Dominic Sandbrook wrote the ' SATURDAY ESSAY' in the 'Daily Mail' this weekend.
He began with a 'profound' statement :
How the baby boomers bust Britain: Self-indulgence has left the country financially, socially and even morally crippled
Right, I'm one of them and my 'self-indulgence' has left the country I love :
* Morally ...'CRIPPLED'
Oh dear, what have we done ?
Apparently we :
* Are the luckiest people in history: 'the richest, most secure and most powerful generation the world has ever seen'.
* Are people who, while our parents 'scrimped and sacrificed through the Depression and World War II', 'basked in the long boom of an affluent society'.
* Were children in the prosperous Fifties and teenagers in the Swinging Sixties'.
* Bought our first homes in the Seventies and saw our mortgages 'wiped out by inflation'.
* Made our money in the Eighties and Nineties, and are now looking forward to a long, healthy and well-remunerated retirement.
This is the good bit :
'Welcome to the world of the generation born in the two decades following World War II: the baby boomers.'
We had :
* Free school milk and handsome benefits.
* Cheap holidays.
* Women's liberation and the shopping revolution.
We have :
* For more than half a century, been living it up, borrowing and spending in the conviction the money our wouldn't run out.
Now as we are :
* retiring and looking forward to their hefty pensions, the cost of our 60-year spree is becoming unpleasantly apparent.
And here it comes : good old right wing 'Daily Mail' :
'As everyone who has ever thrown a party knows, there comes a point when somebody has to clear up. And, according to The Pinch, a new book by David Willetts - one of the more thoughtful Tories in the Shadow Cabinet - that moment is upon us.'
So there we have it : The Daily Mail backing the Conservative Party with David Willetts, who I mentioned in a previous posting :
He goes on to state that we :
* Were brought up in an age of surging living standards and we were not prepared to wait for jam tomorrow. WE wanted it today, tomorrow and forever and we raised our children in our own image.
* With our 'me generation' values, we spearheaded the sweeping social changes of the late Sixties and Seventies, when the illegitimacy rate almost doubled from seven to 13 per cent, the annual abortion tally leapt from 24,000 to 170,000, and the divorce rate almost quadrupled.
Oh dear, more illegitimacy, abortions and divorces - we were responsible for all that and 'Britain has the highest rates for divorce and illegitimacy in the EU. And government figures show the proportion of single mothers has surged from ten to 25 per cent in the past 20 years'.
Apperently we are :
* Bequeathing a more individualistic, selfish, atomised society. * Handing over a Britain addicted to spending and crippled by debt - public and private.
* Going, in ten years, to suck up an extra £20 billion in public spending.
* Due to our the sheer size we have maintained an unprecedented monopoly on jobs, houses and income, effectively shutting out our juniors.
* Since New Labour came to power, our wealth of people in their late 50s has almost trebled.
* Through our 'enthusiasm for immigration' been reponsible for keeping wages for 'British youngsters at an unprecedented low'.
* And the future? : With the last of us still 'drawing pensions and benefits, paid for by the taxes of millions of immigrants, Britain could be a distressingly hectic, threadbare and overcrowded place'.
Just to recap, we :
* Had a party which went on too long.
* Ignored the warnings of our parents and were enjoying ourselves so much, we could 'barely hear the cries of their children'.
* Thought we were as rich as Croesus, the ancient king reckoned by the Greeks to be the wealthiest man in the world. Then forgot what the philosopher Solon said when Croesus asked what he thought of his riches and good luck. "Call no man happy," said Solon drily, "until he is dead".
He was right. Croesus eventually lost his money, his family broke up and he died in squalor.