Tuesday 19 October, 7.30pm until 9.00pm, Bellerbys College, 1 Billinton Way, Brighton BN1 4LF
Venue: Bellerbys College, 1 Billinton Way, Brighton BN1 4LF
Generation Y is in revolt. Young people born since the Thatcher years can’t afford a house, they protest. Even the top graduates can’t get jobs that pay well and they think politics - voting or protesting - is pointless. Their parents, born of the post-war boom, received free education and jobs for life. ‘Britain’s young people are insecure, unstable and poor, (while) their parents are the richest generation ever to have lived and they have flatly failed to share the wealth,’ argue twenty-something journalists Ed Howker and Shiv Malik. Their book Jilted Generation describes how the Baby Boomer generation, ‘seemingly squandered a nation’s communal wealth, turned their backs on society and broke all barriers in a lifelong quest to express themselves’. Gen Y writer Neil Boorman is even more blunt in blaming the boomers, calling his manifesto It’s all their fault.
It is argued that the postwar generation abolished the stop-go economy and created the knowledge economy, but gave the young stop-go lives and will charge them for their knowledge. It appears that politicians who need Baby Boomers’ votes encouraged speculation on property and locked the young out of ownership. They pushed post-retirement working while millions of young people remained unemployed. The jilted generation’s politically engaged parents outnumber them, and politicians are skewing policy in their favour. Even some Boomers have started to wake up to what they have done. Conservative minister David Willetts outlined in The Pinch: how the baby-boomers stole their children’s future how the time has come for his generation to bear the brunt of the austerity measures caused by their own fecklessness, while Boomer author Francis Beckett asks in his latest book, What Have The Boomers Ever Done For Us?.
Can we really blame one generation for the troubles of the next? Have the Boomers really squandered their children’s future, or have Generation Y been spoiled with expectations of home ownership and material comfort which their parents could only have dreamed of? If twentysomethings don’t get politically involved, have they nobody to blame but themselves?
associate editor, Spectator; co-author, Jilted Generation: how Britain has bankrupted its youth
freelance investigative journalist; co-author, Jilted Generation: how Britain has bankrupted its youth; contributor, Prospect
science and technology director, Academy of Ideas; convenor, IoI Economy Forum
senior project manager, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; FCIPD
secretary and founder member, The Brighton Salon; copy-editor, writer and journalist
Sarah Dunant owns up to being part of the greediest generation - the baby boomers.BBC Radio 4, 16 October 2010
Instead of creating a new world, their actions really fostered a nation riddled with inequality, elitism and political corruption. "Jilted Generation" sets out how the next generation might succeed where this one failed.
Ed Howker & Shiv Malik, Icon Books Ltd, 2 September 2010
A survey for the National Housing Federation highlights the bleak scale of Britain's financial crisisJamie Doward, Guardian, 29 August 2010
Political short-termism has failed the young. Yet attacking the elderly and sick instead of inequality will only help OsborneMadeleine Bunting, Guardian, 22 August 2010
A recent graduate slams his peers for their constant whining about how the baby boomers ruined their lives.Craig Purshouse, spiked, 18 August 2010
The greatest crime of the boomers who benefitted from the 60s was their role in destroying the freedoms of those who did notFrancis Beckett, Guardian, 9 August 2010
The Boomers have taken the role of lackadaisical old sot, while us Generation Y-ers scurry round, trying to prop up the creaking timbers of their regime for fear that it will fall on our own heads.Harriet Walker, Independent, 30 July 2010
With a gerontocracy that locks the young out of its economy and politics, Italy may be a canary in the mine for other nationsEdoardo Campanella, Guardian, 14 July 2010
The Baby Boomers could risk rebellion. Not so, Generation Y.Laurie Penny, New Statesman Blogs, 13 July 2010
David Willets, Atlantic Books, 1 February 2010