In Brexit Britain, the Ins and Outs are strangers to each other


#1

next.ft.com/content/d09d47b2-3a16-11e6-a780-b48ed7b6126f

**In Brexit Britain, the Ins and Outs are strangers to each other

The generation gap is just one of the divides apparent in the results

“Is it worth risking the next generation’s future?” asked George Fuller, a politically engaged 17-year-old from south-east London and thus too young to vote on Thursday. “It is an awful decision.”

Young people flooded on to social media on Friday to express their outrage as it emerged that while the young had voted overwhelmingly to Remain, the final tally was swayed by more Eurosceptic older voters**. Polling by the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft after the ballot closed on Thursday showed that 73 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds had voted Remain, compared to just 40 per cent of those over 65.
**
“Older generations have benefited from being a member of the EU and they’re taking that away from us” said Claudia Gordon, a 21-year-old Londoner studying at Edinburgh University. “For us, part of our identity was belonging to the EU … we now feel isolated from a community we felt part of.”

“We know what we wanted and they’ve took it from us,” tweeted Reece Waterfield, a young Remainer.

The generational difference was only one of the divides apparent in the results. The young, the better educated and people living in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to Remain; older people, the less highly educated and those outside the largest cities in England voted Out, and in the end they had the numbers to prevail**.

The difference between residents of the capital and much of the rest of England was particularly stark. Sixty per cent of voters in London opted to Remain; across the rest of England it was just 45 per cent.

Across the UK, many people who voted Leave knew virtually no one who was voting Remain and vice versa. As a result, many Remain voters were shocked as the results emerged on Friday morning…

It was a similar story in the north of England. “I thought everyone was going to vote In,” said Liz Murphy, who lives in Colne in Lancashire, an area where 55 per cent voted Leave. “Most people I know wanted to remain.”

Newcastle, which has two large city-centre universities, just about recorded a Remain vote, with 50.3 per cent of votes cast but the rest of the north-east was for Leave. Among students in Newcastle voting for Remain was Anne Murray, 21, who has just finished a politics and economics degree. All the Newcastle University students she knew had voted Remain too, she said. “I’m very disappointed at the outcome.”


#2

I do think there was a strong cultural element to the Brexit vote. I see a parallel in the US - we have had red and blue states for many years now. We are more and more culturally, politically, socially, economically divided. It is real hatred for a lot of people - no attempt at all to see anything human in those on the “other side.” (this attitude actually becomes a key point of self-identity and pride) I hope Britain can avoid this - if that is possible - from what I have seen building up to and after Brexit, it may not be. It is really tearing apart America. Just seems to get worse and worse. Each person has to decide to think and act differently, beyond the confines of his/her “side” to get past this. I fear many people frankly are often too lazy, stupid and/or unethical to put in the work towards that.


#3

Saw a great analysis that showed the comparative voting spreads among age groups and the amount of time on average that those groups would have to live with the decisions. The older the voter, the more likely they voted to leave the EU. And conversely the less time left in their average life span that they’d have to live with the consequences of that decision.


#4

I saw the same analysis and I thought it was much less great. You could really apply that logic any situation where democracy votes. Plus, thing about what it implies. Is it saying that the elderly shouldn’t have the right to vote because they won’t have to live with the consequence? Or is it merely saying that young people’s vote should count more for the mere fact that they are young?

Even putting aside the blatant “ageism”, you could easily interpret that in another way. The people which have had the most experience with the EU were the ones most likely to reject it.


#5

I doubt their logic was “screw it, I’m going to die soon anyway”. Another thought would be that the older people were, the more of their life was spent in an independent nation, so they saw that idea of independence as more plausible. The younger people are, the more strange it may be to not be in the EU, since they may have never known anything else.


#6

Yeah, that’s quite a disappointing picture. :frowning:

However, my deep conviction is that the people of the U.K. are to blame themselves for the results. They allowed ourselves to destroy traditional families, stopped procreating and created an age gap. Thus, the youngsters are doomed to be a minority. :frowning:


#7

I find this so topsy-turvy though. Traditionally it is the old who maintain the status quo, civil and economic stability. The young are the ones who want to try something new, throw caution to the wind, take a chance, build a better world, leave their mark, follow their dreams. The reason we don’t trust anyone over 30 is because they are too stuck in the status quo, too boxed in.

