Fearing for the future after Brexit
As the results of the EU referendum began to trickle in the morning after the people had voted it was as if a dark cloud had descended upon myself and my colleagues, writes Greg Stiles.
In the lead up to the vote we had argued from a student perspective for the benefits of EU membership, and the benefits that remaining in the EU would give to the city that we love. But that city had voted to leave.
As far as I was concerned this was gut wrenching. It felt like our future had been stolen from us.
When the pound started to slide to its lowest level in 30 years following Brexit and the FTSE 250 of UK based companies dropped by its worst ever amount, it felt like all the predictions of economic doom were coming true.
Over the last few days I have heard and seen a lot of the anger that young people feel following the Brexit decision.
With 75 percent of young people who voted to remain in the EU they feel rightfully disenfranchised, that their vote has meant nothing. But when commentators start to blame older people for how they voted, for making decisions about younger peoples lives, that they have no right to because they won’t be around for the consequences, I begin to get angry.
Firstly, no-ones vote is more or less important than another’s. Whether the difference is age, race, class of gender we are all the same when we step into the ballot box. So what makes me angry is the 64 percent of young people aged 18-24 who didn’t vote. Why? What possible reason could you have for not voting? Were you at Glastonbury and hadn’t bothered to arrange a postal vote? Were you adamant that your vote wouldn’t count? Did you not understand what the referendum was about? Did you just not care?
Whatever the reason, before we as a generation start apportioning blame onto others for the result we need to have a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror and ask why we no longer value civil participation and voting, only then can we move forward and begin to work for a better future.
But as a final note, to those young people who did vote in the referendum, whichever way you voted, thank you. Thank you because maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Maybe there is a part of our generation who are interested in political activity, who do care about voting and who maybe we should have faith in to find a way through the tumultuous times that lay ahead.