Today our future was sold away by the old and the ill-educated.
Today our future was sold away by the old and the ill-educated. The citizenry of the United Kingdom has voted by a slim but definite majority to secede from the European Union. Bigotry will of course played its part, but so too the longstanding inability to communicate the benefits of being within one of the largest common markets and political projects in the world. I've long been European-minded, and have prefered to rank it above my Welsh identity, the EU being one of the prominent forces for forwards thinking, progressiveness, anti-nationalism and peace. It, and it predecessor the ECC, subsumed the proclivities for war into peaceable commercial activity and political dialogue since it's inauguration in the aftermath of the Second World War.
We now risk buying to the rising tides of nationalism, and the darkness and cultural repression that such movements often represent.
The areas which have voted out are in many ways the one's who benefited most directly from the monetary calculus of the EU. They are one's whose concern about disruption and change of immigration has been magnified the greatest even as they were effected the least. The metropolitan centres of the UK, the places where immigration does have a real and present presence voted, largely and to varying degrees, to stick with the EU. It is those places that think that have sucummed to the illusionary fear of immigration that have voted out. The futures and careers of myself and many others I know were, in their current form, predicated on being part of the EU. But those who have precarious access to the world, those with low educational attainment and few job prospects will feel it worst. They do not realise how much support they receive has been provided through organs of the EU. Why would that continue now? It will vanish and not be replaced, just as the subsidies paid to farmers, another Brexiteer demographic will not be replaced by the British government, not in a time of austerity with the prospect of a shrinking economy. And the old, the baby boomers who have benefitted so much from the modern world but left it in a state of deteriorating living conditions, will not have to live out their lives dealing with the consequences of their actions.
In all likelihood, if we want our general standard of life to continue, we will in any case have to buy into the EU common market, and therefore into the free movement zone anyway. And we'll be paying just as much but without the benefits coming back to the UK as they have been, especially to the poorest areas, and without the supposed gain of control of our borders that the Out voters so desire.
And, I can't help but feel a melancholy note of self-pity at my continued bad timing. I finished my masters degree at the time of the '08/9 recession, when there were no jobs. I had to take anything going, and lost the latter part of my twenties working a career of underemployment. To correct this I changed careers through taking up a PhD, and now find that just as I am coming to apply for jobs, once again we are going to enter a period of uncertainty and economic retrenchment. Yep, my timing sucks.