The growth of population continues, but funded by an increase in life expectancy. 2024, the baby boomer generation retires, going on to pensions. Governments start to give in to the grey lobby, which controls a majority of the votes. The children of the baby boomers turn around and say "Why should we pay for some pensioner to have yet another holiday or plastic surgery?"
Couple this with gated communities springing up, especially in the inner-cities. Areas decimated by abandoned homes, high crime and disused buildings. Hospitals, schools, churches going unused. So the upper and middle class — the majority of whom are pensioners — take these areas and redevelop them. They add gates, limits on who can live there. CCTV and private security. The younger generations are suffering under 80% income taxes. The pensioners in the gated communities protest at how much tax they do pay, because they do not use the NHS or the police or the fire brigade.
In a move which shocks the young and the poor, the government caves in to grey pressure. Tax on income from pensions is dropped, and the drop in government income is taken out of funding for public services. Mass rioting. Policemen are killed by the slice of the population that they are still responsible for. Private security fights back hard. Young vs. old. Rich vs. poor. Those inside the gates are living it up as life-extension treatments become more and more available and their income does not need work. Those outside the gates work fifteen hours a day just so they can afford to live. They cannot afford places to live. By 2026, the majority of those outside the gates are squatting in deserted blocks of flats and shops which sell things people cannot afford to buy.
More and more people walk out of work. Some strike only for a few days, to take part in riots or demonstrations outside Whitehall. Others quit their jobs and steal what they need to survive. The government expands police powers to allow them to arrest anyone who is "willingly unemployed". The thin ranks of the police are reduced even more when the few decent officers walk out in disgust at what they are being asked to do.
There is revolution brewing. The young are no longer content to fund the excesses of their parents. But the rebellion and revolution comes not from students in universities but from people in their thirties and forties, the "sensible" people in the prime of life. The country is polarised and it's obvious whos side the government is on. Something has to snap.
Every country, every society, has people who think outside the box. These revolutionaries normally hide their lights under the bushel of office jobs, or work for minimum wage and vent their brains on street corners. Some lecture in universities, some live on the streets. All of them have thought this through. Each and every one has a plan for re-making the country. And they all know how that to bring in the new, you have to take down the old. The poor and the young seek them out, but nobody knows who precisely to listen to. They just know that the present state of things must end.
Say you want a revolution?