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Jul 19 2013

Goodbye baby boomers: the most criminal generation of them all

It is hardly surprising that David Cameron was out and about yesterday boasting of another sharp decline in crime levels. I won’t blame him for claiming credit, any prime minister would do the same, but there is little evidence that political policies have had much effect. Similar trends can be seen in most Western countries and show little regard to the ideology of the government of the day.

Criminologists continue to ponder the decline, although the smarter ones consider not the fall in crime alone, but the rise and fall in crime – a dramatic spike that probably began sometime around 1960 and suddenly went into reverse in the mid-nineties.

A less-well publicised but no less important statistic came to light recently. The fastest growing section of the UK prison population is the over sixties. They are still a small proportion of the whole, of course, but as rates of youth offending continue to decline, grey offending is on the rise. This points to a stark and rarely-stated truth. The baby boomers, those born between the end of the second world war and around 1964, were the most criminal generation of the twentieth century.

The typical cultural portrayal of baby-boomers has been bleached and sanitised. They were the political radicals, the peace-loving hippies, the architects of women’s liberation and the revolutionary soixante-huitards. They were the Thatcherite yuppies who snaffled up the wealth, launched house prices into the stratosphere, took advantage of free education and a welfare state then pulled up the ladder behind them. This painfully elitist, classist, racially exclusive narrative ignores the bigger truth that most baby-boomers were born into abject poverty and austerity, and many never really escaped it.

Those who write history tend to smile indulgently on their own, so posterity recalls the middle-class pot-smoking hippies of the late sixties and seventies who fought with police outside the US Embassy rather more fondly than their beer-drinking, working class contemporaries who fought police on the picket lines, or each other on the terraces. They may have been miles apart in wealth and status, but they were all forged in the furnace of the baby boom.

Woody Guthrie famously sang that ‘some rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.’   Throughout the 1980s and early 90s, it was largely baby boomers who were getting rich on the social disembowelling of our inner cities and industrial heartlands, and other baby boomers who were filling those voids with heroin and crack cocaine.  What happened to the crime figures in the mid-nineties? The last of the baby boomers finally grew up.

There are of course many people, mostly now aged between about 50 and 75, who claim crime has actually come down because of better prevention and detection technology; because of higher incarceration rates or even a reduction in environmental lead pollution. (The Economist has a great rundown of the theories] To which I say, well, they would say that wouldn’t they? Anything is better than admitting they belong to a generation of crooks, thieves and thugs.

To be charitable for a moment, I will admit that, as with most social science and statistics, it is all a bit more complicated than that. Nonetheless there is a pertinent truth beneath my provocations. If we ask ourselves what it was about the post-war decades that might have incubated a rise in destructive and anti-social behaviour there would be no shortage of answers.

I recently crawled through the volume of David Kynaston’s remarkable social history series covering Austerity Britain 1945-51. I’ll admit I was really looking for cheap rhetorical analogies to apply to current debates, but I quickly abandoned that plan. The sheer desperation of the hardship and poverty of those rationed years would have made any comparison offensive. It was a tough, tough time to be a child. Add to that huge numbers of children raised in families bereaved of so many fathers, brothers and sons, or with parents emotionally scarred by the terror and trauma of active service or bombed cities.

Then there was the promise of the affluent society, driven by a desire to create a land fit for heroes. It is not hard to imagine that the generation growing into adulthood through that time assimilated a dangerous combination of stressful socialisation and rampant entitlement.

There are lessons to be learned from the crimes of the baby boomers. If we want to understand why people hurt each other, harm each other, damage each other on our streets, in our homes, in our boardrooms. In the meantime, we can take comfort in knowing that the generation responsible for the selfish individualism and crime boom of the late twentieth century is gradually passing into retirement. Goodbye Baby boomers. You won’t be missed.

45 comments

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  1. 1
    carnation

    A cracking and pretty damn provocative article, Ally!

    A few thoughts… Empire was on the decline anyway, but I reckon the boomers were the first generation (and every subsequent one followed) for whom patriotism no longer meant willing to die for King/Queen and country en masse. A more cynical outlook took over. They collectively introduced, welcomed, opposed and other’d mass immigration and immigrants (continuing to this day).

    The disintegration of the class system and the often vaguely delusional self identification of the nouveau “middle class(es)” is a boomer curiosity.

    Did you see the articles about the theory that vandalism is on the vane because of smartphones? Very interesting.

  2. 2
    Ally Fogg

    Cheers carnation.

