On my mind
“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.
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