To The Guardian. March 2018, from a baby boomer:
“As a 70-year-old baby boomer I read and learnt from Phillip Inman’s article. As usual, though, there is no comparison made between the life circumstances experienced during the youthful years of baby boomers and those of today’s young people.
“Most of us grew up without central heating; icy bathrooms, phoning from the only phone in a freezing hall, doing homework next to a single-bar electric fire. Holiday accommodation – rarely, if ever, abroad – consisted of youth hostels or tents. Car ownership tended to be limited to enthusiasts with car maintenance skills. The purchase of clothing was a treat and TV was a four-channel affair without remote control. Sex was difficult to come by as getting together under parents’ roofs was out of the question. The age of majority was 21, so even the lucky 2-3% who went to university were in gender-separated halls or digs where landladies were in loco parentis. Late buses took us home from evening social events. Birthday celebrations would be held at home to the record player. I was lucky to own a bicycle, but no helmet. Deaths on the roads were horrifyingly high as seatbelts were unknown. Cancer meant automatic death.
“Do our relatively deprived youths give us any rights to a moderately comfortable old age?”. (name and address not given)
My take: I was born before the war, so don’t identify with boomers. Nor do enjoy some of the behavior of the of the young (but won’t dwell on it). But I deeply sympathize with the incredible difficulty the young people have in affording housing, the lack of security in their jobs, the emasculation of the pension system I have so happily benefitted from, the appalling so- called gig economy, not to mention the outrageous cost of further education (the taxpayer paid for mine! Yes, truly!. I am so grateful for it and hope I have given back some at least of what I received).
The young have a point; the boomers are an insensitive lot, and the picture of life as described by the writer somewhat exaggerated.