NEWSNIGHT presenter Jeremy Paxman has turned his famously acid tongue on himself and his fellow baby boomers, labelling them "the most selfish generation in history".
Writing in the Daily Mail, Paxman says what he calls the "Lucky Generation", born between 1945 and 1965, are at least partly responsible for the findings of a new study that claims today's young will be 25 per cent worse off than their parents when they reach the age of 65.
In the post-war years, the taxes of the baby boomers' parents were used to fund free higher education and build the NHS. But when they got into power, they introduced tuition fees, "flogged public assets and frittered away the bounty provided by North Sea oil".
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After making money by "sitting on their backsides" while their houses increased in value, Paxman says, baby boomers then selfishly bought up buy-to-let property, preventing the young from getting a foot on the property ladder.
"Surprising numbers" of baby boomers claim they are "anti-establishment" - yet "the truth is the Lucky Generation are in authority and have been for years now".
Paxman quotes the author Francis Beckett, who wrote that the parents of baby boomers "had battled for healthcare, for education, for full employment and economic security". Their children, by contrast, "fought for, and won, the right to wear their hair long and enjoy sex".
What of the offspring of the Lucky Generation? "Their children and grandchildren have been sent out into a plundered world, shackled by debt, unable to contemplate early home ownership or starting a family,” says Paxman.
"And then the Luckiest Generation tut at the level of anti-social behaviour they claim to see. It strikes me as more of a wonder the streets aren't full of demonstrators demanding compulsory euthanasia."
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