Youth is the future…

Below is an impressive chart on the life expectancy of those who voted leave or remain and thus highlighting those who will actually incur the the Brexit costs or benefits.

Since even Rees-Mogg thinks there may be a period of disruption for 20 years or so. (He shows a remarkable lack of both empathy and intelligence that, with a family fortune based on coal mining, although he is now a more respectable ‘investment banker’, he seems to find it difficult to realise that people require hope for their future.) The calculations suggest that we should be giving our youth a disproportionate influence.

So this chart suggests that we owe our youths, our children, the future that most of them voted for in spite of the toxic, lying environment of the referendum in 2016. Of course the figures indicate that they are now even more remain orientated.

They, and indeed all of us, may well be more informed now.

And as for the motivation of the LEAVE movers and shakers, there is an incisive article by the FT columnist Andrew Shrimsley, who has also written in the Irish Times so this link should not be intermittent!



  1. Adrian Kent. -

    As far as Europe is concerned, I think these youth unemployment figures are just as relevant and just as disgusting – even more so when you realise they have been similarly appalling for a decade now – and that for every unemployed young person there’s probably a least one more who is under-employed, in a desperately dull job, underpaid or who has been forced abroad to look for (and compete for) even halfway decent prospects.

    Yes our youth were lied to in the referendum campaign, but prime amongst these lies (and for the years before too for that matter) was that the EU offered a world of opportunities for the young, when the opposite is very much the case. Ask an FBPEer as to what they think the opportunities are that they or their kids are going to miss out on – seriously give it a go I’ve asked plenty – you’ll almost always get a rosy, but unrealistic view of a seamless transition between service sector or research/academic jobs, usually to identikit ‘up-and-coming’ areas of exotic cities – the kind of places with a thriving craft-beer movement. Yes that happens, but the reality for many, many more is of enforced dislocation and drudgery.

    Of course we owe our youth a very great deal more than they have on offer now, but to suggest that continued membership of an organisation that demonstrates such a woeful disregard for it’s youth is fanciful:

    1. Sean Danaher -

      I’m not sure the numbers are as bad as they seem. from the FT
      “There’s just one problem – those numbers are derived from a flawed methodology, which misrepresents the true level of unemployment among young people, making it look far worse than it is. Indeed, the same methodology is also used to measure adult unemployment rates and probably underestimates that figure. The way we estimate unemployment is giving us a skewed view of reality.

      The problem is as follows: the adult jobless rate is calculated as the percentage of unemployed workers divided into the number of total workers in the labour force. So if you have 20 jobless workers and 200 workers in the labour force, the unemployment rate is 10 per cent.

      But when it comes to youth, those attending university or job-training full-time are not considered part of the labour force because they are neither working nor looking for a job. With millions of students removed from the labour force, that makes the denominator in the equation much smaller and, with the numerator staying the same, the unemployment rate looks higher.

      In the example above, let’s say that of the 200 workers, 150 enter a university. They would no longer be counted as part of the labour force, so even though the number of young people actually out of work has not changed, the unemployment rate has quadrupled to 40 per cent.”

      1. Peter May -

        That’s a very interesting point. Also some surprising places have lower youth unemployment that the UK: examples include Bulgaria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Malta!

  2. Peter May -

    I agree, except about the fanciful. Categorically the EU needs considerable reform.
    But leaving does nothing to reform it – whilst simultaneously giving our own society an economic kick downhill, from which our youth will have to devote considerable time and effort to climbing back up to regain their original place.
    Those that have actually embraced the European concept as a 40 years old ‘permanence’ and and are working or have married abroad will now have their lives thrown into disarray and might lose their jobs or family lives as a result.
    And all on the basis of illegality and lies. If only that effort had gone into trying to reform the EU.

    1. Adrian Kent. -

      I agree wholeheartedly that more effort should have been expended to attempt to reform the EU in the past, but if the GFC wasn’t enough to trigger it I can’t imagine what would be required now.

      That the necessary reform would require the development and steering of a pan-European progressive movement in the next electoral cycle means the chances of anything happening within the next decade are essentially zero.

      The UK could reform the EU by way of example (by demonstrating once and for all that the benefits of trade-deals are illusory and that JIT economics does nobody any good for instance) – and we can still act as a helpful partner rather than opponent on any number of issues (citizenship included).

  3. Graham -

    I’m afraid when I hear all this criticism of the EU I tend to despair. I suggest the UK is far less democratic than the EU. The HoL is all the evidence we need. Yes, the EU needs reform, but if anyone thinks that post-Brexit the UK will become a beacon of enlightened progressivism then take a hard look at what the Tories say.

    The EU is the sum of its constituents, the UK agreed to abide by all its decisions (apart of course from the opt-outs – semi-detached or what?), nothing has been forced on us, certainly we may not like some of the decisions but we were part of the process and our pink and blue tories that have been in power since Thatcher have degraded and devalued the “social” in our social democracy. They have been and continue to be every bit as nasty and virulently right wing as anything in Europe. Yes, I was disgusted at the way the EU (driven largely by the hawks in Berlin) treated Greece, but Osborne and Cameron were no better in their treatment of our own people, many of whom have been driven to food banks and premature deaths.

    Physician, heal thyself.

    1. Sean Danaher -

      Graham I agree. The EU is considerably more democratic than the UK but is not perfect. The Euro Group in particular needs reform :

      It is not ranked in the Democratic Index unfortunately ( but is probably around 10th place in the rankings.

      Regarding your earlier comment re Craig Murray and Gove, I was aware Gove thought this way. It is very much a right-wing winner takes all philosophy very in line with Ethnic Nationalist thinking as I discussed in:

      I find Gove’s thoughts ugly and repulsive – a bit like the man really. I suspect many Scots are ashamed of him.

  4. Adrian Kent. -

    @Graham & @Sean:

    Neither the EU or the UK are sufficiently democratic – however, what matters more than whether one is more democratic than the other is how easy (or difficult) each one would be to change.

    Personally I agree with Lee Jones, for the reasons he details in his excellent piece on this matter – it’s all about the politics of scale (see link below). It is at the nation-state level that pressure is most likely to have significant effect. The structures and methods at which this pressure can be applies is reasonably well understood at that level – at the EU level this is very much less clear. (Whether the EU has reached this level of democratic deficit by design or path-dependency is irrelevant the way.)

    It’s also a reasonable assumption that reform at the EU would necessarily require reform across a number of states first.

    1. Sean Danaher -

      thanks. I haven’t read the paper but it looks very interesting. There is a very interesting debate to be had on the balance of populist vs technocratic governance, subsidiarity and the balance of power between the centre and the states/regions. My major concern with the EU is the Euro and Euro Group – there is certainly a major democratic defect there.

      Hopefully I will have the chance over the next few days to read it properly and get back to you with a more reasoned discussion.

  5. Bill Hughes -

    Yes I think “reform” of the EU may be difficult if the present trend to right-wing extremism continues in Europe. All ready there is a semi- fascist/5 star coalition in Italy, anti-semite/immigration Orban in Hungary, an extreme right Polish government and a growing extreme right AfD party in Gemany let alone Le Pen in France getting ever nearer to power in France with every presidential election. Plus growing xenophobic movements in Holland, Sweden and Austria. Whether the present Tory/DUP British government staying in the EU would be any help is questionable.

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