Are the young bearing the burden of the deficit? Should the older generation bail them out?
Baby-boomers must pay up
The baby-boomer generation is the most cosseted, untouchable, powerful generation in our history. To say so isn’t pensioner-bashing, but simply stating a fact. That is the lesson of the outcry over last week’s ‘granny tax’ in George Osborne’s Budget. Even as those in every other generation have seen their incomes fall, and had to consume less, the elderly have been completely protected from Osborne’s axe.
Buenos Aires is as exhilarating, as unpredictable, as stylish as ever. But the economic boom is over. Times are hard once again, more shops in Calle Florida are boarded up, the sales are pretty frantic. And so, as Jorge Luis Borges, the blind sage of Calle Maipu, just off the superb Plaza San Martin, once remarked: ‘When Argentina’s economy goes bad, you can be sure that nationalism will soon be beating its wings.
There’s nothing like a crisis to rescue an ailing candidateYes, he’s back. Just when the French Socialists thought that they were jogging into the Elysée Palace for the first time in 17 years, a discredited president has remounted his favourite war horse, a national security crisis, and with three weeks to go before the first round on 22 April, the left has a fight on its hands. Ten days ago, most commentators agreed that François Hollande merely had to keep his head and events would take their inevitable course.
There is perhaps one thing that unites radicals and revolutionaries from all countries, and most ages: London. At some point or another, most of the great political dissenters and activists, Voltaire, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Sun Yat-sen and even Ho Chi Minh have found themselves on the streets of our capital, plotting and writing in tiny back rooms. For 300 hundred years, it has been famous for its political tolerance in a temperamental and oppressive world.
How to make our private schools open to all
To look at David Cameron’s Cabinet is to see that Britain has a deep problem with social mobility. As in the Cabinet, the privately-educated are disproportionately represented in every sphere
of British life, from politics to pop music. Almost three-quarters of high court judges, more than half of leading news journalists and a third of our MPs were educated at independent schools,
which educated just 7 per cent of pupils.
It is hard not to see the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a judgment on the Anglican Communion. Here was an intellectually formidable, spiritually profound, morally courageous leader whose job was made unbearable by gangs of intolerant, uncharitable, divisive and squabbling intellectual minnows. The event should give the Church of England, and those most responsible for its future, pause for thought.