladder and still lead a very comfortable lifestyle thanks to what one of UnHerd’s correspondents called “Parental Housing Ladder Privilege”. I feel very sorry for today’s twenty-somethings who probably never will.

I’d certain swap avocado for free education, cheap housing and full employment!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

But you always give the impression of being a New Labour type of person. It was they who instigated mass immigration and the mass expansion of university education, two key factors in the expensive housing and the end of free education.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Interesting that I create that impression. As I said somewhere else, I’m much more of a Butskellite… which is to say, I have spent my whole adult life feeling uncomfortable with the realistic political choices on offer. I sometimes dream of waking up in 1959, casting my vote for Macmillan or Gaitskell, and going to bed knowing that whoever won, the country would be at least moderately well governed for the next five years…

John Morris
John Morris
3 years ago

That most definitely was a dream. The idea of a competent government is novel. We all continue to dream.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago

‘a friend of mine born in 1945 recently told me that some time in the late 1960s he quit a job without having another one to go to, because he was perfectly confident that he would find a new one in the few weeks his savings would last. And he did!’
But you ignore the 1990’s.
My husband was born in 1947 and was made redundant in 1993 when our mortgage interest rate was 15%, it took nearly 2 years to get another job. He was not alone, 12% unemployment. Housing really was cheap then, it went down 20% as houses were being repossessed every second.
Every generation has good times, and bad. In the 1960’s you only had to turn around to find your weekly shopping had gone up 5%, inflation was so high people couldn’t keep up with it.

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago

Thankyou for pointing that out – I well remember the mortgage interest rocketing to 15% and the sacrifices made to save the deposit of 10/15% and mortgage of 2 1/2 times the husband salary, wife’s wasn’t counted. No holidays, nights out, making do with other peoples cast off furniture – just glad to own a home. Young people now want it all today and just say it’s too hard to get on the housing ladder but are not prepared to forego their holidays or social life. Yes property is more expensive but our first house in ’73 the interest rate was 8 1/2 %.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

OK but think of all the lovely equity now sitting in your house.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

Well, but I’m not ignoring the 1990s – circumstances had changed by then, because the powers that were took deliberate steps to destroy the postwar consensus. Between the time when someone could walk out of a job and scarcely have to worry about getting a new one, and the time when your husband had to wait two years to find one, it seems fairly obvious that a series of political wrong turns were taken.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
3 years ago

The price for that job freedom was paid by rebuilding the economy after WW2.

I was in Slough, one of the boom towns. It was a horrible place.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

And it’s still horrible, so I could have horrid Slough plus job freedom in the 1960s or horrid Slough without job freedom now.

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago

I feel very sorry for today’s twenty somethings who never will. Really? My niece will be a multi-millionaire when her grandparents, mother, father and aunt dies.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Leon Wivlow

Some will, some won’t. We’ve spent the last forty years creating a new aristocracy, based on inherited property.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

But for many many people like my parents that was the most liberating thing to ever happen to them. All my family have always been council house working class folks – and many still are – no-one ever owned their own home. The pride that owning a home instilled in my parents was incalculable and has given my generation a boost up from where they were. Hardly a new aristocracy but definitely felt like progress.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

The same thing happened to my grandmother too – although she, being of the generation that was raised in relative poverty in the 1930s and benefited from council housing when it made rent affordable after the war, had quite mixed feelings about doing so. She had to be talked into buying her council house by her children!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

There were a few disadvantages as I recall.

The railways were expensive and shambolic. The roads were pretty terrible, ‘we’ even managed to kill 8K on them in 1966 alone.

We also had hanging up until August 64, which was quite controversial, due to a couple of blunders in the 50’s.

Architecturally the era was disastrous, with monstrous carbuncles of buildings springing up everywhere, whilst demolition of previous beauties continued apace. The cry was “white hot technology” or some such drivel from Harold Wilson, the PM.

It was also obvious to many that it was an Indian Summer for British industry, wracked by pathetic management, and rampant unions. Just look at the aerospace industry, car making, the nuclear industry and so many others.

Finally life expectancy was about ten years less than now, but fortunately, unlike today, nobody really cared about that. After all there was the ‘pill’, sex, drugs and ‘rock and roll’ to keep the ‘reaper’ at bay.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

There were a few disadvantages as I recall.
The railways were expensive and shambolic. The roads were pretty terrible, ‘we’ even managed to kill 8K on them in 1966 alone.
We also had hanging up until August 64, which was quite controversial, due to a couple of blunders in the 50’s.
Architecturally the era was disastrous, with monstrous carbuncles of buildings springing up everywhere, whilst demolition of previous beauties continued apace. The cry was “white hot technology” or some such drivel from Harold Wilson, the PM.
It was also obvious to many that it was an Indian Summer for British industry, wracked by pathetic management, and rampant unions. Just look at the aerospace industry, car making, the nuclear industry and so many others.
Finally life expectancy was about ten years less than now, but fortunately, unlike today, nobody really cared about that. After all there was the ‘pill’, s**, drugs and ‘rock and roll’ to keep the ‘reaper’ at bay.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

“Architecturally the era was disastrous, with monstrous carbuncles of buildings springing up everywhere, whilst demolition of previous beauties continued apace.” Very true, of course… but we still have to live with those carbuncles, as well as the further carbuncles erected in the five decades since. It’s a terribly thing to say, but the last worthwhile architectural style that evolved anywhere in the world was probably Stalinist neoclassicism.

Harold Wilson wasn’t PM after the 1959 election, of course!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Yes, Stalinist neoclassicism was even worse, if that is possible!

Did I imply that Harold was PM after 1959? I do hope not, as I clearly remember that terrible day in 1964 when he did make it, after, as he said ” thirteen years of Tory misrule”.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Oh, I’d rather the postwar new towns of Western Europe looked like Minsk than like… well, than like what they do actually look like.

Well, in the post to which you were responding, I’d specifically mentioned the 1959 election as the one when I could cheerfully have chosen between two perfectly tolerable alternatives and gone to bed not really caring who had won…

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

I was thinking rather of Bucharest or Warsaw.
However some Western Europe towns were rebuilt with some panache and some sense of history, despite the terrible bomb damage. Munster in Westphalia for example.
Thanks for that about 1959, my mistake entirely. As a matter of fact I did sleep soundly that night in the certain knowledge that on the morrow there would still be ‘honey for tea’, and the Atlantic Coast Express (ACE) would be carrying ‘us’ down to Camelford and more than a month of Elysian joy ahead.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Of course – I think Nuremberg’s a good example too – a kind of postmodern reconstruction of the space and shape of the lost original. Though I do still find it a bit galling to think that a hundred years ago I could have stood in front of the house of the historical Hans Sachs.

And even sixty years ago, you could get on that train to Camelford. We can’t do that now!

Of course what they produced in the Soviet bloc from the late 1950s on was quite ghastly, but I do have a soft spot for some of the early postwar showpiece cities – parts of central Kiev as well as Minsk; the railway station in Brest, etc. It’s an arid style, but it has real grandeur.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Germany has done great wonders restoring its cities to something like their former glory. O that we had followed their example.

Now Brest, that I would dearly love to see. Great Railway Stations, almost equate to the great Gothic Cathedrals, but are always dismissed as vile industrial edifices.
Yes sadly the “withered arm” is long gone, but not forgotten. As a GWR (Western Region- WR) heretic it was sheer nectar
to travel on, far superior to the pompous Cornish Riviera Express of the GWR (WR).

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

I’m old enough to remember the 70s when my parents were young with young kids and that wasn’t a cake walk. Hand me downs, quite often feeling a bit hungry, power cuts, strikes, we got loads of stuff from jumble sales, my Mum just recently cried when she told me about how hard it was robbing Peter to pay Paul and hiding at knocks on the door. And my parents are both THE most decent, hardworking, law abiding types you could ever meet. They grew up after the war with rations and finding UXBs in gardens, things only got better for them once they bought their council house (the first in our family ever to own their own house – thanks Maggie) and in the 80s jobs got a little better. They struggled when interest rates hit the highs in the 90s, and had no money to help me get through Uni, I supported myself working crappy temp jobs. But they were so proud because they’d never had an opportunity to go to Uni. They still don’t have a lot by some standards but at least they have the financial security of a roof over their heads – and they deserve it. Screw youngsters who slag off Boomers like my parents – they know NOTHING.

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

This is why it is so wrong those with homes have to pay for care, those who spent their salary on booze, fags and holidays don’t.

Like your parents I grew up in a house with no heating, our holiday was a week at my Aunts’s by the sea. Hubby and I got our home by doing without almost everything, buying up a semi derelict bungalow, doing it up then buying up another grotty place and doing that up, until we got to where we are.

John Morris
John Morris
3 years ago

Only 3 or 4 percent of school leavers went to university. The size of the bill for free education to 21 was manageable. Plus those who went tended to deserve to be there. As it is now we also have to fund the Barnet formula.so the education in Scotland can be free.

Richard Gibbons
Richard Gibbons
3 years ago

Every young person I know is pro immigration and support BLM. As I point out to them the economic law of supply and demand means that every immigrant who arrives in this country is in competition for education, housing and jobs. Their support of a marxist organisation will also ensure that housing and jobs will never improve and that under this ideology the immigrant will get first choice.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

> economic law of supply and demand means that every immigrant who arrives in this country is in competition for education, housing and jobs

On the jobs front, your statement is not an “economic law”. It’s a common misconception known to economists as the “Lump of Labour Fallacy”, which you can look up on Google.

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago

Your free education came at the expense of taxes paid by the 90+% who started work at 15 or 16, and who now find themselves working until 66 whilst you may have been able to take early retirement due to your degree giving you well paid employment.

You were fortunate, for most of your generation life was and probably still is a struggle.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

If my degree “gave me well paid employment” (which is true for some but not all graduates; I’m pretty well paid), then I will pay more taxes over time. So I’ll repay the cost of my education that way.

In addition, my parents paid for me to attend a private school, while continuing by default to fund through the taxes the state education system that they weren’t at that point using.

