This is a brilliant, must-read editorial from Germany‘s leading paper, Spiegel. It argues that the choice is between a moment of pride and a new future built together, claiming that if Britain is clever, it will remain a member of the EU, because it will recognise that the future of the west is at stake.
I was particularly interested in the following opinion:
If it votes to leave because a disproportionately high number of older and less well-educated British want it so passionately, Germany and the rest of Europe will have to accept that today’s EU is dysfunctional and unattractive.
I concede that today’s EU is dysfunctional and unattractive but believe that this can be addressed with the UK at the heart of the EU.
What struck me was the Spiegel reference to ‘a disproportionately high number of older and less well-educated British’.
I have been in the UK for a few weeks and have time and time again been shocked by the less well-educated older British. Indeed their views are passionate but their concepts of patriotism are simplistic, flawed, and cannot be defended by rational argument – they play back the headlines but ignore the prevailing evidence. Twice in recent days, I have been close to losing my temper with people who don’t listen to rational argument. More importantly, these ignorant people don’t want to listen.
In my view, it’s moral and right to step up the pressure on the ignorant older people. We should appeal to their families to influence them. Most importantly, we must make them understand that their cosy world of benefits and social services will likely be withdrawn or severely curtailed.