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The Friday 50: why it’s great to live in Britain (despite the recession)

We might be back in a recession but Britain's not all bad – here are 50 reasons why you should count yourself lucky to live here.

 

by Victoria Bischoff on Apr 27, 2012 at 09:57

10. The BBC

11. Pubs

12. Globally competitive universities

13. The countryside

14. Our location in relation to the world

15. The High Street

16. Free press

17. The pound

18. British humour/sarcasm

19. Minimum wage

20. Infrastructure

21. Free contraception

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158 comments so far. Why not have your say?

john danter

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:32

yes, we're dead lucky, really, but; the Premiership below allotments??!! er... and then there's Noel Edmonds.

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Drake

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:51

"Access to education" is carefully worded, Victoria. Not "Education"?

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mark jukes

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:56

50 reasons why we are not so lucky

1. the weather!!

2. Xfactor

3. er........

Can't think of anymore but there has to be more.

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MC

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:15

I think anyone who complains about our weather needs to move somewhere on the same lattitude (such as Moscow).

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Jonathan

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:21

1. The NHS/free medical care for all - I had to pay £47 for a filling and nearly £8 for a prescription where the drugs were worth less than £5.

2. Equality - Inequality is getting worse with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer

4. The weather is one of the main reasons tourists don't like the uk, it's cold and wet.

5. Triple-A credit rating, does this make it a better place to live. It means low interest rates which for savers is bad.

6. Democracy - yes better than Syria.

7. GDP per capita (economic output per person) - This maybe high but the cost of living is also high.

8. Food (the variety, the number of Michelin star restaurants and British classics like the Sunday Roast) - Ok if you can afford Michelin star restaurants but most of us can't.

9. The Royal Family - surely this is only great for the royal family who get everything for nothing paid for by the tax payer?

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Martin Savage

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:21

Low VAT Rate?

May be compared to some, but in reality paying a fifth of everything we buy to the taxman on top of all the other zillions of taxes is not low.

Low would be sub 5%

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Tony Cunningham

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:21

The home of Football - Golf - Cricket - Rugby Union and Tennis

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Alan Tonks

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:25

Well Victoria you must be joking, are you sure you are writing about Britain or some fantasyland.

We are in reality a laughing stock the world over, we are ripped off from every angle and no one cares.

I would love to demolish your reasoning if I had time, but I haven’t.

So if you are up to it, I will challenge your reasoning against mine, tonight on my return.

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S M

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:39

Yes, an interesting list that includes items that were part of our downfall.

The biggest one being an over weaning, often exploited, welfare state.

We are rapidly becoming two countries, London & the rest, as often shown by the biasedBBC.

Did you have our National Parks in that list? Lake District, Dales etc?

Yes I know they are a long way from London

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:41

The BBC, one of the funniest things I have ever read!

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Kusha

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:53

Here are some reasons why UK is not necessarily the best place to live.

1 People mourn all the time.

2 People addicted to the drug called welfare dependency.

3 Excessive political correctness.

4 Lack of responsibility of individuals. Everything and every problem is Government's fault.

5 Quality of education.

6 Lack of any understanding how we will cope when China, India, Brazil and other fast developing countries.

7 Work Ethic.

8 Envious nature of people. Blame rich and successful people all the time rather than thinking I will do everything to improve my life and be successful.

The above will do for the time being. I am sure I can think of many others.

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Jn

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:56

Shopping from 99p stores to Harrods.

No cyclones, hurricans, tremors, tsunamis etc

Free transport for over 60s.

New Scotlandyard and Fighting terrorism.

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Diane Gallagher

Apr 27, 2012 at 12:57

I'm afraid I have to disagree. I've been living in France for the past three years and I love it here. There are a few negatives but massively outweighed by the positives. The health service is excellent and I haven't come across any English people who prefer the NHS.

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Truffle Hunter

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:01

Nowhere do I see a great place to start a business? Without it much of the above is at risk.