I’ve no idea whether life is a struggle for most of my generation (those born in the late 1970s); what I’m fairly confident of is that I’m glad I was born then rather than twenty years later. I often tell young acquaintances that I envy them their youth, but I don’t envy them being young now.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Avocados are a nice colour, but they are just about the only fruit I find disgusting! (I can tolerate a lttle of the flavour, as in avocado and pistachio ice-cream.)

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Totally agree ðƾ‘ I’m a Gen X sandwiched between my hard working Boomer parents who had outside toilets and sometimes had to poach rabbits for food well into the 50s and 60s – and the millennial, Ys and Zers who have never known real hardship but think they are the most hard done by people ever. I never experienced the hardship my parents did but I damn well appreciate them more than the whiners I hear today.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Yes, never weed in the middle of the night in an outside loo (without electric light) and infested with spiders! Or find the milk that mother kept in a bucket of water under the pantry shelf had turned to rancid yogurt in the heat (except of course we didnt know what yogurt was back then)

robstuthridge
robstuthridge
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Well said.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

This is a really good point: some from Gen Y do not exhibit the the extreme Gen Y characteristics. But, almost all of those in the media do.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

For balance, I have to say that we are in danger of replaying Monty Python’s Yorkshiremens’ Sketch. These Gen Y’ers think they have it tough ……

As I say above, we have to take some responsibility for how these kids have turned out.

Liz Davison
Liz Davison
3 years ago

As a “boomer” may I say that I and fellow boomers would have been willing to self-isolate and shop in shifts to avoid the younger generations so they could keep working and attending school during the early months of the Covid panic. Complete lockdown seemed absurd and an over-reaction.

Also those of us with pensions which allow us to live comfortably also tend to be very generous to our offspring and to charities, many of whom would struggle without us.

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Liz Davison

As “boomers” I suspect we were also too generous with our hard earned wealth whilst bringing up our children yet on the other hand not disciplined enough with them (unlike most of our parents). So perhaps we do have some blame to shoulder for the “snowflake” syndrome?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

What a load of whiney, Guardian/BBC-style nonsense. I turned off BBC 5Live after two minutes this morning – as I do every day because it’s full of whining nonsense like this. I come to Unherd for something better.

As far as I can tell, young people are very hard working and entrepreneurial. And they have inordinate amounts of money to spend on overpriced coffee and fancy sandwiches etc. Indeed, they spend more on coffee and a sandwich than I spend on food in an entire week. Moreover, as others are pointing out, they are going to inherit enormous property wealth.

If anyone ‘betrayed’ them it was New Labour, which deliberately inflated house prices and insisted that they all to to ‘uni’ to pay for degrees which, for the most part, nobody takes seriously.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Switching off is one way to avoid unpleasant truths isn’t it. Not helpful though.

I was born in 1968, not quite a boomer. I had free everything if i remember right. It was fantastic.

My three sons – 20, 18 and 16 have a) been made redundant, b) had his A levels cancelled and then roughly guessed at and c) had his GCSEs cancelled and roughly guessed at. They feel robbed of either a job or the chance to prove what they can do. They have seen random actions by a government that has clearly had a strategy of protecting its core voters (or making it looked that way – cos they did a bad job of that).

At first they were curious and then perplexed. Now they are angry. They don’t trust Bojo to hold their interest’s are heart. I’ve heard actual anger towards older people in discussions with them. I think this article has done a good job of capturing the sentiment. Phrases like “I can’t wait to vote against them in the next election” come up all the time.

A very good piece, which i hope will help them form a more rounded view of the world. Better if we don’t switch off.

David McCormick
David McCormick
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

The A and GCSEs grades they have been awarded have been boosted by around 18%, hardly a cause to complain. I was made redundant 3 times between 2001 and 2008, the first time when I was aged 50. I found other work. Myself and my wife have just gifted our son a large sum of money to get on the housing ladder. Your children need to learn life is full of problems get on with it

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Sounds like you were so spoiled you were never really “switched on”

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Mark, I’m genuinely puzzled. Are your sons angry because Boris locked down too soon and too hard, or too late and not hard enough?
Would they like the economy less damaged, or more damaged?
Schools opened already, or kept shut all year?
These are not rhetorical questions; do the young want a lighter response or a tougher one?

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Where then are you and your sons at those protest marches?!
Only boomers and the the more critically Xers can be seen there!
If you and your sons continue to stay quiet, you fully deserve the mandatory jab, that could well result in you getting only crippled grandchildren, if any.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

The way the government responded to the exam fiasco is typical of how these kids are generally treated. The possibility of a “hard knock” has to be avoided. Any algorithm that leveled results was going to affect a fair proportion badly (because teachers were always going to be overly generous). The outcome is that a whole bunch of kids better suited to an apprenticeship will now find themselves struggling at university.

This just stores up big problems for later in life.

Simon Webster
Simon Webster
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

To say nothing of what Labour did to their careers by opening the flood gates to hundreds of thousands of migrants who’ll work twice as hard for a fraction of the pay.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Webster

Millions actually. Tony Blair’s “expert”, Jonathan Portes (BBC’s favoured talking head on any subject) said only 13,000 Poles would come in a period of 10 years. I could have advised the govt for free that they’d all want to come… But I’m not a socialist and use common sense

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“I turned off BBC 5Live after two minutes this morning – as I do every day.” Why do you switch it on in the first place, then?

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago

Probably the same reasons I do with the BBC news web site. Quick look to see if anything interesting then on to various other sites to get impartial/non left wing bias reporting of same 😉

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Try Radio 3, “Bach before seven” etc. Far more relaxing and the news is wrapped up in a couple of minutes!

If you want a blast of hysteria, then over to Radio 4 if you are real masochist.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

How the Censor was offended by the M word, but then relented. Weird!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Try Radio 3, “Bach before seven” etc. Far more relaxing and the news is wrapped up in a couple of minutes!
If you want a blast of hysteria, then over to Radio 4.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The kids in that picture all look like ages 16-19. What difference will ONE year of their schooling make to them? After all, most of them are just waiting to “take their year out” to tour Asia, or South America, or Australia, which they no doubt need to help with their “mental health issues”

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The real betrayal was to insist everyone was suited to university and that decent apprenticeships were unnecessary.

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago

That’s simply not true.
The people most supportive of and demanding the lockdowns, instead of just protecting the vulnerable boomers, are the millennial snowflakes, aka Gen Y.
Gen Z, which is indeed most negatively impacted, is incapable of critical thinking and follows along.
Gen X is divided, the critical thinking schooled third is opposed, those are primarily the ones you find at demonstrations, and two thirds are indeed cowed, mainly by the zealous Gen Y.
Boomers in politics did indeed not hesitate to ruin the young, and many of the boomers have been scared, but just as many would never have wanted their grandchildren to undergo that suffering for them, rather they’d prefer the opposite, and again, it’s those whom you will see at the protest marches.
If the young want to blame someone, blame yourself for your passivity and the Gen Y, particularly and/as they are overrepresented in the media, for their PC, cancel culture, lockdown etc. zealousness which is driving all the disastrous decisions.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Joerg Beringer

Keeping to broad generalizations, something that I would highlight is the toxic nature of Boomer parenting that resulted in the Snowflake generation.

These over zealous parents wanted to control every detail of their childrens’ lives and the outcome is a generation of over-anxious, dependent, offense-driven individuals that have a need to languish in their victimhood when faced with the real world. They have been closeted to such an extent that they feel that personal offense equates to physical harm.

Yes the Boomers had it good. Free university education. Early on the housing ladder. Proper apprenticeships. Decent pensions. But the most important thing they had was a childhood generally free from over-controlling parents. It is ironic that out of this package of Boomer goodies came such destructive and controlling parental behaviour.

The primacy of personal safety has been driven so hard into these kids that when faced with Covid they react as if it were Bubonic Plague. If we want to assign blame to the Boomers, this is where I lay it. For me modern parenting has evolved to something that resembles child abuse. It is a trade of personal liberty for the illusion of safety – ring any bells in the global response to Covid?

Unfortunately it is these snowflake individuals that now increasingly inhabit our media organisations. The result is the sensationalist coverage of Covid that we see every day in the Guardian and the BBC. Boomers do have a lot to answer for but I would not focus too much on their accrued benefits – they will eventually be inherited by Gen Y to fund their therapy sessions.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
3 years ago

The generational inequality I was born into was the wreckage left by WW2. Many of us left school at 15 or 18 with no prospect whatsoever of university. And we didn’t just have the bomb sites, poor housing and all the other physical inadequacies.

There was also the grievous emotional damage inflicted on our parents’ generation that we had to try to understand. This went back to the sufferings they endured as children in the Great Depression and what WW1 inflicted on their parents.

This isn’t to deny or downplay mistakes the Boomer generation has made. The young have always nibbled at the old one’s ankles.

Most of today’s lot are great. But some are impeded by delayed adolescence that seems to last until their 40s.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago

One useful element that would help both young people and the old who have been left behind would be a return to Margaret Thatcher’s vision of a home-owning democracy.

Having a home that you own, not rent, makes a huge difference to a person. It gives you a concrete long-term stake in your society. It makes you realise how precious and fragile is your prosperity, and that of your family. It encourages hard work and personal responsibility.

For too long, cynical monied interests on both left and right have pooh-poohed Thatcher’s insight. Policies that disincentivise ownership of multiple properties, especially by foreign oligarchs, would make a big difference not just to our economy, but to our culture.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

You are spot on. Looking back over many years at our political landscape
“that woman” stands head shoulders above the plethora of political pygmies and charlatans that have damned nearly destroyed this country.

They are too numerous to mention but I’m sure ‘we’ all remember who they were/are.

She may have failed in some areas, but the “right to buy” scheme was truly revolutionary, and explains why feckless Boris can still draw on a deep well of Tory support even among those former “dark, satanic ” mill towns of the far North.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I agree. It was cool to hate Thatcher when I was at school but the older I get the more I appreciate just what a remarkable woman she was who should be near the top of lists lauded by feminists but isn’t because she wasn’t a raging leftie loon who hated her own country.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Ditto. As a youth I wasn’t keen at all. Now I’ve grown up I realise what wonders she did and how we need someone of her stature now.

m.walker644
m.walker644
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

we have – Boris !

