Well, probably many of us didn’t know it, but demographers, those who are the bright sparks who undertake statistical study of populations, place us human beings into age-related groups, which aren’t totally date precise, that they determine have ‘specific characteristics’ – naming such groups Silent, Baby boomers, Generation X, Millennials, Generation Z.
In that categorization system then, the British young, those who are not yet middle age so up to say age 40ish, are in the so-called ‘millennials’ cohort [basically often the children of those born after WWII], but to some of us, that group are a really worrying shower, as they don’t seem to understand the real world as it is, don’t appreciate the benefits of the UK society they live in, nor concern themselves about the devastating sacrifices that previous others have made to create it, do they?
No, you see while they may well be pretty mature men and women, they nevertheless are ones who so far have not only had an easy ride and a cushy life in an indulgent society, but they seem blindly oblivious as to the ways of the big bad world, often they don’t even know where other countries are, let alone what goes on there or what lives are like, so their attitudes and opinions suffer deficiently from that basic fact.
Contritely, they are desperately ‘unlike’ the baby boomer group that was born in the period immediately after WWII, as those are people who were sufficiently close to comprehend and fear the previous dreadful and dastardly times of no work, abject family poverty, outside loos, and the time of war when much of the population had faced both death each day, as well as the threat of invasion by an oppressive power. Those times included also the imposition of the hardships of armed conflict and its aftermath, which involved dismal food shortages, but even worse the loss and non-return from abroad of their loved ones who had fought to save this Country, or even families where fathers did subsequently return to their families to be with children they hadn’t seen for up to five years (so they were greeted by sons and daughters saying “are YOU my dad?”)
Inexplicable, our UK millennials are obliviously blind to the Country’s past, so utterly fail to appreciate the sacrifices made by past generations for Britain to first become and then remain a democratic free country.
They seem blissfully unaware that the rights that they now take for granted were ‘hard earned’ through some eight centuries starting with the Magna Carter, and along the way it involved countless deaths, a civil war, and a revolution, long before the political reforms took over, which has finally wrestled absolute power away from the monarchy, the aristocracy, the landed gentry and the upper classes.
Furthermore, it took the courage, willpower, and suffering of suffragette militant women, who had to take-on the government, the establishment and the powerful press. The consequences included a death under the King’s horse, imprisonment for a thousand women, many of whom were involved in hunger strikes and being forced feed, being sexually assaulted. They undertook direct action, civil disobedience, politician heckling, stormed parliament, and held marches, and that was just to even begin the process of women gaining ANY real rights at all or allowing women the vote – here we are now 115 years later and British women are still engaged in that struggle with pay equality still a mirage – but no concept of such crucial events reside in the consciousness of the female millennials who were handed it all on a plate, it would seem?
Moreover, our younger generation of people simply don’t realise that Britain did not become a real democracy until just some 90 years ago, as that was when the Representation of the People Act first gave the vote to ALL us men and women over the age of 21 irrespective of power, position, or status, didn’t it?
[Nowadays that sacrifice is all flushed down the toilet as millions are so self-indulgent and so far too lazy to exercise their vote]
Yep, but subsequently and just a dozen years after our enfranchisement, the UK’s new found democracy, freedom and independence, indeed was threatened with total extinction by Hitler, Nazism, and Germany’s revived concept of Lebensraum, which involving removal from the country of other indigenous populations, coupled together with a strategic program for Germany’s world domination.
This Country had initially stood on its own for a year after the Germans had conquered most of Western Europe in less than two months, and it took blood sweat and tears for a total of 6 years to defeat the impending outcome that would have enslaved each and every one of us here now.
The price that others had paid to give us current citizens of Britain our trouble-free lifestyle, was nearly half-a-million brave citizens dead and almost four-million others injured – perhaps the young of today will only start to ‘give-a-damn’ when the freedom they casually enjoy is snatched away from them by the forces of evil, eh? The naive will say that such a thing just could not happen in Britain because this is a developed and stable democratic country – dream on?
Things can and do change and the rate of change can be quite rapid in today’s topsy-turvy world can’t it? Fifty years ago before the arrival of the arrival of the millennials, manufacturing was the most significant area of work and opportunity and indeed provided the UK with a quarter of its wealth – but no longer, eh?
