The Daily Telegraph thinks it’s your fault for not having a house and a pension
Apparently we’re spending our money on skiing holidays and shoes
Over at the Daily Telegraph, they’re absolutely nailing the tone of a parent who knows fuck all about your life, telling you how you’re getting it everything wrong. As part of her laudable effort to never stop being one of the most embarrassing commentators in the country, Edwina Currie has written – well, typed out – something called “Hey youngsters! No pension? No home? No wonder. Look at you!”
And oh my god is it dumb. She begins by talking a bit about pensions, and an inquiry MP’s are launching into the fact that a longer-living, lower-birthing population means the middle aged are beached on top of the pyramid of social endeavour like giant, hideous sea creatures (my words, not hers haha). Then Currie says:
If young people want a comfortable retirement, they need to stop spending money on skiing holidays, on fancy kitchen gadgets, designer handbags, on their Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks, and do what their grannies and granddads had to do. They need to stop wasting money and make it work for them instead. They need to stop believing that it’s the Government’s responsibility to save them from their own stupidity. They should, in other words, seek to develop the same habits of frugality and saving for a rainy day that once were taken for granted.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly tripping over fancy kitchen gadgets and pairs of Yeezys every time I get out of bed. I don’t know how to ski and I haven’t been on a holiday holiday since 2014 (Tenerife, it was nice, thanks for asking). I’m sick and tired of people like Currie, who grew up in a world where people who had potential could realise it frictionlessly, saying and writing things like this:
The retirees could probably teach the grandchildren a host of good habits, if only the sniggering infants would take out their earphones long enough to listen. Today’s ambitious young people reckon four years is quite long enough with one employer; they flit from post to post, often doing little more than adding to their CVs, failing to display resilience at anything much. But butterfly behaviour is not the way to build up a nice pension pot.
Retirees don’t know a thing about the job market or the housing market in 2016. “Butterfly behaviour” is the only sane response to the world our parents generation created. We didn’t build this place, we probably wouldn’t choose to live here, but we’re stuck with it. Maybe that’s why we care more Manolo Blahniks than workplace pensions, about when the next Franco Manca is going to appear than opening an ISA.
Sometimes my friends talk about getting married and having families and buying homes. It’s a very 20th century conversation. What’s absent is the feeling that anyone knows what to do with their lives, or how to pay for any of the Big Life Stuff. Practical, stable, in the same place for fifty years jobs do not exist anymore. It’s telling that these conversations only really pop off when we start imagining the stag do’s. That’s because mortgages and marriage and children are hard to imagine when you’re in your twenties – stag do’s, which you have lived every weekend since you turned 18 without calling them stag do’s – are not hard to imagine.