I’m middle class, young, metropolitan… and I campaigned for Brexit. That’s right, I spent my weekends hitting the streets, handing out leaflets exclaiming the ‘5 positive reasons to vote Leave’.
Isn’t it odd that 70% of my fellow millennial generation voted to remain? When you think of previous generations of youth, they pioneered political revolutions around the world; from hundreds of Chinese students in Tiananmen Square fighting for a better life, to even the millions marching against the Iraq war in 2003. When David Cameron had been Prime Minister for six years, increasing tuition fees and cutting back on public spending, it was the first time my generation could have rebelled against the establishment. But they chose to support it. Even ‘youth messiah’ Jeremy Corbyn was unenthusiastic in voting to remain (we all know he is a secret Brexiteer anyway), yet to be pro-EU was the absolute rule, not the exception among 18 to 24 year olds.
You would be mistaken to think my generation are merely ‘pro-EU’: the vitriol and conviction in this position is so extreme that anyone with an opposing view is an evil racist bigot who deserves to be locked up in a thought-jail.
‘Our Future, Our Voice’ is a new campaign aimed to stop Brexit, for the simple reason that in five years’ time all Brexit voters will have died off, leaving the plighted young to suffer the consequences of the vote that “stole their future”.
We should be thanking baby-boomers, not wishing upon their death. They have lived through Britain’s transformation, from joining the Common Market in 1973, witnessing the disastrous ERM, calamitous euro bailouts and vast amounts of uncontrolled migration into Britain. Even mentioning the ‘I’ word to my fellow young people makes them flinch into an anti-racist spasm, but immigration has pushed up their house prices and depressed their wages: You just need to look at the Bank of England’s own figures, a 10% increase in migration leads to a 2% depression in wages for the lowest paid, and that means low-skilled jobs which young people take up a large chunk.
Far from the Brexit vote hauling us back into the 20th century, it will rocket us into the 21st. Exciting new free trade deals, whilst the EU becomes increasingly protectionist. The recent Trump trade war being perfect proof of this, shows that we can have a progressive Brexit. One that means a more sovereign, modern Britain, embracing free trade globally and having the flexibly to improve millennial’s lives.
A great example of this is house prices. Having sustained immigration of over 300,000 per year drives up demand for housing, and basic public services; a reduction in this demand will help young people to get on the housing ladder. Then there’s tax: Brexit Britain can repeal the despised tampon tax, reduce VAT on fuel and energy, and lower tariffs on basic consumer goods, making the cost of living much more affordable in a time when wages are stagnating and prices are rising.
Ah, you say, Comrade Corbyn is the new revolutionary for young voters! No need for Brexit, a red Government will bring real change for young people. Not so fast. Corbyn’s plans for massive renationalisation, huge spending programmes and backwards foreign policy represent a longing for an old socialist paradise that never was. His re-hashed 1970s programme for Britain will be a disaster for my generation: jobs will flee to freer markets; inflation and borrowing will spiral and it will be the young who will have to pay off the debt, not those older voters.
My suggestion to Corbynistas is to let the rest of us off your socialist dream and move to Venezuela or Cuba. There you can experience the “inspiration for us all” as Corbyn described ex-Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.
If my peers want to ensure their future and voices are protected, they should thank older voters for creating the political revolution they so desperately crave, and avoiding a shambolic Corbyn Government.
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