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Graham Barlow

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:14

I think Britain has gone down hill in my life time. We have a Parliament full of nincompoops, with many of them blatant Pocket liners. There are very few who even resemble the Talent and gravitas that used to exist in our Parliamentary system. We have a House of Lords full of dubious People and old lags drawing a Pension(expenses). Some clearly bought their way in under Blair's regime. We cannot deport the most heinious criminals without reference and permission from a Court in Brussels where God knows where the judges came from. We have Towns full of immigrants ,many not even able to speak English. We are one of the most heavily taxed countries in the World where the Government now takes over 50% of the Gross national product and wastes money on a scale unbeknown to mankind.. On top of all of this we are the paymasters of the corrupt EU which now dominates everything that goes on here. Britain is now a satellite of Brussels,and are Politicians bow to their every whim and demand for even more Money. They claim that Europe is our Biggest trading Partner forgetting to tell you that our biggest export is Airbus which just happens to go through France before it is reexported to the World. Britain unfortunately leads the world at lies and hypocricy and the truth is very often hidden from the populace.. The claim for equality is in itself a myth because it is a law of nature that all humans are individually different.

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Geoff Harrop

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:15

Saving in travel expenses - you don't have to go abroad to meet foreigners.

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Kusha

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:19

Some more suggestions to add to my earler suggestions above.

1 Lack of preparedness to empower our young generation to cope with challenges to come. Are we going to beg from other successful nations?

2 Lack of willingness to address and cope with the challenges NHS will face in future.

3 Allow rich and talented to make money. Make tax system fair. Let them make money but also ensure they pay taxes. Eventually tax rates for everyone would come down.

4 High tax rates discouraging enterprising people to take risks.

5 Unadulterated adulation and psycophancy when it comes to e.g. footballers and "Rockstars" who do not always behave responsibly.

6 Criticise successful people and shout loudly to tax them while footballers for example get away from paying taxes.

more later,

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R Lomax

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:22

A reliable and uncorrupt public sector which helps the country to function..

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Keith Snell

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:26

The greatest problem we have is the number of people who live in the UK and spend most of their time whinging about it.

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eric blair

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:37

Victoria,

You must be smoking something really strong or have a very good line in rosy spectacles to believe this twaddle.

Contemporary Britain - unless you only frequent the West End and the Home Counties - is:

One of the most unequal in the developed world (fact)

Life expectancy in some poorer areas (53 in Calton, Glasgow) is lower than the Gaza Strip

The infrastructure is crumbling and our transport systems are some of the most expensive and inefficient in the developed world

Our democracy is a sham - we only get to vote for three parties with a realistic chance of taking offiice - all neoliberals - thanks to the hegemonic hold of our right wing press -see privatisation of the NHS

Our young can't buy houses or get jobs

Our welfare benefits - contrary to the rubbish in the Tory rags - are close to the lowest in Europe

I could go on and on, but haven't the time or motivation.

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Rose G

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:38

Like 50 ways to leave your lover!

Having spent more than 12 hours/day enjoying the outdoors, mostly without leaving home in my birth country, I feel that the one thing I have finally given up on in the UK is:-

Weather

weather

Weather

weather

weather

weather

weather

weather

weather .....

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Drake

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:40

I think some of you should go and live in North Korea for a while, perhaps try complaining while you're out there.

Spot on, Victoria, well done. England is a wonderful place to live.

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Potus

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:44

1. The NHS/free medical care for all - depending on the QUALITY of service you desire.

2. Equality - An hypothesis in the realm of the VIRTUAL WORLD. EQUALITY indeed!!!

3. Access to education - Dont forget Prime Ministers are NEVER made in any of those Polytechnics turned Universities !

4. The weather (no extremes) - As Great As Ever !

5. Triple-A credit rating - Timw will tell..Seems we are reading different reports!

6. Democracy - With a never -ending incursion of police stateism !

7. GDP per capita (economic output per person) - Tell it to thoseon the famous Food Qeues...

8. Food (the variety, the number of Michelin star restaurants and British classics like the Sunday Roast) - Class n Capitalism

9. The Royal Family - Thanks God for the Institution.

10. The BBC - As Long As We Continue to Be Force / Compelled To Pay / Fund the BBC Directors

12. Globally competitive universities - Cash n Carry !

15. The High Street - Fast Declining !

16. Free press - Until the Phone Hacking / Bribing to get information now rocking...Moral decadence !

17. The pound - The Almighty Pound !

19. Minimum wage - Helping the Poor !

23. Security - Great !

26. Housing benefits/generous benefit system in general - as long as workers continue to fund via tax payments.

27. Freedom of speech - Say something that negates the staus quo, and you will be the judge .

30. Strength in technology, engineering and medical research - Hun...

31. We're multi-cultural – and embrace eccentrics - Even if the various levels of the POWER-CIRCLES remain tightly sealed in the face of so called MC.

