The post-Brexit family tragedy playing out across the UK

(18 Posts)
WalesTilly2016 Tue 28-Jun-16 10:53:45

I am writing this as it is happening within my family and I need to share my heartbreak...

Grandparents are special. To children and young people they are a life-long constant, offering kindness, love, tenderness and an ever-open ear when parents often have to be the opposite out of necessity. They are fun and they are generous. They are quite simply immaculate in the eyes of their grandchildren.

The EU referendum is unfortunately fracturing that traditional relationship.

Young people across the UK have been dismayed at the outcome of the EU referendum, and have wasted no time in voicing their disappointment across the social media platforms they inhabit. The statistics clearly show that younger people are naturally Remainers. They have been born into a modern multicultural world that they see as their oyster, and where the idea of being able to travel and work anywhere with few limitations seems natural. They happily and comfortably school and hang out with people from other cultures, and the idea that they should be outraged because of Germans claim the sunbeds simply doesn’t occur.

The same statistics show the older generation to be firmly in the Leave camp, and the overwhelming driver for them wanting to leave is immigration and a wider dislike of foreigners in general, even if they live in areas where immigrants are few and far between. They have read and bought into the countless scare stories on the pages of the Daily Mail which have successfully built on a heritage of good old-fashioned British xenophobia; where Germans grabbing sunbeds is indicative of how you can’t trust any of them.

This dissonance between young Remainers and old Leavers is resulting in an uncomfortable sea-change in the grandparent-grandchild relationship, and it is currently being played out in countless families across the UK.

The debate as to why older people voted the way they did, and why they think inexperienced younger people are clueless is undoubtedly taking place in households up and down the country as we speak. Young people are voicing their opinions and asking ‘why’, and older people are not holding back on answering them, often in brutal tones. Sadly, for many young people it will be a profound and emotional culture shock when they see and hear their dearly-loved grandparents revealing themselves as xenophobes and foaming-at-the-mouth racists.

It is a tragedy of the deepest order, and one which truly strikes at the heart of our society. Countless grandparents will be revealing to their grandchildren a disturbingly ugly side never previously shown, or even suspected. And for what? All because the morons at the tabloids have been manipulating their readers for their own benefits.

One of the most biting post-Brexit opinions shared on social media is that ‘Old people hate immigrants more than they love their grandchildren’. It is very hard to argue with, and it is truly depressing that a perfectly legitimate political debate about membership of the EU has been polluted and poisoned by rhetoric from the media and politicians that, while successful in achieving a result at the ballot boxes, has come at the cost of fractured family relationships.

ssd Tue 28-Jun-16 10:59:41

you are clearly a dail mail jurno looking for your next article

FWIW I think this is a load of rubbish and I voted remain

sure, in some families there will be tension, but in most families there will be discussion and tolerance and respect

and if there isnt then that isnt brexits fault

ssd Tue 28-Jun-16 11:02:33

yep, first ever post by WalesTilly2016

whatja know hmm

is there an emoticon for a journo alert yet?

purits Tue 28-Jun-16 11:08:08

‘Old people hate immigrants more than they love their grandchildren’. It is very hard to argue with

Oooh, I could argue, and counter it with a "Young people love 'the other' more than they love their family". I wish that Remain would stop trying to divide people.

They do know that they can still travel and work anywhere, don't they? People did for years before the EU was invented. Heck - people even do it to non-EU places.

The Remain camp are sounding unhinged with their insistence that everyone who disagrees with them are stupid and/or racist.

WalesTilly2016 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:09:04

Actually I'm not. But you can believe whatever you want.

ssd Tue 28-Jun-16 11:11:43

Actually I'm not. But you can believe whatever you want.

yeah yeah and I'm a size 10

Cosmiccreepers203 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:12:13

I'll bite.

It's a phenomena cause by a bias whereby people only accept or listen to opinions that re-inforce their own. This is an 'echo chamber' so that ideas are intensive and multiplied so that people see their views as dominant or prominent, particularly in the media.

The only thing that challenges this is family relationships (you tend to be friends with people who think the same way as you), especially if opinions are divided across generations. Therefore, quite a few families will have had a tough time during the referendum, especially if there was an obvious generational divide.

I know this is what has happened in my family.

Can I have a fiver if you use that for an article?