In this case it is exactly reversed. If you look at this all through Nietzsche’s European socialist “last man is happy” lens, it is quite stunning how well he called it, over a hundred years ago. It was the baby boomers who wanted to Leave, and what’s left of the WWII generation.

But there were some young who were for Leave too - they were just in the minority. There were old people for Remain. The age gap is just part of it, and I think a bit exaggerated. Ditto Leave supporters not having degrees. Quite a few did actually.


#8

What will change for younger people under Brexit? They will still be able to travel to any European country when they want.


#9

Well, its clear at least that none of them had a degree in economics. :wink:


#10

No one knows yet.


#11

Most of the Catholics I know here, in Scotland, even the young ones, voted to leave. They seem to be quite convinced that the EU is the godless totalitarian superpower, imposing secularism upon their “old good” Britain. I even met a young devout Portuguese couple, living in Edinburgh, who share the same conviction. :frowning:


#12

Hmm…given that the majority of Catholics in Scotland (myself not included) voted for Scottish Independence in 2014 and have very little love for or identity with ‘Britain’, your view above is utterly anathema to what (to me) appears to be the consensus among Scots Catholics. Most of them shifted from Labour to SNP - and seem to share the latter’s preference for ‘independence in Europe’.

The ones I know certainly wouldn’t view Britain as “old good”. They see themselves as Scots with an Irish heritage. And I say that as someone who has always been a Unionist Scot and voted for the UK in 2014. British Unionism and Catholicism in Scotland are not natural bedfellows given the strong Irish heritage.

So I’m not really sure :shrug: who you’ve been talking too but it certainly doesn’t strike me as being the mainstream opinion - at least not in any parish I’ve been in over the last ten years


#13

Maybe they do understand the economics, but are sick of being economic pawns in a multi-national–ruled world?


#14

Given that people frequently become more conservative as they grow older, these young’uns will appreciate Brexit more in a few years?


#15

I find it odd to consider Brexit ‘conservative’ - its positively incendiary, wrecking havoc in the markets and making many people feel like they’ve woken up in a new country.

Who would have thought those grey-haired old’uns were all secret Che Guevaras of the Radical Right. :rolleyes:


#16

Well, just under 40% (38%) voted Leave in Scotland to Remain’s 62%. So, there were a few here or there. Turnout was lower for this referendum than for independence. (But overall, the voter participation percentage was quite high 83%, something like that, everywhere I mean.)


#17

Yes but what I meant was that I’d be surprised (very surprised) if Catholics were a sizeable number among that 38% based upon my own interactions with members of the community across the country. I haven’t met any Scottish Catholics with the views described by the other poster :shrug:

As I said they tend to be SNP supporters now, so that would be mighty peculiar.


#18

Yeah that’s because we’ve already been through a referendum (an exhausting referendum at that). We’re fatigued with them.

And since all the major parties supported Remain in Scotland, there was never really any ‘campaigns’ to speak of. So, most voters just considered it a foregone conclusion - which it pretty much was given that it was over 60%.


#19

But I am curious who the 38% were - they must be unionist/Protestant, maybe? Glasgow, Edinburgh? Just wondering to myself really.

And yes on being exhausted over this referendum. I feel exhausted and I don’t even live there. What an emotional roller coaster. It affects us all. (and I am one of the “happy” ones)


#20

I don’t know really. Folk involved in Fisheries weren’t as much taken by the EU as the rest of Scotland, so they would be my first guess. Its to do with opposition to the common fisheries policy.

Edinburgh is the most pro-Remain city in Scotland - so no, not the Edinburghers:

bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-36620276

**Brexit: Edinburgh voters voice ‘shock’ in Scotland’s most pro-Remain city

The people of Edinburgh delivered the strongest Remain vote in Scotland - and a quick tour of the capital’s streets found people “shocked” and “devastated” by the decision to leave the EU.

While the UK voted for Brexit, 74.4% of those who cast their ballots in the Scottish capital were in favour of remaining.
**

Glasgow isn’t far behind it.

And there were majorities for Remain in every Scottish district - so my guess would be that its just a spattering of ‘leavers’ in each place that overall adds up to 38%.

I’ve only met one person who had such views in my neighbourhood and he is a freemason, unionist type - so I suppose he is from a nominally Presbyterian background.

All my other neighbours voted Remain.


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