WHEN did owning your own home become the impossible dream in this country?
“Private property is one of the bulwarks of individual freedom,” said Mrs Thatcher.
But new figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that the number of 25 to 34-year-olds who own their own home has dropped from 55 per cent to 35 per cent since the millennium.
So being a young property owner was relatively normal just two decades ago.
But now young home owners are an endangered species.
One million more young adults are living with their parents than 15 years ago. A staggering 3.4million men and women between the age of 20 and 34 were still stuck in the family home last year.
A hard-working generation is being denied the opportunity to get on the first rung of the housing ladder
And beyond those statistics, a well-educated, hard-working generation is being denied the opportunity to get on the first rung of the housing ladder and get on with their lives.
They call these young people Generation Rent but the cruel truth is that, these days, millions of them can’t even afford soaring rent prices.
So they are stuck with dear old mum and dad, long after they would have desperately loved to have escaped the nest.
Until this century, almost anyone prepared to graft could get on the property ladder.
My dad was a greengrocer who earned little more than the minimum wage for all his working life. But he did extra jobs — working in a market, driving a lorry — until he had saved enough to get us out of our rented flat above a shop and put down the deposit on a small house in Billericay, Essex.
Our own home at last. And we loved it. Our family built a life there. I grew up in that house. My parents died there. And when I was a young journalist, I still put a deposit on a tiny flat and got the first toe of my Dr. Martens boots on the property ladder. It could not happen these days.
The young — even our best and brightest kids, the hard working, university-educated, highly motivated ones — are being shut out of the property market.
But nothing gives you a stake in society like owning your own home.
You don’t think about getting married when you are still living with Mum and Dad. You can’t start a family of your own when you are stuck at home. You can’t truly become an adult when you have to rely on your folks for the roof above your head.
The great divide in our country is no longer between Left and Right, North and South, or even Brexit and Remain.
The biggest gap is between the old and the young, between the wrinklies who get richer just by owning their own property and the youngsters who are starting to believe they will live their entire lives under someone else’s roof.
Home owners rejoice every time prices go up. But every spike twists a knife in the hearts of the young, condemned to paying exorbitant rents in dingy shared flats or swallowing their pride and going home to Mum and Dad.
They deserve better than a dingy rented room in their late twenties. They deserve better than sitting on the sofa with their parents at 30.
Owning your own home, that sacred bulwark of individual freedom, has become a luxury reserved for the lucky few.
But as Mrs Thatcher understood, it should be the aspiration of every hard-grafting adult life.
Cracking excuse is a goner
James Cracknell always had the perfect excuse for not doing Strictly Come Dancing.
His wife Beverley Turner reportedly told friends she didn’t want “some Russian f**ny in his face every week”.
But now the Cracknell marriage has ended and James has been announced as part of the line-up for the new series of Strictly.
With his Olympic medals and manly bulges, James looks every inch a potential winner of the show.
But then so did boxer Joe Calzaghe, who was expected to skip and slip to glory but fell early, described as “dancing like a wardrobe”.
You never know with Strictly. Cracknell is possibly the fittest man to ever appear on the show but his sport involves quite a lot of sitting down. So, frankly, it could go either way.
Whatever he eventually finds in his face.
Sickness of gun fixation
After two mass shootings in America, Donald Trump blamed disturbed minds, violent video games and social media giants.
That is, everything apart from guns.
Indeed, President Trump went out of his way to say firearms were not guilty.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”
Americans who loathe Trump blame him for inciting violence with his anti- immigrant rhetoric.
But the most horrific gun massacre in American history happened in 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when Barack Obama was in the White House. At Sandy
Hook, a gunman killed 20 children aged six and seven, as well as six of their teachers.
If America did not end its gun addiction after the mass murder of those tiny children at Sandy Hook, I can’t see how it ever will.
Long after the only thing that remains of Donald Trump is his hairpiece, American maniacs will still be slaughtering the innocent.
Finn's law calls for more bite
Daniel O’Sullivan, 29, has become the first scumbag to be jailed under Finn’s Law, aka the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019.
Finn was a German Shepherd who almost died after being stabbed while chasing a suspect in Stevenage, Herts, in 2016.
The law that bears Finn’s name recognises that service animals are living creatures, and not simply property.
O’Sullivan stabbed police dog Audi in the eye and has been locked up for 21 months.
The cowardly creep will probably be out again in less than a year.
It’s not enough for stabbing a dog in the eye. Finn’s Law is a fine idea. But it needs real teeth.
Last year we exported £289billions of goods and services to the EU and imported £345billion – a trade gap of £56billion.
So it has never made any sense for the EU to not seek a mutually beneficial trade deal with this country when we take our leave.
Apart from this – the eye-swivelling, mouth-foaming fanatics in Brussels simply can’t permit Brexit to be a success. Because then their entire expansionist empire will unravel.
Deal? The EU has never wanted a deal. They only ever wanted to see Brexit fail.
Labour coup is cuckoo
There are only seven Labour MPs left in Scotland and with his rabid support for another Scottish referendum, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is ensuring one day Labour will have none.
For why should anyone who believes in the UK vote Labour in Scotland?
They would be better off voting for Ruth Davidson’s buoyant Scottish Tories.
The increasingly loopy McDonnell vows that if Boris Johnson loses a confidence vote in September, he will stick Jeremy Corbyn in a mini-cab to Buckingham Palace to inform our monarch that Labour is seizing power.
“I don’t want to drag the Queen into this but I would be sending Jeremy Corbyn in a cab to Buckingham Palace to say, ‘We’re taking over’,” says McDonnell, mad eyes bulging.
Historian David Starkey warns that would be an attempted coup.
“I’m afraid Mr Corbyn would be arrested,” he says.
No news yet on what McDonnell will do if Her Majesty keeps the gates shut and pretends not to be in. Better make granddad’s cab a wait-and-return.
John McDonnell was speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe. Shouldn’t that be the lunatic fringe?
Fifty years ago this week, The Beatles strolled across Abbey Road and created one of the most iconic images in music.
Those were the days when rock music was endlessly studied for hidden meanings and secret messages.
It was widely agreed by the Sixties kids who studied the Abbey Road LP cover, right, that John was dressed as a priest, Ringo an undertaker, bare-foot Paul a corpse and denim-clad George a gravedigger.
Which was how the urban legend began that Paul had secretly died and his place on the Abbey Road cover taken by some unknown – but identical – stand-in.
Macca’s doppelganger would have needed to be far more convincing than the Fab Four “lookalikes” who rocked up in Abbey Road last Thursday.
They couldn’t have passed for The Rutles.
Listen to Liz
Liz Hurley, 54 – 54! – is full of sound advice about how to make our nation a happier, healthier realm.
Make time for exercise. Don’t eat too late in the day. Give your body a chance to digest. Now Liz shares some important information about staying in the shade.
“I only go in the sun before 9am and after 6pm,” says Liz, above. “Otherwise, it’s under a large umbrella.”
So if you’re going to wear a bikini like Liz, try not to get it wet.
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