Stephen J
Stephen J
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Pretty much agree, but she failed to go for the still fairly unprotected jugular that was/is the permanent state. Instead she concentrated her effort on the target that even the big state did not have any truck with… The trades unions that “protected” so called lame duck industries.

Once she completed that task, that one that even the Labour party never undid when in government, she then went for targets that were peripheral to that big state, and the result was the poll tax and noises about our unsuitablity for continued membership of the emerging globalist state… of which the EEC was a prime mover.

As soon as she did these things, moves were made to destabilize and then eventually kill off her brand of conservatism.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen J

As you say, Thatcher failed to ‘roll back the state’. But I don’t particularly blame her for this. For many years she had to focus on saving the country economically, then of course there was the Falklands, not to mention the small matter of playing a major role in bringing down the Soviet Union and its satellites.

And, of course, had she seriously tried to take on our eternally incompetent and grasping state she would have had the usual gang of whiners and criminals up in arms – the media, almost all the politicians (including Tory wets), the charities, the CofE and other religious nutters, the legal profession etc etc. It’s impossible.

yessarian
yessarian
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Another rattle out of the pram…

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen J

The real tragedy for this country was that she was cut down in her prime rather like Caesar had been before her.

That cabal of Tory ‘wets’, Howe, Hesselshit, Major, Hurd etc should hang there heads in shame for committing such vile regicide. The effects of which, compounded by the cohorts of the Blair beast still haunt us to this very day.

Her statue should raised on that fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square with immediate effect.

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Exactly this, but a decade of QE and asset inflation has ruined everything. In my company of 70 (pre Covid) only the MD has any hope of buying a property on her wages alone.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

That’s why there would need to be an element of stick to it too. Personally, I would suggest significantly increased property tax on houses not occupied as a main home, and eye-wateringly high taxes on all houses owned by non-citizens.

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Yes, but I fear the issue has been left unattended so long that the necessary curative measures may cause a banking collapse. Removing the tumour but killing the patient, as it were.

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago

“Boris Johnson’s government destroyed our futures in order to protect Tory voting boomers.”
or;
“Boris Johnson’s government sent infected old people back to care homes to kill the old and cut the pension bill.”

A detractor can always frame a narrative to discredit.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

YES! EXACTLY! Can’t win with our whining media

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

I agree. This piece is absurdly over the top. People still talk about “Milk-Snatcher Thatcher”, but those of us who lived in that time all remember that the trade unions needed to be brought to heel. (I’m Irish, but her reforms helped us change too. We had a f*****g six-month bank strike in the early Eighties.)

Besides which, Teflon Boris actually caught the Covid, which he will always have the option of pointing out. At that time, the media were keen to point out his dangerous irresponsibilty with regard to the risk of
infection.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerry Quinn

The six-month bank strike was in 1970, wasn’t it?

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago

I can’t remember how long it lasted, but I remember having to cash company cheques (fortunately, the pubs would take them) for a long time in the ’80s. In the ’70s I was mostly a kid and not working.

m.walker644
m.walker644
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

REally ????? I dont think so !!

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  m.walker644

Would you care to elaborate?

Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
3 years ago

These devisions and conflicts I’m sure are being stoked to serve someone’s larger socialist purpose. Most young people I know are great. They have energy and enthusiam and quickness and noise all about them. We have to remind ourselves occasionally that we were them a few years ago, and they will be us in a few years time. Would I swap my house and my car and my savings with a younger person in exchange for 30 years of their life? Possibly, if I could keep my memories. However, i think the true purpose for fermenting the generational clashes is to further destroy the bonds of family and place and substitute an enlarged state machine as a surrogate.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Craddock

Very astute observation, especially when I read something like the BLM Marxist manifesto

Anthony Devonshire
Anthony Devonshire
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Craddock

Yet more paranoid nonsense.

And the line, ‘most young people I know are great’???!!! l***o.

The right wing populist agenda has held sway for several years now around the world – UK, US, Australia, Brazil – and it has brought nothing but division, disaster and the levelling down of politics to the basest instincts of nationalism, racism, mysogyny, general scapegoating and othering.

You guys need to stop trying to blame some nebulous socialist ogre lurking around the corner and take responsibility for the utter carnage that the Tories have inflicted on the UK for the past decade and continue to do so.

God help the UK this winter what with CV hanging around and in the run-up to real Brexit and afterwards.

Agnieszka Wydrych
Agnieszka Wydrych
3 years ago

This is my first comment ever on unherd, and I fully agree with you, there is so much bile and pseudo-intellectual rubbish in comment section that my heart leaped with joy when reading your words; and yet you have received one vote down – surprise surprise;
Yes, God help us, I cannot stress enough how afraid I am for me and my family in months and years to come.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Oh dear, Unherd is only a few months old and already it has sunk to the level of the Guardian. As has been obvious for some time, the gap between normal people and the media class is now as wide as the gap between the political/quango/Whitehall class. The difference is that we are compelled by law to fund the incompetent and parasitic political/quango/Whitehall class. We are not forced to fund the media class, unless we are dumb enough to still have a TV.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Unfortunately most, but not all journalists, are natural born Shriekers. The “Great Panic” is proving to be the seminal moment of their synthetic lives.

Therefore even UnHerd has an uphill struggle ahead of it, to provide any form of originality.

yessarian
yessarian
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

More whining and whinging because he can’t find a media source that agrees with everything he thinks…snowflake…

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Meh, I like that Unherd strives to represent all viewpoints [*], even if by its nature it is more attractive to what is currently called the Right. The Guardian is far from the worst either, though it is deteriorating. (And nowadays The Guardian hardly has comments at all, where the comments will go against its grain. At one time, it used to allow comments. It even still has a section called ‘Comment Is Free’. No comments allowed, mostly.)

It must be like that when you realise that you have become a w***e.

[*] All spicy viewpoints, anyway.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Haha, my comment must wait to be approved. From now on I’m spelling hoor the Irish way.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerry Quinn

It wasn’t approved at all in the end. Which makes me sad. I said some nice things about the Guardian, and I noted that their ‘Comment is Free’ section often doesn’t allow comments now. Don’t go that road, Unherd.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Gerry Quinn

Some words clearly trigger Unherd. I have twice had comments placed in limbo for using the ordinary word for the activity of copulation aka the term we normally used to use instead of “gender”. Both comments were completely inoffensive and it was quite a while before I realised that the connecting link was that they both contained that word.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Not quite fair, these views have a right to be heard as much as any others – at least UnHerd ALSO show the views the rest of the MSM don’t.

Stephen J
Stephen J
3 years ago

If the “Boomer” generation have got anything on their consciences’ it is that they have stood by and let socialists run the country into the ground.

In other words, that generation had a significant proportion of socialist minded people that failed to grow up, as all generations before them did.

Young folk are often left leaning and wear their heart’s on their sleeves, but the sensible amongst them learn to see that as a disease that is unique to the young and proceed to grow up and use their heads.

However these post war folk, never did, and they allowed, nay forced the political parties to all foist socialist policies across the board. It is very difficult to discern a difference between the Blair government and those that have followed.

The author’s suggestions are just more socialism, so she clearly does not have a scintilla of understanding as to why the country continues to fail, and continues to elect idiots to power.

If the Boomers had spent their middle age forcing government onto the back foot, we might have more of a chance of surviving its tendency to terrorise the public, including the young.

Boris made a good start, but lost control when first the Chinese released the virus into the wild (if only through paranoia) and despite his conservative instincts, handed day to day management of the “covid confection” to the boomer embiggened “permanent socialist state”.

Sadly, I suspect that Trump and Brexit may have arrived a couple of years late, because therein lies the cure for the big tyrranical state that our young folk (and socialist boomers) have built out of a huge pile of steaming ignorarance.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen J

Well said! The EU has caused the problem of low wages and terrible services. But then adding 6.2 million people in 10 years was bound to create lots of problems.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen J

It was the generation who fought the Second World War that actually advocated and voted for socialism, and it was during the 1950s that the Conservative Party actually pursued something akin to socialist policies (e.g., Harold Macmillan, as housing minister, built more council houses that the postwar Labour administration had done).

Old-fashioned socialists were enraged by the Tory-lite policies of Blairism. There’s very little difference between Blair and the governments that followed because Blair was almost a Tory, not because Cameron was almost a socialist.

As recently as the 1980s, too, pensioners were the demographic group that skewed to Labour. So your claim that “all generations before grew up” is demonstrably false.

Stephen J
Stephen J
3 years ago

The Blair terror was far more socialist than it is ever given the dubious credit for by socialist voters.

He undermined or destroyed more that was conservative than any previous socialist government, including Attlee.

I started with Blair because the first socialist push after WW2 was more a reaction to 6 years of world war… Any replacement after being pushed around whilst the nation was on a war footing was a possibility.

A comment could be made to be 3000 line long, or one can go for the jugular, and Blair was the jugular.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen J

Well, actually I agree with you that Blair undermined much that was conservative, but he did this from a trendy liberal position rather than a socialist one. Any meaningful definition of socialism has surely got to include things like nationalisation and redistribution of wealth. These actually happened in 1945-51, were largely accepted by successive Tory governments up to the 1970s, and certainly didn’t happen under Blair.

Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago

One could point the finger at the MSM for creating the worldwide collective Covid hysteria in the first place. Secondly, just imagine the MSM reaction and response if Boris and his government had not acted like a lemming by implementing the full lockdown rather than following the Swedish model. To tar all of today’s younger generation with the same brush does the majority of them a huge disservice. However, if I was one of them I know which reviled group I would hold accountable for the mess we are all in …..and it’s not Boris and his government nor the any of the Boomers!

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

Excellent summary. Boris’ initial instinct was herd immunity but he was forced to U turn due to the hysteria all around.
Now Sweden is being seen as taking the correct path. Fortunately due to our late and less stringent lockdown the U.K. too is nearing herd immunity now.

Si B
Si B
3 years ago
Reply to  John Ottaway

Agree although I think he was threatened by something else. Media hysteria pressure came from that same something else … that and the evident and natural desire to not underestimate covid impact led to a groupthink embrace of Ferguson’s numbers (some plausible based on current evidence, most manifestly not). Hence U turn and …notably and suspiciously … the immediate adoption of “new normal” as a media trope.
Boris looked broken and got ill soon after for his troubles.

