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(61 Posts)
humbug Wed 06-Jul-16 10:31:36

The dust seems to have settled (a little) on the referendum result but I still feel very down about the blame for everything that is wrong with the world being laid at the feet of us boomers.

Many of us voted remain - and as I understand more of us turned out to vote than younger people whose futures were more in jeopardy. Whatever we voted many of us made those choices based SOLELY on the desires for our children and grandchildren to have a better future.

And still the accusations come along with the blame for everything else because we "had it so easy".

Yes we had free university education and didn't have to pay the tuition fees which make it so difficult for many younger people these days. But IT ISN"T OUR FAULT that it is no longer the case for our grandchildren.

Yes it was easier for us to buy houses and get onto the property ladder. But again - are we the ones who made this change? No. I would love to know my grandchildren could eventually find nice homes and not struggle to even rent.

My husband and I have worked hard all our lives. Yes we own our home but we have slogged and gone without to do so and have never had luxuries or fancy holidays. I am not complaining - this was our choice and I realise we were lucky to get on the property ladder. But I still don't see why everything is blamed on us.

sunseeker Wed 06-Jul-16 10:40:18

Don't forget when we bought our houses interest rates were around 15%, salaries were very low and it was equally a struggle to meet the mortgage repayments. Many "boomers" help their children with house deposits or rent, free childcare etc. at a time when the interest rate on our small savings is very low with the threat it will drop even lower. Like you we worked hard all our lives - my late DH would do a day's work - 7.30 - 6.00, come home have a meal and then go back out to work a further 3 hours. Holidays, if taken, were usually a week in a caravan in Cornwall. It was fairly unusual for people to go to university (at least in my circle), but of course we had it easy.

humbug Wed 06-Jul-16 10:42:20

Very good points

cornergran Wed 06-Jul-16 10:56:38

Totally agree sunseeker. We had a major struggle to pay the mortgage at times with those very high interest rates. Work was often far from secure. I think the real difference is that we didn't expect so much, I hoped to achieve the very moderate lifestyle of older people around me (working class who believed in saving for the future) but I didn't expect to have it until I had worked, raised my family and saved for whatever the future brought. When I listen to younger people now I hear a very different attitude, thinking has changed, evolved and expectations are different. Of course we want our children to have a better life than we did, current housing costs are astronomical, life is difficult for many - but it always has been. The outcome of the referendum is a worry for many people, but to accuse older people of sabotaging the future is so inaccurate I find it hard to take it seriously, I worry for younger people but I do not take their accusations into my self. humbug, please try to move away from the sense of blame, not all younger people blame us, many are highlighting those who simply didn't vote. I hope you feel less weighed down soon.

vampirequeen Wed 06-Jul-16 17:53:03

We were the last generation before the consumerism boom when suddenly it was 'I need it now and it has to be new'. These are the first children who were bombarded with adverts from an early age. They grew up with different expectations about what they could/should own or how often/types of holidays.

Try not to be depressed. The young have always criticised the old and vice versa. This is just the latest example.

Mumsy Thu 07-Jul-16 07:50:19

never heard of any blame being put on the baby boomers! We didnt have it easy we had to work hard for what we wanted!
At the end of the day it doesnt matter who or who not is to blame, time to move on and hope for a better future for our kids, its going to take a couple of years for things to pan out and to know the ourcome.

Anya Thu 07-Jul-16 07:53:25

'Every generation blames the one before'

Mumsy Thu 07-Jul-16 08:06:56

oh Anya I cant get that song out of my head now! grin for those who dont know Mike and the Mechanics sang Every Generation)

PRINTMISS Thu 07-Jul-16 08:09:50

That is true Anya and it is true, isn't it that each generation breeds the next, so that the world we now live in is the one we (the older generation) helped our children to grow up in. "When we were young" and "In my day" are all things the older generation love to talk about, and indeed we did all work hard because there was no alternative, we cannot blame the young people of today for taking advantage of what we have made available for them, including free speech and I think on the whole they have far more knowledge of the world than we did at their age.

