OK. I’m afraid this is going to be another ranty political post. (Again, political with a small p, not Party Political because I really can’t be doing with all that bollocks!) That also means that I’ll be providing another language warning – there are rude words in the following post
I keep seeing this image popping up in my newsfeed, and it really brings my waste water to 100ºC (if I’m still allowed to use metric in Brexit Britain).
This is possibly one of the most glib, condescending and fatuous twitter posts that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know who started it and neither do I want to. What I do know is that there’s a fantastic tweet response. It’s clear, concise and fully addresses the point being made. It doesn’t however address the other points that drive me to anger and so, as well as attaching that, I’m also going to explain my reasoning. There’s also a second reason for me writing a blog post about it – I’ve typed out responses to this three or four times in the last couple of days and that takes a while on my phone, so now I can just link here!
That was succinct. My response however, isn’t. Firstly, it’s in the accuracy of the original post. The original talks about a generation. It’s not a single generation. I know of two generations (using the Strauss-Howe model that we generally use when talking about generations) that have both been fucked up the bum extremely hard by the previous generation and are currently playing Pokémon. Both the Millennials and Generation X. (I’m a Gen-Xer by the way.)
I have seen this post tied to the disrespect of the older generation who fought in two World Wars (I’m not sure if they played one World Cup as well, doo-dah, doo-dah). But that’s not who most of us are frustrated with. This brings me to argument two that I’m sick of typing:
World War 2 ended in 1945. That’s 71 years ago. The age to enlist in the British Army at the time was 18. 71+18 is 89, meaning that the survivors of World War 2 are over 89 years old now. The last estimate by the Office of National Statistics is that there were over ½ million people aged 90 & over. That’s not many, especially in the grand scheme of the votes. If we use the average turnout of 71.8% that gives us 359,000. If we use the Lord Ashcroft numbers of 60/40% divide in the over 65s (I personally think that it’ll probably be lower than that but I’ll stick with the numbers that I can find.) then that gives us 215,400 World Word 2 survivors who were old enough to serve. The total population of Britain at the start of World War 2 was approx 47.7 million and over the course of the war over 3.5 million men had served. (That’s 7.3% of the population.) Assuming that every single one of them survived (which we know they didn’t) we can then round that up to 10% to take into account the WRAF/WRENs etc… then that gives us a total of 21,540 people who were likely to have served in World War Two, still be alive and voted to Leave.
The last veteran of World War 1, Florence Green, died in 2012. So please, let’s get this straight. We’re not angry at that generation. They did so much for us, and helped to forge the way for the EU.
So – if you’re going to use that bullshit argument about respect the people who fought in the wars for our freedom. Fuck. Right.Off.
The generation that I’m frustrated with is the Baby Boomers, and the reason for that is that they’re the ones who received the fruits of the post-war rebuilding and then burned all of the bridges for the rest of us.
This generation were the first to benefit from the NHS, universal healthcare free at the point of delivery, fully funded and supported by the government. Cheap social housing was built in abundance and then sold to them at rock bottom prices courtesy of Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy. This is the generation who will receive (or are currently receiving) a full state pension at 65 alongside their final salary pension schemes. The generation who received free higher education and student grants to earn their degrees. The generation who were able to study, work and travel around Europe with ease.
And this is the generation that has been whittling away at these rights, preventing the next generations from receiving the same leg up that they received. Brexit was just the last straw. One last two fingers at those of us who have to live with the decision to separate ourselves from the union for decades to come.
Brexit isn’t the only way that they’ve ruined our future, it’s just the last straw.