Post-Thatcher generation calls for new political consensus

A generation of young thinkers and campaigners are calling for a new post-Thatcherite political consensus, in a new book to be publicly launched this Thursday 23rd February.

The book, entitled Regeneration, makes the case for an alternative politics that speaks to the concerns of today’s disenfranchised youth. Those born since 1979, it argues, face mounting unemployment and sky-high property prices, and are being saddled with an appalling legacy of financial mismanagement, climate change, and spiralling inequality.

“It’s time for our generation to write its own history,” states one of the book’s co-editors, Guy Shrubsole. “We have been short-changed by the politics of our parents’ generation – thirty years of failed ideas that have left us facing staggering inequality and an imperilled planet. But we’re not just a ‘lost generation’. It’s in our hands to regenerate this country’s politics, move beyond Thatcherism and create a better future.”

Generously sponsored by the Intergenerational Foundation and the Lipman Miliband Trust, and published by Lawrence & Wishart, Regeneration has been written by 31 young contributors, who are – with one or two exceptions – members of the generation born since 1979, and comprise a mix of students, third sector workers, social entrepreneurs, medics, journalists, and university lecturers.

The book calls for more co-operative forms of ownership, greater social equality, and an alternative economics that prioritises wellbeing over wealth and puts environmental sustainability at its heart. Amongst the authors’ specific proposals are for the Government to tackle youth unemployment through a programme of green jobs; roll out participatory budgeting for local communities; bring down energy bills by ending the oligopoly of the Big Six utilities; and establish an Ombudsperson for Future Generations.

“The ideas in this book represent a new, emerging political consensus,” says co-editor Clare Coatman. “Regeneration speaks to a generation disillusioned by the way that politics has been conducted in Britain over the past thirty years, and the apparent breakdown of the social contract between generations. But its authors also share a desire to come up with better alternatives; not just to say no to the old ways of things, but emphatically yes to new solutions.”

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