Letter: Sixties icons are not ours

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Sir: We fiftysomethings are "war babies", not "baby-boomers" - two quite distinct groups. Those born in the post-war baby boom would now be fortysomethings, like Ms Toynbee.

Many of my generation, I suspect, feel quite peeved at the way the baby- boomers came along and ruthlessly deconstructed the secure, socially cohesive, idealistic post-war world (1945-60) in which we grew up.

What they have given the rest of us is epitomised not just by the Sixties, but by the Thatcherite Eighties, too; both are two sides of the same coin. That coin, of course, is selfish libertarianism, the ethos of "blow everybody else, I'm going to have what I want".

The Sixties and Seventies applied this to sex and drugs, whilst the Eighties and Nineties expressed it in terms of money - but it is the same beast that Ms Toynbee's generation liberated from Pandora's box 30 years ago.

DAVID SMITH

Bletchley, Buckinghamshire

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