Could this new year be ushering in a new generation of protestors? Goodness knows this age of austerity looks set to continue for several years ahead and the growth in numbers of the older generation are increasingly being seen as a drain on the nation’s resources. No political party will directly attack the older generation because of the fear they have of losing the grey vote. But in silently squeezing the older generation, do the politicians realise quite what they are dealing with in the upcoming group of new pensioners?
The Baby Boomers grew up through an era of protest.
Demonstrations against the Vietnam War, were perhaps the first thing to capture the world’s attention, although this mainly focussed on American students’ opposition to the draft in the 1960’s. In the days long before the internet mass protest was an effective way of getting media coverage.
Having learned that lesson, the Baby Boomers went on to protest about other noble issues like banning the bomb, civil rights in America, apartheid in South Africa, almost anything in France.
In the UK we also had more parochial issues – ending capital punishment, the miners’ strike, closing local hospitals, the poll tax, fox hunting, student fees, immigration, climate change, human rights.
There were many other issues and many other protests – lock-outs and lock-ins; free concerts for feeding the world; breaking down the Berlin wall; the war in Iraq.
We all learned to demonstrate because the vote alone was not enough to make the politicians reflect the views of the public.
Now the Baby Boomers are coming of age will they be the generation to take to the streets to speak up for the elderly?