Young Parisians…


I couldn’t help noticing on the news footage that many of the people celebrating Mrs. Thatcher’s death were evidently not old enough to vote at any time during her time as Prime Minister. Some of the people cheering, raising their glasses and looting shops had probably not even been born in 1990 when she stepped down.

What would life be like for young people, I wondered, in a parallel universe where Margaret Thatcher had not changed the course of politics and the market economy?

Then I realised that a parallel universe exists. It is called France. The young people there have been brought up in a world barely touched by Thatcherism. The powerful trade unions of the 1970’s still dominate the economy and many industries remain in government hands.

I don’t know what the young people in France think. I don’t follow any of them on Twitter, which is the weapon of choice for outspoken adolescents.

Perhaps we will see Twitter users become more cautious since 17-year-old Paris Brown stepped down from her lucrative post of youth police and crime commissioner (like you, my first thought was whether she was named after the city or the Trojan war hero).

Many of us are pleased that our attention-seeking adolescent opinions were voiced in the days before social media. Most of what we said about previous Prime Ministers is lost to history.

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