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Monbiot, G. (2012). Daughter, My Generation is Squandering Your Birthright. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 6(3):vii-ix.

(2012). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 6(3):vii-ix

Editorial

Daughter, My Generation is Squandering Your Birthright

George Monbiot

Three weeks old, warm and gently snoring on my shoulder as I write, you are closer to nature than you will ever be again. With your animal needs and animal cries, moved by a slow primordial spirit that will soon be submerged in the cacophony of thought and language, you belong, it seems to me, more to the biosphere than to the human sphere. Already it feels like years since I saw you, my second daughter, in the scan, your segmented skeleton revealed like an ancient beast uncovered by geologists, buried in the rock of ages. Already I have begun to entertain the hopes and fears to which every parent has succumbed, perhaps since the early hominids laid down the prints which show that the human spark had been struck.

Let me begin at the beginning, with the organisation to which you might owe your life. When I was born, almost fifty years ago, in the bitter winter of 1963, the National Health Service was just fifteen years old. It must still have been hard for people to believe that—for the first time in the history of these islands—they could fall ill without risking financial ruin, that no one need die for want of funds. I see this system as the summit of civilisation, one of the wonders of the world.

Now it is so much a part of our lives that it is just as hard to believe that we might lose it. But I fear that, when you have reached my age, free, universal healthcare will be a distant fantasy, a mythologised arcadia as far removed from the experience of your children's generation as the Blitz was from mine. One of the lessons you will learn, painfully and reluctantly, is that nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for.

The growth of this system was one of the remarkable features of the first half of the period through which I have lived.

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