31. High life expectancy - Cooool

33. Real ale - as long as the NHS remains to bear the brunt of Liver diseases

35. Low crime rates and fear of crime - That Right !

36. The English language - Queens. Oxford. Love it !

39. Reliable and safe water, gas and electricity supply - NOTHING BEATS THIS...Even if we have to pay through our nose, its WORTH IT ALL. NOTHING BEATS PAYING FOR EXCELENT SERVICES!!! Thanks .

41. Good roads and access to transport - RIGHT SPOT ON!

43. London - london...LONDON. A must Visit b4 U die !!!

45. The state pension ????

46. Orderly queuing - Yeahhh

48. Politeness - Fat disappearing ...Unfortunately

49. Cups of tea ...Anyday Anytime !

50.The premier league - THE BEST IN THE WORLD !

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Stella Arman

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:51

It is really a great place to start a business and hard-working entrepreneurs stand a chance and can get a lot of help.

Wonderful theatre, friendly people, the energy in London, multicultural and open minded. In short, a great place to work.

Bad place to live!

Trouble is the price of property, heating, fuel, quality of water, lack of places in good and free education, overfilled hospitals, hygiene, dumbing down, political correctness.

Better to live abroad and take a plane to work! Cheaper!!

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mark jukes

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:56

Come on Eric this is just posturing....

The infrastructure is not crumbling - what part is crumbling?

Most countries, that enjoy a democracy like ours, have a small amount of stronger parties that tend to dominate elections - look all over Europe and tell me where this doesn't happen.

When I bought my first house it cost me £17500 and I had to put down a deposit of £3000 and I earned £210 per month - is it really harder to buy a house now? or is it just that its been so easy for so long.

Regardless of what the papers say we have a welfare dependency in this country - I can see this with my own eyes and this is a major failure of previous governments, especially the last one - there is only one single cause of this dependency and that is benefits are far too generous

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John Wakefield

Apr 27, 2012 at 13:57

If you enjoy moaning there are always willing listeners

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 27, 2012 at 14:28

I agree with Kieth Snell.I wish the whingers would emmigrate, or in the case of Rose G, go back to her home country.

The only items on the list that I would remove, would be the BBC & London.

I would also point out to Truffel Hunter, that Britain is a good place both to start, and run a business.

Graham Barlow may well be correct when he asserts that Parliament is full of nincompoops;but can he name a parliament in the world that is not filled with self serving opportunists

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John Scoot

Apr 27, 2012 at 14:39

Other Fors: Cornwall, The Lake District, The National Trust

Against: Smoking Ban/Nanny State/slavish implementation of health & safety rules/unlike most european states, instant adherence to even the most ludicrous EU regulations

But all in all I wouldn't want to live anywhere else

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John Scoot

Apr 27, 2012 at 14:47

51. Cornwall

52. Lake District

53. National Trust

54. Fridays!

Against:

1. Smoking ban

2. Nanny State

3. Slavish implementation of even the daftest Health & Safety Regs

4. Unlike the rest of europe, strict implementation of every EU edict

On balance - it's a brilliant place to live.

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Drake

Apr 27, 2012 at 14:51

I'm just looking out on a Kentish garden, refreshed by the rain, verdant and radiant in the sunshine. In two or three weeks time all the rhododendrons and azaleas will be out. Heaven!

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Jonathan

Apr 27, 2012 at 15:06

John Scoot,

Oh, I forgot they don't have Friday's anywhere else.

Smoking ban - Yes it's hard to beat going out and coming back smelling of smoke and catching cancer from other peoples bad habits.

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John Scoot

Apr 27, 2012 at 15:24

Jonathan,

The French also enjoy a good end of the working week, except they call it vendredi, so my claim to Fridays stands

I've got no problem with segregating non-smokers from people that like to enjoy themselves.

