Saturday, 6 March 2010

Don’t call me a baby boomer

Newsnight ran a slightly pointless ‘generation gap’ feature this week blaming baby boomers for the current woes of young people.

Don’t blame me. I voted for Michael Foot. I believed there was such a thing as society. I worried about my carbon footprint before it got fashionable.

But what I find really offensive is the suggestion that because of when I was born I had a charmed ‘never had it so good’ life. No: it's because of when I was born that I missed out on all that.

Who decided we are all baby boomers anyway? What can someone born in 1965 possibly have in common with someone born in 1945 - apart from the fact that there are a lot of them?

Those of us born at the end of the 1950s and beginning of the '60s never had it so bad. We had our teenage years in the '70s, when things started to fall apart (remember homework by candlight?). We became young adults in the '80s, the most divisive decade of the 20th century. Yuppies? There were none in my peer group. We were too busy worrying about the endless recessions. We were Thatcher’s ‘price worth paying’ for the few.

I’ve said it before and I don’t want to start whingeing the way the young ones are now being encouraged to do. I just want to stand up for the generation that missed out. Do me a favour: acknowledge our reality. And don't insult me by pretending I've ever been privileged.

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