Anya Thu 07-Jul-16 08:14:36


abbey Thu 07-Jul-16 09:11:20

Yes, we had free university education but only between 5% -10% were actually allowed to go. They were the brightest of the brightest and even then it was not guaranteed that a graduate would have a well paid "graduate job". Only 20% went to grammar schools . The rest went to Secondary Modern schools and out to work at 15. Now its 50% in university and almost anyone can go if they want to pay for themselves.

Lots of myths and falsehoods around.

railman Thu 07-Jul-16 09:12:43

Fascinating implication that all "baby boomers" went to university - of course that's not true, and as others have said we had to work hard for what we achieved. Yes, we had to do without, and try and save, or minimise what we had 'on tick', and rely on the good will of others to loan us the money for a deposit on our first home. But we didn't simply expect to have 'things' handed to us on a plate, and we didn't require 'new kitchens', 'dishwashers' or 'conservatories' as we set off in life.

In the workplace too, there was more 'collaborative working', supported by trades unions, where we fought - not always successfully - for changes in conditions and pay, etc.

We worked together, by and large, but as someone has said here, in the post 1980 world, the idea of "I want it all, and I want it now" took hold - a bit like bindweed in our society. Possibly the most damaging aspect of recent changes in society.

That said, I voted to remain in the EU for the same reasons as most others, for my children and grandchildren - to work through problems together, to build a stable society and sustainable future.

I suspect those 'us' and 'them' views about the 'generation gap' in the referendum result will subside in fairly short order.

Humbertbear Thu 07-Jul-16 09:14:48

I completely agree with Sunseeker. Yes we could buy a house 2 years after my husband left uni but I made all our clothes and when we could afford it, we rented cottages in Devon for holidays. When our old car broke down it had to be off the road till we could afford to repair it. I don't feel guilty about being able to retire. We both worked very hard and saved for what we wanted. Something that seems to be unheard of today.
I voted Remain but the younger generation have only themselves to blame for Brexit. They were too lazy to go and vote.

railman Thu 07-Jul-16 09:18:04

abbey - I agree with what you say, but I'm not sure the "brightest of the brightest" even then were able to to go to university. This is something our society today seems obsessed with.

Of course, there was more opportunity for work in a skilled manual, or creative capacity in the 1960s say, when the UK had much more of its core industries in say engineering and manufacturing. But it seems we created that "I want it now" mindset for a new consumer product, or ever cheaper items to throw away, our makers of things had to take industries offshore to be made more cheaply, to satisfy our growing demand in the Uk.

I wonder if we've learned any lessons.

muswellblue Thu 07-Jul-16 09:36:00

I too am very exercised about this animosity being stirred up between the generations. In fact I actually had a letter published about it in the Daily Telegraph! If you google "Intergenerational Foundation" you will see that this organisation purely exists to make the young feel hard done by. They lay all the blame at our feet and resent having to support us in our old age despite our gold plated pensions etc etc. I have yet to meet anyone with a gold plated pension among my friends. None of us went to university but we did start work young and saved hard to buy anything we needed. We also made do with very little as young parents on one salary.....

Sheilasue Thu 07-Jul-16 09:37:24

Well I am going to be honest and say I lived in a council house for 23 years. When my children grew up and left home, we were in a better position to buy our council house and we did, much as we loved our little house it was on an estate which sadly became home to dare I say it nasty people, who made our lives a misery. Our daughter persuaded us to buy it and we never regretted it yes we got it at a good price and now our mortage is paid up.

threexnanny Thu 07-Jul-16 09:40:30

We have been told by our younger generation that things were easier in our day! It may have been simpler, but not easier.
My parents were of the generation who thought girls didn't need to be educated as they would be looked after by their husbands. That doesn't happen now. Yes we struggled with the 15% interest rates too and an old banger that we relied on for everything. No mod cons in the kitchen either - didn't even have an automatic washing machine. When we set up home we had a bed, wardrobe and an oven new. Everything else was stuff donated by friends and family. I think it was the rise of the plastic card which has had the biggest influence on thinking today.

