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.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

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