LETTER : The baby boomers betrayed us first

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The baby boomers were those born in the late 1940s, conceived when the servicemen returned from the war, and do not include those born earlier ("Baby boomers find that growing old is not so absolutely fabulous", 1 June). Few will remember the austerity that followed the war, let alone the war itself or the depression that preceded it. For most, their earliest memories are of the "never had it so good" years.

They were the first generation to benefit from the National Health Service and the Welfare State; later they were the first to benefit from the explosion in higher education. In spite of having more spent on them than any other generation, much of their time as students was taken up demonstrating for more.

Yet when it was their turn to foot the bill, their attitude changed and they became the backbone of support for Thatch-erite ideas of lower taxation and government spending. Far from being betrayed they were the ones who did the betraying. They were the spoilt and the selfish generation.

Now, belatedly, they are having to grow up and find themselves hoist with their own petard. The enterprise economy they latterly embraced will be overshadowed by job insecurity. The youth culture they spawned will ensure that if they lose their jobs they are unlikely to find anything similar, if anything at all. If they get in difficulties in their old age they are unlikely to receive much sympathy from the younger generation whom they deprived of proper education facilities.

Les Sharp

Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

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