Ah, the Generation Gap. You perhaps never realise the point at which you actually cross it, but you know when are definitely on the other side. In my case it was when the media I consumed no longer held the same appeal to me, specifically when I lost interest in, or appreciation of, the tracks in the popular music charts.
The young men and women on the other side of this gap are widely expected to charge in, Blucher-like, to save David Cameron’s skin at the Waterloo that is the EU referendum. Either that, or the PM may end up like Napoleon.
We are now being regularly regaled with the smiling visages, provided mainly by the ‘totally impartial’ BBC, of Clearasil-doused school-leavers and undergraduates while being told that the young will mainly vote to Remain, whilst their elders will vote to Leave.
Of course, generational schism in politics is nothing new. The young tend to flock to new social, political and media experiences. Daddy’s a Cavalier, son’s a Roundhead. It has been a common trope for perhaps the bulk of human existence that the young rebel against the orthodoxies of their parents. It is perhaps genetically programmed. Once the breeding pair have reproduced, their maturing offspring have to be able to adapt to environmental changes while nature may have no further use for their parents. Youthful rebellion against how parents react to environmental and social changes may be a survival instinct, although that may not have been the reason provided by the future Edward VII to his disappointed parents if he was ever required to explain his antics and tastes.
It is, however, dispiriting to see images of young people repeating those portions of pro-EU propaganda they can remember to the screen in the broadcasters’ hope that their peers will flock to this new social trend, namely registering to vote at the last possible minute and crashing the Government’s web servers while doing so and then voting to Remain, especially when this will act contrary to their interests.
There is no evidence that membership of the EU is of actual benefit to the young citizen. There is, however, substantial evidence of the reverse.
The much-touted EU-based labour protection laws do their job. Labour is well-protected in the EU. It is so well-protected that substantial numbers of young people are protected from actually getting an entry-level job. Employers, discouraged from dismissing employees due to performance or changing circumstances, are reluctant to hire in the first place. There are distressingly large percentages of young people across Europe that are out of work. Part of this is also due to the centralising economic policies of the EU, that has stunted business growth.
This trend in youth unemployment has not affected us as much in the UK, mainly because we do not use the euro, but it also means that these jobless Europeans could seek employment on our shores. It is noteworthy that there are no refugee camps for those waiting to cross the Alps, Pyrenees or Rhine to get work. People are, however, waiting to cross the English Channel. And those are the ones who have no right to do so. The ones that do have this right are coming to work here, to the detriment of every school- or college-leaver in the country.
Finding a GP, getting a hospital bed, buying or renting a house are now harder in the UK than ever before due to the unplanned for competition for these resources. Children will be living with their parents for longer, their lives stunted as a consequence. But apparently this is all for the greater good
The biggest revelation of the referendum campaign has to be the final acknowledgement by Government and opposition politicians that immigration to the UK is now out of Britain’s control so long as we remain in the EU, but that this is a ‘price worth paying’ for access to the single market, despite there being no indication whatsoever that this market will be closed to us on Brexit. However, the people revealing this to us also tell us that uncontrolled immigration is a good thing and has been good for the economy. So controlling immigration is apparently a waste of taxpayers’ money. It may be possible that the people telling us this have not necessarily faced the challenges of employment, congestion, housing and services. I note with interest the absence of an immigration crisis in Switzerland, which has access to the single market, while remaining outside the EU. Nobody complains about the Swiss economy in Switzerland.
There is a trend in youth-oriented films, most notably in recent times in the Hunger Games franchise, of youth being oppressed by a vast, encompassing, largely-faceless, social order or closed society that issues directives on how people should live in stifling detail. Youth rises to prevail, thanks to the inspiration of some exceptional individuals. Somehow, this ‘stifling order’ is being portrayed in the media as being the British government, mainly because it is a Conservative one. We are being told that the disenfranchised youth of our country are looking to almost-faceless Jean-Claude Juncker, actually the leader of an even more stifling order, to liberate them.
This is as absurd a scenario as the discontented of 1930s democratic Europe looking on Papa Stalin and his kind as their liberator from the Depression. And yet this topsy-turvy storyline is gaining credence. Apparently only the largely faceless, undemocratic, directive-dealing, Brussels-dwelling bureaucracy of the EU can save the young people of this country from being ravaged by Boris Johnson.
David Cameron asks us to think of our children when casing our vote. A vote to remain will mean our children will not be able to afford to buy a house or to pay rent, they will have to compete for a job here with millions of other people due to an open-door immigration policy that cannot be altered even by a change of government. State services will be oversubscribed due to a demand that it is impossible for even the most gifted civil servant to plan for as it is impossible to predict. There is no point to having access to a single market if you cannot afford to buy its goods. And that is the future for our young.
The Remain camp tell us there is only a straight choice between voting for controlled immigration or voting for access to the single market. This is simply not true.
Young people in the UK are being lured by the repetition of a romantic vision of a utopian ideal of a peaceful and prosperous Europe, a ‘broad sunlit upland’ available to them by casting their vote and not to worry about the details. Vote Remain And Everything Will Be All Right. It does not help that a generation of children have been shut off from a proper view of our proud British history as they have been abandoned by the State to the left-wing teaching profession that hate our country.
This is also an important constitutional issue and the voters have not been educated in such matters, let alone the political circumstances of the EU, apart from the desire to avoid Germany starting yet another war in Europe after having started five in the years between 1860 and 1939, which I understand to be a record, but not the good kind.
Things are never all right. There is no ‘happily ever after’, there is just ‘ever after’. I like to think that the vote of the young will be to rise up and rebel against the EU-ordinated status quo that will deny them the mundane necessities of housing, jobs and services, which would be more rational.
Romantic visions of eternal harmony should be left to Mills and Boon, not the ballot-box.
(Image: Erlebnis Europa)