McGilchrist41 Thu 07-Jul-16 09:52:07

I agree with most of what is being said. Yes we were able to buy our own houses by saving hard and going without to get the deposit together. We also did our own decorating, laid our carpets repaired our own equipment and cars. However it was a different society then. Technology has made it almost impossible to do our own repairs etc. and the ratio of wage to cost of housing has changed. I have asked my older grandchildren if they blame me and they do not. This is all being stirred up by the media.

Sheilasue Thu 07-Jul-16 09:53:39

Yes have to agree with you there we didn't have much when we moved in half a house we rented we bought a sofa and a coffee table a bed and I bought my old wardrobe from home. We paid for that on HP and got our oven from the gas board. We paid that all up then you had to before you could borrow again. I have never had a credit card

Neversaydie Thu 07-Jul-16 09:59:16

I think that improved communications -social media and like -have contributed along with advertising .In our youth we wouldn't necessarily have known what our wider social circle had by way of white goods,new cars etc .And there is a lot more 'out there' to want .Foreign travel is much easier and relatively cheaper for example. I was23 before I went abroad My children were 12 and 8 and have a real thirst for exploring other countries and cultures .
I was one of the fortunate 5%who went to university on a full grant in 1969 (working class parents, brought up in council house)I would have been terrified at the thought of loans to pay fees etc .I bought my house on my own in 1978 on a 98% mortgage although the interest rate was admittedly 18%
DH and I have both retired ( at 60)on good final salary pensions and have claimed our state pensions at 60 and 7months (me) and 65 (him).Wepaid our mortgage off years ago (and we did have a period of 8years with very little income)
There Is no way our daughters would have got through university virtually debt free or bought their flats without our (not inconsiderable) help .One reason we were keen for them to get on the property ladder fairly young is that they are paying less in mortgage than they were in rent and thus, with our encouragement ,are putting as much as possible into the meagre pensions they will claim at 70 (?)Both are happy to accept cast off furniture etc at least until they can afford replacements (and not bought on credit cards )Dd1is30 and has only just acquired one .Dd2is 26 and doesn't have one .Neither could afford to run a car . (Which I did when I started work aged 23)
If course we had it easier than they ever will .
But most baby booomers I know did vote to remain as they viewed it as the best option for their children and grandchildren .So agree it is unfair to blame all of us u .I think those of us who have never bothered to discuss politics, economics ,immigration etc with those same children and grandchildren have possibly contributed to the apathy many felt regarding voting and may have something to answer for though.At the very least lets hope the high %of youngsters who didnt vote have had a wake up call

abbey Thu 07-Jul-16 09:59:24

I went to university. I did that very rare thing - I went to university from a Secondary Modern School (via A levels at a Technical College).

I was not allowed to take O levels because my SM did only CSE. A CSE grade 1 was not equivalent to an O level, which many think it was. It was deemed to have parity of esteem - which meant it could be recognised as being the same if a college/ employer wanted to do so.

In my SM most left with no qualification. Most went into factory jobs. A few (boys) went onto apprenticeships. I know most of my school peers went on to work in the likes of Asda, ( not dissing that). The ones who took CSE took their chances competing against grammar school pupils who had 5 O levels. A couple managed it. They had three CSE grade 1's.

I took a raft of CSE's (9 grade i's and the only person to ever achieve that in my SM, the grammar school turned their noses up at me for not being good enough even though I had more qualifications than the majority of their pupils but I had not been "selected" at 11, so hey ho, and the technical college actually accepted me not on the CSE's which were impressive being all academic subjects but on my only two O levels , English Language and maths where I had top grade O levels as well as CSE grade 1) ) having been fed the line they were equivalent (it was when I had them I was told otherwise).

My education was not as good as those from grammar school and there were many factors in getting into university. Not just that, once there roughly a third were "failed" in year 1 - unheard of now - I was working in uni until a few years ago).