    Yeah, I think with youth offending in particular, a large part of it may be simple diversion. Stuff like vandalism is often driven by boredom, and just the availability of XBoxes, phones etc can probably account for a lot of it.

  3. 3
    Bitethehand

    “Stuff like vandalism is often driven by boredom, and just the availability of XBoxes, phones etc can probably account for a lot of it.”

    Or maybe the smart phone owners photograph them in the act and report them to the police who then arrest them?

  4. 4
    Bitethehand

    “If we want to understand why people hurt each other, harm each other, damage each other on our streets, in our homes, in our boardrooms. (sentence?) In the meantime, we can take comfort in knowing that the generation responsible for the selfish individualism and crime boom of the late twentieth century is gradually passing into retirement. Goodbye Baby boomers.”

    Actually many of the ones I know and they cover the entire 50 – 75 age range, have stormed into retirement, are fitter and healthier than any previous generation and will continue to play merry hell with anyone who stands in their way for a good twenty years and more. :)

  5. 5
    Scr... Archivist

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I hear you saying that many social problems in Britain during the last several decades stem from the effects of World War II. That shock is still resonating all these years later.

    If so, shouldn’t we also be placing some blame on those people born in the late 19th century who brought us that catastrophe, and the vast trauma that it was a sequel to?

  6. 6
    Ally Fogg

    If so, shouldn’t we also be placing some blame on those people born in the late 19th century who brought us that catastrophe, and the vast trauma that it was a sequel to?

    Yeah, if you like.

    Although the difference is that baby boomers are still here, still smug and still easy to wind up ;-)

  7. 7
    tomhuld

    Not sure if I’m supposed to have a bone in this fight; I was born in 1963 but in Denmark, which escaped WWII only very lightly scathed.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t really feel personally responsible for the fact that my generation contains a higher percentage of criminals, as long as I’m not among them (no six-gun, no fountain pen), so I’m not sure that people of my generation would go out of their way to make up excuses for the crime bump. And there isn’t all that much difference between the explanations in terms of guilt/responsibility: whether you become a crook because you were not restrained (the law and order brigade), because you are brain-damaged (by lead poisoning) or because you are traumatized (the theory you mention), it’s all environmental factors.

    Finding the causes is of course important because of what it means for policy. If high incarceration rates don’t help, then destroying so many lives is just sadism. If lead poisoning could cause a crime wave, what else might lurk in the things we are exposed to? Here I’m a bit doubtful about your “war trauma theory”. How well does it correlate across countries? The U.S. was much less damaged than Britain (including a far lower casualty rate), so the pattern should be different. How does Switzerland compare to Austria?, Sweden to Norway or Finland?

    I know I’m being lazy here, just throwing questions around, and not doing the research myself, but maybe somebody here already did it and would save me the trouble.

  8. 8
    mildlymagnificent

    Anyone who watched any episodes at all of Call the Midwife can get a vague impression of just how awful life was for those little baby boomers and their deprived parents in the bombed out, housing shortages, rationed post war life in Britain.

    I suspect life was a lot, a great deal, easier for many more of us in Australia and elsewhere. Full employment all the way through the 50s and 60s saw to that. But that group, “the political radicals, the peace-loving hippies, the architects of women’s liberation and the revolutionary soixante-huitards”, had to buy their drugs from someone. And a whole new class of criminals emerged and grew. (The Vietnam war didn’t help in this respect.)

    Not so sure that this was a particularly criminal generation anyway. They were just the lucky ones who got to stay home when they were young and vigorous and their societies were prosperous. Their father’s and grandfathers’ generations had to give up their youth in wars, (and often lost their lives or their health and strength into the bargain) – and suffered through the Depression in the meantime.

  9. 9
    mildlymagnificent

    Should add for context. I’m a real baby boomer. War finished 1945. Parents married 46. I arrived 47.

  10. 10
    Schala

    Yeah, I think with youth offending in particular, a large part of it may be simple diversion. Stuff like vandalism is often driven by boredom, and just the availability of XBoxes, phones etc can probably account for a lot of it.

    Home consoles and “gamer” PCs date from the late 70s and early 80s. The average gamer is about my age (30), well more like 25-40. And if we don’t count the people who play Farmville and the likes, still mostly (70% maybe) male.

    It’s a myth that gaming is a 5-15 thing. Sure at this age you got nothing better to do, and they even design games just for you (educative, or childish). But the games of 18+ sell, unlike movies of 18+, which tank in box office. Skyrim is 18+. Most MMORPGs tend to have 13-15 as the lowest age point, with an older community depending on the game. And maturity really depends on the game, the more niche it is, the more mature. WoW has all the crap elements because it is not aimed at a more mature audience. LOTRO in contrast has a more mature audience. FFXI and FFXIV also tend to attract a more-mature-than-WoW audience. Regardless of chronological age.

