Chris Grayling yesterday called for more positive male role models to combat the "Jeremy Kyle generation" of young men ill-equipped for adult life. The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary stressed, "As a society, we're leaving a lot of men behind. We have a growing generation of young men, alienated and drifting, without a purpose in life." His plan to combat the situation is to create a climate for social entrepreneurs to re-engage young men and to promote positive male role models, including more male primary school teachers. The question for me is where did the idea of calling them the Jeremy Kyle generation come from?
ITV1's Jeremy Kyle Show describes itself as one of Britain's most-loved, watched and talked-about shows that deals with family and relationship issues and also takes a look at the everyday conflicts that affect our lives. I confess to not watching it, guess I can't be one of the JK generation, but it doesn't seem to be solely for young men. Maybe Grayling is describing Kyle as a young man ill-equipped for adult life, while Kyle has been described as someone making a living by exploiting those with troubled lives or "the human bear bater", not sure his show is anything more than symptomatic of a desire for fame than representative of the collapse of society. While it may well be true that there is a growing group of disaffected and aimless males in society, is coming up with a celebritised name for them an cheap attempt at grabbing a headline or is there a profound reason for linking this phenomena to Jeremy Kyle.