“Something else” is obviously Davos and the WEF networks. It isn’t even a conspiracy … it’s an unaccountable plan. Some of it may even be a good plan for change (I’m trying to work that out) but it is to be imposed. So far it’s deliberately not in the MSM to ensure we remain like sheep.

But the WEF website is brazen in its intent and vision. These people are not wholly incapable of an adult discussion with the rest of us but one has to go look-find. It sure ain’t a manifesto people get to vote on.

Boris didn’t attend Davos (they won’t have liked that) and although he talks about “levelling up” (which is language they claim to like) they needed to boss him so that they could meet the (opportune) moment afforded by covid fear and drive the planned reset. I have no idea as to Chinese complicity to that…anything along those lines is far less visible to me and so conjecture.

Fall back in line UK …. or else !
(And while we’re at it we’ll let Sweden do a useful experiment as to how we might deal with virus outbreaks in future).

Gone quiet on Brexit hasn’t it ?
Ain’t happenin !
Same forces at work. The Barnier-Frost stuff is a sideshow. I hope I’m wrong but democracy (direct or indirect) is being torn up. And the snowflakes are only a part of it …. useful idiots to a higher objective.

Next up , US and Trump. They will fall in line. But let’s see.
I don’t like Trump much but the other lot’s highly divisive identity politics is intentional and serves the reset agenda.

China ,Russia and covid fear are useful bogeyman distractions to keep us blind. Legitimate concerns though they be. But it’s our own governments that are softening us up because theyve been told to by “global stakeholders” whose leverage one assumes is the bond market, the credit ratings (we will or wont do business with you) it and just how magic is the money tree.

Other commentators pick up on these themes in this thread.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago

Apart from Sweden, every country in the developed world has imposed a similar, or even more severe, lockdown than the United Kingdom. At the moment, it appears to be the teaching unions who are playing politics by submitting a list of almost 200 demands before they are prepared to go back to work. This is precisely nothing to do with the government, and everything to do about politically motivated unions trying to stymie efforts by the government to get this country’s children back to school.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

I agree, I think it is entirely politically motivated and even the exam fiasco appears to me to be a similar ruse.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

The exam fiasco has merely expedited a development that I have advocated for years. Namely, to simply give everyone an A in every subject. That has clearly been the direction of travel for some decades now, and it’s good to see that they have finally done it.

Stephen Lloyd
Stephen Lloyd
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

“Apart from Sweden, every country in the developed world has imposed a similar, or even more severe, lockdown than the United Kingdom.” This is untrue. There is this country called Japan, which is most certainly part of the developed world. No lockdown here, just requests by the government to behave sensibly. And, in response, people HAVE behaved sensibly, on the whole. The result is a VERY low death rate compared with Western countries. Taiwan has done even better. There is a world outside Europe, you know?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Lloyd

British are not Japanese. If you have ever been to Japan (you should go If you have not) you will notice the difference.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

It should be mentioned that the unions are acting against the wishes of most teachers. The unions have never balloted any of their members and the most vociferous Union is a relatively small but very left union which few teachers seem to know much about.
Teachers are anxious to get back to work as they are concerned about the students.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago

“futures were crushed by lockdown”

Nonsense. The govt. is doing its best under difficult circumstances. They arranged furlough payments quickly and efficiently which has been really helpful to keep businesses going.

My own child missed his exams but so what? How will his future be “crushed”?

All this moaning about Boomers when low wages and terrible health, education and housing is down to adding 6.2 million extra EU people prepared to work for less than a Brit and living 8 to a room…

David FĂŒlöp
David FĂŒlöp
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

As an “EU people” I agree that there is an enormous strain on this country’s fabric due to huge levels of immigration over a very short time period into a relatively small landmass ( and yes, I am speaking against myself as I am very much in a comfortable position in Britain in a relatively low density area ).

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

Thank you David for seeing the real situation. I am sure you are a valued and respected member of the community.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

Seems to me that whatever the govt does or doesn’t do will be a target for anger and blame for any negative impact anyone experiences. In a global pandemic govts cannot help everyone or save everyone and sorry but we all have, to some degree, to suck it up and realise that anyone living in the last 50 years is the most privileged generation in human history. This is our first real taste of anything like what previous generations had to endure and sorry it’s not in the same league. The Boomers often had outside toilets, no central heating, got the cane at school and a myriad other hardships that youngsters today have no conception of. I’m a Gen X and I didn’t experience that but I also know the hard work ethic of my Boomer parents who sacrificed to give me what they didn’t. I don’t begrudge my parents ANYTHING even though I don’t have the benefit of cheap housing or gold plates pensions either, and I don’t have the time or myriad of choices that young people not only have, but expect to have. There are pros and cons of all generations but the idea that today’s little darlings are suffering from things not going exactly their way all the time is laughable.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Very well put Cheryl. Thank you

Nick Lyne
Nick Lyne
3 years ago

I’d just like to suggest to some of the people commenting below that the author isn’t necessarily offering an apologia on behalf of the millennial generation, she’s merely outlining the feelings of some younger people and what the political consequences down the line of their sense of being hard done by “once again” by the boomers might be.

Katy Randle
Katy Randle
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Lyne

Yes indeed. The clickbait headline is not helping her in that respect!

Jay Williams
Jay Williams
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Lyne

Absolutely. I thought it was a good article even though it made me feel uncomfortable. It is an analysis not a comment. This is where, in my opinion, journalism has gone wrong. I want analysis. I want information. I want to think for myseof not take in “stuff” others have written. I’m old. My grandchildren are young. I liked their grandfather’s response to their questions when they were even younger: “well that is a good question. While I think about it can you tel me what you think” He frequently discovered that what he thought they wanted to know was nowhere near what he’d imagined. Our worry is that today’s generation are being denied the right to think for themselves.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jay Williams

Why would anyone think for themselves when there’s a bot to do it for them!

Also. great response from Other Grandfather.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

And children and young adults have endured some unique harms as a result of lockdown, with the closure of schools and the A Level fiasco doubtless leaving some permanent mark on students in this cohort.

I learned more about life from four years working in pubs than I did in my first sixteen years of education. The current education system is broken and serves merely to prolong adolescence indefinitely. Some of the most infantile people I know hold PhDs. I’m cautiously optimistic about the homeschooling pods opening up in America. Parents should have more oversight of their children’s education. One of the great benefits of the lockdown is that parents are now becoming aware of the utter crud that passes for education. So much so that some schools are now asking parents to sign contracts to be in a different room to their child when they are attending an online class.

I am both a teacher and a grad student. Love teaching the students, but hate the theory and ideology that surrounds it. Everyone thinks education is the solution to all society’s adult ills. As such children are developing all kinds of neuroses, from having to deal with issues such as saving the planet, respecting some drama-queen’s sexual identity, and feeling guilty for historical events that took place 200 years ago, etc etc. If I didn’t need the credentials to move up the educational career ladder, I really wouldn’t bother. Basically, I’m hoping to work my way into a position to radically change the education system and bring it back into the hands of parents and local communities. Right now, schools and colleges are breeding grounds for authoritarian extremists.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Today, the 24th August, is the 206th anniversary of the British Army routing the US Army at the Battle of Bladensburg, and then proceeding to capture Washington DC. After a splendid dinner in the White House, thoughtfully provided by the fleeing US President, all the public buildings of the city including the White House were put to the torch, after they had been suitably looted. It was a grand sight indeed!

Should we feel any guilt for this heroic event, or just pride?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Neither. It’s an interesting historical story but all I am really concerned about is whether it’s true or not. Your personal rendition of it shows an emotional bias which would not make it suitable for the classroom. Teaching is not meant to be indoctrination.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Oh dear, how very boring your classes must be? No colour, no panache, in fact, ‘nihil’,nothing.

No wonder ‘our children’ have turned into such woke ridden shriekers, if you are a representative of the teaching profession, which I very much fear.

As to your blatant hypocrisy over ‘indoctrination’, that really “takes the biscuit”.

Stu White
Stu White
3 years ago

I don’t recognise this at all. I’m a boomer but I see young people wanting lockdown, not my generation. I’d happily take the negligible risk of covid to keep the economy going for younger people. I agree the Conservatives have scored a massive own goal though. I won’t vote for them again if there is an alternative further to the right.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Stu White

I think the young people want the time off and are happy to go along with lockdowns and virus fakery as the price.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Stu White

The Conservatives are in a no-win situation over this. I would say that regardless of who was in No. 10.

Paul Morrell
Paul Morrell
3 years ago

Maybe these children should give a moment’s thought to the men of WW1 and WW2 whose lives and careers were thoroughly disrupted for 6 years – that’s if they were lucky to return home. All these wimps have to complain about is some dodgy exam grades that will be forgotten sooner or later. If they can’t go to Uni this year – then get a job and pay tax and make a contribution to their country.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Morrell

They are very happy to see a War Hero’s dog’s grave desecrated are they not?

And has the Bristol Constabulary charged anyone the Colston statue incident yet? I very much doubt it.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago

So not “the generation betrayedby Boris”? More the generation incapable of rational thought. The generation betrayed by Shirley Williams might be a more accurate headline.ùŽ

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

I think it’s now about five generations that have been betrayed by Shirley Williams.

Mike Ferro
Mike Ferro
3 years ago

I’m a boomer, or perhaps a pre-boomer as I was born during and not after the war, but I do agree with the tone of this article and also with the specific issues raised by Max Hastings in his piece for the Times. Why, to take just one example, should other people (ie younger taxpayers) be expected to pay for care of the elderly in cases where the those elderly have built up reserves during their lives and can pay for it themselves? And if youngsters want to inherit their parents’ wealth then they should look after the parents themselves (as earlier generations did) instead of shoving them away in a care home.

It is, though, perhaps ironic that most of the ruinous changes in society that have disadvantaged the young, such as uncontrolled immigration and expansion of the university sector to produce a plethora of largely useless degrees, were brought about by Labour governments disproportionately supported by those same young voters.

