My 350 on BREXIT: But Rome wasn’t built in a day

“I fear for my generation, a whole generation put out in the mud mainly due to the bigotry on one side and the scorn on the other.”

Laure Claudon
3 July 2016

On June 27, the Euro Game said Bye bye to England. Apart from being a tremendous surprise in the football world, the defeat represented a second Brexit in less than a week, underlining how powerful are outriders, how poll and media failed to see their victory. The Iceland team is composed of half-professional players, managed by a part-time dentist: nobody believed in it. As for the “Leave” Campaign –it was disregarded by many of the influencers. Anyway, football enthusiasts will have their revenge in 2020: which is not the case for “Remain” voters.

Brexit is the demonstration of the terrible gap existing between the establishment and the citizen. British people have seen a way of showing their discontent. The community didn’t seem to help them or even listen to them, which enhanced their anger. On the other hand, some parties appeared to understand their concerns, and to provide them with easy solutions.

So I’m just worried about how far populism is spreading in the 21st century, repeating a scheme we've already seen. I'm 23 years old, I’m gutted and I fear for my generation, a whole generation put out in the mud mainly due to the bigotry on one side and the scorn on the other. I’m French though, so I shouldn’t be too anxious. Yet, I am first and foremost a European. I built my life in the UK and I want to stay there.

Then, not only am I concerned for myself, but for the whole set of issues it reveals. We had an economic crisis. We currently have social and political crisis. And as if it wasn't enough, today we face a European Union crisis in a Union created for peace. This situation alarms me.

However, to be clear, I strongly believe that the EU is an undemocratic organisation with a lot of flaws, run by elites in their ivory tower. But Rome wasn't built in a day. You can't reform and create a federal union in a few years, particularly when you know how old-fashioned and stubborn Europeans are - and I'm speaking as a Frenchman, who excel in that regard. The Union has always made us raise our game in a more and more globalised world. I would never have had the chance to live in Berlin and Glasgow so easily without it. I've discovered new culture, and I've opened my mind to wonderful new ways of thinking!

So, all I can see is a bad bad bad decision fostered by individualism. And I never supported individualism. I never thought it would help any construction, only chaos. Better United than Divided, as we say.

In the aftermath of the historic British vote to leave the EU, openDemocracy is asking for our readers' thoughts on Brexit and what needs to happen next in 350 words. We've had an extraordinary response and you can read them all here.

How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData