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Wuzzes won't save the world

PUBLISHED: 13:13 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 July 2010

YOUNG people nowadays really aren't causing enough trouble.

I'm not talking about getting aggressively drunk, terrorising law-abiding citizens and smashing church windows.

YOUNG people nowadays really aren't causing enough trouble.

I'm not talking about getting aggressively drunk, terrorising law-abiding citizens and smashing church windows.

The tiny minority involved in those depressing ways to spend a life cause quite enough trouble - mostly by besmirching the blameless reputation of the rest of their generation.

I'm talking about challenging the status quo, questioning the decisions of their elders and stirring us all out of complacency.

When I were a gal scarcely a weekend went past without one of my fellow students organising a coach to join a London demo, supporting or against anything from striking miners to nuclear weapons, press freedom to grant cuts.

Contentious subjects haven't gone away in the intervening years, but young people who care passionately about making the world a better, fairer, place must be caring passionately in isolation somewhere.

The only time nowadays that I see massed ranks of young people on the news is when they're pictured wallowing at Glastonbury.

There they stump up £150 to hear rock gods singing songs lamenting third world poverty and global warming before pocketing fees which would pay off the debts of a developing country, and disappearing in their private jets,

I remember being shocked once when a work experience 17-year-old was shadowing me on my district reporter's beat in rural North Yorkshire.

I said: “What sort of journalist do you want to be?” and he replied: “I don't. I want to get into merchant banking because that's where the big money is.”

No teenager in my day would have dared confess to such blatant greed and self interest. Whatever happened to peace, love and understanding?

I am also puzzled at the number of Norfolk teenagers who say they want to study at UEA.

An excellent university - but, if you already live in the county, surely it's the further-education equivalent of pipe, slippers, hot milky drink and a night in watching Miss Marple?

Where's their sense of adventure? Seeing places they've never seen before? How are they ever going to learn to do their own washing and eat well on next to nothing when they're slipping home to mum every weekend?

Come on you kids - wuzzes aren't going to save the world. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the mass protests of 1968 in France. Will we ever again be able to say that the students are revolting?

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