The end of summer

:: politics, economics, doomed

On midsummer’s eve 2016 old people in the UK demonstrated that, by a significant majority, they are xenophobic leeches who are happy to suck the life out of their children and grandchildren, and have now found a way of continuing to do so even after they are dead.

The demographics are very clear:

  • 27% of those aged 18–24 wanted to leave;
  • 28% of those aged 25–34 wanted to leave;
  • 48% of those aged 35–44 wanted to leave;
  • 56% of those aged 45–54 wanted to leave;
  • 57% of those aged 55–64 wanted to leave;
  • 60% of those aged 65 or older wanted to leave.

People born in the UK in 1962 or earlier were likely to vote leave, while people born in 1982 or after were very likely to vote stay (I was born in 1962).

But perhaps older people are just demonstrating their superior wisdom, and leaving is the right thing to do? In what sense could it be right?

Well, it certainly is going to make people who live in the UK a lot poorer. The economics are not in doubt: no credible economist thinks that the results of a British exit from the EU will be good. And indeed the pound collapsed immediately following the result, and the UK’s credit rating was lowered shortly after that. There will probably be a recession and the results are likely to be long-lived. This will particularly hit the poor, and of course the cost of this catastrophe enormously outweighs the funding we were providing to the EU.

They have also voted to destroy the United Kingdom they profess to love: Scotland will now almost certainly leave the UK as the SNP are calling for a second referendum on Scottish independence. I lived in Scotland for 22 years, and was strongly against independence in the last referendum: I would vote for it now, and I imagine it will be a landslide. This will mean that the ‘United Kingdom’ is in fact England in all but name (if you they will care about Wales, and still less Northern Ireland, think again). It will also have a new land border with the EU.

But it’s a matter of democracy: we in the UKEngland will now be our own masters, free from awful undemocratic EU practices. Well, let’s leave aside that the EU isn’t actually undemocratic (the ‘unelected’ commissioners are in fact appointed by representatives of the elected governments of the countries which make up the EU, which is at least as democratic as the way the government of the UK is appointed): this just isn’t true. Assuming we’d like to trade with the EU on reasonably favourable terms we’re going to need to agree to their rules, except that, now, we don’t get a say in what those rules are. This is not more democratic: it’s less.

But, they say, we didn’t know any of this last Wednesday! Old people voted in good faith, believing in a bright new future as promised by the leave campaign. Don’t be silly: the leave campaign lied consistently and it was common knowledge that they were lying. For instance take the ’£350 million a week’ figure: the UK Statistics Authority debunked this a month before the referendum, and this was widely reported at the time and later. Everyone knew that the leave campaign was built on lies. Everyone knew it would make us poorer, everyone knew the UK would fragment.

Perhaps not everyone knew that the leave campaign had no plans at all:

On live television Faisal Islam, the political editor of SkyNews, was recounting a conversation with a pro-Brexit Conservative MP. “I said to him: ‘Where’s the plan? Can we see the Brexit plan now?’ [The MP replied:] ‘There is no plan. The Leave campaign don’t have a post-Brexit plan…Number 10 should have had a plan.’” The camera cut to Anna Botting, the anchor, horror chasing across her face. For a couple of seconds they were both silent, as the point sunk in. “Don’t know what to say to that, actually,” she replied, looking down at the desk.

They don’t just act like upper-class buffoons: they are upper-class buffoons.

Finally let’s debunk one more myth: that immigrants are a great cost to the country. No, they aren’t, and in fact they are a significant economic benefit to the country:

Between 2001 and 2011, the net fiscal contribution of recent arrivals from the eastern European countries that have joined the EU since 2004 has amounted to almost £5 billion. […] Immigrants’ overall positive contribution is explained in part by the fact that they are less likely than natives to claim benefits or to live in social housing.

Immigrants are less likely to claim benefits and less likely to live in social housing than natives. Especially, of course, than older natives, who contribute little and consume enormous resources from the health service.

It is very simple: the predominantly older people who voted leave did so because they don’t like foreigners, especially those whose skin is dark: they are at least xenophobic and usually straightforwardly racist. There has already been an increase in racist attacks following the referendum and this will get much worse. They are also selfish: they voted leave even though they knew it would seriously damage the future of young people, because it would not damage theirs. They’re old: they don’t have long futures, and in many cases they have already left the workforce and are living on their pensions.

The older people who voted leave were the greatest winners of the post-war period: they had the NHS, free higher education, stable jobs, pension schemes that worked, and benefited from the long housing boom in the UK. These are people who have done very well out of the country they live in. But they care only about themselves: they don’t like foreign people and, since it has no cost to them to do so, have turned around and savaged the country that gave them everything they have. They have sacrificed the futures of their own children and grandchildren so that they don’t need to see so many foreign faces.

Despite what some people think this decision was not made by children, childishly expressing feelings they do not understand about their new sibling who need to be soothed and appeased by their parents: these are adults who consciously chose to eat their own grandchildren. There can be no excusing this.

We have always been told to respect our elders: we should help them across the road, give up our seats on trains for them, visit them in their declining years, listen to their advice. I am trying to think why anyone should continue doing this, and I can’t.

Eat the old.