In Search of Progress, 1920 To 2000, Part 4 of 4

How does it all add up? We have bad behaviour among the young, a tinkering government bent on flying kites instead of legislating We are taxed beyond reason in every sphere, and our lives are less gregarious.

Let us look at the young. Bad behaviour could be expected, because the plight of a lot of the young people today is so different from the childhood of myself and my children. The better off treat their children better than we were ever treated. However, with few recreational facilities, 24,7 TV, the iniquitous website, latchkey children that are on the increase, and the loss of the extended family, children are left very much to their own devices, and these too are few and far between. It is unsurprising therefore, they congregate in gangs, that there is gang warfare, which not necessarily takes the form of inter-gang fighting, but a war against the affluent. All the time you have working single parents, the problem will remain, because parental influence has diminished incredibly. The State is expected to cope.

It is costing the nation money for policing, insuring against, and clearing up after the damage caused by young people. Might it be cheaper to provide them with something enjoyable to do? The housing legislation encourages young women to have children in order to obtain a dwelling, The problem will worsen. The escalating breakup of marriages needs to be addressed as this too contributes to the situation. From my own experience, I beg those in authority not to be penny-pinching in any solution they may consider. What is put in place must be professional, of a high-quality, and funded for a long haul, as habits are not changed overnight. To enter a badly decorated, and furnished youth club, is intensely off-putting – I know!. We need much more, confidential, professional help on tap for the young to beat drugs, loneliness, and the other ills besetting them, something similar to ChildLine.

One issue influencing the finances of the young is inheritance. We were frugal by necessity, and have saved enough for a comfortable old age. Now we’re finding that the family home, which basically was always sacrosanct, a safe investment, (only the very wealthy paid inheritance tax) is now being taken from us piecemeal with payments for nursing, taxes and diminishing income. The false rise in the value of property, is now presenting the elderly with a dichotomy. They wish to pass on the money to the younger generations to get them out of their own financial difficulties. With swathing inheritance taxation, avoidance takes a number of forms, one of which is to pass on the house at least seven years before you expect to die. This however, with the insecurity of marriage, ceases to ensure that the value of the property will go to those intended, as a divorce among the legatees might create a settlement whereby that portion of the property would go to somebody entirely different.

I fear this government is more interested in covering its losses than in looking after the welfare of the population. I have already referred to the penal system elsewhere, but must touch again here. Due to overcrowding and underfunding, there is little attempt made to change the outlook and proclivities of the incarcerated, many of whom should not have been there in the first place. We are steadily building a serious problem with the influx of refugees. Drugs too are a similar problem, leftover from the 60s. Neither simple to solve, but closure of our borders, and more stringent search legislation might help to stem the flow. I don’t understand why we ever opened our borders, in the first place, we managed to avoided other EU blanket legislation.

Categorized as General

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