    So it’s not just youth playing videogames. I’m stunned it’s mostly men still though I would have thought that IT, videogame design and videogame playing would have become gender-neutral by now. But it only has at the very casual level, or with social-type games (The Sims).

    There was a study that said if women were told that certain jobs were no longer “geek jobs” they got more interested in it. Telling men that had zero effect.

    Geek stuff is said to be a social death (as if being nerd meant never being social by definition), and while it’s considered the very lowest of masculine, it’s still considered unfeminine…mostly by non-geek women. Geek women (like me) tend to not mind it one bit. Don’t think the environment is sexist more than the rest of society. Don’t think we need to be catered to as a special interest group. But we are the outliers, those who self-select into geek stuff, and damn the social consequences. Guys who self-select into geek stuff are ALREADY social pariahs. Nothing to lose.

    I bet nursing suffers from the reverse. And note that I really DO think the environment should not be catering to the special interest group. In IT or in nursing. It shouldn’t be deliberately sexist, but neither should it assume that the demographics is defacto the result of sexism. It’s the result of ingrained stereotypes, the same as ballet, figure skating or american football being super-gendered in the minds of people.

  11. 11
    carnation

    @ Schala 10

    A sterling attempt at a derail.

  12. 12
    Brony

    These patterns interest me in a more global level. Epigenetics anyone?
    http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/features/142195/beyond-dna-epigenetics

    We have connections between many cognitive features and conditions that involve epigentic processes because that is a major player in how we form memories. But if you really want a real-world scary story you need to consider transgenerational epigenetics. There are now studies linking PTSD to the experiences of ones ancestors. So how are war and violence really related? Or war and poverty?

    Are there links between transgenerational epigenetics and hoarding tendencies? How about poverty again? Violence? We speak of stopping cycles but I have a feeling that these cycles are MUCH deeper than we realize and they will bring up many many issues. Like poverty breeding poverty, but there being much more insidious fault to be placed on the dominant cultures that keep others in poverty.

    This crap keeps me up at night.

  13. 13
    Jacob Schmidt

    Schala

    Geek stuff is said to be a social death (as if being nerd meant never being social by definition), and while it’s considered the very lowest of masculine, it’s still considered unfeminine…mostly by non-geek women.

    Depends on who you ask. Given the rise of geek culture and the whole “fake gamer girl” thing, it seems to be a point of pride for many. See also this ridiculous “90s kid” bullshit.

    It shouldn’t be deliberately sexist, but neither should it assume that the demographics is defacto the result of sexism. It’s the result of ingrained stereotypes, the same as ballet, figure skating or american football being super-gendered in the minds of people.

    How is the latter seperate from the former?

    Ally

    Although the difference is that baby boomers are still here, still smug and still easy to wind up .

    I should introduce you to my highschool history teacher. You two would get along swimmingly.

  14. 14
    Ginkgo

    ” the generation responsible for the selfish individualism and crime boom of the late twentieth century”

    This captures the problem – the Gordon Gecko rationalizations for sociopathic greed, the self-indulgence and indifference to the realities of other…. Of course that individualism was also what drove all the various rights movements of the era, and as a gay man I would be ungrateful if I didn’t see some good in that.

    One other thing. If you didn’t grow up in 50s-60s America, you caan’t really imagine what the food and wine and beer were like, with some regional exceptions. The same probably goes for Britain and Australia too. Boomer self-indulgence and demand are what changed that.

  15. 15
    Schala

    How is the latter seperate from the former?

    It’s not gamers deciding girls are too bad, incompetent to be gamers.

    It’s boys and girls being told that certain things will make you socially undesirable/uncool/not-”in” because they’re “more for the other gender”, like ballet and figure skating.

    Active discrimination and sexism would need to be at the point where the girl decides to join a game. Not at 3 years old, when she’s told pink and princesses are girly stuff.

  16. 16
    ChrisG

    I think another part of this equation is simple population growth. It was always assumed that a given country’s population would continue to grow over time. Starting in the 18th century, there were periodic mass wars (in the western world) that would knock back the population of young, aggressive men, until it grew large enough for another mass army, and so on.

    Now, I know this is a gross oversimplification of complex historical events, but you get the gist of it.

