If there is one positive outcome of the United Kingdom withdrawing its membership of the European Union, I only hope it is to teach us youngsters a lesson. For the country that we desire, my generation will finally have to show up and fight.
The pain of a national EU divorce was never going to be comfortable - particularly in the short-term. Nonetheless, fed up with what people viewed as a less than accountable EU, voters were prepared to take that risk. The long break-up has thus begun. Despite my natural caution and concern about the fallout, today I actually feel overwhelmingly optimistic about Britain's future. I also know that isn't where most people right now. Not yet anyway. Many have criticised the lack of planning for this outcome, so here are some thoughts about what Britain should do now in order to prosper in the future.
It's a powerful gesture, but I'm not sure it will do much to change the minds of people who hold racist views. David Cameron has said the UK "will not tolerate intolerance". Damn right, but what are we actually going to do about it? Just say we don't like it, and leave it there? Wear our safety pins and sit back, knowing we've done our bit and made it clear we are not on board with this?
Just looking at the list of people being talked about for the Labour and Tory leadership, and I can't help but think what a bunch of no mark political lightweights they mostly are. Barely one of them has any experience outside of politics, law, media, or charity. And not one of them looks like they could successfully run a corner shop let alone a country.
Reports coming out of Brussels and Washington suggest that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, otherwise known as TTIP, has been crippled, possibly killed, by Brexit. Informed sources suggest that TTIP will be parked until Britain's Article 50 negotiations have been completed and that there is now a possibility that the deal will never be concluded.
When Napoleon remarked 'In politics, stupidity is not a handicap' I doubt even he could have foreseen the damage of blending stupidity with unmasked plutocracy and obsequious entitlement. Last week's apathetic paroxysm by British citizens was far more about the obedient breakdown of society than it was about the affirmation of our individual and collective preservation.
I assume that this is the result of stunning hangovers, rather than buyers' remorse. But very soon they will have to start making decisions. We have lost, within a few hours, a Prime Minister and a European Commissioner, on the very day that the most important foreign and domestic decisions for a generation need to be taken. In short, they will have to take back control.
After the shock of the break-up, the reasons we took the decision will sink in and that is what will remain. A Texan I work with greeted me Monday morning with 'You guys are free!', not as a celebration but a knowing statement of fact that was true last week as much as this. We are free, and that is the ultimate guarantee of peace and growth. Now, can the pound go up please?
The problem for British democracy now is that it is almost guaranteed to fail because the public's expectations of what Brexit will deliver for the country are (and always were) unrealistic. It was a post-political referendum of fairy tales, fantasy and fig leaves.
It is now the morning after the morning after the morning after the night before. Like a partygoer after a particularly heavy session we're perhaps only now recovering from the three-day hangover of Brexit. After a turbulent few days, several arguments with friends and family, a number of advisory notes to clients and contacts, I feel like it is time to sit back and marshal my thoughts properly.
I'm not going to claim we're out of the woods yet; there's a long way to go till the fruits of independence are laid bare. For starters, we're certainly not going to be spending that phantom £350million anytime soon (if it even proves to exist). But seeing people write off a historic opportunity on the basis of one day's events is absolutely crackers.
Ironically, anti-immigration press attention could counteractively lead to the type of homegrown terrorism its readers are seeking to prevent. While there appears to be no single reason to account for what leads a person onto the path of extremism, there is a close-knit relationship between marginalisation and radicalisation.
No-one was going to be surprised by a Remain vote. Not the pollsters, the many experts, the Government. Instead we've had a sense of national shock, an excitable flapping in the media, outraged calls for legal challenges and a new referendum. Voting for a risky future isn't something that's supposed to happen.
It is no coincidence that the Leave campaign didn't offer a post-Brexit plan. It became clear in the days following Britain's decision to leave the EU that any plan would have thwarted the Leave camp's victory. The reason is obvious: the expectations of Brexiters are disparate and often contradictory. To make concrete pledges, therefore, would have frustrated potential voters.
Dear David, On the 24th of June your career ended with a vulgar political manoeuvre. In recent weeks, you imagined yourself as a cynical strategist, a cockney Frank Underwood but you ended in the manner of a Benny Hill show
Prime Ministers who are primarily administrative in nature often flourish and are good for settled times in our history. But last Thursday's vote means that the United Kingdom now needs the kind of inspirational leadership that very few can actually offer. As David Cameron said, a new heading requires a new captain. That new heading involves sailing through some potentially very choppy waters, so we will need a captain with real character, plenty of foresight and the vision to carry the nation forward.