As for catching cancer - not possible - there are lies, damn lies & statistics and I'm afraid you've fallen foul of the latter.

Have a good weekend

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eric blair

Apr 27, 2012 at 16:27

Dear Mark Jukes

Re the infrastructure - if you compare the UK's roads with those of Germany or France for example. Alternatively, take a train journey though our post-industrial cities.

Re democracy, I think that you miss the point. While many countries havde leading political p.arties ours, like the US, share one set of socio-economic values; posturing around subtleis of neo-liberal orthodoxy rather than offering any genuine electoral choice. This appears largely due to the fact that policy is effectively shaped by more powerful actors around a very narrow agenda - see democratic capture.

As to house purchase, anecdotal evidence from the 'good old days' does not alter the fact that house buying has never been so difficult since the end of WW2. This is evidence in the declining rate of home ownership with the highest house price earnings ratios ever.

Incidentally, I find it a little hard to believe that a lender at this time would have advanced somewhere approaching 6 times salary for house purchase (according to your figures 17,500-3000=14,500 mortgage against 210x12= 2520 salary). This was pesumably the period when the lenders rules usually restricted advances to 3x single salary or 2.5x joint, keeping a lid on house price earnings ratios.

Re welfare dependency, anaecdotal evidence always seems to trump facts. We are not producing jobs in sufficient numbers for everyone - fact. The ratio of vacancies (many of which are very low paid, insecure and/or sham zero hours contract jobs) is over 5:1 - more in many deprived areas. We are in the middle of the biggest recession in living memory. This was not caused by welfare dependency. The Nordic. countries have much much higher welfare benefits but have jobs that offer a decent living so don't have this problem to any great degree. The idea that our countries troubles are caused by high welfare is just right wing paper talk - it's called ideology.

With further outsourcing and new technologies, as well as the economically illiterate policies being pursued by our government, this will continue to worsen, but it's easy to blame the victims.

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Jonathan

Apr 27, 2012 at 16:35

John Scoot

By the way the restaurant chain TFI Friday's is an American and is based internationally so your claim does no stand about Fridays being UK only.

I think only tobacco companies (and not even them now) would dispute that coating your lungs with tar causes lung cancer.

Have a good weekend too

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Al

Apr 27, 2012 at 16:51

Equality & Royal family on the same list - can't have it both ways!

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Philippe Georges

Apr 27, 2012 at 17:12

And Whinging....a national characteristic

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Jonathan

Apr 27, 2012 at 17:27

yeah, there is nothing bettter than whinging about whinging :)

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mark jukes

Apr 27, 2012 at 17:46

The infrastructure of this country is much better than it was 30 years ago and improves all the time - we now have the channel tunnel, the m6 toll, the m42, the m25, the new m4 bridge,etc, thousands of more miles of roads than 30 years ago and since 30 years ago I have been hearing how appalling our roads are compared to Germany. This is an old argument.

Neo-liberalism is what the electorate want this is why the parties offering this are so strong - the point is when you have extremes, such as in France, there is no chance of them getting elected. In a capitalist democracy there has to be this narrow agenda or it wouldn't survive.

Eric, you missed the point I was trying to make about house affordability. The figure were rough figures showing take home pay and not including joint applications that were made - the point was about raising the money for the deposit because this is what holds people back now - the effort to save as we did.

I make no statement about the good old days - the times we live in now are much, much better.

Nobody is saying that welfare dependency in this country has caused the current recession its just one poor fact of living in britain that could easily be cured and lets face it we have had "welfare dependents" (polite) for decades its just that during these hard times, as has happened before, people will use them to make their political points - but they have always been there.

Point is living in britain (apart from the "welfare dependents" and perhaps the weather!) has always been good and it just gets better.

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Reckoner

Apr 27, 2012 at 18:21

I agree with the 50 reasons by and large but as many have suggested above many of the reasons are under threat as the fine balance of our culture is being destabilised ...a little bit at a time, rather like the proverbial toad in his nice comfortable pot of warm water blissfully unaware to the end that the water is being heated up but oh so so slowly..until its boiled alive!! We can only hope this doesn't happen.

