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Wednesday 26 June 2013

Targets of opportunity

The ConDems have targeted disabled people and there's been a massive campaign to portray anyone with a disability as 'scroungers'. Now the focus is shifting, this time the targets are 'baby boomers' the so-called rich pensioners. 

The whispering campaign is similar to the way disabled people were targeted. Press reports claiming those of the 'baby boom' generation are too wealthy and do not 'deserve' any public funding such as the Winter fuel allowance. 

But who are the 'baby boomers'? those born between 1946 and 1964.
Thinking about those dates...
1946 end of WWII and rationing still in place.
No television in the majority of households, just the wireless.
Many houses had outside toilets.
No hot water or central heating.
Cold water supply only, all water had to be heated as required. Bathing? Tin bath in front of the kitchen fire, oldest first, youngest last (same water) only difference being some more hot water added because the bath had gone cold.
Street lighting? Gas lamp-posts and folk employed as lamp-lighters. Not all homes had electricity, some were gas only. 
Cinema? Saturday mornings only if you were lucky. 
Motor vehicles? Few people owned cars of motorbikes. If you wanted to go anywhere the normal method of transport was 'Shanks pony'. Walking on foot everywhere, with trains (steam) and buses for longer journeys.

Television was a rarity in the 1950s, black and white and early TVs had a magnifying lens on two webbing straps to hold it in front of the small screen. Reception was at best intermittent and no such thing as a 24 hour service. 

Holidays? In the North there were the wakes weeks (fortnight) when the local area shut down. Some headed for resorts, Blackpool, Morecambe and Southport. Many stayed home. Holiday 'entitlement' was a new idea...3 weeks per year to be negotiated. One winter week and two in the rest of the year, but only the 'lucky few' had a fortnight. In the 1970s that idea of three weeks holiday was standard.

NHS yes and it functioned well, but once you reached 50 you were getting 'worn out'. Doctors admonished patients to 'grin and bear it' because you were 'getting on in years'.

As the saying goes, you cannot have it and spend it. Baby boomers saved for their old age. Debt was shameful, if you needed something you saved up for it. You were expected to live within your means. Sayings from WWII were perpetuated 'Waste not, want not.' 

It's the baby boomers whose pension funds have been raided by businessmen and politicians alike.

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