Since internet access while we are away won’t be as easy I’m try to put myself in credit with the blog posts 🙂
As the country comes to terms with the momentous referendum result from last week it is clear that we are a divided nation.
One interesting analysis of the vote was according to age. Those aged 18-24 voted 73/27 to remain. Whereas those 65+ were 60/40 to leave. That is a huge generational divide. Two lessons I think we need to learn from this:
- Don’t look back in anger – my hunch is that many ‘leavers’ are feeling unsettled and disorientated by the huge social changes they have experienced in their life time. Expressions about ‘taking back our country’ speak of a desire to return to the golden age of (Victorian?) Britannia. I have to say that they have been conned. Take a good look at our government. Do you really think that dodgy Dave or mad Boris want to bring the UK back to a time when we all left our front doors unlocked, children played outdoors and everybody went to church? Even many Christians have bought into this myth. I can’t see how the EU is any less ‘Christian’ than any contemporary UK government would be. I remember speaking to a proud Indian couple last year – so pleased that their children and grandchildren now lived in the UK. I found it hard to recognise the Britain that they were so fond of: apparently so Christian, so fair and so well educated. The irony is that if you really want to return to ‘Christian Britain’ [assuming for a moment that this is a) possible and b) desirable] your best bet would be to increase immigration not reduce it. Immigrants from Eastern Europe, Africa or the Indian sub-continent are far more likely to be religious and committed to ‘family values’ than white Brits. Instead of looking backwards all the time we need to look to the future. Did we think about the children? Leavers need to face the facts – the UK social changes are on us and our children, stop blaming Johnny Foreigner.
- Stop taking selfies and turn the camera around – as someone who is aged 47 I feel that I bridge both generations – the young who voted remain, and the old who voted leave. (I still like to think of myself as young, but that is a delusion not addressed in this post.) I have found the whinging by millennial remainers as distasteful as some of the racism expressed by the leavers. The thing about democracy is that everyone gets a vote. Grab a straw and suck it up. Randomly picking those under the age of 50 (so that it includes me) we have raised a generation who simply do not understand the word ‘no’. We have always given them what they want so they/we assume that applies to democracy too. I am saddened that many older people did not seem to think of the future. But why should young people’s votes somehow count for more? We see this in church life too. A genuine concern for young people as ‘the church of the future’ has often become merely aiming everything at them. Church, like Britain, is not just about me. Can’t we see how short-sighted that is? If church is only about reaching the young, we end up raising a generation who won’t be able to reach the next generation when they grow up. My prediction is that millennials will be much more likely to vote leave in 40 years time than their parents. Let’s stop taking selfies and use our ‘phones to view the world around us instead – full of old and young, beautiful and plain, white and black.