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Ferro

The evil Tories did have a plan to make older people pay for their residential care, by taking from their estate when they died.
Labour characterised this as a ‘granny tax’ and frightened old people into believing that their houses would be seized. The idea was dropped.
I’m a retired houseowner. I don’t see why my house should not fund my care, if I need it. The idea should be revived, and damn the tabloids.

Mike Ferro
Mike Ferro
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Absolutely, I remember there being such a plan. I think the Labour opposition to it was just cynical vote grubbing and the Conservatives probably recognised that too few people think as you and I do on this.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Always playing on emotion not reality. That’s the modern Left for you.

perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
3 years ago

Strange essay. There are few sillier stereo-types / generalizations than considering an entire generation as a monolithic social entity. There is / was every type of “Boomer” imaginable as there are in every generation. Some “Boomers” were selfish, some generous, some brave, others cowards. Here in the US, “Boomers” both served in the US military during the Vietnam War and others helped stop the Vietnam War. Generally, our parents wanted the “Boomers” to go to college or a trade school, get a good job, invest their savings and try to be good and decent people which most Boomers are good and decent people. One certain failure of the younger “Boomers” is they indulged and over-protected their children which created far too many soft, entitled youngsters today.

There’s another highly important factor at play here. Agricultural-industrial based civilization constantly creates ever more people needing ever more resources. Even in places where human populations have leveled off, the demand for natural resources continues skyward. To make matters worse, ever increasing advanced technology is constantly destroying traditional jobs for many, many workers especially unskilled / inexperienced / useless degree kind of workers.

Tris Torrance
Tris Torrance
3 years ago

I think that the “boomer” narrative is largely a bigoted whine of entitlement and victimhood, but as pointed out in the article “…all it needs is a grain of truth”.

I’ll take no lessons from the millennial generation. They have incredible access to communication, knowledge and education, travel, culture, workplace protection, and the most unbelievable electronic aids and toys, shorter and far more flexible working regimes. And all the “stuff” that we saved hard for. or simply couldn’t afford and so didn’t have, is cheap and readily available to them.

Many of the disadvantages that apply to them are in the category of things that they can change. the upsurge of “mental health problems” says it all. These problems frequently afflict those who seemingly have all they could possibly want and I think this is no exception.

And what are they doing with all this time, material and disposable income? While whining about white privilege, they’re buying wear-once clothes and tat made in the far east by child slaves. They moan that they can’t afford a deposit for a house, while buying £3 cups of frothy coffee, stag weekends in Prague, beach weddings in Thailand, bottled water (when the hell did that become a “thing” – it’s in the taps at my house).

Meanwhile our generations are cascading hard-saved money down to them at an unprecedented rate and paying for their eco-polluting gap years and unbelievable levels of cheap world travel, while they laud and fete the Swedish Eco Goblin as she floats around the world on millionaires sailing boats and the occasional “time-necessitated-jet”, lecturing us all on how to live.

To use their own phrase, some of them need to “get a life” – the quicker the better.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Tris Torrance

Well said.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Tris Torrance

Great expression, “Swedish Eco Goblin”.
May I have your permission to use it?

Tris Torrance
Tris Torrance
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Oh yes indeed. I pinched it from Rod Liddle, I think. ðƞ€«

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Tris Torrance

Many thanks!

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Tris Torrance

Well said. Saying that though – our generations RAISED these entitled snowflakes and never said No to them. We are partly to blame.

dareks
dareks
3 years ago

It’s not the Tories that have betrayed this young generation, it’s the pandemic that’s betrayed us all. I’m really glad most of our youngsters don’t listen to BBC journalists who are telling them how much they’re suffering and how much today’s society owes them.

Geoff Allen
Geoff Allen
3 years ago

I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that Boris caused the pandemic? Again we see a complete shambles of an article on Baby Boomers vs Millennials.
To generalise about the older generation having it all! I had to stay in weekends and save my money to pay my mortgage off and I also had a car which I bought from the auctions for £250 until I worked hard and studied most nights to ‘climb the ladder’. So I do not take kindly to typical middleclass writers compiling articles about people who they do not understand. And as for Max Hastings- he’s completed deluded as he has it the wrong way around- it’s the Millennials which are selfish- take their mobile phones away and their internet access and watch them cry and demand that Mommy and Daddy reconnect them..

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Allen

As you may have noticed in recent years, the standards of journalism and commentary are generally very low.

scribblingscribe
scribblingscribe
3 years ago

So nothing to do with the Chinese and World health Organization then?

Si B
Si B
3 years ago

No. See above. Although I don’t trust the people you mention either.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

I think its safe to say by the time you are in your late 20s life chance outcomes even out largely based on talents suited to our free market based society NOT academic performance. Only the apparatchiks in the public sector are paid according to qualifications instead of ability. There are many successful business owners with millions of successful workers who did poorly at school, uni etc. There are a large number of people with high academic qualifications who fail in employment due to the lack of interpersonal skills or life choices – the latter often resulting from intoxication issues which started when they were in education!

Jay Williamson
Jay Williamson
3 years ago

More media whinge, whine against the government. Life can be tough for every generation and, if today’s young hadn’t been molly-coddled from birth, that realisation wouldn’t have been too much for their delicate sensibilities.
I read today that some of today’s young feel threatend by the “full stop”. How do we put an end to such arrant nonsense?
As for the older generation being selfish and mean – ha! Tell that to my offspring who have been helped with tuition fees, rent payments and mortgage deposits, all enabled by my working hard to raise my family. None of them expected help and they were grateful for it and have repaid the money in many other ways.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Jay Williamson

Threatened by the “full stop”? Any problems with the colon or semi colon?

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago

The fact that many of these children believe themselves to be betrayed by Boris shows what a tenuous grasp they have on reality, encouraged by the rubbish they are fed by the constant anti government rhetoric of the MSM and (many) teachers.

Far from perfect the government may be but the lockdown was forced, and then prolonged, by, among other things, the MSM, some French pressure and the ‘model’ provided by the ‘experts’.

The schools were supposed to go back before the summer holidays but the unions stamped their feet and there had not been much (any?) preparation by the schools despite their having little else to do in the period of the initial lockdown. The unions are still whinging about being unprepared after six months.

The exams could have been taken; the schools were empty and exams always take place in conditions of social distancing but no-one in education stepped up to point this out.

My Grandson is at a private school (we are not wealthy, his parents make sacrifices to keep him out of the deadbeat state system). The school, being a business, has worked hard to keep schooling going and has come up with some really inventive ways to manage their return. Those on the government teat, and I include the Uncivil service, appear to be unwilling to make the effort.

Re housing – (not mentioned but always a source of moaning) – for most people, two incomes and some serious saving have always been the necessity for house purchase. I admit it is somewhat harder these days, but if they want a house each and to be able to drive, eat out, travel abroad etc as well, they will find it even harder.

I took FOUR a-levels in 1974 as a top level grammar school student, A’s were rare. Today A**** are handed out like toilet tissue; ditto Uni degrees. Blame Tony Blair and the teaching profession for devaluing education, also declining standards of education and discipline in schools generally. (I went into teaching after a career in industry. I was appalled by the quality of a lot of the teachers I came into contact with (not all) and, over twenty years watched the decline in standards of education, discipline and expectation. In the first ten years I was constantly being forced to reduce the level of work as the children coming up to me were unable to cope with the standard of previous years. (In the second ten, as a supply teacher working long term contracts in schools across the age range, I watched the decline continue. Heartbreaking does not begin to cover it!)

The problems of the younger generation should be laid at the door of their parents, teachers and those who have constantly told them they are all winners and consistently asked less of them than they are capable of achieving.

As a ‘boomer’, I am furious that the lockdown was a) started and b) prolonged. I am in the sights of Covid, but would rather be dead than have my children and grandchildren face the ‘new normal’ we are being threatened with.

The English pension is, I believe, amongst the lowest in Europe. The addition of a few perks can hardly be quibbled with. The BBC could fund the licence fee by drastically reducing the salaries of its ‘stars’ and staff and reducing its £100m diversity budget as, on the basis of its own figures, it already exceeds its quotas.

Any of generation Z who start on me will get short shrift. If they think their lives have been ruined, maybe they need to realise that a) their life is not over and b) whether it is ruined or not is up to them, not Boris.
I could go on but will stop before my blood boils over.

delchriscrean
delchriscrean
3 years ago
Reply to  J A Thompson

Thank you for advocating so well for many “Boomers” (hate that label but use it for clarity in this case) including me!

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  J A Thompson

I’m a Gen Xer but I totally agree. The Boomers earned their ‘privileges’ through hard work and have handled some pretty tough times – actual tough times not made up ones like having to get a visa to go to Europe or a shortage of avocados.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago

This started with ‘young people’ and ended with millennials, which covers a fairly broad swathe of the population. Older millennials are now approaching 40 and will, very shortly, be inheriting all that boomer wealth, getting comfortable in their middle age and starting to vote Tory. It will all equalise out over time. Housing is currently expensive, but many other things are much cheaper than they were 30 years ears ago. As has been well signalled elsewhere, every generation moans about the one before and the one after.

Liz Davison
Liz Davison
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

Some of the boomer wealth has already come their way with generous gifts and interest-free loans.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

The long and the short of this is simply not to place your child in the state system. Find a free school instead. A place where teachers want to teach children, not a place where children are indoctrinated in to neo-Marxism by poorly educated leftards.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago

I don’t know any young people who resent the older generation but I can hardly move for people in the vastly enlarged (since Boomer days) *meedja*, writing, broadcasting, blogging and podcasting about the generational conflict.

I think they’re following Labour, a basically Londoncentric party, who in response to the shock of disintegration in Scotland, and utterly unable to address or even like what used to be it’s core support in the *working* class started trying to create more fissures and divisions across society than the old, unfashionable proletariat/Bourgeoisie battleground.

So we have generational, ethnic, race , environmentalism, gender and whatever else defined as *issues* that the politicians can then take and make their stand upon.

Of all of these I think the theorising on how the (largely confected) idea of generational *war* will play out is basically waffle, like this article really.

Mark Beal
Mark Beal
3 years ago

“The generation betrayed by Boris: The cohort of youngsters whose futures were crushed by lockdown may never forgive the Tories”

Oh dear, misleading or what?

