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Brexit and the Elderly Brits

Updated on November 18, 2017

Consequent to a remark by the leader of the British Liberal Democratic Party, Vince Cable, portraying older Brexiteers as "coloured by nostalgia from an imperial past", I wanted to share a personal, anecdotal experience and my opinion in respect of Brexit and the elderly British electorate.While I was waiting for the bus traveling from Victoria Station, London to Bristol a few months ago I met a geriatric gentleman who happened to be a former mechanical engineer.He was reading a book when I asked him for confirmation with regards to the number of the bus traveling thereto.He replied, and questioned whether I was a student, at the same time demanding to know what subject I was a student of.I told him that I am studying international law in the Netherlands (in a very limited sense) and that I am originally from Romania.

Without divulging any kind of disdain or acrimony for my origins (as some would assume, since Romanians aren't generally very well-regarded in the UK due to waves of unqualified Romanian workers crossing the Sleeve Channel during the last decade) and intrigued by my answer he continued by asking if I would be interested in Brexit negotiations as a future lawyer requesting my general opinion on Brexit.I responded affirmatively to his first question, confessing my support for Brexit justified by my belief that any country should uphold her national values in the most decentralized manner possible, without having to answer to foreign unelected bureaucrats.

Thrilled by my answer he retorted that he also shared my views and that he was a lifelong Tory voter.Shortly after boarding the respective bus, a prolific conversation about British Conservatism, Adam Smith, Margaret Thatcher, Enoch Powell, and a panoply of other subjects followed (which will not be mentioned herein due to considerations of brevity). Upon arrival at our common destination he shook my hand and smiled, betraying a candid friendliness, and confessed how delighted he was to have had such a profound and enchanting deliberation of ideas.

While this is an individual case which cannot be accurately generalized to a larger group, my own experience indicates there is nothing racist or intolerant about the elderly British population.I was never treated any differently by older British natives on grounds of my ethnicity.I strongly believe that if one projects civility, courtesy and minimal intelligence in their behavior, they will not be regarded any differently by the majority of seniors belonging to the British populace.Conversely, without wishing to invite the scorn of many people who are of the same age as myself, I have to say that I was treated in a far more disrespectful manner for voicing conservative beliefs by some of my contemporaries.

Without manifesting obsequious admiration towards anglo-Saxonism or over-extolling it (although such admiration might be warranted in many respects), I wholeheartedly and unapologetically support Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

To claim that this decision was a byproduct of misinformation and racism, is in my opinion, pure dishonesty and condescension.The Leave Referendum was all about the economy, the judiciary and ultimately about the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.Unlike what many Western educational institutions often profess, it was not the advent of nationhood and patriotism that lead to wars and genocide in the 19th and 20th centuries, but the advent of statism and socialism - and following this statement I encourage everyone who disagrees to read Chapter 12 of F.A. Hayek's monumental work, "The Road to Serfdom" entitled "The Socialist Roots of Nazism", and his entire treatise for a more thorough understanding of the previously outlined idea.

It is highly improbable that the re-emergence of the nation-state and the Westphalian paradigm as primary methods of geo-political administration would usher a new era of warfare on the European continent in the absence of trans-national institutions like those of the European Union.


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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Well done. I'm a Brit living on the other side of the globe, and what you say about the older generation in Britain is so true.

      The older generation in Britain remember that during the dark days of WW2 it wasn't just the English who fought for Britain, but Poles, French, Dutch, Danes, Indians, Africans, Australians, Kiwis, American and even some Germans.

      After the war many made their home in Britain, and they took on our way of doing things.

      Brexit was about the British people choosing to make their own rules, and governing themselves.

      One big fear they have is not getting the trade deal they want with Europe and having to do everything through the WTO.

      I live in New Zealand, and we do all our trading through the WTO rules, we don't do too badly out of it either.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      17 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very insightful!

    • Mihnea Andreescu profile imageAUTHOR

      Mihnea-Andrei Andreescu 

      17 months ago from Tilburg

      Thank you for offering feedback, Ann. I have British friends who are very dear to me, from Yeovil and the Somerset region, in particular.I rarely get political on Hubpages,which I reserve mostly for my poetry but I felt the urge to write something on this very disputed quotidian issue.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      17 months ago from SW England

      Thank you! Finally a measured view of what the Leave argument was all about. Sadly, neither side put their point of view and their plans and policies forward succinctly before we voted; they were too busy mud-slinging to and fro.

      I agree with your statement, 'any country should uphold her national values in the most decentralized manner possible,without having to answer to foreign unelected bureaucrats.'

      I am of the opinion that the Brussels bureaucrats are more interested in their own power and salaries than they are in the European Union and they present an arrogant attitude towards Britain. The Brits are very used to fending for themselves and we shall do so again and succeed admirably, of that I'm sure. How long this is going to take is another matter entirely!

      Thank you for your unbiased, reasoned view.



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