Debate: Do baby boomers owe millennials an apology?

Debate broadcast on the Ideas from the Trenches series on CBC Radio, Canada, 8 November 2019.  Bruce Cannon Gibney and Jennie Bristow are on opposite sides of the ‘Boomer-blaming’ debate. They are both aware of each other’s work, but had never spoken directly until IDEAS brought them together for this episode. Jennie Bristow says the Boomer […]

‘OK Boomer’

Over the past few weeks, the ‘OK Boomer’ meme has gone viral, leading to an offline epidemic of earnest commentary. The whippersnappers of ‘Generation Z’ have taken to TikTok – a social-media platform that seems to be about sharing chill-ironic lip-synching video-selfies – with a flurry of music, artwork, and follow-on merch responding to criticisms […]

Ageism is putting all our retirements at risk

Pensioner poverty, we are often led to believe, is a thing of the past. Apparently, the Baby Boomer generation has been so successful at defending its interests that the greedy old buggers are raking it in. It is claimed that we live in a ‘retirement aristocracy’. Pensioners spend their days jetting off on holiday or […]

Stop Mugging Grandma: news and reviews

Interview and debate with Bruce Cannon Gibney broadcast on the Ideas from the Trenches series on CBC Radio, Canada, 8 November 2019. I debate David Willetts on the question ‘Have the old stolen young people’s futures?‘, in Prospect magazine, 7 October; and am quoted in the Guardian on 5 November: Lord Willetts accused of pitching ‘young against old’ […]

The futility of generation wars

From the early years of the 21st century, the idea that old people have screwed up the world has become the received wisdom. From economic crisis to environmental catastrophe, from the Brexit vote to the election of Donald Trump, from the lack of affordable housing to the persistence of ‘unaffordable’ pensions, blame for a whole […]

The toddlers have taken over

As the parliamentary pantomime over Brexit carries on procrastinating, the audience is united on one thing: utter embarrassment about the behaviour of MPs. Almost three years on from the EU referendum – the referendum they voted to hold, the decision they voted to deliver, the commitment they made in the last General Election – they […]

Everyone’s a loser in today’s fabricated generation wars

  According to doomsayers in policy and media circles, the young have never had it so bad, and the fault lies with their greedy elders. The allegedly enormous, voracious baby boomer generation, living it up on the golf course with the ill-gotten gains from gold-plated pensions and over-valued houses, is in the firing line for […]

Buying off young people

As adults, we have some major obligations to our children. We nourish their bodies, helping them through the chaos of toddlerhood and the hormonal hell of their teenage years, so that they grow into physically healthy adults. We nourish their minds, helping them to access the cultural heritage that our society has built up over […]

Don’t turn Britain’s schools into mental health centres

Britain’s schools are changing: not just in terms of what is taught, but also what we expect them do to help pupils. In June 2017, the Times Educational Supplement reported that the government had put £200k behind a plan to train ‘mental health first-aiders’ in every secondary school. The funding is intended to train 3,000 teachers and teaching […]

This strike reminds us what universities are for

Britain’s university leaders might feel that they had been through an ‘annus horribilis‘, said universities minister Sam Gyimah at last week’s official launch of the Office for Students. With scandalised reports of vice-chancellors’ pay, ongoing wrangles over university funding and student tuition fees, and now a large, sustained and well-organised lecturers’ strike paralysing dozens of pre-1992 universities, […]

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