The results are in. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. Yep, the washed-up Norma Desmond of the geopolitical world, has voted to leave the world's largest economy, basically because of fear of the other: xenophobia.
Sure, the "leave" camp (soon to be "the people who destroyed the EU and the U.K.") tried to rationalise their decision as an economic one—that EU sausage regulations were killing Britain—but ultimately it was because they don’t like dem imigrints.
The vote was heavily skewed between extremes: educated urban folk, who largely voted to remain; and uneducated rural folk who opted to leave. Those over 65 who largely voted leave (and who won't live long enough to rue their decision); and those under 35 who have seen the benefits of peace, prosperity, freedom of movement and not being a dick to people different from them, largely voted to remain. The Scots and Northern Irish—keenly aware of how big a dicks the English are—voted to remain; rural England and Wales voted to leave.
This is depressing. It's depressing for Europe, for the United Kingdom and the rest of the western world, because our population is ageing. The same generation that tipped this referendum into the disaster that is ‘leave’ are the very same gaining the ascendancy all over the western world. The fucking Baby Boomers.
This generation—who were once the hip young freethinking peaceniks of the 1960s—have become crotchety old people upset about younger people on their lawns. And the young people are only on the Boomers' lawns because their rented studio apartment has no lawn and even though there's nobody else at home, their Boomer elders have elected to remain in their five bedroom home because they need a sewing room.
Yerp. Those who have gained the most from the unprecedented increase in material and cultural wealth in the second half of the twentieth century are now largely denying future generations a share in their prosperity through their pariochial selfishness.
A little more than 15% of our population is aged over 65. This cohort has the ability to tip elections and to change the future, even though they won’t actually get to share in it. It is this group that overwhelmingly rejects the science on climate change, objects to increased taxation (and any changes to the tax haven known as superannuation), is happy to incarcerate foreigners in offshore gulags, and refuses to accept the housing market is any different from when they bought their first home 1970 (‘We worked bloody hard, got a free education, didn't go out or have fancy phones or computer games or travel overseas. You young people want everything now!!’).
On current demographic trends, a 75-year-old man has 5.1 years to live with elected leaders like Tony Abbott as Prime Minister smashing asylum seeker heads on Nauru, or objecting to un-havening their superannuation. Someone like me, on average, has another 53.5 years to try and clean up their mess, all while those who kick on past their expected use-by date (an ever-increasing metric shittonne of them) demand more and better care in their decrepit old age. And probably all while refusing to allow the family home into the asset test.
What I am about to say is going to sound harsh—perhaps despotic—but as Prime Minister Abbott always said,
you can't make an omelette without raw onion, tough times call for tough measures. The U.K. Referendum result has clearly demonstrated that we must excise those aged over 65 from our electoral rolls. These leeches who have enjoyed every financial benefit and bribe offered by governments of both persuasions over the past 50 years must be weened off the teat of democracy. Those who will never work a day again in their aged lives do not deserve a say on where the tax dollars of earners go. It is time to leave the decision making up to those who will actually live with the consequences of their decisions.
Such a seemingly non-democratic move could actually save democracy. It is the 65+ age group that is largely more than comfortable seeing liberal nations slide into reactionary right-wing autocracies.
Right now, there are millions of Britons aged under 35 who are terrified of what the future holds, all because some 70-year-old goat herder in the Cotswolds read a story (probably in a Murdoch paper) about how imigints and EU sausage regulations were not helping Make Britain Great Again. The younger Britons' futures will be irreparably damaged as freedom of movement is restricted throughout the EU and Britain moves away from the common market (TBH, I hope Europe twist the Article 50 knife). Of course I could be wrong. Nigel Farrage et al may indeed return £350 million per week to the NHS. That would be a good thing. But I think that Cotswold's farmer's pigs are more likely to develop wings and fly than that occurring. Believe me, the 'leave' process is far from done and dusted.
The British decision to leave the EU is an unmitigated disaster. I don’t know about you, but I am sick of old white men imposing their fascist hangups on the rest of the world without a care for the future. They should shuffle off centre stage freely, otherwise every other generation should reserve the right to get all Kent State on their arses.
That should take them back to the good ol’ days.