The promotion of ‘generational equity’ is a divisive pursuit

It has become fashionable in policy and media circles to talk about inequality between the generations. We are warned that today’s young people belong to a “jilted generation” (1), or a “stagnation generation” (2), who have been cornered by the economic and political problems of the moment and are unable to buy a house, start a […]

After Grenfell: more health and safety?

People talk about health and safety gone mad. The truth is it never really quite goes mad enough.’ This was the verdict of Times columnist David Aaronovitch, in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster. He reminded us of some of the terrible disasters that scarred the 1980s, including the deadly fires at King’s […]

The manipulative flattery of the youth vote is demeaning to young people and bad for politics

Jeremy Corbyn has gained much of the credit for the apparently high youth turnout for the General Election, and fair enough. But let’s not kid ourselves: there are deeper currents at work. The big thing that seems to have propelled young voters back to the ballot box was the EU Referendum of 2016. Contrary to […]

Policing pregnancy: the new attack on women’s autonomy

Next year, 2018, will mark the centenary of British women gaining the right to vote. It was a qualified right, restricted to a particular section of women, but a crucial step forwards in the fight for women’s equality, leading quickly to the extension of suffrage in 1928. And look where we are now. Two female […]

From Brexit to the pensions crisis, how did the Baby Boomers get the blame for everything?

Amidst the raw outrage that followed the EU referendum vote on 23 June 2016, one generation found itself to be a particular target. ‘Baby boomers, you have already robbed your children of their future. Don’t make it worse by voting for Brexit,’ appealed James Moore in the Independent the day before the vote. ‘“This vote […]

Understanding Trump voters

The US election, like the EU referendum in Britain, was replete with the language, imagery and discussion of emotion. The masses have been portrayed as an irrational mob, easily swayed by lies and false promises; broken hearts have been worn on sleeves and paraded on social media; downright nasty insults have been traded on all […]

The woman question

There is a point in a young woman’s life when she suddenly ‘gets’ feminism, and it usually coincides with the birth of her first child. From girlhood to her late twenties, she has floated onwards and upwards on a gentle wave of sexual equality and female achievement, matching point for point her future partner’s educational […]

Theresa May, forget social justice – give us politics

In the post-Brexit confusion, you can almost hear the gnashing of the policy-wonks’ teeth. Who are these people? What do they want? But it’s really not that complicated. People might want any number of things out of their lives – but when it comes to social policy, there are a few obvious places to start. […]

Millennial terrorism comes of age

‘If you want to strike at the sinful west, you pick a Friday night. While devout Muslims are fresh from prayer, young Parisian non-believers are knocking back the booze’, wrote Roger Boyes, diplomatic editor at The Times, on 17 November. ‘Islamic State killers made their point about a clash of civilisations: frustrated young men ready […]

What do young people in Britain really think about abortion?

Polls can tell us something about attitudes, and statistics can tell is something about behaviour. But they can’t tell us everything we want to know. We know that young people have abortions. In 2013, there were 127,000 abortions to women under the age of 30, out of a total of 185,000 for all women in […]

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