Firstly, there is no reason whatsoever to think that anyone’s future might be “crushed”. The message here seems to be that a large number of young people are somehow doomed to a life of futility and nothingness. I would suggest that it is precisely this mindset that is detrimental to their mental health, not a few months spent at home watching Netflix. Try making young people resourceful and resilient instead of encouraging them to navel-gaze excessively over trivial issues now dignified as “mental health problems”.

Secondly, it’s wrong to blame the whole lockdown debacle on the Tories (especially since there’s no reason to suppose that Labour would have behaved any differently). It seems quite clear to me that Boris initially wanted to follow a path similar to that of Sweden. It seems equally clear that the government was hoodwinked by the “experts” into a lockdown. The ambivalence might go some way to explaining why measures that might/should have been taken were not, while more destructive measures which might not/shouldn’t have been taken were.

Added to that, you have Boris’ personal experience of the virus, along with large sections of the media for inexplicable reasons clamouring for a lockdown. The main failure of the Tories is one of strategy, of not understanding that with a majority of 86 they can afford to in effect put two fingers up to the BBC, The Guardian etc, and allow these organizations to show their true, biased colours by becoming ever more unhinged every time the government ignores them, thus rendering them ever more irrelevant.

The generational thing is a bit weird. I don’t doubt that a sizeable number of people will see this in generational terms, but is not the fashion for safe spaces at university, for instance, an expression of the culture of safetyism which in large measure brought about the lockdown? Maybe the real lesson of all this for young people is that personal responsibility and exercising one’s own judgement are preferable to large-scale government intervention, and that being protected from something that presents no real threat to you is just plain stupid. In that case the Tories may be able to reinvent themselves once again. On that score Labour certainly can’t. The fall-out from Covid is far from settled – there’s all to play for.

dan3099
dan3099
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Beal

‘trivial issues now dignified as “mental health problems”.’
Like dramatically rising suicide rates. Ok boomer

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

I gather Unherd a recruiting staff, but what’s the product? It started as a website with promise but now it is all about as exciting as the BBC.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

All those recently sacked Guardianistas have to go somewhere…

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

Tesco is creating thousands of new jobs. An opportunity for the ex-Guardianistas to do something productive and useful.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago

Who cares what snowflake idiots think.

By the time they grow up sometime in their mid 30’s the generation behind them will have overtaken them in the workforce.

The lazy, self indulgent, poorly educated, narcisstic half wits will be on their 3rd nervous breakdown by then.

Just think what might have been had their parents just said no occasionally.

Gerry Quinn
Gerry Quinn
3 years ago

Or just that one time!

John Broomfield
John Broomfield
3 years ago

It is a shame to waste a crisis.

So, we can expect NUJ members to keep victimhood alive while putting food on their table.

The rest of us expect today’s cohort to achieve great things for the benefit of others and themselves.

Tony Hay
Tony Hay
3 years ago

There’s a wonderful whiff of Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch in these comments!

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Hay

I have only just discovered that this wasn’t originally a Monty Python sketch

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

Try telling that to t’young folk!

Monica Mee
Monica Mee
3 years ago

Well, I am even pre-boomer, born in 1943 and I think most of the comment here is irrelevant to the issue. Like it or not, the author of this article is reporting what is general belief, whether it is true or not and whether we like it or not.and we just have to live with it whether it is true or not.

I actually see nothing exceptional about this attitude, It is borne out of the natural ignorance and selfishness of youth, and these various groups will grow out of it as they get older.

I was young in the 1960s when flower power ruled and ‘all we needed was love’ and we too were convinced that we would ensure that the future was all milk, honey and apple pie and we all rebelled against everything our parents said and stood for in a welter of free love.Well we are where we are now and milk, honey and apple pie remain as unevenly distributes as ever, when they are available and free love has led to a generation of children damaged by broken homes, transient relationships and mental illness.

‘Youth is a wonderful thing, but it is wasted on the young’

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Monica Mee

The problem is that many young are not allowed to enjoy their youth. They’re being taught they have to be activists for causes that benefit the greater good. It’s a big responsibility to put on the shoulders of the young, and the reason why many of them are depressed. Education is actually stealing away their innocence.

At least in the 1960s there was drugs and free love. The young these days just have Instagram and Twitter – basically narcissism and hate.

robstuthridge
robstuthridge
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Yes.

robstuthridge
robstuthridge
3 years ago
Reply to  Monica Mee

Exactly.

David Walsh
David Walsh
3 years ago

“Despite our affluence relative to the young, the grey vote has fought tooth and nail against the BBC’s sensible termination of our free TV licences; deterred politicians from means-testing free travel passes; resisted fiscal curbs on our pension privileges, and the
entirely just depletion of personal resources to fund care home costs.”

Max Hastings is hardly representative of my age group. I have just turned 75, so I paid the TV licence last time around, and expect to pay it next. I do object to the license as a means of funding because it falls more heavily on the poor, in which I do not include myself, and it is blatantly unjust to criminalise people for non-payment – a civil misdemeanour. A public service broadcast should be funded out of public taxes, assuming that we still class the BBC as such. I grant they turn out some good quality fiction, of which the news is not an example.

Free travel passes never made much sense. It was one of Gordon Brown’s “give-aways”, for which the government took credit, but the payment was shared by local authorities and small bus companies, many of which have since gone bankrupt. A “free” service that does not exist is no benefit at all.

In the early days, I found my travel pass useful for proving I was old enough for concession rates at museums and such, but alas, I no longer need it for that purpose.

Personally, I regard anybody who looks to government to care for their future as a fool. Governments tear up solemn promises and “legally binding” agreements in a way that would land the directors of private companies in jail. I’m not sure what “pension privileges” he refers to. I have a modest pension paid for by deductions from my salary. I grant those deductions were untaxed at the time, but the resulting income is certainly taxed now, so the position is mainly neutral. I gain a little because the meagre state pension does not quite meet the tax threshold, but that benefit wouldn’t even pay for a week in Skegness. I imagine Max Hastings leaves all that stuff to his accountant, or perhaps he has all his pennies in the Caymans.

Let’s just say that I do not recognise his characterisation of myself, or any of my age group that I know. Perhaps he needs to get out a bit more.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  David Walsh

Presumably the BBC news is bad quality fiction.

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  David Walsh

I presume the ‘not’ between ‘is’ and ‘an’ is an erroneous inclusion.

robstuthridge
robstuthridge
3 years ago

“For a group of young people already comfortable with the vocabulary of ‘privilege’ and ‘oppression’…”

The author has no understanding of how many of us ‘boomers’ held these exact same views when we were teenagers and young adults. Maturity brings a change in perspectives of many people, such that the dire future consequences predicted by the author will evaporate with time and generation Z will, in due course, become the hated ‘boomers’ to those who are thirty, forty, fifty years their junior. Older generations are resented by younger generations. It’s a fact of life and of history. It’s been a motif of the entertainment industry for decades. It’s predictable that a generation Z writer has the arrogance to think that they somehow differ from previous generations, but in reality this is just a delusion – a sense of self-importance which my generation views as quaint, rather than threatening.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  robstuthridge

I would agree but unfortunately there are many Boomers, and Xers brought up in a left wing bubble who never left it – most of them teaching kids in universities or running the civil service and who have gotten more and more extreme because no-one has ever challenged them.

robstuthridge
robstuthridge
3 years ago

“…boomer students enjoyed free tuition courtesy of the taxpayer.”

Uh, not quite. Means testing was used to determine whether we had our fees paid to attend university, whether we received a living grant. Of course, university attendance back then was earned by few, rather than given to the many, such that a degree was truly a gateway to work precisely because the diploma had some rarity. Now it seems easier to get onto a degree course, but harder to find a rewarding career upon graduation. Certainly the financial sector and the universities themselves have driven this process of ‘universal student indebtedness’, where academic ability is no barrier to obtaining a student loan. Blame the left, not the right, for this debt-slavery, though.

The article initially looks as though it will be carefully balanced, but in the end cannot resist revealing the predictable ageism of its writer. This article just doesn’t make a coherent argument to support its headline. I think it can be fairly classed as ‘click bait.’

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  robstuthridge

Exactly. I was the first in my family to go to Uni and only managed it thanks to the means tested grant and from working to earn my own money. My parents didn’t have any money themselves but they would give me boxes of food or pay a train fare or something instead. I didn’t have the kind of lifestyle that students today seem to expect and we certainly did not have the facilities and choices on offer today. I had to be resilient and independent. Not always easy. But it was great! I was free, I was an adult! It felt good. Sometimes I look at young people and thing they have been let down by their parents for being so damn coddled.

delchriscrean
delchriscrean
3 years ago

I am rather disappointed that Unherd has published this article. Does anyone else, like me, feel that we are experiencing a new phenomenon of “political guerilla warfare”? Apparently everything is the fault of the government, in particular “Boris”. For goodness sake!

In the early days of the pandemic things were happening so quickly no-one had any real idea how it would pan(demic) out, yet apparently the young were subjected to measures in order to shield the older generation…???

There may be some truths hidden in there somewhere but they are totally overshadowed by misplaced and inaccurate finger wagging at so called “boomers”. In order to cover all the points I feel I would like to make to counter the arguments in this ill-conceived item I would need to write a book so I will confine myself to one simple point. If you keep telling people they are victims, they will believe themselves to be just that. And sometimes things just happen. This pre-occupation with blaming the government for everything is unhelpful, unproductive and down-right dangerous.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  delchriscrean

Nothing bad must happen to anyone. Ever. Unless they are a Tory or a Leave voter. What makes me laugh is that the people who have been attacking Boris and Dom Cummings for ‘deliberately muderering old people’ are the same ones who not long ago actually had a clock counting the deaths of Leave voting old people and celebrating it…..

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago

Brilliant article – I’m 73 and feel entirely responsible for letting you people down. Me, Jezza and the rest of us tried our damnedest to get those of a similar age to vote for something better but they believed the hype in the Guardian, Express and Mail along with the establishment BBC. Then they clapped for the NHS!!! you couldn’t make it up.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  John Vaughan

Aaah you must be one of those Boomers who tried to bring about the Commie revolution in the 60s with your long hair and mushrooms and still think you’re Citizen Smith today. Yes you have a lot to answer for.