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eric blair

Apr 27, 2012 at 18:24

Dear Mark

1 It may be an old argument, but this does not affect it's validity.

2. People don't 'prefer' neo-liberalism as such. Increasing numbers don't vote because this political system does nothing for them. Those who do ascribe to neo-liberalism usually garner their political/economic understandinf from the Express/Mail unaware that the system only benefits the top 10 perc ent to everyone else's detriment . See ideology.

3. Not deposits until very recently, just very unaffordable house prices.

4. I agree that some people have always beenwelfare dependent but now we're not producing decent jobs and demonising the poor to legitimate welfare cuts to support tax cuts for the rich. It's a scam.

5 If Britain is getting so much better why are we seeing new 'feeding centres' i.e. soup kitchens opening up daily - first in my experience.

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Jonas Cord

Apr 27, 2012 at 18:27

Having lived in both the UK and Canada, it is my firm belief that, by almost any conceivable measure of comparison, the UK comes second of the two - mainly because it is grossly overpopulated.

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Alan Tonks

Apr 27, 2012 at 19:42

Keith Snell -Yes and it is people like you that like to perpetuate the myth, that everything in the garden is rosy.

Which means to say you live in fantasy world like quite a few others?

Drake- You I assume cannot be an ostrich, but you certainly seem to have your head firmly stuck in the sand.

Raymond Hurley and John Wakefield- Heaven above, more ostriches than I thought, open your eyes and you might see.

Mark Jukes- You said that the Infrastructure is better than 30 years ago, that is total codswallop.

You are another ostrich with his head firmly stuck in the sand, but you have many brothers tonight.

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Moylando

Apr 27, 2012 at 19:54

We in Britain are better off, in nearly every respect, than 95% of the worlds population.

Barlow, Tonks etc are lucky to have forums like this to vent their spleen

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 27, 2012 at 20:02

I suspect that Victoria is either living in another country or is tripping. Just to take her points one-by one:

1. The NHS/free medical care for all - what about the waiting lists where patients wait long months just to see a consuktant before they even receive treatment? Is this not a form of unofficial euthenasia?

2. Equality - what equality? The man on the Clapham omnibus pays, on average, 28% tax while Vodaphone pays a max of 10% or Goldman Sachs pays the square root of FA.

3.Access to education - yes we have schools and children are required to attend, but do they educate or is it just a case of box-ticking with over-testing?

4. The weather could be worse compared with other climates. Don't whinge you could have the +40C summers and -40C winters of Mongolia

5. Triple A credit rating - somewhat ephemeral in the current climate and the gung-ho attitudes of the rating agencies

6. Democracy - has always been a myth, since it is based on the fact that once every four the proles get a vote - and after that the politicos and the lobbyists do what they want (and sod the voters)

7. GPD - a complete joke, since it is not output which counts but sales. Reminds me of an old BBC documentary about Krosno Glass in Poland. It's output was staggering - millions of glasses produced. Unfortunately none were sold, so the company went bust.

8. Food - Victoria, you have to be joking.! In the UK there is either pretentious and expensive food or pub fodder.

9. The Royal Family - what does it bring to the party?

10. BBC - once a great broadcasting which had a mission to "inform, enternatain and educate" and is now a copycat of the crap seen on commercial television.

11.Pubs - what pubs? The good ones have either closed or been taken over by bland chains. There may be a few holding their heads above the water but only where the pretentious cannot reach them.

12. Globally competitive universities - yes but only three out of the five hundred included in the rankings

13. The countryside - perhaps. But not for long if this government has its way. Anyway, there are many, many countries with more attractive countryside - e.g. France

14. Our location in relation to the world - is this a reference to our time zone or is it the belief that we are the navel of the world?

15. The High Street - what High Street after the "big box" retailers have occupied the retail scene?

16. Free press - have you been following the Levenson Inquiry?

17. The pound - just a currency among many with no power.

18. British humour/sarcasm - is of no relevance to the rest of the world but might keep the intellectual midgets happy.

19. Minimim wage - yeas we have one but so do other countries

20. Infrastructure - oh please - bad roads, poor water supplies, one of the worst broadband networks in Europe.........

21. Free contraception - big deal, we are not the only ones

22. Working hours - has the EU no criticised us for overlong hours?

23. Security - if you equate that with invigilation, then yes - but our crime rate is higher than many EU countries.

24. Culture - is that personal culture (in which case there is a singular lack of it) or if it concerns the arts, then I would tip my hat.

