an 85 year old's view(25 Posts)
I visited my dear old dad today. He's 85 and has been a Tory voter all his life, and a party member for decades. He reads the telegraph every day, and the guardian. (that used to be mum's paper , but he kept it on after she died.)
After much careful weighing of the options, he voted remain. He said he thought there was much wrong with the eu but reform was better served by staying in. Plus he had found it hard to get to the bottom of what a leave vote actually meant. He had concluded we were better in than out. He said he thought most people would feel the same way.
I asked him what he thought of the result. He looked very grave and said , he thought it was the worst mistake in British politics since he was a small boy and chamberlain's 'peace in our time.' He said he was worried for my generation, and our children. He said he felt almost glad to be 85. He remembers a world pre nhs; he remembers gas masks and rationing, his older cousins served in ww2 and his father and uncles in ww1. For this very reason Heunderstands the European ideal and thinks the out vote was hijacked by extremists. He thinks we've committed economic and political 'hari kari' ( Japanese word for suicide.)
I couldn't disagree.
Your dad sounds amazing. What a well thought out and rational argument.
You are very lucky to have him in your life, I couldn't disagree either.
His reasons are mine. I can cope with even a 50% drop in living standards but I do not want my children to suffer a divided Europe in the way people suffered in WWI and WWII. Let us hope there is some chance for EEA membership in that case as the alternative to EU membership.
Very interesting OP. Thanks for sharing. He is right imo, people voting leave because of the nhs and all those EU immigrants using it (yes, l saw that pearler on FB) have cut off their nose to spite their face.
Thanks all, he's great
He hadn't heard or read Heseltine's splendid condemnation of Johnson and co, but grinned and thought it was spot on.
I drove away feeling a mixture of pride and sadness. He's not a man given to dramatics or emotion ( to say the least!) But so sad that in his twilight years, he feels seriously worried for present and future generations, when, very very broadly speaking, things have got significantly better for the vast majority in his lifetime- thanks to the efforts of his generation of men and women.
My generation has now thrown it all away
How does your Dad feel about the attitudes towards older people revealed by the result.
Does he feel hurt that lots of people are blanket blaming the older generation, saying people his age shouldn't get a vote because it won't affect him.
I've seen some rather cheerful remarks wishing men your fathers age dead soon.
Or is this ok because they only mean certain older people because of the way they chose to vote?
Based on a poll (we all know how reliable they are) a certain segment of society are viewing all people your fathers age as bigots, idiots and racists.
Usually by the hordes of young people whose future your father worries about, despite the fact the majority of young people couldn't even be arsed to vote.
He's far from the only older person to vote Remain. My father is 82 and wouldn't have dreamed of voting otherwise. Mind you, he's a lifelong Labour voter and a Europhile.
I don't particularly like him, because he is not a particularly nice bloke, but of course he voted remain.
No we didn't discuss that - I mentioned something I'd seen online that indicated people his generation largely voted remain and it was the 60s and 70s who voted out. He didn't really comment on that, and I doubt he'd know how his friends voted.
The whole ageist thing is utterly awful, I agree.
DF is 73. He is a typical Tory and reads the DM (but doesn't believe half of it).
He voted Remain and urged me and DSis to. His words 'It's the economy, stupid' to quote Clinton.
That said - I think he is isolated from the social issues that exist.
Voters aged 80+ largely voted Remain - very likely because they lived through the World War and appreciate 70 years of peace in Europe better than anyone else. People aged 60ish to mid 70s or thereabouts largely voted Leave, though absolutely none of the older people I know, who were all staunchly Remain.
I'm totally with your lovely Dad, OP. I'm quite convinced that if my lovely dad was still with us, he'd say exactly the same - he spent half his life working overseas, and embracing other cultures and 'togetherness'.
I'm so sad about this result.
I'm sure your Father is lovely but that doesn't make him right. I'm a Tory voter, read The Telegraph not as old as your DF but remember rationing, my Uncle lost his arm in France, friends' fathers and older brothers died in WW2. Does that make my Leave vote right? Oh no, as a Leave voter I presumably come under the category of hopefully will soon be dead.
My dad is 73 and voted Remain in the end, for pretty much the same reasons, without actually remembering WW2 but does recall rationing.
Took him a while to decide though, as he really resents the Common Market having become the EU without another referendum, doesn't like European coalition-style politics, and in his own words, "I was all set to support UKIP, but then I saw an interview with Nigel Farage, and the man's an idiot!"
He lives in a place where a Tory will always be MP, so people are voting UKIP to protest - though Labour has at least kept their deposit in the last few elections.
Kiss him from me too the next time you see him. Tell him we wish we had more over 50 like him.
Sadly my dear old dad died last year at 92 but I feel sure he would have voted Remain. That generation went through WW2. He was all for the Common Market and voted to join Europe in 1975.
If my Grandad were still alive he would be 86 and had many of the same views about Europe. He was terrified of another war, really valued the EUs part to play in peace for Europe and was glad his children and grandchildren knew nothing but peace. The war scarred him for life and he will be spinning in his grave at this result. It's the only thing that's made me glad he's not here, he would hate seeing this.
Your dad sounds great. I don't know many Tory voters who would read the Guardian every day!
My late father (not a Tory!) would also have been horrified at the referendum result. He fought in WW2, but just a few years later went over to Germany as a volunteer with a Christian charity to help rebuild their infrastructure. I have a lovely photo of him (in a huge baggy pair of shorts) labouring to repair railway lines.
I think that that generation, as a PP said, regard peace in Europe as immensely precious whereas many of us tend to take it for granted at best and we really shouldn't
I love the sound of your dad, my dad fought in WW2 and I know him and my mum would have voted remain if they were still here
wish they were
DFIL voted leave (at least he said he was going to) - Daily mail reader - pretty much believes everything he reads in there (he's 79)-his view was that he was a leave voted in the 70s and his views hadn't changed. while i don't agree with him politically - i think his reasoning is less simplistic than many summaries, I don't think he thinks the EU is responsible for peace (think probably believed in Nuclear Deterrent/UN/NATO rather than EU) and he also thinks the UK has a global role rather than a European role- he is pro the USA, he worked for global companies rather than European - his children worked overseas but out of Europe. So he wouldn't see a huge plus in being in the EU economically as he would see our trade position as being fine without - and he would just have swallowed all the Daily Mail/farage guff about immigration being responsible for all the ills of the world- whilst living in a world where he never sees anyone who wasn't born and bred in the UK (and probably been living in the same town for 50 years as well)... he's just the epitome of old school Tory...
None of his children or adult grandchildren voted to leave - despite being various shades of rightwing-
My dad died recently at 92 and my mum's 86 - both of them would have been/were horrified at the idea of leaving Europe. Both lived through WWII and know how important a united Europe is.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What a very sad and pertinent point, jane.
And thanks all who have contributed their views.
It feels like we're losing so much- it's slipping through our hands -or rather the hands of those elected to govern us. Take back control? What a farce!
Also less tangible things seem tarnished or compromised - dignity, respect, trust, decency, honesty, integrity. Waffling now, but still feel so horrified by what is happening. Apologies to any brexiteers - my comment wasn't in any way meant as a side swipe. We've all been tremendously let down.
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