“Older voters got their way,” she complains after the Brexit vote. Then she quotes a naïve comment from the Financial Times website: “The younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 countries. We will never know the full extent of lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away (?) by our parents, uncles and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of its predecessors.”
This is sentimental claptrap.
There is no generational conspiracy to deprive the young of anything.
Indeed, rather than belittling the democratic lessons that might be learnt from the results of the Brexit referendum, Ms. Cosslett, siding with the deluded “us,” as she identifies herself and others, preaches a bland moral: take no notice, kids, you were right.
The truth is that the older generation have been contributing to European funding for 40 years. EC money comes out of the taxpayers’ pocket. The older generation has been paying for the Erasmus programmes, the foreign research and study exchange programmes, the costs of university tuition, the travel, lodging and accommodation expenses. That money could have been spent on the poor, the underprivileged, the unemployed. Instead, we’ve been financing a redundant European parliament in Brussels and its monthly weekend break in Strasburg (at a cost of only €7 million per trip) for far too long. That money could have been used to combat social injustice, instead of being frittered away by a band of complacent Eurocrats.
“There’s no point going into my own feelings,” Ms. Cosslett says. “I made that mistake after the general election and was mocked by right-wingers... If you are young and experiencing feelings of fury and heartbreak about the result, you are justified in doing so... This is one of those momentous turning points in our personal timelines; if you’re pissed off, you are right to be.”
This is riding the bucking bronco of rampant populism.
Why were Cosslett, the Guardian and the young not ‘pissed off’ before?
If the young want to influence policy, change the future, alter the balance, they can do one of two things: a) work within the political framework to change and improve it, or b) they can write silly blog articles for The Guardian.