D Herman
D Herman
3 years ago

Ms Perry – thank you for a balanced view of what will be a critical “battleground” in the years to come. Many of the things you highlight are parts of the problem – BUT many of us old people were saving much of this in April. I have been against the lockdown from the start – but acknowledge that although in the vulnerable cohort, my wife and I are fairly healthy. I resent Bunter Johnson because he has ruined the lives of our children and

grandchildren – and definitely not in our name. We would take our chances with C-19 being sensible with contacts etc. My wife said very early before the end of March that most boomers would rather die than see the country ruined for the younger generations.

My wife and I have had a great life and up to now a good retirement. We did have the rationing of the 50’s, and the improving 60’s but have managed the decades since fairly well, but we paid an average of 8% for our mortgages, until a drop to around 6% in the last years of payment. On two occasions the variable rate (There were few fixed rate mortgages) hit 15% for a couple of months. – we were short of money, but never missed a payment. Do the Math, as the Americans say. A small rise for many today would bankrupt hundreds of thousands.

In the 1960’s around 5% of school leavers went to university (there are more university lecturers today, than university students in the 1960’s). Anyone who can not think critically about why today students need to fund their own higher education is too thick to go to university. It also explains why the quality of some teaching in university is so poor.

If I look back to when we were university age (we didn’t go) – we were married and were buying a house on 9% mortgage rate. We worked hard for we have and are very grateful we did. We didn’t look around for someone to blame and didn’t have an entitlement culture that is evident today.

Judging by the odd trip to the town centre I would say that those who are scared unreasonably by the current situation are equally divided age-wise. Some vulnerable old folk are wearing a mask everywhere – even driving their car. But to come across a lot teen/20’s on a broad pavement wearing one on a lovely day – beyond daftness.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago
Reply to  D Herman

Most of what you say is great, but how has Johnson (resorting to insults always diminishes the comment) ‘ has ruined the lives of our children and grandchildren’?
No-one has ruined their lives. The people whose lives are ruined are those with no future. Your children and grandchildren have a future, a changed one from the one they expected, but they do still have one. What they do with it is entirely up to them.
Thousands of young people’s lives are changed every year by unforeseen events. The death of a parent, or sibling. An accident, failing exams. It’s what they do with that that counts.
No matter your prejudice, the PM did NOT start this virus.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  D Herman

“Bunter” Johnson is a cheap shot and untrue. Not everyone is built like a beanpole.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  D Herman

I agree with much of what you say but also agree with the other commenters, blaming Boris is lazy and reductive thinking. Locking down too much or too little the govt could not win in this situation and they did not create the pandemic. Blame China and the WHO if you have to blame someone. The WHO told us NOT to stop travel coming in as it was xenophobic and showed no urgency about dealing with any of it til mid February. About as much good as a chocolate fireguard.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

Seems a mite convenient not to mention the fact that the “young” are one of the highest risk factors in increasing the infection rate.

Far too many completely disregard the “spirit of responsibility” that other age groups (including boomers) feel a social obligation to honour …

I haven’t see that many “boomer raves” reported in the press … Ă°ĆžÂ€â€

Paul M
Paul M
3 years ago

I am sure the author was nearly pointing in the title that some will be saying they are now part of yet another “the group missing out”

It usually goes ” my child got 10% less in their exam results than we thought they should get with this predictive system and now their whole life is in tatters” …erm……no it most probably isn’t. So your kid has been the model pupil and never bunked off, never not
payed attention in class, not once got up to no good? How do you know the predicted grades are aren’t better than they would have got should they had actually taken the exam?.answer is no one knows and then you move onto the next problem

This approach of “someone else has ruined my life” is much like the damaging thought processes you find in CBT therapy called “catastophising” It really does skew your whole perspective and you have to teach yourself to spot when you are doing it and be self aware. Perhaps we place too much emphasis on results to know we are doing ok as we think we should be. The fallout from the exam predictions was always going to happen.

We really have lost the ability to think well and look at ourselves deeply first before looking externally to fix what we can. We instead look into the internet crystal ball for answers to predict everything.

How about kids who are happy with their given results? Having not had to go through the stress of exam days.

Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
3 years ago

Today I read that Generation Z are intimidated by full stops.
It seems to me that unlike the derided Boomer generation – who had to put up with teachers walloping them at the drop of a hat, sat much harder exams, did paper rounds and Saturday jobs in order to save up for stuff they might have wanted to buy – this generation have been over-indulged to their very detriment.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Glyn Reed

One of my teachers once threw a full stop at me. I was in a comma for a while but it didn’t do me any harm in the long run.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

just a bit of pain in the colon area??

simon taylor
simon taylor
3 years ago

What utter tripe, the headline blames Boris, but the article actually makes it clear that youths susceptibility to fake news and general snowflakery are to blame.

Alan Matthes
Alan Matthes
3 years ago

Of course none of this lockdown nonsense would have happened if the government had responded to hard facts rather than erroneous predictions by bed-wetting ‘experts’ and coronaphobic journalists. (Not to mention blatantly misleading stats on C19 deaths.)
Let’s apportion blame where it is due rather than blame people on account of the year they were conceived.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

Unfortunately hard facts were few and far between at the beginning (and we still don’t really know) and when you have the rest of Europe locking down and the media calling you ‘murderers’ for not doing the same it is kind of tough for a politician not to err on the side of caution. Damned if they did damned if they didn’t.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago

Hastings thinks the BBC is right to want to grab more money. Nobody should be paying to own a TV. It is absurd. The BBC is an anachronism.

Saphié Ashtiany
Saphié Ashtiany
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I really really appreciate the BBC. I LOVE the radio and listen constantly. I’ve travelled all over the world and found nothing remotely comparable. I am blown away by much of the TV programming especially dramas, nature and science and the arts. The covid coverage has been good and accurate. The licence seems a cheap price to pay for all this.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

I personally don’t begrudge paying a licence fee to have a national broadcaster unfettered by adverts or overtly commercial considerations. My issue is that they overstepped the mark and have become way too left-wing and woke and are spreading themselves too thin pandering to minority groups. Why do we need a BBC Asian radio channel for example? Why are taxpayers paying for a special service for a group based on their race? Bizarre. The Beeb should get back to being the gold standard for actual journalism, and focus on quality drama, nature programmes, comedy, documentaries and sports. That everyone can enjoy.

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago

Poor lambs, 6 months of lie ins and with no exams at the end of it, just an award of grades they couldn’t hope to achieved without masses of hard work.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago

I haven’t notice any complaints from the pupils missing school and university. The two next door to me have spent the summer sunbathing. How many days have school children missed in school when out protesting about climate change? How many days do they miss when their parents take them out of school for holidays? How many days do they miss when school close for training or whatever they call it? None of this happened in the boomer days. The teacher unions have done everything they can to prevent schools re-opening. Why haven’t parents and pupils been out protesting about school closures and the damage to the economy? I don’t agree with what the government has done, but if we don’t protest we only have ourselves to blame.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

The narrative of deceit which has accompanied COVID-19 ought to anger all generations equally. It’s about the government and about global interests, not about the generations. Try looking up CEBM COVID-19, Oxford, Evidence Service. COVID-19 is dead, if it wasn’t nailed to its perch it would be pushing up the daisies. Unherd got caché by contributing to a relatively open discussion on this but what we have now is puerile, even shameful.

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
3 years ago

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt”
President Herbert Hoover (1936)

Last month the SMF published a paper (“Paying for the coronavirus”) outlining a package of tax-related proposals to help repair the damage that the coronavirus is doing to the UK’s national accounts. Its implementation would help preserve the nation’s credit-worthiness, assuaging the risk that access to the gilts market could become unaffordable. The paper also details some supporting evidence for the proposals.

Intergenerational fairness and the ability to pay are the foremost considerations behind the package.

Given that incomes have been battered, there is little appetite for broad-based increases in Income Tax, National Insurance or VAT. Culling tax reliefs and capital projects, and applying financial repression in a variety of guises, are likely to be de rigueur, but now is the time to also seriously consider taxing wealth.

A vast pool of wealth is tied up as home equity: some £5.1 trillion net of mortgage debt, 220% of GDP (pre-crisis). And, unsurprisingly, it is heavily concentrated amongst the elderly.

We should scrap principal private residence relief and charge a property capital gains tax (PCGT) at, say, 10% of the difference between property purchase and sale prices. PCGT would be payable at the time of the sale of the main home, and settling an estate following the death of the last living owner, i.e. at the time when cash were available (unlike an annual “mansion tax”). Some potential unintended consequences of a PCGT are discussed herein.

Given that inheritance tax (IHT) is, for most people, a proxy for some form of property tax, the main home should, in future, be excluded from IHT liability assessment. This would halve future IHT receipts. Unlike IHT, a PCGT would be hard to avoid (and evade).

In parallel, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of the main home should be scrapped. This, combined with the PCGT, would effectively move the tax burden of buying the main home from the buyer to the seller. The higher rate of SDLT (for second homes and buy-to-let) should be retained.

The paper includes a conservative, basic, assessment of the potential net additional revenue stream for the Treasury: £421 billion over the next 25 years (PCGT at 10%), after taking into account the cost of a new incentive for first-time buyers.

An additional £250 billion could be readily generated over the same period by replacing today’s regressive regime of tax relief on pensions contributions with a flat bonus paid independent of tax-paying status. Simplification and redistribution to the fore.

Furthermore, another £125 billion could be cut from Treasury expenditure by scrapping the 25% tax-free lump sum (on pension pot withdrawals). This is excessively generous given that contributions already receive tax-relief.

