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Is this the jilted generation?

Can we really blame one generation for the troubles of the next?

Generation Y is in revolt. Young people born since the Thatcher years can’t afford a house, they protest. Even the top graduates can’t get jobs that pay well and they think politics - voting or protesting - is pointless. Their parents, born of the post-war boom, received free education and jobs for life. ‘Britain’s young people are insecure, unstable and poor, (while) their parents are the richest generation ever to have lived and they have flatly failed to share the wealth,’ argue twenty-something journalists Ed Howker and Shiv Malik. Their book Manifesto for the Jilted Generation describes how the Baby Boomer generation, ‘seemingly squandered a nation’s communal wealth, turned their backs on society and broke all barriers in a lifelong quest to express themselves’. Gen Y writer Neil Boorman is even more blunt in blaming the boomers, calling his manifesto It’s all their fault.

It is argued that the postwar generation abolished the stop-go economy and created the knowledge economy, but gave the young stop-go lives and will charge them for their knowledge. It appears that politicians who need Baby Boomers’ votes encouraged speculation on property and locked the young out of ownership. They pushed post-retirement working while millions of young people remained unemployed. The jilted generation’s politically engaged parents outnumber them, and politicians are skewing policy in their favour. Even some Boomers have started to wake up to what they have done. Conservative minister David Willetts outlined in The Pinch: how the baby-boomers stole their children’s future how the time has come for his generation to bear the brunt of the austerity measures caused by their own fecklessness, while Boomer author Francis Beckett asks in his latest book, What Have The Boomers Ever Done For Us?.

Can we really blame one generation for the troubles of the next? Have the Boomers really squandered their children’s future, or have Generation Y been spoiled with expectations of home ownership and material comfort which their parents could only have dreamed of? If twentysomethings don’t get politically involved, have they nobody to blame but themselves?


Mr Ed Howker | talks
Mr Shiv Malik | talks
Mr Rob Lyons | talks | www
Para Mullan | talks
Sean Bell | talks


Date and Time:

19 October 2010 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Waterstone's Brighton
71-74 North Street
+44 12 73 20 56 16

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Organised by:

Institute of Ideas
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Contact dan.travis@thebrightonsalon.com to attend

Available from:

Contact dan.travis@thebrightonsalon.com to attend.

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