Editor's Comment: December 2019
PUBLISHED: 12:59 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:59 05 December 2019
Student loans, eating on trains and carrots growing on trees (you read that right)…as we approach the end of the year, our editor mulls over what it means to be a young person in 2019
I don't think there's any doubt that many of our younger generation suffer from what my Grandad would call 'LMF' - Lack of Moral Fibre.
I don't want to be unfair to them - it may be hard to believe, but even I was young once - but let's face it, they just haven't got it.
They whine about a student loan that they're never going to pay. They moan that they're tied into the gig economy and a zero-hours contract. They're beset with indolence and idleness. Their biggest challenge is being banned by that mad Chief Medical Officer from eating on a train (you try getting from Paddington to Gloucester on a Friday evening without the sustenance of a Double Whopper and a bottle of train wine). Their only ambition is stardom via the X-Factor or one of those TV shows where you get your baps out for the titivation of the masses. They spend everything they have to spare on taxis and takeaways, and they clear off to Asia on a gap year at the drop of a surfboard.
And when they do return home, it's to the safety and comfort of mummy and daddy's, where the fridge is always full and the washing basket emptied. A stint as Santa's Little Helper is a small price to pay for such security.
We are told that they are also culturally bereft. Endless surveys will inform you of gaps in knowledge or wisdom. A pile of quite ludicrous mental manure recently published by the Racing Post asserted that 98% of people under the age of 30 have never see a horse in the flesh in this country. File alongside the mythical children who have never seen a cow, or the schoolkids who think carrots grow on trees. I really do have my doubts.
And at this time of the year, the millennial deprivation is ever more apparent. How many 18-38-year-olds (the apparent demographic) have even cracked open a brazil nut or delighted in the annual sticky pointlessness of an Eat Me date? Now it's full-on fashionable vegetarianism - at least until Heston piles the turkey and trimmings on the dinner table. Then all thoughts of meat being murder get lost in a sea of gravy.
It may sound like tough love, but it's time they learned life's hard lesson - you don't always get what you want.
They're not going to get a gift-wrapped copy of Now That's What I Call Music Number 138. They're not going to get a subscription to Netflix. They may not even get the purple sweet from the bottom of the tin.
So, now I've got all that off my red-velvet-and-white fur-clad chest, it's time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year… whatever the General Election may bring.
May your grate never want for coal, and your plate that last helping of M&S pigs in blankets.
See you in 2020!