    This pattern continued until the post World War II population boom, but there was no mass war to cull down this surplus of young, aggressive men. Then women, controlling their own reproduction(gasp!) started having fewer babies. The upshot is, a significant decline in population growth, at least insofar as young, aggressive men are concerned. Canada, for instance, has seen its population grow only thanks to immigration, since the late 1970s. We’re not having as many babies as our parents did.

    Who commits violent crimes? Young, aggressive men. What do we have (relatively) fewer of these days? Yep, YAM. So, I agree that the “Baby Boom” generation (how I hate that term!) has been the most violent; there were simply more of them (us) as a percentage of the population. Fewer YAM, less violent crime.

    Now this only holds for the “first” world. The population growth in the “third” world is exposing those societies to the same types of pressures our societies coped with starting about 50 years ago. It remains to be seen if any new creative approaches to these challenges will be forthcoming. I am not optimistic.

    Again, I am grossly over simplifying a long-term, complex series of events and social development, but I think it still holds, since the violent crime rates that started this discussion have been falling everywhere in the west.

    Ally, this has been a great article and discussion.

  17. 17
    carnation

    @ Gingko 14

    British cuisine was pretty dire until probably the late 80s, neoliberalism has done untold harm, but it’s certainly led to better food choices, and added class delusion, for those prone to such things.

  18. 18
    Paul

    You may be right Ally but i’m really not sure.

    Pre- Victorian times lawlessness and criminality were a problem in this country. And from the Victorian era through to 1960 there’re a number of factors which have to be taken into consideration.For instance greater incarceration rates and exporting of criminals and unwanted children to the colonies. The culling of young men in various wars ,in the 1930′s young single unemployed men were contained in labour camps,,national service -which the post war baby boomer males escaped- the use of corporal punishment and birching by the judiciary pre-1945 which may -or may not-have acted as a deterrent. Different style of policing .-eg police used to turn a blind eye to mass brawls in some areas pre 1945.Others used to turn a blind eye to criminality in return for payment . Domestic violence and child abuse were largely ignored by the police until the 1970′s. And some social scientists believe that the relatively low levels of criminality and lawlessness in the 1950′s were the exception rather than the rule for this country.Although if you were Black the 1950′s weren’t a safe time which is well documented.And widespread use of CCTV in this country may also have played a part in reducing crime rates since the 1990′s.

    Those born between 1945 -1964 make up a large bulge in the population so for your argument to stand up crime rates per 1000 head of population of that generation would have to be compared with those of other generations. taking into consideration many other factors including some of which i’ve mentioned.So i reserve judgement on this one until i know more.

  19. 19
    Paul

    including some of which i’ve mentioned.

    That should have read ”… including those i’ve mentioned ”.

  20. 20
    mildlymagnificent

    Boomer self-indulgence and demand are what changed that.

    Not so sure. At least here, it was the spreading of immigrant foods and cultures into the general population that made a big difference. I noticed it especially once when I visited New Zealand in 1976(?). The Italian-Greek-other Europeans seemed to have had a much smaller impact there, near invisible – couldn’t get Italian food in Auckland until we found a local who actually knew where such an exotic restaurant was. In the South Island, no chance. Haven’t been back so I presume things are a bit different now. .

  21. 21
    robertbaden

    Is this the reverse of “kids today are so spoiled?” which every generation says about their kids?
    Next year is the 100 year anniversary of the start of the Great War.

  22. 22
    Bill Door

    Tell me about it, Ally. My parents were baby boomers – and look how poorly their children turned out!
    Also, good trolling, 9/10.

  23. 23
    David Harper

    You ought to take a lesson from your fellow Freethought blogger PZ Myers, and look at
    the actual data before making ridiculous and unfounded assertions.

    Look at the table on page 8 of that document, and you’ll see that just 4% of the UK prison population is aged 60 or over, yet the over-60s make up 22% of the general population. Clearly, Britain’s jails are not stuffed full of baby boomers.

    Judging by your photograph, I’m guessing you’re in your thirties. Your age cohort represents 28% of the prison population, but only 13% of the general population, so maybe we should conclude that it’s actually your generation that has the highest tendency to criminality?

  24. 24
    Paul

    @David Harper

    Ally’s actually 65. That photo was taken in the 1980′s.

  25. 25
    Ginkgo

    carnation @ – “British cuisine was pretty dire until probably the late 80s,”

    Englsih cooking is stereotyped negatively, I know and it’s interesting how that developed. One guess is that it became unfashionable and lost prestige, and attention. I saw a guy featured on the Cooking channel who had opened a restaurant in London serving Southern cooking. He said everyone loved it because it was basically englsih cooking with some American and a few African ingredients, and flavor.

