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This article was written on 31 Aug 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

Brexit: it’s all about class and age

This is going to make me unpopular. And frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Brexit is a class and an age marker. The people who voted to leave are, for the most part, never going to see sixty again or think that their jobs are in no way connected to the wider economy, for which we need people and companies who actually have money to make more of it. The former position is largely irrelevant, because they’ll be dead long before the consequences of their decisions are felt and the latter is, just simply, wrong.

At a party last week, attended by the chattering classes that UKIP abhor, everyone had voted to Remain. But that’s because everyone had a reasonable level of income they wanted to keep and because everyone had a university education. Almost everyone’s parents voted to leave because they’re mostly old, mostly economically inactive, save for their pensions, and faintly afraid of anyone who looks as though they might well be foreign. Or black. Or Asian. Or a Muslim. And apparently voting to leave the EU spits in all these people’s eyes. I don’t know why.

As a member of what the BBC class survey called ‘the Precariat,’ I’m overeducated and underpaid. I hold a Master’s degree from a London university and worked in the media for twenty years, despite which, I’m currently doing a minimum wage job on a casual contract. I earn less than anyone at that party, by far, and by rights should have been taken out and shot. Talking to people who voted to leave which I can get away with because I live in Sussex and have a northern accent that makes everyone think I’m working class, shows a similar picture to that painted by people’s parents.

For the most part, working class people think that they’ve been left behind. They see no connection between them having work and the wider economy. However. When the wider economy suffers, so do they. Or rather, we, because I’m one of them. If Nissan get cold feet about Brexit and move their car plant, that’s all those jobs buggered. Equally a person at the party is a property developer. His next project has had the value sliced off it which is less money for builders and carpenters and the people who will tart it up. Everyone suffers from this.

When you take the working class and you take the old and glue them together, you have a larger voting bloc than the rest of the population. If the working class and the old people want to make us all wear Santa hats, then that’s what’d happen. Nobody else, which includes the people who actually make the money, will have a say in this. They would have to adapt to the idiot wishes of the largest voting bloc or else leave the country.

I can forgive this in the working class, for a range of patronising reasons, but in the old, who have led gilded, happy lives, it’s unpardonable. They aged into or were born into, a time of unparalleled prosperity when everything in the garden was rosy. That’s when their political development stopped. Everything in the world is judged relative to this time, and the failure to recreate it is entirely down to the EU, without whom men would wear hats, we’d have the death penalty and you could still call a black man a ‘nig-nog’ or grope someone at work without fearing the consequences. And if any of them do happen to be reading this, yes, I do think you’re this stupid and pathetic and yes, I’m not that bothered about your continued existence.

The leave voter I’m acquainted with most deeply thinks that all immigrants get a fully furnished council house and some kind of cash payment, and he’s both of those categories – old and working class. He’s also entirely stupid. But against that stupidity, against that level of belief, there is no politician living who can ever hope to prevail, which means that we’re essentially living in a stupid people’s country.

Should you ever hear about the Government doing something which strikes you as stupid, or UKIP saying something essentially racist but branding it as ‘common sense,’ it’s a fair bet that you too have had an education and perhaps aren’t over sixty. If, however, you see Theresa May or one of the generic UKIP racists saying something and warmly agreeing, then it’s probably because you’re immensely thick and/or over sixty and won’t be happy until England is a sort of barren wasteland with everyone wearing improvised John Bull costumes and eating leaves.

What’s the answer? There isn’t one. Anybody with a brain should plan to get out of the UK before it goes over completely. We have some time yet, because even imbeciles can’t ruin a country that quickly, but it’s clear that the long-term solution is to leave. I have a shortlist of countries that I’d like to try and you must have yours. My advice? Try them. Nothing that happens here is going to be remotely edifying and won’t allow you to enjoy the quality of life you’re used to.

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