Now, maybe I’ll last until 2040. Sure, as eggs is eggs, I won’t last forever. Looking back from that world ahead, what will we be taking about when we remember the 2010s? What will be then the history of 30 years back. So, today that’s like looking at the 1980s.
Got to make a few assumptions if this is going to make any sense. Technology will have continued its onward march. World population will be about 9 billion. Climate change will be in the News. We will be amazed by the discoveries that science makes.
Just about everything will be more interconnected, interactive and interdependent than ever was imagined. But some people will still be living in the house they grew up in. Some communities will be on the up and others left behind.
What will the social, economic and political world look like in 2040? Perhaps enduring themes will remain our preoccupation. It seems to me that we go through cycles. One time we wish for autonomy, sovereignty and independence. Next time we wish for community, solidarity and union. In time the pendulum swings backwards and forwards.
So, looking back on the late 2010s the UK Brexit experiment is the pendulum hitting the end stops.
Will it be reflected on as good or bad?
I’m going to say bad. One of the key reasons for saying this is that Brexit became an obsession that continued long after the attraction faded. The bigger problems that we all faced were not addressed by Brexit. It became a side show that enthralled the UK but meant little to the rest of the world.
To take a quote from an unlikely hit film of 1994: “You can’t stop progress” (Muriel’s Wedding). By the way, that didn’t work out so well for Muriel’s father who took pride in trying to get rich from corrupt deals. Perhaps a more erudite quotation is in order: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. George Bernard Shaw.
If advice from 2040 comes flying through a worm hole in space and time it will be: change direction in 2018 because Brexit will just mean disappointment. Work on the worlds real problems.