An email from retired naval officer Captain Nick Crews to his three children - aged between 35 and 42 - lambasting them for their fecklessness and "copulation driven" lives was leaked to the Daily Mail.
The email has excited a debate about whether Captain Crews' generation of parents have indeed been let down by their offspring.
Author Stanley Johnson, a father of six children including Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said he supported the Captain's right to email his children: "This was a man of considerable achievement
he had every right to meditate and reflect."
Journalist Rachel Johnson, Mr Johnson's daughter, argued that the email should not have been sent.
"It was very cathartic to write this," she said.
"But he should have parked it in his drafts folder."
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