A plea to the grandparents of the UK

Drapeaux des Etats membre de l'Union européenne à 28 pays et drapeau européen (au 1er juillet 2013)

Particularly those of you who are aged in your late 60s or early 70s, the outcome of the EU referendum isn’t likely to affect you. But its repercussions will have a dramatic impact on your grandchildren which they will have to live with and possibly put right in the years to come.

The baby boomers never had it so good and of course, they want that for their children and grandchildren, but here’s the thing, folks, it ain’t gonna happen!

Voting out won’t see us suddenly in the throes of the golden years of the 1950s when a household only needed one wage with the added benefits of WiFi, iPhones, the internet, microwave meals and dishwashers.

If you’re lucky enough to be in this age group you’ve paid off your mortgage, probably having first purchased your council house for a few grand.

You’re retired, therefore the strength of the job market is irrelevant for you, you don’t need a job and the cut and thrust of the economy will not have the same effect compared to those of us who have to work. You have your pension and some of you will have a very nice one, it will continue whether we’re in or out.

Many of the EU so-called issues such as migrants taking our jobs and school places (if indeed they do exist bearing in mind migrants pay more into the system than they take out and recent stats show schools with EU migrant children performing just as well with many even doing better than average) just don’t affect you.

Many of you believe the money we ‘save’ from paying into the EU (never mind the fact we would still need to pay a fee to trade with the EU) will miraculously result in new hospitals, schools and the reinstatement of a host of public services despite the fact that these were a consequence of a government we elected with an austerity agenda and not bestowed upon us by the invisible powers of the EU. Get this, the same government will still be in power until 2020 and they won’t be back tracking their austerity policies anytime soon, chances are with an economy that’s taken a massive hit as a result of Brexit, they will put even more such measures in place.

If we vote out, the chances of us reaping the benefits in our everyday lives (health, schooling, policing, public services) is somewhere between zero and minimal.

Grandparents of Great Britain, the baby boomers, you had it good, we don’t doubt you want Generations X, Y and Z to have it just as good, but opting out of the EU won’t achieve that for us, or more importantly your grandchildren. Those days are gone and nothing will transport us back there (more’s the pity).

Leaving the EU is unlikely to make any difference to you. You will still have your pensions and houses and you don’t need a job. Chances are you’ll only be around for the next 10 years or so. Generation X (those of us born in the 60s and 70s) still need to work and have mortgages to pay whilst we have no idea if our pensions (for those of us who have them) will be adequate. Meanwhile, our kids (Generation Y and Z) will have the dubious honour of being the first not to be better off than their parents. Let’s not make it even tougher for them.

The best reason for voting in or out was put to me by a baby boomer sailor at my son’s club whose own son is aged in his 40s. In or out, it won’t make much difference to me, he reasoned, but it will to my son and grandchildren, whatever my son decides, that’s what I’ll be voting.

Good advice.

So if you’re a grandparent stop and think before you place your cross in a box convinced you’ll return us to a bygone era. Better still, if you have grandchildren who happen to be aged between 10 and 17, who therefore do not have a voice, but whose lives will be transformed forever, talk to them. Listen to what they say, they will probably be more informed than your average Brit having debated and explored the issues long and hard at school. Vote according to the wishes of your disenfranchised grandchildren, they are the ones who will be living with this for some 70 odd years.

Grandparents of the UK, give your grandchildren the best gift ever, give them a voice.

Map of the enlargement  to 28 EU Members countries

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