“Intergenerational inequalities” is the claim that the baby boomers have accrued to themselves countless benefits, such as housing, pensions or free higher education, which they have wilfully denied to the younger generation. Elderly people are thus accused of “stealing” the future from the young.
This claim has been given rocket fuel by Brexit. Young Remainers accuse the older generation, who disproportionately voted to leave the EU, of saddling them against their will with a future which they believe will be infinitely worse than now. How dare they!
Well, as a baby boomer Brexiteer I can only apologise for the fact that I am still alive. Worse still, I actually voted for Brexit in the first Europe referendum in 1975 when I was only 24. Clearly, I was as good as dead then.
The idea that older people might support Brexit as a way of improving their children’s lives — and that they might even be correct — is of course deemed beneath consideration.
There are many election issues on which elderly people may vote to affect the lives of those who live on after them. So maybe the electoral system should be progressively weighted so that the vote of an older person is worth, ooh, let’s say, one half or a quarter or a third of a younger person’s vote?
And why stop there? As King Lear’s daughters might have said after deciding how many retainers their now all-too dispensable aged father should keep in his retinue, why give older people any vote at all?
To read my whole Times column (£), please click here.