Introduction – This is an open letter I wrote earlier this week after seeing all the hatred on Facebook from both sided and most seems to be quite injustly. It is written specifically to those blaming the older generation, and explaining why I feel we shouldn’t be blaming the older people but we should learning from them and the only people should blame if any is our own generation. This is my personal opinion as a 26 year old teacher who is interested in the political world. I personally believe many major points have been over looked.
[This is also part of a longer blog post which I am currently writing about my opinions on all things Brexit. (I will post a link once I have finished it)]
Dear fellow young people blaming the older generation,
What I have hated to see is everyone who voted to remain who are my age blaming the older generations as if they were being selfish, injust and entirely to blame for all the contintent’s problems.
I think if you want to blame anyone it should be other younger people. Younger people easily outnumber the older so if everyone (based on stats and polls) voted, Remain would have won very comfortably. The older generation just did their bit for what they thought was best for them and their families. It was our generation’s job to give the other side of the story and we did not.
Plus I hate hearing about how it is wrong as they will not have to see the effects. Well first that is not true. The UK will recover, how long nobody knows but we will and that means the older generation are more likely to see the worse parts and only see little of/miss the recovery. Not to mention remember ‘old’ is anything over 40/50, depending on which polls you look at, so not that old. Also to add being older also means they have seen more than us and have more experience. Take most of our grandparents who went through the Second World War with rationing, saw the country recover the loss of an Empire and the rebuilding of flattened cities, the Cold War, etc. Even our parents saw the Bank of England go bust in 1992 and both generations have gone through more years of austerity and recession than we have been alive! What have we seen? The crash in 2008 in the US housing market and the Euro Crisis which we are still suffering from (ironically caused by the EU). No wonder we are panicking and they are not.
Moreover why do they vote more than we do? It is not because they want to be annoying and ruin the country (despite what some people say), nor is it because they do not understand the world we live in. In fact in many senses it is quite the opposite. It is because those generations have more of an interest in politics and want to be heard. They vote every election and in the important votes such as this referendum their turn out is very high: It has been predicted to have been well over 70%, compared to the 38% of 18-24 years who voted this time.
Personally I love politics and generally prefer speaking to older people because even if we do not agree they can explain their answers and answer all my questions and concerns. It gives great food for thought even I still end up having a different opinion. While I personally find with most younger people (not all) they have less reasoning and most seem to not understand politics at all. I am 26 and when speaking at work in 2010 about how different it could be with the possibility of a split Cabinet after the election in 2010 a colleague (my age at the time – 20) replied, “a cabinet? Like a drinks cabinet!?”. Many I know voted in the last election based on who their parents or friends voted for or did not vote at all. Even in this referendum there are so many reports that people have regretted voting to leave (mainly young people interestingly enough) but I think this misunderstanding is on both sides. Chatting to a different colleague (again my age more or less) she also wanted to stay but it was clear from our conversations she had absolutely no idea why. I know people who voted to remain because they thought they could not go on holiday to Spain if we left!
So… instead of blaming the older generation, our generation as a whole should be learning from them! We should learn that we need to understand the world we live in and that our vote really can count. All this talk of ‘we weren’t told the fact’ is stupid! Politicians lie, fact. But there is much information on the internet to work out what is true and what is not. It is up to us to take an interest and to work it out. We need to remember that we are adults and can make decisions ourselves not being spoon fed.