Friday, May 30, 2014

We owe the younger generation more than bigotry and prejudice

Roger Helmer, UKIP's candidate at Newark, is 70 which means that he is from the youth wing of the Party. True Nigel Farage is only 50 but he has attitudes broadly similiar to that of my Father who would have been 98 this year. The Kippers live in the past. We all, of a certain age, do to some extent of course and I have my moments of Old Fartdom. But when I worry occasionally whether my Baby Boomer generation has left the right legacy for our children and theirs my doubts don't last for long. We are today infinitely more tolerant, more open, more outward looking, more international than listening to the UKIP mouthpieces would ever suggest.

Some 50% of Brits in their twenties today went to a University. Far, far higher than in my day. In further education you meet people different to you. You don't debate multicultarism, you live it. You don't question tolerance it's how you live. You take people as you find them and don't buy the prejudices that others would have you adopt. The pompous bigots of UKIP and their fellow travellers on the Right of the Conservative Party throw insular xenophobic rants at you and you ignore them. It doesn't mean that you become a political activist - though you may do this. But it does mean that you associate intolerance with a generation that offers you nothing.

The future isn't ours - we of the three score years and ten generation. The future is for those forty years and more younger than we are. The UKIP mob would have us hand over a future to these people with Britain returned back to the 1950s. Isolated. Unicultural. Cut off from Europe. A State to be seen as sadly clinging on to the wreckage of the past rather than optimistically working together to embrace the future. Ask a young British person whether he or she is European and you'll get a "Silly Question" look back. You not only can be British and European - you genetically are. It's in your DNA. Ask a person who at University probably studied and lived with students of a dozen or more nationalities whether they'd mind if a Romanian family moved in next door to you and they wouldn't understand the question and might suggest therapy to you.

In the recent elections the younger and better educated voters had no truck with UKIP. The future is theirs not ours. Time we cleared the way for them. 


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