Enormous changes lie ahead
By Ben Shenton
‘WELCOME to your life. There’s no turning back. Even when we sleep we will find you on your best behaviour. Turn your back on mother nature, everybody wants to rule the world.’ This song dates back to 1985, 33 years ago, and whilst originally intended to demonstrate that despite best intentions power corrupts, it is as relevant today as it was in the past.
Our personal beliefs are largely built on our own experiences and the young won’t remember the dark days of the three-day week. They won’t remember that in 1976 the Labour Government had to get a bail-out from the IMF for a loan to effectively prevent UK bankruptcy, a loan largely funded by Germany and the USA. People have forgotten that when Britain joined the European Economic Union in 1973 it was the sick man of Europe – not the mighty empire some have created out of false memory.
And the point of this article? The young, the people that will take power in the future, are very different to my generation, with attitudes built from very different experiences. My generation created wealth, evidenced by possessions and money. We followed the capitalist dream, which in turn funded social improvement for the masses. The reason I mention the IMF loan is because this was the point that the British economy changed from one driven by the ideals of full employment and social welfare to one driven by the control of inflation and expenditure.
The new generation is likely to become even more socially liberal and have a much greater appreciation of the damage we are inflicting on the planet. We shall see a rise in the politicians that grasp these changing philosophies, labelled by the establishment as populists, and the death of the dinosaurs that don’t (conservatives, labour, etc).
Jersey will have to adapt to this new paradigm and my generation, and those before me, will have to prepare for this. This new consciousness will not condone several practices that this Island currently finds extremely lucrative from a financial viewpoint – some of which directly penalise the sick and poor of other countries by depriving them of important tax revenue. I am a capitalist that believes in hard work and a social conscience. However, I realise that the world is changing and my standards will become part of the past, not the future. The times are a-changing, and the pace of change shall be breathtaking.