This is an apology, a frank admission of guilt. I know what I’ve done and probably most of you do too. You see I am a baby boomer. I was born in 1955 in the middle of a huge wave of relief and optimism. The Second World War had come to a close, and although many basic food stuffs were still rationed and life in the UK was still pretty grim, I think I, and my generation have much to be aplogise for.
As I tramp the hills of Scotland I meet fellow boomers everywhere, we are enjoying leisure and prosperity that future generations can only marvel at. If you are under forty, I’m really sorry but the honest truth is, you’re stuffed. Me and my boomer mates got there first and messed everything up.
What did we do? I don’t really know where to start. First off, most of us are either retired or on the brink of retiring. I still have to do a few days of gainful employment here and there but it’s only a token gesture designed to keep me in luxuries and, most of the time, I’m off bothering the countryside or engaged in other whimsical pass times most of the time. If you happen to be part of the next generation, I’ve bad news, you’ll probably never retire. In your dotage you’ll be working overtime so your taxes can power my iron lung, well I can’t be expected to pay for it can I, I’ve squandered my pension destroying the ozone layer.
Oh yes, that’s me and my mates too. You know this environmental meltdown that’s going on, sea levels rising and ice caps melting, did you ever wonder who did that? Yep and my mates. We did it, single handed. That was us wasting the earth’s resources in an orgy of consumerism the planet couldn’t possibly sustain. So, you probably won’t be able to enjoy our living standards either. Sorry about that.
Now I know you probably think that at least the older generation fought in a war so that you can enjoy the freedom you have now. Having done that kind of graft me and my mates might deserve a bit of molly coddling don’t you think? Er, well, sorry, actually that’s my Dad’s generation did that heroic stuff. Me? Well I have watched The Great Escape on telly at Christmas over thirty times, surely that counts for something?
Oh and if you are at University working hard for a degree that will qualify you to be checkout staff at Tesco and burdened by thousands of pounds worth of debt spare a thought for my generation’s time at Uni. Well I got a grant, that’s a gift of money to keep me in beer and flared jeans that I never had to pay back. When I left University there were jobs. The hardest thing I had to do was live through the emergence of Punk rock. That was pretty tough, all that pogo dancing took its toll .
I don’t want you to think we got off scot free, that’s not true. Shortly before I was born sugar was rationed and, when I was a toddler, it suddenly came into abundant supply with the result that our parents coated everything in sight with the stuff. I lived in a sugar blizzard, with every food stuff you can imagine coated in it. That now accounts for the fact that my teeth are disintegrating almost faster than the dentist can pull them out.
Overall, however, I shouldn’t complain, actually if anyone should complain it’s you, the generation coming up behind me. We were the Boomers you are the Losers, awfully sorry. I can relax, confident in the knowledge that in a few years time I’ll be a burden on the state and you’ll work overtime to pay for my dotage whilst desperately trying to save the planet me and my mates knackered.
Now then, where do I plug in my life support?