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Generations and the General Election

by on May 16, 2017

Yesterday’s Today programme on Radio Four tackled the General Election via the lens of age – and the notions of generations in particular.  In a particularly lively live broadcast from Bath “old people” were accused of having too much whilst “the young” were attacked for being too lazy and disengaged.  By default I assume this latter accusation must have excluded those who got up early to participate in the debate – which does kind of illustrate the risk of stereotyping.

The issue of house prices obviously came up, and rather unfortunately the impression seem to be created that being old automatically entailed ownership of a £1.5million Georgian house.  (It doesn’t – unless I’m not quite old enough yet and someone will just turn up with some house keys in a few years time? No I don’t think so either.)

While there were attempts to ask if things were actually different generationally – that is to say is it any different for the young now than the when ‘old people’ were young – on the whole the debate kept to a generic old v young divide.

There was a useful analysis of issues regarding pension and likely financial status of future pensioners (and its not pretty).  This is of course a challenging issue which affects many different age groups.  As now there will be a huge variation in wealth among pensioners – being old is not a guarantee of wealth now or in the future.


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