Can't say I've really paid much attention to her articles in the past but I've just had the misfortune of reading this
nasty, shrill diatribe.
I tried to understand, I really did, but it was difficult after reading the latest report on adult children still living at home: almost three million of the UK's 20-34-year-olds: approaching one in three men and one in seven women.
I could barely suppress the urge to grab someone, perhaps not the 20-year-olds, but certainly the thirtysomethings and scream: "What are you playing at? You get one life and you're living it in your parents' house, as a strangely tall child, presumably with secondary sexual characteristics. Whatever it takes, whatever it costs, however much your standard of living falls, you must save yourself and leave. At once!"
But then I'm funny like that. I've always believed that people should have one of those things that start with a birth, end with a death and have lots of stuff going on in the middle. You know, a life.
So rather than direct her ire at the pernicious influence of grasping BTL landlords and the total dereliction of central and local government's duty to ensure the sufficient supply of decent affordable housing, Babs decides to stick the boot into those already on the receiving end of the complete failure of housing policy.
Studies such as this always amaze me. Not because I'm nasty or stupid. I know about high rents, low wages, no wages, exploitative landlords, travel costs, dangerous areas, debts, student or otherwise, and the housing ladder. I also understand that, in different cultures, adults live at home before marriage. But come on. For Britons, if you've always been healthy but you're still living with your folks in your late-20s, never mind mid-30s, something has gone wrong.
Glad we agree. Perhaps we could build more genuinely affordable social housing or campaign for rent controls and living wages?
And no amount of defensive yammering about high rents is going to change that.
Ah. Maybe we don't agree then.
There's an argument that older generations have screwed over the young and I sympathise. Certainly, I find it repulsive that generations who went to university for free got away with imposing crippling fees on the young. After that, my sympathy wanes a tad. "All they could afford would be dumps." So what? I spent much of my youth in dumps.
"They can't get on to the property ladder?" Boo-hoo. Most young people in previous "luckier" generations weren't anywhere near the property ladder. "The cost of living… blah, blah." Again, so what? When are young people going to realise that roughing it and feeling permanently broke when you're starting out has always been with us. It's not some ghastly new concept exclusively devised to torture the youth of 2012.
And so on. What a needlessly cunty, judgmental upper middle-class whinge. Barbara seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that there's been some sort of mass outbreak of mollycoddling over the last 30 years, but makes absolutely no effort to look at the underlying factors (wage repression, landlordism, insufficient housing supply driving up prices and rents, Grant Shapps) that might be leaving so many twenty and thirtysomethings stranded at home. This is just reactionary bollocks. Perhaps she's trying to be funny, but I don't detect a trace of irony here.