In the Daily Mail Jeremy Paxman has a belated epiphany: ‘I am part of the most selfish generation in history and we should be ashamed of our legacy’.
Yes, you are and you should.
Getting on for a million of this generation have taken themselves off to live in parts of continental Europe where they think the weather is kinder and the fags and booze are cheaper.
In southern Spain or rural France they watch Sky television, demand the assistance of British consuls paid for by their hard-working offspring and are begged by the big parties to register for postal votes.
Thousands more enjoy a healthier old age than they had any right to expect jetting around the world on holidays of one sort or another.
You can hardly blame them for thinking the world belongs to them. It really does.
Their children and grandchildren, meanwhile, have been sent out into a plundered world, shackled by debt, unable to contemplate early home ownership or starting a family.
Kudos to Paxman for being so brutally honest. But (blasphemous expletive deleted), couldn’t you lot have thought this out for yourselves, oh, twenty to thirty years ago. Way back then the first symptoms of what is now threatening to strangle us were already there, already visible. There was still time to avert this disaster. But you (yes, you too Mr. Paxman) chose to ignore it, to close your eyes and sing ‘Lalala’ so you wouldn’t have to see or hear that you make believe world wasn’t real.
Yes, kudos to you for realizing this now. But unless you have suggestions on how to constructively make amends: fat lot of good it does us. What do you now expect from us GenX and GenY? Absolution? A pat on the head, telling you we don’t mind so much? Well, I do mind. For decades you and your lot have been riding your high horse. And in all likelihood, knowing the shameless arrogance of boomers in general, you will continue to do so for years to come.
But look around at the mess we’re in. That is the world you created. That magnificent heritage you received from your parents, our grand-parents: You’ve run it down, blown through it and eventually just sold what was left for a few more party hours. And now you are about to bequeath it to us, an utterly derelict property, no money to restore it and ruinous mountains of unpaid debt for us to pay off. Thank you so bloody much!
Kudos to you for this rare bit of honest introspection, especially coming from someone of your generation, Mr. Paxman. But frankly, it is too little, and much, much too late.