I hope the UK turns it round

  Noldi 11:13 21 Sep 2008

UK saddens me at the moment. This is my view of the UK as a expat. Is it that bad?.

I used to think Britain was a democracy till I came to Switzerland and experienced the real thing.
Here they vote on every little thing that concerns you or your beliefs, if something displeases me I can raise a petitioned.
When I was in UK, I had to vote someone in (someone I probably didn't like, but he was a member of my party of choice). He usually didn't live anywhere near my area and had no idea of the needs of the people there.

Every evening, I watch the British news, along with the Swiss, German, Russian, and US, the differences are shocking. OK - media is media I know that.

If I want to vote in Britain now, I have to jump through hoops to organise it, preferably one or two years before an election is called. Some hope!

And then there's crime.
The teenagers that have been murdered in London so far this year how many more will die before enough is enough.
It's hard to take that in.
There's gang warfare in the major cities, an underclass growing up with no hope for the future, thus creating more violence......
Switzerland isn't perfect, but I have to say this is horrible.

Seeing this happening from a distance is really distressing, I'm honestly starting to think I can never return to my place of birth. Which makes me very sad.

I think what brought this on was watching TV today, Münich starting the Oktoberfest with young and old celebrating in the streets with a real carnival atmosphere. All dressed up in traditional costume, we have a culture too you know why don’t we do it.


Maybe im totally wrong.

  Marko797 11:24 21 Sep 2008

Ur post seems a bit melancholy to me.

U don't say how long u've been in Switzerland, but suspect it's been a while, maybe?

All the issues which u raise are part of today's UK society, and despite legislation etc etc, I don't think it's something which can be turned around.

Whilst we don't necessarily condone it, we all just have to adapt I guess.

  lofty29 11:54 21 Sep 2008

There are several things which you need to consider, switzerland is a small country, the issues which can be decided at local level there just would not be practical in some where larger, it is a very insular place without the mix that is in the uk, it has had no external threats for a very long time. It is strictly neutral is plays no part in the worldwide political scene. The UK is far, far from perfect, and the situation had deteriorated greatly in recent years, but a lot of this is down to the uk citizens, sad to say many are more interested in the latest epsisode of eastenders or the local football match than what is happening to their country.

  Pineman100 13:05 21 Sep 2008

I think you need to see or read 'The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer' - a 1970 film starring Peter Cook. It'll warn you what happens when the citizens of a country are allowed to vote on every political question.

  Kevscar1 14:12 21 Sep 2008

Don't be sad, at least you managed to get out.
I dread what it going to be like when my Granddaughters get older.

  spuds 14:41 21 Sep 2008

I have friends in South America, and their comments about what they seeing and reading from British media reports is getting very depressing.And that's from people who suppose to live in a 'political hot bed and dangerous' part of the world.

Only speaking to a neighbour the other day, who left the UK for a life in Spain a few years ago, they came back late last year, and have now decided that they have had enough, and are arranging a return to Spain.I think that states a lot!.

  Forum Editor 14:53 21 Sep 2008

that it's easier to run a stable system of federal government in a country where the population is less than that of London.

  Forum Editor 15:17 21 Sep 2008

if living in Spain is so great one wonders why, after living there, they came back last year.

I have some friends who went to live there and lasted two years before the UK beckoned. They came back earlier this year because the wife was seriously ill, and Spanish doctors are now refusing to treat anyone who doesn't speak Spanish unless an interpreter is present. They couldn't find an interpreter at short notice, so she was left sitting in a Barcelona hospital's A&E reception until one could be found - it took four hours.

Spain had the highest unemployment of any EU country - currently running at 14% and worsening as the housing market collapses - and economists are predicting the country will be in recession in 2009. In June of this year the inflation rate of 5% was the highest it had been for 13 years, although the banking regulations in Spain will help to stave off disasters along the lines of Northern Rock.

I like Spain, I go there fairly often, and will be there in two weeks, but I wouldn't say that overall it's a better place in which to live - climate aside of course.

  DANZIG 16:36 21 Sep 2008

My dad lives in Spain and, naturally I go to visit him every now and again.

From what I can see and what he has told me there are many advantages to living over there. His bins get emptied 3 or 4 times a week for example whereas I'm lucky if mine get emptied once a fortnight.

However one of the reasons he actually moved over there is nothing to do with the state of this country - its his hay fever. He suffers from it REALLY badly and, when he was over here, spent most of the year sneezing bits of his nose out. He doesn't suffer from it over there at all.

My personal opinion of Spain is that it would be a great country once they've finished it - I've never seen so many cranes! The roads I think are shocking over there as well and, from what he tells me, there is just as much corruption in the seats of power over there as over here.

Also I think the TV is awful as well (language aside...I am learning!!), it all looks like the Channel 9 parody of Euro TV that the Fast Show used to do...

click here

  dms_05 16:45 21 Sep 2008

We've spent a lot of time in Spain over the years. The problem is trying to integrate. Quite simply the Spaniards want our money but don't want us. Now that isn't the basis on which I would like to become a permanent resident.

The comments about Hospitals needing fluent Spanish before treatment is also true for the Police (Policia National, Guardia Civil, Policia Local). And trying to understand their systems is so difficult even the Spanish pay a Gestor to fill out forms you would self complete in the UK.

Did you know the Spanish have a Wealth Tax whereby you are taxed on everything you own including your house - every year. If you don't declare an asset (and your found out) that asset is treated as income in that tax year, and you will end up paying well over 40% tax on it.

Also in Spain you need an NIE number before you can do almost anything and that comes from the Police who insist on fluent Spanish.

Immigration is a serious issue, not just the N Africans but also the Brits, Russians, Latvians and so on. Would you want to be resident in a country where the people treat you like many people in the UK treat immigrants, because believe me you are on the same footing as a Polish immigrant is in the UK?

Of course you could become part of an expat community where you don't interface with the locals, only use Brit bars and Brit service providers. Then you don't see all the problems of crime and corruption and believe you live in Eldorado. You don't but you still claim you do!

The UK isn't perfect but neither is anywhere else.

  pj123 18:00 21 Sep 2008

I would have thought that if you decide to go and "live" in another country you would make an effort to learn and speak the lanquage.

My partner speaks fluent French and I speak German.

Some 30 years ago we nearly decided to go and live in France and if that happened I would have been prepared to learn French.

We also found that if you can speak to them in their own language you will be accepted.

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