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Alex Bell (of P&J) - you crack me up!

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

So baldy, old Alex Bell of the Press and Journal (P&J) wants to portray himself as the promoter of a youth movement of today. You crack me up, Alex. You surely don't think you're one of them, do you? Or perhaps you are looking for some new, young friends?

I don't disagree with the underlying theme of your article in the P&J today, namely that it's pretty tough nowadays for young people to build a prosperous life for themselves. Though I have to say they don't seem to me to be having too hard a time of it, with their designer gear, thrice-weekly visits to the pub for "socialising" (to protect their mental health of course) and top-of-the range mobile phones.

Your article today was one of the most ageist articles I have read in a long time. Unlike you, I don't consider the elder generation to have been stupid and selfish. You may have been. I was too busy working for a living to be so indulgent.

It has always been tough Alex, for centuries. With the exception of a relatively short period between the 1980s and 2008, buying your own home was always a pipe-dream. Only the very rich and upper class, who probably made up about 2% of the population, were ever able to buy their homes.

I recall that back in the 1980s there were over 3 million unemployed. Decades earlier there were similar periods of mass unemployment. Were things really so much better decades ago?

There really is no difference nor great unfairness between the youth of today and the more elderly. This ploy of casting the elderly as the villains in the piece of why today's youth are struggling for prosperity is both flawed and grossly unfair. Today's elderly aren't the politicians or bankers that made life hard. They are simply young folk that have aged.

If we consider the elderly to be those over the age of 55 say, then you are talking about people who have probably worked hard for 35 years of their lives and may only have another 20-30 years of life left (making the huge assumption that premature illness does not befall them). Are we really saying that we should deny such people the fruits of their labour? Take away their supposedly ill-gotten gains and force them back into the labour camps? Perhaps we should simply apply eugenics and terminate anyone who wishes to retire?

I agree that far too many of today's students are let down by the system. In fact, I know of several men who have qualified with very good degrees (Distinctions in Master Degrees in a tough science subject), who after 5 years of study, cannot even get an interview for a graduate position. And do you know what they tell me, Alex? They tell me they know of female students who haven't even completed their degrees that are receiving job interviews before them. What's that all about, Alex? I suppose you are in favour of dismissing all fairness towards men in your Utopian Brave New World? Modern solutions to discrimination only seem to be throwing up new discrimination. Sometimes "old-fashioned conservatism" really is the fairest solution.

You seem to be in favour of new models of societal relationships. As you put it, "new sexual arrangements flourishing" and "the parent/child family model dying as birth rates plummet". The trouble is, these new models are happening because the global media is encouraging it. It is not happening because people really want it. The media is desperately trying to reduce the global population (eugenics again) and destroying the parent/child family model is one way to go about it. As the very knowledgeable Alan Watt (of You Tube fame) puts it, "You are given your thoughts". So true. I fear for those youngsters who think it is cool not to have a family, only to "wake up" when they are in their fifties, and realise they have been conned out of their birth-right.

You say we have "placed the young in threat with the horror of climate change, the tsunami of debt and the deadly virus". Excuse me, but aren't elderly people just as affected by these threats as the young? In fact, more under threat from the virus than the young? Let's not talk nonsense, Alex.

The whole thread of your article is wrong, Alex. The way that you portray the elderly as enemies of youth. The way that you portray the elderly as if they were all politicians or bankers greedily grasping every opportunity for themselves. The way they caused climate change as if they fecklessly drove everywhere polluting the atmosphere, when in fact they were forced to drive to their work because industry changed and it was no longer possible to find your workplace on your doorstep.

Life has always been hard, and I doubt very much it never will be. What we really need to ensure going forward is to ensure that those that work the hardest reap the most rewards.

This coronavirus has super-charged the notion that if any hardship befalls you, you should pick up a placard, parade down your city centre's high street, scream out of you like the spoiled child you are, wait for the media to cover it, then go pick your compensatory cheque from the government for your misfortune. If only it was that simple. Trouble is, someone always has to pick up the tab.

The last thing we need in the city of Aberdeen is another bunch of youthful snowflakes parading down Union Street, bawling out of them like the feckless bunch they are, waving placards and demanding something for nothing. Demanding that their elders hand over what little hard-earned wealth they have, to those that have never done a day's work in their lives.

Dream on, Alex.

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