The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has now waded into the debate on EU membership, bringing with her just about every device from the toolbox of the modern career politician: good use of emotive scaremongering, lots of high sounding but meaningless platitudes, all topped with a good drizzle of disingenuous nonsense. Let’s just interact with it for a few moments:
“It’s clear, that if Britain leaves Europe it will be young people who suffer the most, left in limbo while we struggle to find and then negotiate an alternative model. In doing so we risk that lost generation becoming a reality.”
Of course, the modern career politician must couch their message in the platitudinous garb of “modernity” “youth” and “all things new”. That’s what they’ve been trained to do. But aside from the platitudes, what of the facts? An alien political scientist might assume from Ms Morgan’s words that all is well with the young in Britain, that they are all in employment, and that leaving this thing called the EU would drastically reduce their chances of getting a job. What would they then make of the fact that – according to the Office of National Statistics– there are currently some 963,000 young people (aged from 16 to 24) in the UK who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)? And lest they wonder whether this is a peculiarly British phenomenon, they could always take a trip to some of those other great EU success stories, Spain and Greece, where the problem is even greater. Would the problem have been worse had Britain been outside the EU? Who can tell, but it stretches credibility for a politician to argue that having been part of it for over 40 years, and having seen in that time a “lost generation becoming a reality”, leaving it will risk a “lost generation becoming a reality”.
“And everyone who casts their vote must understand that. If parents and grandparents vote to leave, they’ll be voting to gamble with their children and grandchildren’s future. At a time when people are rightly concerned about inter-generational fairness, the most unfair decision that the older generation could make would be to take Britain out of Europe and damage the ability of young people to get on in life.”
This is more of the same stuff, but this time laced with emotive puff just to make you feel guilty for voting to become a sovereign state. If you do vote to leave, and that 963,000 number starts going up, you’ll only have yourselves to blame and your children will rightfully curse your decision. Of course, one could counter by arguing that leaving could actually be the prelude for the numbers coming down, since we would inevitably have fewer low wage workers imported from abroad. But here’s the question: since the “lost generation” syndrome is apparently a factor in this debate, who then does Ms Morgan blame for the 963,000 that are currently in that number?
She went on to say that “young people are the generation of Instagram, Easyjet and eBay” and rejected isolation in favour of internationalism. “They don’t want to see a Britain cut off from the world, where not only their opportunities, but our influence as a country, ends at our shores.”
This is my favourite bit. Once again the debate is couched with a metaphorical gun against the head: “What’s it to be, son? The sunlit utopian uplands of the global village where everyone is happy, everyone has a job, and you get to use the internet and Facebook and low cost airlines? Or North Korea? Make your choice.”
Of course, it’s nonsense and she knows it. They use the internet in Switzerland don’t they? And low cost airlines fly to Norway, don’t they? Is it then possible to be a sovereign nation that interacts with other countries? Or does sovereignty necessarily mean being cut off? Even the dimmest young person at the back of the class ought to be able to answer that one, even if Ms Morgan can’t.
These young people have grown up in a world where international co-operation, economic growth, technological advancements and social media, have seen barriers being torn down across the world.
The astute young person out there might want to disagree. Some of them have probably noticed that “international co-operation” often seems to have led to us partaking in wars against countries that posed no threat, leading to those nations being destroyed and to millions killed or displaced. Some might have noticed that our “economic growth” has been built on imported low wage labour, and that they have zero chance of ever affording a house. Some may have noticed that technological advances and social media have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with our membership of the EU. Some might have noticed that the tearing down of national borders has not only decreased our security, but has also homogenised many of the world’s amazing cultures into a thoroughly uninteresting and insipid global mush.
“Young people today want to see the UK working internationally to tackle the big problems and issues that they care about because they want to make their world a better place.”
And here we have the typical catch-all statement of the modern career politician, speaking on behalf of an entire demographic. I admit she may be right. Decades of promoting the leftist, globalist agenda in the Academies of Political Correctness known as “schools” may well have left every young person out there agreeing that staying in the EU is absolutely necessary to tackle – meaningless platitudes in bold – the big problems and issues that they care about in order to make their world a better place. Then again, eternal optimist that I am, I hold out the hope that there are still some young people out there who will not be taken in by Ms Morgan’s fact-free, emotive and disingenuous attempt to scare people into voting against becoming a sovereign state once more.