As for the politics………..

dsellers9
dsellers9
3 years ago

USA perspective, in agreement with the article: Another way of looking at the time frame 2-1-2020 to 8-15-2020,
the pandemic-inclusive time period for which the CDC has most recently
posted deaths by age group is to ask a question: what are the expected
deaths during this time frame compared to the actual deaths? A valid way
of getting at the ‘expected’ is to generate a three-year average rate
per age group and multiply that factor times the current population in
each age group. Setting aside the extremely elderly, 85 and older, and
putting the focus upon age groups (1) under age 65 and (2) under age 85,
the difference between expected and actual is 0.03% for under age 85
and 0.01% for under age 65. That is 90,404 divided into a population of
324 million and 29,162 divided into 277 million. In the grand scheme,
very small differences, expected to actual. If you take the death rates
for specific years by age group, years 1970, 1985, 1995 and 2000, the
rates are declining significantly. Every year prior to the year 2000
has higher death rates, pandemic impact included. A large reduction in
infant mortality is included in the less-than-one age group, rates going
from 2.00% to 1.06% to 0.76% to 0.74% to, most currently, the average
2014 to 2016 of 0.58%. Just as dramatic is the 75-84 age group: 8.00% to
6.40% to 5.81% to 5.67% to, most currently, a relatively small 4.54%,
almost half of the rate in 1970. Do some time travel back to the year
2000, and there is negligible difference between the deaths expected for
people under age 65, based upon the year 2000 rates, and the actual
deaths that have occurred 2-1-2020 to 8-15-2020, pandemic impact
included. Compared to every year prior to the year 2000, we were
threatened by death to a greater extent than we have been over the past
196 days. This is using fourth grade math and data that is easily pulled
from the CDC website. Point being: the fear-mongering hasn’t been
following science, statistics or any ability to ask common sense
questions such as: ‘how does expected compare to actual?’, and ‘what’s
the history?’ Additional Note: I am a boomer and I see what we are doing to kids in school, and am so disgusted, shocked and dismayed that what we are doing is because the staff are so afraid. Staff members should wear masks if they want to, but the kids should be allowed to be kids.

Andrew M
Andrew M
3 years ago

Well the young should think themselves lucky that once again they have been feather-bedded by their parents’ generation – they don’t have to worry about the ill effects of the disease on them and they’ve got better exam results than they deserve without having had to do much of the work.

The downside is that this doesn’t encourage them to do something for themselves for a change and create some wealth.

Meanwhile, the large house I bought for 20% of its current value, the huge tax-sheltered index-linked pension pot, years’ of stock market gains, much of it sheltered in ISAs, the 2nd home, the cars, the ski lodge and all the other assets are all mine. I worked for them and I deserve them. When I die, my children can have what’s left and others can go hang.

boaden.roger
boaden.roger
3 years ago

There are two areas which could be used to free up Government expenditure to be used to help those in greatest need. The ‘Universal’ benefit of the Winter Fuel Payment now costs the Exchequer £1.96 Billion per annum. If this were to be means tested, whereby anyone earning above a certain level could not automatically receive the WFP, then at least £1 Billion could be freed. Similarly, anyone with additional Public Service Pensions should be taxed more heavily, particularly those who were allowed to retire at 55 on a final salary level of pension.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

I made comment earlier, and I was furious. But quite simply this is the war of a tiny clique of super rich and powerful people against the rest of us – we are mired in official lies which are just coming apart and we really don’t need to get distracted nursing petty resentments between generations: we are all victims of the lie. David Paton is just asking in a short Post blog why the BBC can’t tell the truth and that is what is the matter.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

It is unfair. Look at the picture, may of the children have mobile phones.
I never had one as a child (They were not invented then).
Who will write articles about hard done by I was as a child !!!

David Gould
David Gould
3 years ago

I’m a boomer who has become a doomer .. Crippled due to two separate life changing industrial injuries & on my last legs from a likely Corona 19 event .

Best thing to do with naughties & later conceptions is to tell them to grow up , stop whining like a baby in a sodden wet & soiled nappy and put in a decent days work at home , school , college or any employment they might have , to try using politeness , good manners & keep their fly catching mouths closed.
Two ears were given to us for a reason , we need more input to the brain than out put from one ever open braying mouth . .

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
3 years ago

Great use of the word ‘narrative’ from a Polly Filla style author whose understanding of history comes from the musical Oh What a Lovely War, Blackadder and the writing of the haggard misanthrope Alan Clark. Get over yourself.

Saphié Ashtiany
Saphié Ashtiany
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Maxwell

I honestly dont think you could have read the article. The point the writer makes is that memories are shaped by the framing of events rather than the exact truth. She was precisely explaining that the ” loins led by donkeys” narrative of WWI was unfair but a powerful frame.

John Morris
John Morris
3 years ago

Encouraging a generational divide is part of the left’s tactics.How many grandparents would stand between a bullet and their grandchild? How many millenials would stand between a bullet and their grandparents? The left’s tactics seem to be working.

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  John Morris

Grandparents are supposed to take a bullet; that’s how you get your genes into all subsequent generations.
Grandkids are not supposed to take the bullet. That would prevent the genes going any further.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

An interesting and thoughtful article that I nearly didn’t read. I was put off by the headline, which bears no relation to the content at all.

ccauwood
ccauwood
3 years ago

I can’t really add much to what it was like to grow up in the 50s and 60s at length below. I remember telling my daughter, who wanted to do costume and make up with the TV, to miss Uni, make tea and run errands until you knew the industry inside out. Or, go to Uni and, 3 years later, run errands and make tea for your non uni boss. I suppose my boomer education allows me to better educate myself now, in less time than all those school years. Youtube and Google then? I’d have been a multi millionaire early on. P.S My daughter did Textiles and the Fashion industry. Had to start in the rag trade, Mum & Dad couldn’t set her up in a Chelsea boutique so she had to make tea and run errands for millionaire Asian businessmen like Boohoo.

Missing a few months off school? Moaning about grades? Put it down as an early gap year, not the best plan now in the new world of Covid and Terror. They still need to get through the interviews that will dictate their future careers. The media throws up a few idiotic BLM Marxist impressionables. Sensible get-on kids aren’t good news copy. Our parents thought we were wet and ungrateful – Socrates said as much – how long ago?

Lawrence Cohen
Lawrence Cohen
3 years ago

“Instead, by a stroke of dumb luck, the young turned out to be peculiarly resistant to this virus.”

Sigh. Maybe it has nothing to do with dumb luck, maybe it was and is just mass hysteria and know-nothingness and the killer virus hypothesis is simply exaggerated to put it mildly. There has also been so much fraud in classifying corona deaths, but that’s a whole other thing. What is the scientific rationale for the young being resistant? After all dumb luck is not a scientific rationale. The problem here is bigger than the Tories, but the blind worship of incompetent medical authorities that this author shares in. The problem is also thus the media and social media. And a clueless public who do as they are told because of the undue reverence for medical authority.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

This article keeps stressing the fact that the boomer-generation is not really to blame for the inequality in the distribution of the disadvantages of the corona-measures. But I wonder if the boomers can be exonerated altogether. With an ageing population in the western world (and some not-western countries like Japan) the electorate that politicians (often semi-boomers themselves) have to adress these days includes a massive amount of boomers. It strikes me that politicians waited for so long before addressing the collateral damage caused by lockdowns. It was not done to compare apples with oranges but that is exactly what should have been done right away from the start. Nobody can say that the effects of lockdowns could not have been anticipated. It surely is no rocket science. So maybe the boomers are not directly responsible on a personal level, but it’s still true they have had a very big influence in the drafting of corona-policies (although calling it policies is overestimating it). To me it remains astonishing how easy the long term interests of the younger parts of the populations worldwide have been put aside for short term interests of old people with almost no life years to loose. Solidarity up until today has been a one-way street, from young to old. It’s time for the boomers to face covid in a worthy manner without making the youngsters responsible. That’s madness and not necessary. Protecting the vulnerable does not require lockdowns but common sense and evidence based science. Covid is just a relatively mild virus and can, at least statistically, be compared with the flu. This can not be repeated to often since people keep denying this fact from the start when panic was all around us.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
3 years ago

I think you’ll find the mental health of the young has not been damaged by lockdown as the article claims: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

rperkins
rperkins
3 years ago

But whom has he not betrayed? … Oh some (but not all) big donors to the Conservative Party.

cft-rlucas
cft-rlucas
3 years ago

Such pessimism, such moaning and blame shifting from generation to generation.
There are alternatives to the present crises we find ourselves in and I am not left or right just a critical thinker who believes that when we understand the need to work together to find solutions to many of today’s and yesterday’s problems, caused by out of date economic, political and financial unregulated and deregulated strategies that serve to line the pockets of those with nothing to lose and whose overseas fortunes lie in vaulted banks if gold or in spreadsheets otherwise, we might just vote next time in a way that uses those ‘wasted’ votes to provide first some kind of opposition and secondly. to start making changes that could lead to a better future for all.
Our present divisive system makes the poverty gap wider, fuels resentment as jobs and pay diminish and a future which the young of today have had a glimpse of as they remained shut up in in lock down for a few months.
Reports show that many who disliked school actually enjoyed learning better at home (some parents not so happy as they tried to be all and do all for their young). Others have found it compounds some of their difficulties and concerns. Par for the course, 50/50 probably like BREXIT andmany other important decisions.
Exams and qualifications – what is the matter with people – yes upsetting for those unused to relying on and trusting teachers and tutors, but internal and external moderating was part of the course for many BTEC teachers and such courses provided great HE students, as they were more independent learners than those only doing the academic A Levels and having to cram on the day (mainly for boys who work in that way I suppose).

Time now to continue the best of what happened in lock down – more on-line learning as part of teahing – more zooming, assessing and testing on-line, giving teachers and tutors time to have small group sessions with those less able to help themselves and let theose who can get on and pass exams when ready, not just because they reach a certain age. Work out a valid and transparent system of teacher assessment, saving some of the huge funding allocation to exam boards and others. Most can tell after the first year just which learners are likely to be ready to progfress after two years, others need more time but don’t always get it and feel failures because they were not ready – slower learners are not stupid, they just need a bit more time as some born in the Summer could be nearly a year younger.

Other countries do it successfully and without the division of private and state education – funding then used for the benefit of all, especially those in crowded flats, no gardens, not much money and no devices or broadband for the whole family. That is of course if we wish our young learners of today to excel and aspire in the world of tomorrow they know little about unless we let them get out there instead of sitting in school all day.

We need to get the 14+ out in the community at least a day a week to find out what life is really about in their comunity, helping where necessary and gaining some skills of communication and learning to empathise with their neighbours.