Thereâ€™s a spookie tone about Neil Boormanâ€™s latest spiffy idea. Neil Boorman has ideas, heâ€™s a writer and music promoter, and one of his most celebrated spectacles of anti-consumerism was to torch his designer wardrobe (he could have given the stuff away!) and live without retail therapy for a year.
His new bad idea is promoted on WWW.itsalltheirfault.com. You might be expecting the banks to appear somewhere in this blame blog. But they donâ€™t. Instead he targets the babyboomers â€“ people born after World War 2, the generation that was blessed by the National Heath Service, free universal education and mass public housing. It seems they were blessed by everything, and now they are blame for everything. Boorman has launched a campaign to kick out the baby boomers â€“ not because of their age, oh no, but because of their generation.
He recommends the hypothesis offered in David Willettâ€™s book, the Pinch, (see my Guardian Comment is Free blog, 21 Feb 2010).
Willetts, a rare thinker among Tories, argues that the babyboomers are the selfish generation: among their many social felonies, they are spendthrifts who have priced their children out of the housing market. Willetts is wrong â€“ it wasnâ€™t the babyboomers who created the crazy housing market, it was Thatcherism in the 1980s, and every government since. It wasnâ€™t the babyboomers who introduced student fees; who sold off 1.7 million council houses; who created the pensions crisis and left the infrastructure to rack and ruin while the people making loadsmoney went on making loadsamoney.
By a sleight of hand, a political project has been re-interpreted as a generational mission.
Thatcherism, albeit audacious and surgically successful in our dysfunctional electoral system, never actually secured a majority of votes cast. But it tilted the centre ofÂ gravity of English Parliamentary culture to the right. And there â€“ alone in these islands -Â it has stayed.
Boorman rehearses the Willettsâ€™ rhetoric. But with more bile. â€˜In 650 days time the babyboomers will start to retire, theyâ€™ll stop feeding money into the system with taxes and start sucking out of it with benefitsâ€¦we donâ€™t have the money to pay for them.â€™
He complains that â€˜we are going to be slaves to our parents, working longer hours, paying more taxes, getting further into debt, just to pay for their retirementâ€¦â€™
What should we do with them, then? He doesnâ€™t suggest mass euthanasia, just mass contempt and electoral eviction: â€˜Kick them out,â€™ he says.
So, the ghost of Margaret Thatcher lives, inflaming angry young men with nothing to lose but loadsamoney and their labels.
But do not despair, babies of babyboomers: check out the Green New Deal, read theÂ Green Party manifesto, www.onlygreen.org.uk – there is another way, it will put the smile back on your face, and hope in your heart: vote Green.