At this year’s One Young World conference, Bob Geldof stated that the youth of this generation have blood on their hands, as it is they who are the killers of Syria, as well as murdering people in Beirut, Sharm el Sheikh and most recently Paris. “Forget the tweeting about bullshit. Get real with your governments,” he said, basically urging millennials to get up and take a stand.
Whilst his assessment is partly true, given the fact that most of today’s terrorists are of the younger age scale; it seems unfair and irresponsible to ascribe the current woes of this world to a particular generation. As we know, every catastrophe that takes place has an effect on generations X and Y, including those who are yet to come. One only needs to look at how the events of the holocaust and slavery still play a role in peoples lives today to prove this is true; and so the question lies, what is pushing young people to such extremes and why aren’t others bothered to do anything about it?
Perhaps Owen Jones can provide some answers to the pending question.
In Jones’s article “Change Society and take control of your futures,” he talks about soaring debt as a result of education, a lack of decent paying jobs and youth services being cut. Could this be the reason for the “botherless” nature of our youth?
One thing is for sure, in order for there to be change, the youth of this generation must stand up and take action. No one is going to do it for them. At this point Bob Geldof’s call to action can be agreed upon, however, Owen Jones states that doing it alone will not yield results and this is where Geldof missed the mark. Owen goes on to talk about past victories such as votes for women, a welfare state and legislation against racism, of which all were won through a joint effort.
Today’s youth must rise up as opposed to accepting what is being thrown at them, which is what is happening in most cases. Only 43% of 18- 24 year olds voted in the 2015 UK general elections, compared to the older generation whose voting figures ranged from 70 – 80%. It is going to take more than 43% if they want their voices to be heard.
Placing blame on the youth of today is not the answer, however, calling upon a particular generation to rise up and help solve today’s problems with the help of their predecessors could be a better solution; plus they have the added advantage of learning from the mistakes of those who came before them.