How Greta serves the elites

In the early months of the pandemic, children were neither seen nor heard. Amid the eerie silence of padlocked playgrounds and empty town centres, those earnest appeals to ‘the voice of youth’ that were prominent in every big political debate of the last decade were quickly forgotten. Gripped by an emergency that threatened adults’ health, all that […]

Young people need a return to normal – Now

This time last year, I felt fortunate to be among a minority of academics able to teach students on campus. The experience was pretty weird. I was standing several metres away from new undergraduates, bellowing through a plastic face visor, encouraging them to ask questions or discuss issues with each other as they sat in […]

Why the rush to vaccinate children?

How has the UK’s Covid vaccination rollout come to this? We started the year with a jabs programme that was the envy of much of the world. We successfully fought off a wave of infections with a rapid, careful and systematic rollout to those most vulnerable to the virus. But the ongoing row over whether to vaccinate […]

Behind the myths about the Generation Wars

One of the greatest myths of the 21st century is the idea that we are living through an era of generational conflict. Thanks to a clash of values between old and young, and the pinch on social and economic resources caused by an increasingly ageing population, the conventional narrative holds that, in the West at least, […]

Covid jabs for kids is a bad idea

Many people won’t be familiar with epiglottitis. It nearly killed me when I was a baby. I was also very sick with measles in 1980, my first year of primary school, and contracted mumps as a teenager. One of my favourite teachers suffered from polio, so I was grateful to get the sugar-cube vaccine against […]

Interview about The Corona Generation, and other impacts of lockdown

With Talk Radio’s Mark Dolan, 7 July 2021.

Let’s not squander the summer

The British weather has a well-known impact on the national mood. Unusually long spells of sunshine made the first 2020 lockdown more bearable for many. By contrast, this year’s perishing spring made Step 2 of the UK government’s ‘Roadmap out of lockdown’ a sobering experience, during which a trip to the pub required determination, detailed […]

On ‘geriatric millennials’

I was quoted in a nice article by Kasia Delgado for the i: ‘“Geriatric millennials” is the latest meaningless micro-generation – and yet I still feel left out’: ‘The more curious question is why these seemingly arbitrary cohorts exist at all. “These generational labels are culturally constructed and imposed on people,” says Jennie Bristow, senior sociology […]

It’s time to get students back into lecture halls

When British universities compete for prospective students, they boast of state-of-the-art facilities, a vibrant social scene and accommodation designed to promote fun and friendship. Depending on where they are in the myriad ‘league tables’ designed to guide students through their decision-making, universities may also boast of excellent teaching, high levels of student satisfaction and holding a reputation […]

Generation, Interrupted

The Corona Generation, Coming of Age in a Crisis, which I wrote with my eldest daughter during the UK’s first lockdown, explores the impact on those coming-of-age under pandemic-related restrictions. In this video, Emma, Class of 2020, candidly describes how teenagers have been affected by school closures and restrictions on normal social activity while I […]

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