In the last couple of days, a “research and policy organisation” named the Resolution Foundation has had quite a lot to say about generational divide. Apparently, or so I (as a millennial myself) am reliably informed, my struggle is nothing to do with my own decisions, with the choices I have made in life, the qualifications I have chosen to pursue or the experience I have gained, my irresponsibility with money or my attitude towards saving. Nope, it sure isn’t; that would be holding someone accountable for their own actions for a start, and in modern Britain we can’t be seen to do that. So who then, is to blame for my plight, my endless woe? Obviously, its old people.
People that have paid into the system all their lives, people that worked at a time taxes were huge (in the early 70’s, for example, if we care to cast our minds back), people that have paid their way at every step, people that have paid inheritance tax, stamp duty, road tax, duty on beer, cigarettes, fuel, food, for their entire lives, all the time paying into the state, all the time having their efforts harvested by government. Sure, some of these people will be extremely wealthy by now, to which I say GOOD! So they should be, and I hope I am too when I get to that age!
They have paid their dues, they have struggled through winters of discontent, stock market crashes, the death of nationalised coal production, the pain of Tony Blairs Labour government. They have gone through all that and come out wealthy and successful, overcome all the barriers that faced them, overcome the conditions they lived in economically and politically, overcome challenge from peers and the vice grip of the hand of the state, and it is their fault that I, as a millennial, living at what should be the easiest time in human existence to live, in one of the easiest countries in the world to live in, am being failed by the hoarded successes of people old enough to still have a solid work ethic and remember rationing.
How patronising, how utterly useless a suggestion, to instead of analysing modern mentality, millennial work ethic, the impact of useless university education on earning power, the damage done to the country and labour saturation with mass immigration or a plethora of other political and social issues that contribute to millennial underachievement, simply blame the wealthy, nasty, tory voting old people for being so forthcoming as to actually save money, invest well, spend within their means and prepare themselves for the future. How pathetic to whittle the extent of a full generations’ success (or lack of) down to the idea that they were failed by that of previous generations, and to quell their sorrow, hand them thousands of pounds in a hope they won’t waste it all on drugs and gender reassignment tablets.
The plight of the millennial lies in the failings of neo liberalism and what became cross party standardised, totalitarian, western liberal democracy. Engineering population that has access to thousands in credit, that have a catch all welfare state, that are not allowed to fail, will develop an engrained culture of failure and acceptance there in. From primary education, values of “everybody gets a medal” are forced into us, the idea that its okay to fail at things, that its okay to settle for a “C”, that its not our fault we can’t do things but that of our teachers, our peers, our government or otherwise. The millennial generation has been failed by politics and politicians, year in, year out, by this very principle, that you can simply throw money (or funding as they so sanctimoniously like to word it) at any problem and miraculously solve it.
No wonder we are apathetic when it comes to politics and voting, no wonder we are so disengaged. Our entire lives have been the chronicling of unlimited funding and how it fixes nothing but elections. Politicians look at the millennial generation and, because we still have the power to swing elections should more of us be inclined to vote, as we saw in the 2017 general election, use this patronising rhetoric to try and buy our support. Damningly, it often works, so fickle as we millennials love to be, as the surge in comrade Corbyn’s popularity demonstrated. Apparently free stuff is the key to our hearts, and the politicians that be have engineered a generation of puppets successfully, dancing to the tune of social liberalism in time and on cue.
We have been forgotten by proper, conservative ideology and the ethos that is brought with it (as indeed have the rest of the electorate, to be fair). The difference between us and previous generations in this respect, is that they can remember conservatism; we have never experienced it. We have only ever experienced a political atmosphere where nationalism is a dirty word, where things were done for us, we were all but given passing grades at GCSE and A-level, because without our passes there was no institutional funding, where university education has been sold as the most desirable of all life’s pathways, where immigration has seen job market saturation, house price inflation and rent extortion. We have never seen anything of conservatism, aside from its blame should anything go wrong.
Even the Conservative party show little to no enthusiasm for conservatism anymore, a devastatingly dangerous misinterpretation of the electorate appetite for it. They have committed to a nationalised health service because they can’t find a way to spin privatisation palpably or coherently, they have increased taxes on everything for the last eight years, from cigarettes to fuel, road tax to food. Sure, personal allowance is up, and tax brackets have been lowered, but that information is a straw man in the face of massively increased indirect taxation, and people know it.
They have repeatedly failed on immigration, although they have been arachnidly spinning a convoluted web that states otherwise, and backing down on deportations and strict controls because of misplaced cries of compassion from people with a hyper liberal chip on their shoulder. Seeing a Syrian child face down on a beach is nowhere near as harrowing or damning as seeing a British soldier beheaded, in broad daylight, on a British street, and yet the liberal media only see fit to remind us of one of those things when the discussion of illegal immigration and asylum seekers arises. They refuse to refute the bogus gender pay gap or erroneous cries of inequality based on the contemptible rhetoric of equality of outcome, and instead pander to rhetoric of victimisation and sewing societal divisions; they are void of any strength or conviction.
As such the political typography of the day is such that support for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservative party is fluid, as they all represent different flavours of essentially the exact same thing: western social liberalism, the final evolution of the neo liberal pipe dream. The only difference is their PR campaigns and their party published and media developed public image that attracts people to the clan warfare they so thrive upon. The Tories are too busy telling us that labour have no leadership and want to see socialism- nay, full blown communism- on the streets of Britain, whilst Labour are busy telling us we are oppressed by the wealthy and it’s the Torie’s fault we are all poor, starving simpletons with no hope for anything better. The latter appeals to a lazy generation of participation medal misfits, and as such they attract the vote.
Perhaps if the Conservatives would engage millennials a bit more readily, perhaps if they would remember conservatism in all its glory, and perhaps if they would break away from this right wing diluted social liberal solution void of any real ideological flavour, then millennials wouldn’t attract reports on how to fix a generational divide, because they would fix it for themselves. The minimum wage is enough to buy a house, run a car and live off. It is not enough to buy a massive house, a luxury car and live extravagantly off, and nor should it be. We have a misguided notion of what “living” constitutes, shaped by unrealistic social media standards and the very human lust we have for the very available technology that has graced us over our millennial life times. The Conservatives have done an awful job of portraying that point- of portraying essentially any conservative point In the last decade, come to think of it- and as such opened the door to the kind of pathetic, mainstream-socialist-inspired, state inflating rhetoric such as that which comes with weak, conviction lacking Conservative peers. It is not only patronising, but disappointing, and grotesquely ironic, that a conservative peer has suggested a handout as the cure to all millennial ills, at the cost of the older generations, and a huge error of judgement in the gauging of political attitudes and political solutions to very real social problems. Free market, small state governance is what we need, and there is no one in the entire bloody country that can deliver it!