From a flowering of interest in the European Union to the growth of climate activism, young people are showing the way
David Olusoga is spot on (“The cult of optimism got us into this mess. It’s time to embrace pessimism”, Comment). What we need is certainly not the mindless “we won the war, we can win again” line peddled by Brexit supporters, but also not the kind of pessimism that paralyses action. There are numerous signs that the awakening that Olusoga calls for is brewing. One of the most encouraging developments is that, whereas before 2016 the EU was the subject of almost total national ignorance, now we see a flourishing pro-EU enthusiasm, especially among the young, and a much wider understanding of it, including both its strengths and its weaknesses. Another is the growth of climate activism, again including the young, who are taking to politics in unprecedented numbers. Underlying all this is the growing swing against neoliberal economics. It seems that the “Overton window” is at last moving to the left.