Baby boomers’ comfort is under threat

PUBLISHED: 12:19 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

Chronic malnutrition; 150,000 deaths a year due to global warming; sex trafficking, slavery, enforced migrations. The suffering of people in the world beyond our doorstep thankfully causes many westerners to tackle social injustices. But at every rally

Chronic malnutrition; 150,000 deaths a year due to global warming; sex trafficking, slavery, enforced migrations.

The suffering of people in the world beyond our doorstep thankfully causes many westerners to tackle social injustices.

But at every rally I have attended, there is a noticeable absence. People in their 50s and 60s, the Baby Boomers. Very few of them care enough about these global issues to take any action. So where are they? And what are they getting passionate about?

They are busy getting passionate about places like Mereham. Hardly surprising, since the Baby Boomer generation is the wealthiest and most selfish the planet has ever seen. As a whole, they have enjoyed early retirement, great pensions, and the last of our oil supply.

But a proposed development like Mereham threatens the value of their homes and the luxury of their semi-retirement. So they make half-baked claims designed to convince us Mereham is the great social injustice.

Of course, there are many of their generation who rebel against the Baby Boomer spirit, and many from other generations who celebrate it. Nor can we blame individuals - they are simply behaving according to their cultural programming.

Ultimately, the wisdom or otherwise of Mereham's development will be determined by world events such as the diminishing availability of oil and the increasingly unstable global economy. But the Baby Boomers need not worry about these greater issues that affect the whole human race. By the time we face these major problems, the Baby Boomers will be resting in peace, regardless of the existence of Mereham.

Their epitaph will be those limpid white boards with their pitiful inscription: 'Say No to Mereham'. These signposts indicate little more than the blissfully unwitting self-centred triviality of Middle Aged, Middle Class, Middle England.

(The Rev Dr Simon Perry, Haddenham)


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