Britain used to have a major steel industry with production at 45 million tonnes a year, which has been decimated to a quarter of that and is on the verge of complete collapse and the workforce that was some 320 thousand has dropped by nearly 300 thousand. The 400,000 tonnes a year aluminium industry has seen a reduction of 90% a year, while in our cement industry production output capacity has halved, as it has also in our once massive 100million ton fishing industry. Then in terms of metals, whereas output used to ‘increase’ by about 3% a year, it now declines at double that rate, while food & drink output used to rise at over 5% a year it now drops by 1%, and in the case of textiles output instead of going up at 2½ % a year it now goes down by 6% a year.
Or take the dire ending of the UK’s coal industry, as whereby in the 1970s there were still nearly three-hundred deep mines employing over three-hundred-thousand miners, which produced over a hundred-and-fifteen million tons of coal a year –those deep mines now have GONE so there are just NONE – the last one closed over three years ago.
Oh yes, with the rise in new technology over the past five decades, fresh and different jobs have arrived to provide different employment as the older industries have dramatically declined, but nevertheless their demise has left whole communities devastated and in a disarray from which perhaps they will never recover –such changes in the near future just might be the catalyst that ignites those forces of evil that we all ought to dread, eh?
In recent years we have seen a spate of factory closures, with production being transferred overseas – like van production to Turkey, car capacity to Slovakia, chocolate to Poland, domestic appliances to the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, and metal containers to Poland – all of which has a negative impact on the state of play in this Country, doesn’t it?
One of the most worrying and frightening manifestations of ‘unexpected’ change here, has to be the demonstrable utter collapse of the existing UK’s political system in just 3 short years, simply brought-about by chaos resulting from divisiveness over BREXIT – which has not only disadvantagely split the nation but has caused un-healable rifts in families, and threatens violence within the community because of irrational opinions. Some say we have the worse leaders of the two main parties since the Suez crisis in the case of the Tories, and ‘ever’ in the case of Labour, plus the worse parliament since Cromwell
Then of course we have currently eco-warriors shutting-down and blockading central areas of London for days on end and threatening to close Heathrow airport, all done to bring attention to a glaring lack climate change action – but nevertheless causing major public anger and resentment – in conjunction with the police being diverted from dealing with escalating violent crime, and having to instead arrest a thousand protestors and bang them up for a spell
Other countries are also in a state of flux, as evidenced by the once renowned powerhouse of Germany with its economy now in trouble, as demonstrated by the fact that growth is close to zero, they only just avoided recession at the end of last year, and when it has cut its forecast for 2019 economic growth for the second time in three months, and that slowdown is driven by a recession in manufacturing with exporters struggling – that situation could cause massive public unrest as the areas in the old east Germany are economically impoverished and are reliant on massive subsidies which are likely to be cut by over fifty percent
For many older people it is beyond understanding why our millennials don’t just see what is going on around the world and the bad things that can happen suddenly, and so concern themselves more with the possible dangers to their offspring’s future lives, eh?
For instance, Ukraine in a landslide has just elected as President a comedian with zero political experience, but then again that is a country that has been transformed by unprecedented change and has been badly traumatised in just the last 5 years under the previous guy, with widespread corruption, a civil war with Russian-backed separatists and the annexation by Russia of the Crimean peninsula part of their country.
Or what about what has transpired in Venezuela where there is an ongoing, uncontrolled, and growing crisis. Twenty years ago it was the richest economy in South America due to its oil – with substantial production and massive reserves. Today their democracy and freedom is in the gutter, there is hyperinflation, the community is largely poverty-stricken, and water, sanitation, electricity, medicine, money, and even food, are all either rationed or unavailable, the health system has buckled as there are no medicines, and the oppressed population have been on the streets demonstrating for 2 years, but in a premeditated policy of the authorities, they face illegitimate force, with violent and lethal acts [over 160 people have been killed].
[Disgusting situations that exist now, and in past times have befallen and enslaved the peoples of many other counties around the world, should act as a stirring wake-up call to ALL those in the UK who aren’t fully active in defending their own democracy and freedom against those that would dumb-down it, as well as the potential forces of dictatorship and fascism, don’t you think?]