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 28-Jun-16 11:12:32

Young people across the UK have been dismayed at the outcome of the EU referendum

Then maybe more of the 18-25 age group should have been bothered to actually vote then. Turnout was awful.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 28-Jun-16 11:12:36

Oh don't be so melodramatic.

purits Tue 28-Jun-16 11:16:44

Why are Remainers so melodramatic? Had the sky actually fallen in and I missed it?
Yes, the markets are a mess at the moment. That's because they don't like change. They don't like it when Life dares to get in the way of their Plans. But all shall be well, just give it time.

Cosmiccreepers203 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:25:06

purist I don't find it hysterical to point out the bleeding obvious. I've had this conversation with a lot of people over the past four days. Many of my friends are having hard conversations with their parents/ grandparents, who can't understand why they are so upset. In most cases this is because the younger family member has a job/ house purchase they are worried about, while the older family member is talking about how they are glad they voted selfishly.
My sister summed it up quite nicely last night in the blazing row she had with my mum, who insists she did know my sister's job would be at risk from Brexit- people didn't ask how they're family members were going to vote before the referendum because they didn't want to upset them with political argument. But now there is no avoiding these discussions. I feel foolish that I didn't try to persuade my mum not to vote leave when I knew she was doing it as a protest vote. I've spoken to at least six friends who are in the same position. It's all a bit tense.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 28-Jun-16 11:25:31

'They do know that they can still travel and work anywhere, don't they? '

I don't think that assertion is correct.
While we're still in the EU they can work in the EU (if anyone will take the risk of hiring them). But after that and in non-EU - most places you can't get a work visa unless you have a lot of skills and they can't find anyone else. So it will be ok for a a few of the 'elite' ... oh great, brain drain.

Travel - sure - though it's going to be more expensive and people will have less disposable income in the self-inflicted recession which is starting.

My family has no generational split. DD is 17 so too young to have been allowed a say in her future. Her grandparents - who lived through and served in WWII - were very much in favour of the EU because they could clearly see the benefits of peace and prosperity - but they're dead (most of the people who actually saw war are)

purits Tue 28-Jun-16 11:40:12

In most cases this is because the younger family member has a job/ house purchase they are worried about, while the older family member is talking about how they are glad they voted selfishly.

There seems to be an air of entitlement amongst the youth. We all vote according to what we think will be best for ourselves (which includes what's best for the country).
If I have a different view it does not make me 'selfish', just different.

BreakingDad77 Tue 28-Jun-16 11:41:34

One of the most biting post-Brexit opinions shared on social media is that ‘Old people hate immigrants more than they love their grandchildren’.

No sorry your way off the mark, I have wide range of random people on facebook and the most shared is pictures of young people in ibiza(prob from the 90's) and pictures of young men from world war2 saying how "dare the young question the democracy won by this generation".

I want to create a meme with commonwealth and eastern european soldiers but not very good at it as a counter as some people need reminding.

dizzyfucker Tue 28-Jun-16 13:07:02

Put your feet back on the ground!

Cosmiccreepers203 Tue 28-Jun-16 13:59:42

Yes, it does. Because you are not doing what is best for your country. If you were you would have stopped to think about the possibility that this would cause a huge amount of economic uncertainty that could only end in a return to recession, which would affect those in work with mortgages the most- ergo anyone between 25 to 45. If those people aren't earning and bring in tax then the knock on effect then spreads to their dependants: the pensioners and the very young. Pensioners that have been mostly shielded from the exotic I melt down, so far.
Most of the people who will be hit by the first wave of redundancies will be those in their late twenties and early thirties in professional jobs. These are exactly the same people who were completely screwed by the 2008 crash when they were graduates. It has taken them this long to work to get to the point where they have secure careers and own property. Now they have been screwed again. So they are rightly very angry.
Never assume that younger people are entitled. Lots of people from this generation have had to work harder than ever before to achieve anywhere near the same level of prosperity as their parents. And now they've found that members of their own family have cheerfully thrown them back into the fire, completely unnecessarily, because they are more interested in grudges held from the seventies or xenophobia.
I'm not saying that older people don't deserve respect for how hard they worked. But why assume younger people haven't worked hard, especially in the recent climate? But no one should use the word entitled. The older generation brought us up but we are the ones who have to look after them in their old age. We rise and fall together. So you can't just throw a whole generation on the bonfire and then expect not to get burned.

Cosmiccreepers203 Tue 28-Jun-16 14:00:31

Obviously, I meant economic. Stupid phone.

roundaboutthetown Tue 28-Jun-16 14:05:13

Oh, fgs. Plenty of children's grandparents voted remain, too. Human beings are not statistics, they are individuals. Stop being a troublemaker.

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