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Don’t blame boomers for the Brexit catastrophe

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave European and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Rick Findler/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Readers dispute a recent article in which baby boomers are blamed for Brexit. Here some of those in that demographic have their say.

Francis Beckett’s article (“Blame us baby boomers for Brexit”) was insulting. I am sick of being told my generation had it so good and easy and are responsible for leaving the EU.

Analysis of the referendum revealed that people in all age groups who had not had a higher education were more likely to have voted Leave. Despite us “being paid to go to university”, the majority of people in the older group did not get a higher education. Most of the people I started school with left at 15. Of the 70 or so who stayed until age 18 at my grammar school five went on to university.

I have attended every march for Remain and have forwarded hundreds of pounds to the Remain campaigns. Please do not blame me for what has happened.

Perhaps if the younger generation had got off their mobiles for half an hour and actually gone and talked to their grandparents this might have been averted.

Carol Green, Oxford

I am a 62 year old baby boomer, and I am sick of us as an age group getting the blame for this, I know many peers who feel just like I do.

I’m sickened by the actions of the Tories and the main players like Farage, ERG,right wing media and foreign interference all of which I blame for this catastrophic outcome.

I have actively fought against this in every way I was able to as a disabled person.

To over simplify the reasons is completely unhelpful and irresponsible, it’s a very complicated set of circumstances that brought us here.

Only the well off pensioners will be able to prosper if they’re lucky, the rest of us have been hit from all sides, I also was robbed of 6 years of my pension by this and the previous Tory government. Many baby boomers will end up being pensioners in poverty. This turkey did not vote for Christmas!

Karen Smith

You might also blame the young people who failed to come out and vote in the referendum: the turnout in that generation was abysmal. Sadly the reason Boomers had such an impact, was because they are generation that votes. Also, I’m 59, but I don’t have a final salary pension, I lost £££s in the 1980s property collapse and I’ll need to work into my 70s to ensure my disabled child has a secure future. Not all Boomers are in the same boat.

Linda Woodham

Unfortunately, the generation problem behind modern politics is the elephant in the room and bound to remain unsolved and un-discussed. There are many, many thousands of progressive “boomers” out there who stand firmly on the side of building a better future, and who will feel alienated by blanket-blaming a whole generation. It would be more useful to be specific about which type of “boomer” is to blame. That’s the reason I like the term and concept of “gammon”…

Philipp Wirtz

I am ashamed of any baby boomer who voted to leave. I am 63 this year and so a member of this age group. I am an ardent Remainer. I will never accept this brex***t. Please please do not think that we are all the same. All of my friends in this age group also are fervent Remainers.

Suzanne Nichol

Blame poor education – especially in terms of politics, European History and critical thinking. Blame austerity. Blame lies and a dishonest press that promotes the interests of off-shore tax havens. Blame the loss of regional government under the Tories that has recreated economically and socially deprived areas. Blame the global interests and super-wealthy who don’t want to pay tax. I am tired of the blame game. It gets us nowhere. In fact, it stops people from listening, thinking and potentially learning.

Jayne Elsmore

This is written from a middle class perspective. Many baby boomers did not have lives anything like this. They worked in dangerous or dead-end industrial jobs or the poorly paid drudgery of retail work. They did not travel the world but went no further than their own local area with the occasional couple of weeks in the Costa del Sol. They suffered from de-industrialisation and the destruction of their communities. They may have no awareness that by voting Leave they are cutting off opportunities for their children as they never had them themselves.

Elisabeth Ritchie

On the marches in London so many people were from the baby boomer generation. They almost seemed to out number the younger generation. The coaches that we travelled up on were almost full of baby boomers!

Stella Counsell

Why oh why is the baby boomers generation being blamed for everything that is going wrong. It’s our fault we have left Brexit? Don’t think so. I voted Remain. Certainly did not vote Johnson in nor any other Conservative, look what Margaret Thatcher did to the country. We are also blamed for climate change, again don’t think so, we had glass bottles which we returned for money back, bought all fresh food which wasn’t wrapped in plastic but mostly in brown paper bags, we never asked for everything to be supplied wrapped in plastic, it just happened. As for the debt our young have to get into for a university eduction I think it is disgusting. My Granddaughter is due to go to university in September and I am horrified at the amount of debt she is having to get into. Very sad about leaving the EU and fearful for the future.

Linda Mayer

I’m 62 and an ardent Remainer. But I totally see where this article is coming from, and I really do believe that the vote to leave sold our young people down the river, particularly academics, at a time when they already have a tougher time than we did at their age.

Ruth Sharville

Dear boomers who voted Remain: this article is not about you. It is about your peers, the majority of whom voted Leave. It’s tiring to have to keep pointing this out. The stats do not change because you personally bucked the trend, but rest assured we are grateful that you did.

Veroniki Paroutsidou

Sadly, it would seem to be the baby boomers who swung it. This is a generation who did not fight, could it be out of a sense of guilt that they talk as though they did. I am of that generation but my parents did not talk up the war as something to be celebrated. They celebrated their European friendships and connections. I am now a very sad European, ashamed of her British passport.

Charlotte Blake

– The fight may have changed but the cause remains. Buy The New European every Thursday to read the full mailbag of letters. To have your say email letters@theneweuropean and join our readers’ group for more debate.

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