THIS week, I’d like to call on all you children and young people out there to show a bit of gumption and can-do attitude.

I feel the need to speak out on behalf of myself and other members of older generations in light of a couple of news stories which surfaced during the last few days.

One revealed that Swindon has the fattest children in the region. The other was about the town having 2,000 of the country’s 600,000 empty homes in spite of countless young people needing somewhere to live.

Well, all I can say is that I have absolutely no idea how either of these situations came to pass. I’m bewildered as to how you young people of today get yourselves into these messes.

Take the obesity crisis, for example. What a bolt from the blue that’s been. We older folk had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Well, nothing apart from giving food manufacturers more or less absolute free rein for years on end to put any old garbage in the stuff they flog, anyway.

And allowing them to get away with labels so complicated that anybody short of a post-doctoral biochemical science student wouldn’t be able to tell whether the ingredients were fruit and veg or the contents of a 1970s chemistry set.

After all, what are some of our lawmakers supposed to do for an extra few hundred grand here and there if they can’t butter up a few huge food corporations for directorships and consultancies?

Oh, and we might also have allowed lots of bright and sparkly advertising for worthless garbage masquerading as food to go out during children’s programmes.

None of this is an excuse, however. You young people need to take charge of your destinies instead of whining. Eat less and take more exercise - and let’s hear no complaints from you lot about we older folk or our elected representatives shutting down the leisure centres, stripping play parks and flogging the land to developers.

Or creating a climate of fear so that any parent allowing their child to play beyond the confines of their garden risks being accused of neglect.

In our day we had to kick tin cans up and down the street all day with no sustenance other than the odd slice of bread and dripping.

We in the older generations also don’t want to hear you younger people complaining about the housing crisis, either. We didn’t do anything to cause it.

Well, not unless you maybe count flogging off much of the nation’s public housing stock, anyway.

Or perhaps doing that while simultaneously refusing to build any new public housing stock.

Or allowing private developers to wander at will over the land, build on just about any bit of it that takes their fancy and sell the homes for the sort of prices that plenty of middle aged people are unable to afford, never mind younger ones.

Or allowing those same private developers to get away with building so-called affordable homes as part of planning deals, when the homes in question are affordable only to people who’ve been saving every penny for a decade or more.

Admittedly, we’ve allowed this situation to continue for decades, allowing prices to rise and driving more and more people into the private rental sector.

And admittedly, we can’t even be bothered to enact a straightforward law obliging landlords to make their properties specifically fit for human habitation.

Even so, there’s no excuse for you young people to complain about being unable to afford homes of your own.

You’ll just have to pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, get higher-paying jobs and start saving for that deposit.

It’s easy.