Nothing was as easily as it looked. It is now though (says she who taught A level to pretty mediocre pupils, who went to uni but would never have got beyond Asda checkouts in my

Then of course there was the whole job scene which was not good when you got out. Some went into teaching ( and left) some went into the same jobs they could get at 16 with a couple of CSE's. Out of 15 in my uni graduate year, I was the only one to be accepted for MSc./Ph.D and onto uni teaching. Two went to train as nurses. Two went into professions. One an accountant.In my year only 7 graduated out of an intake of 15. There were only 30 universities in the country ( and a hand full of poly's) doing degrees then.

Now, there is a course for any one who wants to go. Sorry to myth bust and tell it like it really is.

Jaycee5 Thu 07-Jul-16 09:59:33

I'm not sure that I agree that the word 'blame' is appropriate anyway. It was a binary choice and people were entitled to choose one or the other. The idea that it is should be an accepted fact that they stupidly made the 'wrong' decision seems to me to be quite corrosive and is going to lead to finger pointing and more division at a time when we all need to start coming back together.
I don't ever remember a time when there has been such blatant ageism. I certainly never had it easy. When I first bought my flat in 1972 some lenders still asked for male guarantors for women buying on their own. I didn't have carpets and didn't have a fridge or a TV for ages. I didn't have a degree but I did a post degree qualification as a mature student for which I didn't get a grant.
The Tories have deliberately created divisions so that we all fight together instead of looking at what they are giving to the super rich and now it's our turn. I don't know how we get back to being a kinder society but I hope we do soon.

SallyDapp Thu 07-Jul-16 10:04:18

The younger generation have foreign holidays from an early age, often going with groups of friends from 17, hen and stag parties are abroad or for entire weekends in a hotel in another part of the U.K with activities included, weddings are huge affairs costing thousands, honeymoons are nearly always abroad somewhere expensive. Then there's the home filled with new items and the family started in a lot of cases before the wedding. Compare that to our experiences, if we did have holidays they were with the family at a uk seaside, stag and hen nights were in the local pub for 1 evening, no other activity other than the odd dance, our wedding receptions were also in the local pub or community hall and our honeymoons were somewhere like Torquay for a week. We rarely started a family until we could afford to and we accepted all secondhand furniture we were offered. I didn't have a tv for the first 6 months until I was sold a second hand one. We had no DVD, Internet or phone, no automatic washing machine or freezer and for some time no carpets. And we certainly didn't have a car. Many of us also worked extra hours in the evenings as well. So don't blame us if you can't afford the deposit on a house because you choose to spend on other things.

abbey Thu 07-Jul-16 10:10:29

Then of course there was the getting a house bit. I lived in grotty bed sits for years. Then I lived in grotty flats.One didn't have a bathroom ( outside toilet) Another had mice and rat infestations.

No council house because of the 1977 Homeless persons act which ended up giving access to council houses only to those people who had children (hence the quite true situation that in order to get a council house you had to be a single mother and pregnant and even then not always). Jobs were scarce and mortgages out of reach. My husband was always worried about his. Uni's cut back and I lost three jobs. In the end I worked for a while in a stock brokers.

I was 30 when I got my first house. It was furnished by my family with their left offs and hand me's. No financial aid. They didnt have it to give. But I didnt care. Now.... its all about going and getting new. Its the expectation and entitlement attitude that annoys me.

Now, they expect me to move over and give them my job and lay down and die so that they can have my house too. They can rot in hell! Yes, the silly kids do make me angry. BUT who bred that? Momma and Pappa and Gran and Granddad. Make them stand their own feet as most of the rest have had to do. They have had too much give and frankly, it is the fault of the previous generation ( starting with the boomers) who didnt kick their asses and teach them about the real world.

Gononsuch Thu 07-Jul-16 10:17:07

I seem to remember that how boomers generation, were the ones that where told that we've never had it so good.

I know that we could start a job in the morning and if we didn't like it, leave at lunch time, and walk straight into another one.

Up until the boomers generation, it used to be 1 car per family, everyone in my family had a car, that was when we got rid of the front garden, for parking.