    “neoliberalism has done untold harm, ”

    As far as I am concerned the Ferengi capture everything I don’t like about neo-liberlaism, or a lot of it. It is sociopathy in the form of a culture.

    “but it’s certainly led to better food choices, and added class delusion, for those prone to such things”

    Consumerism will improve the restuarnats and what you can find in the supermarket – for those who can afford the restaurants after the globalists have offshored all the decent jobs.

  26. 26
    Jacob Schmidt

    As far as I am concerned the Ferengi capture everything I don’t like about neo-liberlaism, or a lot of it. It is sociopathy in the form of a culture.

    It amuses me that neo-liberalism is, in fact, very conservative, yet conservatives will use it as an insult to liberals.

  27. 27
    carnation

    @ 25

    I should have said diet, rather than cuisine.

    Points taken

  28. 28
    Ginkgo

    carnation @ 27 – i must have misread you, because that’s what i thought you meant all along.

    Our English over here – something like 9% of the population, so about 50 million or, and that’s not counting those that don’t self-identify – don’t eat much better than yours in the UK. Just take a trip to Alabama to see what I mean. I don’t get it. Why so few vegetables in a sub-tropical climate? And for that matter it can’t be that hard to to find green stuff to eat in a “green and pleasant land”.

    Again, guessing, but I thinks it’s due to lack of prestige on that stuff as food. I think people lived for centuries off of bread and soup made mostly out of foraged wild pot herbs because no one could afford to waste land on growing vegetables when grain was so precious, that two things – they had no tradtion of eating carrots and so on, and they looked down on green food as poverty food and ditched it as soon as anything else became available.

    The times I’ve had solid English food it was wonderful. Black puddings and lamb chops and all that good stuff. I hear people used to make cream soups out of lovage. OMG! Heaven.

  29. 29
    Ginkgo

    Anyway – most criminal generation? I would have thoght the visionaries who were adults in the 30s and 40s who came up with the gulag and the Nazi death camps had that distinction sewn up.

  30. 30
    maddog1129

    I’m not entirely sure that it’s the “most criminal generation.” The last 40 years has seen the criminalization of an awful lot of behaviors that didn’t used to be “criminal” offenses.

  31. 31
    mildlymagnificent

    The last 40 years has seen the criminalization of an awful lot of behaviors that didn’t used to be “criminal” offenses.

    That’s a thought. (The thing that immediately comes to my mind is what was regarded as amusing in comic strips and so on in the 50s and 60s.) The idea of men “settling their differences” by stepping outside for a punch-up was unremarkable. Fights outside pubs were routine in many places. Domestic violence was regarded as a personal failing of men, rather than a crime.

    As for earlier generations. There was a part of the city of Adelaide that the cops just didn’t enter during the late 19th century. Occasionally they’d be “invited” or accepted into the area when they had to take away a murder victim, but it was basically a no-go zone for ordinary citizens and for anyone in authority of any kind.

    I distinctly remember my grandfather, born 1896, laughing as he told us about the jolly japes he and his mates got up to in his country town (this would be before WW1). Roof-rocking the houses of prissy-mouthed ladies they didn’t like at the local church was apparently a sign of vigorous youthful exuberance. This, I might add, not half an hour after expounding at length about the disrespectfulness, the noisy behaviour and the vandalism of “young people today”.

  32. 32
    Ally Fogg

    David Harper

    Look at the table on page 8 of that document, and you’ll see that just 4% of the UK prison population is aged 60 or over, yet the over-60s make up 22% of the general population. Clearly, Britain’s jails are not stuffed full of baby boomers.

    .
    I have looked at the data. As I said in the article, the over 60s represent “a small proportion of the whole.” The vast majority of crime is committed by men in their teens and twenties. Always has been, probably always will be. However what the statistics show us is that in 2002 there were 1376 prisoners 60+ (those born 1942 or before) and in 2012 there were 3,333 (those born 1952 or above). So the numbers have more than doubled while the prison population in that time has only gone up from about 70,000 to 85,000.

    What that suggests is that, if you imagine a standard frequency line graph,with offending on the X axis and age on the right, it probably peaks around 22 and then tails away. But what the stats suggest is that the graph is not just getting smaller overall (which it is) but the bulge is moving to the right.

    I never suggested that baby boomers commit all the crime. That would have been silly. Even sillier than what I did write.

