On my mind

Llanelli Star - - Letters - With Gra­ham Davies

“PICK me up and take me away” sounds like the de­featist cry of a weary Brexit ne­go­tia­tor.

It is in fact the in­vi­ta­tion on the front of the “Ma­ture Times” dis­trib­uted free in Llanelli Li­brary.

In a se­nior mo­ment I flipped through, un­der the cover of dark­ness, its wrin­kled pages and con­cluded that old age is es­sen­tially about vi­sion, hear­ing and the blad­der, only to find on the next page that the im­por­tance of pass­ing wa­ter is sur­passed only by the fu­neral plan. Then I read the re­cent an­nounce­ment that the Law Com­mis­sion is ex­am­in­ing whether age should be added to hate crime leg­is­la­tion.

Ap­par­ently since the Brexit ref­er­en­dum there has been a dra­matic in­crease in ex­pres­sions of hos­til­ity to older peo­ple, on the ba­sis that the “wrin­klies have stuffed the mil­len­ni­als” so you will never get a seat on the train again.

One lead­ing politi­cian sug­gested that older vot­ers were driven by “nos­tal­gia for a world where pass­ports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured im­pe­rial pink”. It turned out that three quar­ters of un­der 25s voted to re­main, but al­most the same num­ber of over 65s voted to leave.

Older peo­ple have been de­monised for “steal­ing the fu­ture of young peo­ple”. Yet an even more un­com­fort­able statis­tic comes from a British So­cial At­ti­tudes sur­vey last year which found that the cru­cial fac­tor in the vote was erm…ed­u­ca­tion: those with a su­pe­rior for­mal ed­u­ca­tion voted to re­main. Oops!

For me the ref­er­en­dum re­sult re­flected a num­ber of is­sues: views of na­tional iden­tity, taken for a ride by a bus, con­cerns about im­mi­gra­tion (but not colonies), dis­like of crois­sants, re­ac­tions to do­mes­tic is­sues, postapoc­a­lyp­tic fic­tion, win­ners and losers in the global sys­tem, iso­la­tion­ism and na­tion­al­ism. I’m not wor­ried though – I’ve got a stock of choco­late crois­sants.

Fol­low Gra­ham on Twit­[email protected]

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.