The Generation Gap/Age Differences

Posted on 28th March, 2020

The Totnes Times, 22/3/2019                    Key words   Age differences

 

 

Most Saturday mornings this year I have been  a volunteer on one of the street stalls around the county gathering support for a people's vote. The first time I just wanted to hide under the table, but that soon changed to really enjoying talking to people, whatever their views. The mornings follow a similar pattern everywhere. Initially it is mostly older people on the street and many, but not all, of them are reluctant to engage with someone wearing a Euro beret. However, by mid morning families start coming out and this younger generation are very keen to talk. It is clear that in Devon there is a major difference in view between the ages; national opinion polls show that we are not alone in this.

 

In this situation a one-off referendum was the very worst way to determine national policy. The views of a generation nearing the end of their lives are being imposed, against their will, on those who have their whole lives ahead of them. Leaving the EU is not like electing a government in a general election; you can't change your mind every 5 years.

 

The question now is how do we extract ourselves from a course of action which those who will be most affected don't want.  The answer is that the best thing we can do is to hold a second vote, this time with a much better understanding of the issues involved. In addition, we should follow Scotland's lead and allow 16 and 17 year olds a vote; they, after all, will be affected more than anyone.

 

Roger Porkess

 

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