I hate being pegged. In my early twenties I used to drive past a primary school on my way to work and every morning would coincide with the lollipop lady and a troupe of five-year-olds. I could feel the accusative stares directed at me when the parents reigned back their kids as I bore down on their zebra crossing in my VW Polo. At 12 miles an hour.
Then there’s the look of surprise, followed swiftly by the ushering on of Johnny and Claire, with the odd furtive glance in my direction to see if the road rage had overcome me. Then, just cos I like to prove that I’m not one of those hooligans my mum always used to tell me about, I’d thank them for getting in my way.
So no, we’re not always a menace. But I am also guilty of once trying to find out how fast my car went (not very with a 1.4 litre engine).
Here’s a list of interesting points about the beliefs of young Britons today, put together by the Economist in a recent leader.
Most young people believe…
1) Sexual preference and homosexuality are just non-issues. Young people in Britain really don’t care what others get up to at home – or even in public – and the government shouldn’t either. Gay marriage? Meh.
2) Mass immigration is something we should worry about. Facing appalling job prospects, young people are concerned that immigration is becoming a problem. All the same, they wish politicians wouldn’t keep banging on about it.
3) Less than 30 per cent of those under 35 think that welfare is one of Britain’s proudest achievements (compared to 61 per cent of post-WW2 baby boomers). They think Britain actually spends too much on welfare and support cutting down on the amount of government funding it gets.
4) Global warming is a biggie.
5) Tesco can rule the world if it wants, just so long as it still sells cheap food.
It strikes me that April Fool’s Day is an oddly appropriate choice to usher in some of the biggest spending cuts to Britain’s welfare state since its inception. But for all the anti-austerity protests of recent years, these cuts seem surprisingly popular.
Good news! If you were born in the UK since 2007 (unlikely, if you’re reading this) then you can expect to live for over 100 years. But there’s a catch. I’ll get to that.
This blog is called jinxedgeneration for a reason – it’s main focus will be on young people, particularly in Britain – those who aspire to live well but are set to inherit an unsustainable world on a collision course with catastrophe. No, I’m not banging on about global warming, although that’s part of the problem. I’m talking about housing, healthcare, income, jobs and quality of life: the transfer of wealth from the young to the old.