It is, surely, part of the human condition for each generation to aim to leave the world in a better shape than they were born into. We want peace, prosperity, and joy for our children and grandchildren.
I was born not long after the War. There was still rationing. Times were tight. But it was also just after the birth of the NHS and the Welfare State. No longer would the poor and the sick need to struggle by themselves. National insurance payments would provide a safety net for everyone.
It was an idealistic response to the deprivation of the 1930s and then the horrors of War. But it was also built on a belief that we can, and should, create a world in which peace, mutual respect and care for the frail and vulnerable is possible without judgement.
The 1960s built on that. We were the generation who could, and would, make it all happen.
But now I am ashamed of us.
My education was subsidised until I was 24. I emerged without debts, and a qualification that led to a job. I could save for the deposit on a house. I was healthy, and I was educated. Of course, there was still a long way to go - there was still hardship and deprivation. Racism was rife. But we had made a start and pressed on optimistically.
Thatcher did her best to scupper our efforts. Her cult of individualism bred selfishness that hasn’t helped. Blair made a start on turning that tide, and then wrecked it by invading Iraq.
And from then on ... we have seen all we believed in and fought for eroded. Education is precious - and yet now only the wealthy can take it for granted. Those working in the NHS find their efforts to keep us healthy and care for the sick undermined by a government who can offer nothing but glib, meaningless statements. We had forged peaceful links with Europe, found a way to end the fighting in Ireland - and that’s all being dismantled. We recognised the scourge that is racism and have challenged it in every corner - but only an outcry in the press has made the government pause in its efforts to deport brown people. There is more poverty, more homelessness ... I could go on.
How can we look at our children and grandchildren in the eye? I hope they rise up in a rage and protest. We have let them down.