Feb 062013
Percentages of various groups in the electorate - extended

Previous posts have provided graphs of the proportions of various groups in the electorate: Percentages of various groups in the electorate over the last 35 years Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers I want to publish a graph with two more age groups plotted, because these groups are discussed either alone or in comparison with other age groups. It is often unclear in discussion whether it is a general age group at a particular time or a cohort defined by birth dates that is being discussed. Here they are age ranges; obviously their members currently . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 142013
Review of "What Did The Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us?" by Francis Beckett

I have just bought and read “What Did The Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us?” (subtitle “Why the Children of the Sixties Lived the Dream and Failed the Future”) by Francis Beckett. I’ve reviewed it at Amazon.co.uk, giving the book 1-star, the minimum. Here is that review plus 2 diagrams and Further reading. “This is an autobiography in a historical context, not about baby boomers!” The author makes it clear from the start that the baby boom he is discussing is not what others talk about, and that his sources are very narrow and unrepresentative. This book says much more . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 102013
Some baby boom myths

Lots of people talk about “the baby boom”. Lots of people make claims about “the baby boomers”. Here are some of the myths held by lots of people. I have written this article as though I am having an informal argument with you about these myths. I accept that you may not believe them all, or indeed you may not believe any of them! Please forgive my style. Myth 1: There was a baby boom from about 1945 to about 1965 Myth 2: The weight of numbers of the baby boomers gave them undue political influence Myth 3: The baby . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 092013
Percentages of various groups in the electorate over the last 35 years

I have been gradually adding to an earlier article “Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers“. The latest addition warrants this article of its own. The context is that the above article shows the population and electoral graphs for Prime Ministers from Margaret Thatcher in 1979 to David Cameron in 2010. One objective was to show that the 1945-1965 cohort didn’t dominate politics and elections over the last few decades. This is simply an exact copy of that latest addition: Electorate percentages of various groups Here is another way of looking at the same information, once . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 042013
Why are people born 1945-1965 called baby boomers?

In the UK there wasn’t a baby boom that started about 1945 and ended about 1965. Yet the belief that there was is embedded so deep in the nation’s psyche that people casually assume it in conversation without needing to justify it. The people they are talking to probably also believe it. (If you also believe it, have a look at “Further reading” at the end of this article. The evidence to the contrary from credible sources such as the Office of National Statistics is overwhelming. And I am not the only person to have pointed out this error). These . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 312012
Review of "Jilted Generation" by Ed Howker & Shiv Malik

Here are the comments I promised. (I’ve provided a review at Amazon.co.uk too). This book is unashamedly a polemic rather than an unemotional analysis. This provides the emotional energy to carry the topic, and no doubt resonates with many young people today. It is a rallying cry for “something must be done!” (And perhaps “heads must roll!”) But more analysis would have revealed that things are not always as stated, and seeking solutions (rather than debating problems) needs a more focused identification of underlying causes so that they can be fixed. The book is better at casting blame (sometimes wrongly) . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 302012
Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers

There is a commonly-held (but erroneous) view that: There was a baby-boom in the UK starting about 1945 and ending about 1965, and … The size of this baby-boom had a disproportionate influence on government policies. To examine this, here are populations-graphs for the years when each of the last 6 Prime Ministers first took office. (I’ve included estimates for the expected 2015 and 2020 elections too!) The graphs were generated from the animation published by the Office of National Statistics. For each year, the height of the graph indicates how many people born that year were alive when that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 032012
My sister has published her 4th local history (with photographs) book

Her (co-authored) book “Bartley Green & District Through Time” has just been published. Her third local history book was “Selly Oak and Bournbrook Through Time“, published earlier this year. Her second local history book was “Cotteridge Through Time“, published last year. Her first local history book was “King’s Norton Past and Present“.

Aug 092012

I have sometimes been critical of “multiculturalism“. But it is clear that I use the word in a different way from many other people, and I have probably anyway been muddled about what I mean by the word. So I’ll try to clarify how I use the word, and what my opinions are about multiculturalism. Culture and multiculture Start with “culture“. I’ll go with Wiktionary, at least for the time being: “The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation”. “The beliefs, values, behaviour and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life”. The single most . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]