Posts Tagged ‘Baby-Boomers’

Baby Boomers have a lot to answer for.

January 5, 2016

In 1967 I turned 20 years old and after a Summer on the buses I was down at Portsmouth Polytechnic doing my degree course.

The World was wonderful.

England had won the World Cup and their Manager knighted (nowadays he’d have got a peerage).

The Mersey Beat was everywhere. It seemed that anyone, who had a guitar was cutting No.1 records, even those who couldn’t play them (Graham Nash?). The Beatles were getting hippy and California was moving into “The Summer of Love” with Americans protesting their Government’s Colonialist war in Viet Nam.

Revolution was in the air, with some serious clashes with massed police in London. We hadn’t been widely aware of much of the Civil Rights movement in the USA, mainly because we had little real public contact with America. Telephone calls to the USA cost huge sums and radio was crackly.

This was the year of the first live global television link by satellite when 400 million people saw and heard the Beatles play “All you need is love”.

It wasn’t until the following year at the Olympics and the Black Power Salute, that we fully realised how much hotter it was in the USA.

Meantime UK was about to become rich, because the The first North Sea oil was being pumped ashore. It never occurred to us that politicians would find means to squander the new found wealth, e.g. the launch of the first Polaris Submarine.

(That was one nasty little political ploy, where we gave away our own successful rocket (Blue Streak, thereafter the Ariane) as a bribe to the French to let us join the Common Market. It didn’t work Charles de Gaulle vetoed British entry.

Parliament decriminalised male homosexuality with the Sexual Offences Act.

The British steel industry was nationalised

The Abortion Act, passed in Parliament, legalising abortion on a number of grounds (with effect from 1968).

Lots of other things happened in that year such as first broadcast of colour TV, opening Milton Keynes, first conviction under the Race Relations Act 1965.

By the time I was in my thirties, being absorbed into mainstream working life, my generation had undergone Social changes, normalising homosexuality and recognising a need for racial co-existence. The Dagenham girls had forced the equal pay act into draught. We were engaging in an economic alliance with our near neighbours (although I had, for one, had voted against it). We had North Sea Gas and Oil coming ashore in sufficient quantities to enable us to pay off our debts, fully fund our State pensions, build new hospitals etc.

It’s not the generation now deriding mine as being racist and homophobic, who created the world that they see around them. It’s my generation and those who remembered rationing and the aftermath of WWII, who created their world.

The world that the next generation will be living in is the one created by Thatcher’s children. The one where State Assets were destroyed to sell them into private hands, where income was frittered away on grandstanding displays such as the Eurotunnel and other E.U. projects. Where PFI’s, banking deregulation, creeping privatisation of State Assets was destroying The Welfare State built by my parents’ generation.

Next time some snotty stand-up comedian sneers at our homophobic, sexist and racist generation, just remind them that we were the generation who put a stop to it, while we were busy wiping their bums and teaching them to love one another.

I re-call my “Good old Days”.

July 10, 2015

“The good old days” is a phrase often accompanied by a sneering tone.
They are always the good old days to the those, who live through them, as children and young adults, because for each generation, they refer to the golden days of youth.

That is often the only reason, they are deemed good.

In my good old days, I had holes in my shoes and trouser cheeks.

I had a perpetual cold, because my bed cover consisted of my dad’s army greatcoat and my bedroom floorboards didn’t even have a rug.
By Today’s standards my childhood was deplorable but as a child the World was a wonderful place of discovery.

For every Winter’s night that I cried myself to sleep with the pain of being cold, there was a Summer’s day of lying on the baking hot limestone slabs of the pavement, the pricking of tar bubbles on the cobbles, recently tarmac-ed over after the removal of the Nissen huts along the centre of our street.

Even our parents thought of them as the Good days.

They had survived the Second World War, when most of them had lost at least one relative, or dear friend to the hated enemy. (Huns, Nips, eye-ties)

Such a racist attitude was practically a legal requirement at the time.

Our parents had not only survived The War, they had lived through The Depression, which even my generation (Baby Boomer) can’t properly imagine.

It had been a time when parents were lucky if they could live and be employed in the same town; a time when records tell of women dying of starvation to ensure that their children didn’t.

My own father told me of walking from his home to Kirkby (5miles) to stand at the end of a queue of 200 men waiting in hope that a worker had been sick and failed to attend work.

Thousands of men gathered at the Docks hoping to be one of the hundred, or so, who would get a day’s work.

You left school at 13 and got a job, if you could, unless you got a scholarship.

My Dad got a scholarship but had to go find work instead, because his dad was killed by a dropped bolt, in the days when Industry wasn’t hog-tied by Health and Safety rules, such as supplying hard-hats for construction workers.

Post-War, I was lucky that my father was a skilled cabinet-maker, able to earn good wages in an age of piece-work.

Our neighbour’s were lucky, in that the Welfare State was born, just a short while after I was.

For the present generation, who’ve grown up well-nourished (most are several inches taller than my baby-boomer generation), with technology leaping forward, making life easier, the Internet making them more knowledgeable (less naive) these will be their Good Old Days, although the present political climate does not bode well for their future..

How to fix the Economy and keep filling our boots

July 31, 2014

Apparently the solution to our economic disaster does not lie in taxing the banks, who caused the problem, nor with leaving the EU.  (That money pit, which demands we provide housing and financial support for the families of East European immigrants, South European State pensions and a larcenous, Pan-European Bureaucracy.)
The problem and the solution lies with British Baby-Boomers.
If only we could get them all to drop dead.
We can’t further cut State Pensions, even though we’ve already re-defined the truth about the money that they paid into it.
We can’t just work them to death, by further raising pension age (it’s taking too long).
However, we could end all payments, if we could just kill them off, instanter.
Let’s put medical aid out of their reach by requiring them to pay for it, or better still denying them timely access.
Here’s a good one:
For year’s G.P.’s etc. have been advising them to take half an aspirin daily, to thin their blood and reduce risks associated with old, clogged up blood vessels.
Let’s reverse that recommendation and tell them that aspirin has been found to increase the risk of a heart attack. They’ll be bursting blood vessels all over the place and by the time the ambulance gets them to one of our new Centre’s of Excellence and they’ve proven their eligibility for treatment… LOL!
Here’s another: for years we’ve been telling them to take it easy in the bedroom and to get plenty of gentle exercise, possibly through long walks. Keeps the blood pumping and joints moving.
Let’s change that advice to engaging in short bursts of intense activity. They’ll be popping off, all over the place.
It’s brilliant, we’d not only save on their State pension and health care costs but we could legislate to seize all their assets, including any cash they’ve released from their private pensions.
All we need, now, is a really bad Winter and the wrong flu vaccine.