  33. 33
    Ally Fogg

    maddog1129

    I’m not entirely sure that it’s the “most criminal generation.” The last 40 years has seen the criminalization of an awful lot of behaviors that didn’t used to be “criminal” offenses.

    This is true.

    The big change over the past 40-50 years has been the rise of the drugs trade. There are all the people jailed for dealing or possession, and all the people jailed for theft etc in order to support drug habits.

    The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 did add a lot of new offenders, but in the context of this argument, we have to acknowledge that the criminalisation of drugs followed (and I would argue also fed) the growth in the consumption of drugs in the 50s (with speed, bennies etc) then through the 60s (pot, acid etc). Hello, baby boomers again.

    But this does raise a very interesting alternative model, which would put drugs, both the consumption of drugs and drugs policy, at the heart of the crime spike.

    In zemiological terms (look it up folks, great word) I’d quite like to remove all recreational drug use and personal possession from the analysis, because I don’t think it reflects genuine social harm. However distribution and supply of seriously addictive drugs I do see as harmful, if not necessarily criminal (tobacco and alcohol, anyone?)

  34. 34
    Bitethehand

    @ 22 David Harper

    Nothing quite like a bit of empirical evidence to bolster the discussion. :)

    Nice post.

  35. 35
    Paul

    @David Harper /BTH

    I’m still not convinced that those born between 1945-1964 are/were more likely to commit crime than other generations. There’re so many other factors that need to be taken into consideration.

    With regard to the over 60′s any real increase in the numbers in prison may in part be down to greater detection by the police as well as greater numbers in the population .For it’s possible that age group may have simply been more likely to slip under the radar when committing crimes in the past.

  36. 36
    Ace of Sevens

    Part of it is kids these days argue on Facebook, where it takes a lot more deliberation to escalate it into hitting people.

  37. 37
    abear

    Ally wrote:

    Although the difference is that baby boomers are still here, still smug and still easy to wind up ;-)

    It is perfectly OK for Ally Fogg to troll baby boomers with bigoted ageist propaganda, but when I use a little good natured humor to tease radical feminists the comment gets memory holed!
    Double standard much?

  38. 38
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  39. 39
    riley

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  40. 40
    angharad

    I wonder how much of that spike in elderly prisoners is for people being prosecuted now for crimes they committed some time ago, but which were covered up or not reported at the time (child abuse in particular). I guess you’d have to look at the offenses for which they’re imprisoned to find out.

  41. 41
    Ally Fogg

    angharad

    Not much. The new crime figures showed a very small (non-significant) rise of 1% in sexual offences, and they suggested the reason that this might be the “Yewtree effect.”

    But sexual offences are only a small proportion of total crime, and historic cases are only a small proportion of sexual offences.

    The numbers have been rising pretty steadily over the past 10 years.

    And anyway, even if the spike in elderly prisoners were down to historic cases, those would still be the baby boomers we were talking about!

  42. 42
    angharad

    Ally
    That’s true. But there’s a difference between people’s pasts catching up with them and people committing crimes whilst elderly, which is a break from the traditional narrative about elderly people (that they are conservative and sedate). I suppose there is this notion that the Boomers are aging ‘disgracefully’ as Bitethehand pointed out above, and continuing (or beginning even) to commit crimes would fit with this.

  43. 43
    Sasori

    Fascinating. I think that you might be able to add that the break down of the old social “I look up to him, I look down on him” social consensus as well as the slower erosion of social democratic values (that the unwritten rules of society and social contract were broken) might have been a contributory factor in the rise of crime, and the fall as the new neo-liberal one was established. Probably not a major one.

    “British cuisine was pretty dire until probably the late 80s”
    There was an interesting aside to this on the TV show Victorian Farm. One of the presenters noted that you start to crave animal fats once you’ve been doing a lot of hard physical labour, and that in an old Victorian house with no central heating, heavy stodgy meals were actually very comforting because you neen the carbs and fat to keep warm. It’s only with the wide-scale use of central heating and insulation that the British diet started to move slowly towards lighter more Mediterranean fare as the norm.

  44. 44
    Mikayla

    True, there are comedians that cuss a lot, but you got to earn that right before you do that.
    But you can’t just stand there grinning like an idiot until they finish laughing.
    Well, it can easily be because the audience has been watching her in the TV for the past 6 years,
    but nevertheless, her FACTS are easy to remember and apply to everyone.

  45. 45
    Allison Webster

    Have you heard the new “Baby Boomer” song?
    This powerful piece tells it like it is.

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