Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brexit versus the young and clueless

I wrote about my reasons for wanting to leave the EU in a blog published here well before the referendum. When I went to bed on Thursday night I felt a tremendous sense of dread that the result would either be A) rigged or B) overwhelmingly pro EU. When I woke up on Friday, I honestly sensed that as usual, nothing would ever really change. I immediately burst into tears at seeing the wholly unexpected win for Brexit. My pride at being British is immense- I cannot think of a more exceptional, liberal-minded country in the world. To be British is to love the rain as much as we hate it and therein lies the rub.

Much has been said about white, old bigots who ruined the vote for the younger members of our society. The truth is far different: turnout figures prove that on the contrary, had more young people bothered to vote, Remain would have won. Furthermore, the Londoners protesting in the streets, again young and woefully misinformed, would have us believe that northerners are backward, illiterate racists. That also could not be further from the truth. I live 'up north' and can honestly say that every person I have spoken to in the run-up to the referendum never mentioned 'nasty, horrid free-loading foreigners'. On the contrary, the refrain here and which really gets them foaming at the mouth, is the technocrats in Brussels deciding their future.

I lived in prosperous Surrey and commuted into affluent London for nearly twenty years. I've even lived in France more than thirty years ago as a student and also in recent years (and know all too well their punishing tax regimes). I know therefore from first hand experience that London may as well be on a different planet to the rest of the UK. I have seen the 'embarras de richesses' in London when I worked in mega-rich Kensington, Holland Park and the City. I have dealt with clients who were on the Sunday Times Rich List. I have met innumerable traders and high fliers in the City, many of them young Brits, who live in an almost parallel universe. These city types don't know their GDP from their RPI and Adam Smith means nothing to them. Money is their God and they are intent on making it regardless of whether some poor sod in the grim North will lose his livelihood as a result. This win-at-any-cost mentality is driven by greed. Young people today would rather seek out careers offering the possibility to make a lot of money fast and as a result, eschew traditional, slow learning curve vocations. Who can blame them?

The young today with their improbable first names, mandatory smart phones and addiction to an immediacy in all things, don't in my view, have the capability of differentiating between what is important from what they want. They have grown up in the post-Thatcher era of accessing any and everything at a whim. Their parents eased out of being reviled for their lack of social nous, to sharing neighbourhoods with the great and the good. Britain has become a seamless society where everyone can fulfill their social aspirations if A) they work hard and/or are savvy enough or B) shag a footballer (or C win a daft TV show). Is there any wonder that this clueless generation have no backbone at all? They would wet their pants and wail like a baby if they were faced with real adversity. With everything handed to them, is it any wonder that they're all suffering from peanut-bloody allergy?

Why are the younger generation so intent on being part of the EU? All I've heard so far is that their future has now been messed up by Brexit winning the referendum. What is it that they're so concerned about losing? The chance to go to Magaluf on a whim and behave like degenerates? Are they objecting to the fact they may need to get a visa in future? Oh and no surprises that those young people are almost all entirely in the London and the plentiful South East. Not in the grim north where as much as the salt-of-the-earth types would like to advance in life, they're not exactly spoiled for choice. I used to be an intolerable snob and would denigrate anyone who didn't have a job, pay tax and make their way in life. But I've come to understand that not everyone will excel and not everyone is cut out to make sensible choices that would secure their futures. Ironically, since moving to the Midlands. I have been amazed at the politeness and friendliness of most people. It is customary here to say 'good morning' when you pass each other in the street. And everyone is very matter of fact and direct. Perhaps they're not educated enough to distort the truth for their own gain but it is refreshing to talk to people who call a spade a spade.

So to the young and clueless, I say this: grow some balls and convince me of what your convictions truly are. I think you'll find you really don't have any, at least none that are not self-serving. There's a difference between what you want and what's best for this great country.

 'Headless conviction' (seen in the woods today. Naughty Mr Fox!). Photo copyright SvD.

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