Brexit: Blame It on Angry Old Men

Most Europeans I chatted with before the Brexit referendum were far more worried about Donald Trump than the Brexit vote.    Now that “reality” has set in, most everyone is second-guessing themselves and wondering how such a silly election ploy by Cameron could have backfired so tragically.

My own view of the impact of the Brexit referendum is far more pedestrian than most.

UK opts for bangers and mash


Even though the UK will be cheaper for tourists, I dread eating pub fare, even though young Europeans commonly refer to them as “gastropubs.”

Blame It on Angry Old Men

While there are no doubt many reasons why UK voters decided to say au revoir to the European Union, I am struck by the attack on “angry old men,” who Jochen Bittner blames for the game-changing vote:

“The British vote feels momentous, but we will most likely look back at it as merely the first in a series of fights for the soul of Europe. The outpouring of anger and anti-establishment aggression in Europe has only begun. The next countries where the political bulldozers see their chances to act out their long-kept lust for demolition are the Netherlands and France.

“We can no longer think of reconciliation between the opposing views of destruction and progress. The angry old men will not be mollified, their xenophobia cannot be controlled or channeled into constructive cooperation. We, the young, the future of Europe, must push back. Too much time has been lost already.”

Other political pundits cite the views of old people as cause for the unsettling vote, but frankly many of my aging British friends were bitterly opposed to a break from their continental neighbors.

I have no way of knowing whether there are more “angry old men” than “angry young men” in Europe, but taking the good with the bad seems to me to be simply a part of the democratic process.  With gender, ethnic and religious intolerance plaguing almost every phase of rigorous intellectual debate, I would hate to see “age” raised as yet another barrier why people of good will simply can’t get along.

George Washington’s Advice to Alexander Hamilton

George Washington said to Alexander Hamilton (at least according to Lin-Manuel Miranda) that “Winning is easy young man, governing is harder.”  We  need to see what the citizens of Britain and other countries in the European Union do going forward.   Nevertheless, blaming “angry old men” for the plight of the young is far too simple an explanation.

Brexit: A Humorous Perspective

I don’t have a vote in Thursday’s referendum on whether the UK will leave the European Union, but I wish I did.  Sadly, our Revolutionary forefathers decided to breakup with England in the traditional “American way” with guns and violence.  In fact, our bold Colonial behavior was not even protected by the Second Amendment.

Fortunately, our Revolutionaries didn’t need assault weapons to deal with the over-matched Red Coats.

I don’t have a dog in this fight (actually dogfighting is illegal – suggesting that U.S. dogs are better protected by our government than its people). Nevertheless, I am glad to see that the Brits haven’t lost their sense of humor despite an appalling act of violence against one Labor MP. Fortunately, English thugs tend to confine their anti-social behavior to the football pitch.

As the Brexit referendum and U.S. primaries suggest: Democracy is somewhat overrated – i.e the governing establishment doesn’t like it. Hopefully, common sense will prevail, but they don’t teach common sense or cursive writing in U.S. schools anymore. Viva la Revolución!

Brexit: The Case for a Leaner UK

Brexit Cartoon
One of the Brexit arguments put forth by proponents of the “Out” option on remaining in the European Union is that it will reduce childhood obesity.   Certainly, the statistics are alarming (rapidly approaching U.S. obesity standards), particularly when you learn that the government’s senior nutrition advisor argues that “fat people are not to blame for being overweight.”

Europe’s obesity league:

  • UK: 24.9%
  • Ireland: 24.5%
  • Spain: 24.1%
  • Portugal: 21.6%
  • Germany: 21.3%
  • Belgium: 19.1%
  • Austria: 18.3%
  • Italy: 17.2%
  • Sweden: 16.6%
  • France: 15.6%

Mind you, I find myself comfortably at home with “obese” people after learning that the potato is the nation’s favorite ingredient according to an April, 2016 Waitrose survey.   For those interested in a more extended but somewhat dated Waitrose survey, CLICK HERE.

Personally, I don’t think eating disorders and the lack of self-restraint should be used as compelling arguments as to why the UK should either remain or exit the European Union (“EU”), but the National Health System (“NHS”) could use a bit of dietary discipline.

After all, the UK will “soon” be introducing a “sugar tax,”  something that doomed Mayor Bloomberg‘s last term in office. (Editor’s Note:  Two years in considered “soon” by British standards)

For Americans who are getting bored with the acrimonious tone of the US presidential primaries, I suggest that you tune in for an inspired English debate on Brexit. Here is a brief take on a George Galloway interview:

This is an example of how you attack the press, without resorting to childhood taunts and bully tactics. British TV should be quite fun for the next 10 weeks.