The generation wars

‘I can’t wait to read it because it’s going to be sick and I’m in it, and then I can give it to my mum so she can stop fucking asking me what I’m thinking all the time.’ So said Kurt, 16, to the journalist Chloe Combi about her new book, Generation Z: Their Voices, Their […]

Remain voters, quit the granny bashing

Among the many divisions brought to the surface by the EU referendum, an apparent ‘generation war’ is raging. A recent poll, which found that most young voters chose to Remain, and most over-45s chose to Leave, has led to an explosion of bitterness from the younger sections of the electorate. Teenagers who are not yet old […]

Don’t tell young people how to Talk to Gran

The Talk to Gran campaign, launched by the Britain Stronger in Europe group in April, exhorts young people to persuade their parents and grandparents to vote in the right way. ‘Research shows that people are more likely to listen to someone they know’, claims the video; and because your parents and grandparents ‘want the best for you’, you […]

What we lose when Baby Boomers die

This has been a terrible year for celebrity Baby Boomers. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, then Victoria Wood and Prince in the space of two days… From Newsnight to Facebook, the media are awash with tears and tributes. As the BBC noted on 22 April, ‘It now seems rare for a week to pass without a significant celebrity […]

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 […]

After the election: beware the politics of generationalism

At the beginning of May, then Labour leader Ed ‘Moses’ Miliband unveiled six General Election pledges inscribed on a giant stone tablet. ‘These six pledges are now carved in stone, and they are carved in stone because they won’t be abandoned after the General Election’, Miliband intoned, six days before his party was swept away by […]

Schooling goes back to the future

‘A young person loiters vaguely by your door. His mum wants him to check his targets again, so you go over his last report for the third time. He seems satisfied with your explanation and conveys himself back to maths. When you asked him if he enjoyed maths he said he was doing better this […]

‘Edge of Eternity’: before freedom was feared

For anyone who has devoured the first two novels in Ken Follett’s ‘Century Trilogy’, the publication of Edge of Eternity last month comes as an eagerly awaited treat. Follett’s journey through this tumultuous period took us through the First and Second World Wars (Fall of Giants, Winter of the World), and now brings us to the Sixties – […]

Let’s lay off the Baby Boomers

The world doesn’t need another book eviscerating the Baby Boomers. Fortunately, the American satirist PJ O’Rourke has written something less boring instead. O’Rourke’s account of ‘The Baby Boom’ begins promisingly with the preface, ‘to a book attempting to capture the spirit of a generation of God’s favourite spoiled brats’. ‘Herein is a ballad of the […]

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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