Pensioners v’s Millennials
The Times now includes a column written by a millennial, a young woman who can identify the terrifying prospects of modern life. Not wanting to demur, it strikes me that no Times columns are given to pensioners. Also, it reminds me that older writers cannot get books published because it is considered there are no future books in them. In other words, we will be dead before we can write another book. In writing about pensioners v’s millennials I’m sorry if my prose is convoluted and confused because I am close to being gaga.
It’s not as if we, the old, are ignored. For certain, hardly a week passes without comments, all of them negative. Little of this is uplifting. Is it a millennial reporter who focuses on the old lady in a nursing home, slumped in a cosy chair and exhibiting the staple vacant stare out of the window? For sure, they don’t ask her whether she is composing a blog post. The escalating cost of care and the drain on Social Services and the NHS is usually tossed into the mix. It reminds me that my pension, into which I paid for 42 years, is now referred to as a benefit! I have also paid tax for 45 years yet I am now pictured as a liability to the state. Please don’t mention bricks and mortar!
I’m not insensitive to millennial life even if these youngsters can be ageist. For certain, I have to suffer brick guilt, that I made a fortune from bricks. Those are the ones that built my house, or series of houses, the bricks that made me a fortune in the lucrative housing market. Consequently, everyone forgets the post war poverty; the pushbike followed by the motorbike and then the rusty car; the one suit in the wardrobe, the real cost of a mortgage.
Fortunately, the millennials never knew the misery of the slum terrace, the multi occupied houses and the shared privy. In 1950’s Shrewsbury, most working people rented. The properties often flooded, were rarely updated and came with stained wallpaper, lice and rotten electrics. Certainly, no millennial ever stood, cap in hand, in front of Mr. Pook, a renowned landlord, and begged for a tenancy in one of his many properties. Any millennial experiencing that humiliation would understand the overpowering focus to own your own property.
Pensioners v’s millennials
The rented council house was seen as the solution for those who couldn’t afford to buy. But history shows that society could never afford such a social enterprise. Consequently, I doubt that councils have even paid off the debts accrued in building to decent standards. I lived in one those stolid and yet uncomfortable properties, that’s why my own pile of bricks was first on the list; nothing else really mattered. It was called independence. Those who remain in thrall, whether to parents, fashion, iphones, the gym, gaming or any other frippery, cannot know independence. Above all, my bricks and mortar will pay my nursing home fees and I need no government handouts. Now, back to that vacant stare out of the window; what word did I say I would use?