Society Diary: Eton, millennials & Love Island

26 Jul 2019 Voices

Gen Zedders have pied Love Island

Happy Friday, dear readers, and what a week it’s been. The sun has nearly melted the UK this week as a way of showing its approval that Boris Johnson, he of Garden Bridge fame, is now our prime minister. Once considered a harmless cartoon toff given airtime to reassure liberals of how out-of-touch the Tory party was, Johnson is now the most powerful man in the country, ready to stick it to the elites and finally deliver The Will Of The People. If, like Society Diary, you have also been infected by BoJo’s highly contagious optimism, then read on for some light-hearted charity highlights of the week.

Eton mess

As we have established, the UK is currently basking in the glow of Johnson’s first few days as our PM. However, his appointment has not been positive for everyone in the country. Diary asks you to consider, if you will, the students at Eton College. Usual practice at the independent school when an old Etonian, such as Johnson, becomes PM is for the students to be given a day off to mark the occasion. However, the 20th Etonian to become PM was sworn in this week after the school had already broken up for the summer holidays.

Those poor boys. If only the Tory party could have done its business a bit quicker, they would have been given a bonus day’s holiday. Diary plans to start a campaign for the students to be given an extra day off in-lieu at the beginning of the next school year. Although Diary is aware that, even if its campaign is successful, some Eton students may voluntarily turn up to school anyway given that their average school day probably involves yachting, croquet and practical tips on how to avoid tax on your trust fund income.

Millennial infiltrates cabinet 

Robert Jenrick was until this week best known as the latest Treasury minister forced to pretend they care about charity tax issues. But under new PM BoJo he’s had a big promotion to the possibly-more-important-for-charities-than-the-charities-minister post of communities secretary. 

This led him to proudly declare on social media that he was the first millennial to join the cabinet. A few days ago Diary saw millennials described as the Spice Girl generation, which is in our humble opinion a much better description, and we’re a little bit disappointed that Jenrick did not choose to include a gif of Ginger Spice dancing in her famous full Union Jack dress with his tweet. 

Anyway, never mind the far-right Brexity leanings of Johnson’s cabinet, Diary is delighted that millennials finally have a seat at the top table. The generation has been cruelly demonised and stereotyped for far too long, and Diary expects that as a proud millennial Robert will bring a host of innovative ideas, such as avocado with everything.  

This is undoubtedly good news for our sector: a quick scroll through the archive reveals that millennials love giving to charity (though oddly their favourite charity is the National Trust), but that they want to give differently – wave goodbye to cheques (seriously, who uses cheques for anything in real life these days?) and say hello to donations via snapwiz, gogglebot or whatever the kids are using these days.

Gen Z’s heads turned by charities

In further categorised young people news this week, an online poll revealed that Generation Z (those aged 16 to 24) are more likely to do something charitable that watch ITV reality show Love Island. A whopping 43 per cent of respondents to the 1,099-person survey, undertaken by YouGov on behalf of the Charities Aid Foundation, said they had recently done something charitable, while just 30 per cent had watched Love Island.

While the poll’s results are great news for the future of the UK charity sector, they do beg the question: who actually is watching the most popular show on TV? More than 6 million people tune in to the programme, which finishes next week. Diary, as a great consumer of trash TV in its youth, was previously under the impression that it was young people that watched it. But this stat suggests that a huge amount of much older people are hooked to the show about skinny young bevs being pied and feeling chived, for which there is really no excuse. Diary’s humble opinion is if you are 25 or older, it is time to watch some hard drama like Year and Years or the Handmaid’s Tale. If you feel bored or don’t really understand what’s going on when watching them – get used to that feeling, because that’s what being an adult is like.

Great news about Gen Zedders though. Further evidence of their altruism such as the CAF study makes Diary feel that the future might just be safe in their hands, if the current rulers of the world don’t entirely destroy it.

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