25 History - yes every country has one, better or worse. Remember Kitchener's Boer concentration camps?

Half-way is enough, Victoria's Friday 50 is a joke. Was she paid for this contribution????

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Reckoner

Apr 27, 2012 at 20:41

Jonas Cord - "by any conceivable comparison" perhaps but its such a boring mediocre place - beautiful and magnificently empty, sublimely devoid of stimulation!! and yes the uk is grossly overpopulated but for a very good reason - Filthy London and the south east is buzzing with creative energy and huge amounts of capital pouring in - everyone under 40 wants to be there those over that age want to escape - and if you're a grumpy old man (like me) then of course its all insufferable but for the young and talented? They're not in Canada for the most part - they're here, plenty of Canadians as well I suspect....Admittedly much of the remainder (but by no means all) of the uk is pretty dire at present.

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 27, 2012 at 21:44

Adam Murza-Murzicz,

With so many Cs and Zs in your name, you must be Polish.

Why not go and live there

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mark jukes

Apr 27, 2012 at 22:04

Alan Tonks you are one that lives by old statements - the roads are crumbling, the trains are pre war and falling apart. Open your eyes. Its not codswallop, if it was I would be the first to agree with you. I have been driving since the early eighties and the roads have never been better (perhaps a lot fuller!). There were more potholes, less motorways and they were far more dangerous back then.

In the early nineties, before privatization improved them, the railways were awful - I used them regularly , They leave a lot to be desired now but they are 10 times better than back then!!

So our infrastructure could be improved, you could always say that, but it definitely is not worse.

Eric, thanks for the intelligent disagreements I enjoyed that.

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Thoughtfull

Apr 27, 2012 at 22:07

Jonathan,

To steal someone elses phrase "You can not be serious".

I have studied your points and find nothing in principle to agree with.

I would therefore suggest, for your peace of mind and happiness, that you relocate to the U.S.A. Why the U.S.A? Well------in the U.S.A it is easy to find Councillors for all ailments.

Bye and good luck.

p.s. I love the Queen & all plus dear old Blighty.

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Ian Phillips

Apr 27, 2012 at 22:50

...........and nobody mentioned hosepipe bans when it's raining?

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Derek Flood

Apr 28, 2012 at 05:59

Victoria you need to travel more to places like Australia where I emigrated to 10 years ago. Thanks for reminding me why I made that decision.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 28, 2012 at 06:23

Raymond Hurley

Too late with the advice, I do live part-time in Poland and by comparison with the UK it is a far more pleasanr country to live in.

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I like UK via mobile

Apr 28, 2012 at 08:43

At last, an article that glorifies our country. Yes we have our problems, but do do EVERY other country in the world. I've known family and friends emigrate to France, Spain, new Zealand, Australia, USA, and ALL are now back in uk for various reasons. The grass is NOT greener.

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james horton

Apr 28, 2012 at 09:49

I think Victoria must be living in some sort of fantasy or dreamworld. I disagree with many of her point here is a few;

The UK is only democratic for one day every five years, the rest of the time it is an elected dictatorship.

The NHS is not free, we pay for it via NI contributions and general taxation. Plus there are long waiting lists, even for life-saving treatments.

The misandrist BBC is certainly nothing to be proud of. They certainly have their own agenda when reporting the news.

Equality only applies to immigrants, preferably, illegal economic refugees.

Security, I do not leave home after dark, unless it's unavoidable, because it is unsafe to do so. Even in the day it's necessary to be alert at all times.

Embrace eccentrics. What like murderers, rioters, looters and rapists?

Real Ale, fifty pubs close every week in England, people can no longer afford to socialise.

I will leave it at that, I could go on with much more but that's enough for now.

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banjofred

Apr 28, 2012 at 11:19

Britain was destroyed by Gordon Brown (and Blair before him).

The fire was left as a few smouldering embers.

the Cameron and Clegg peed on that

Pretty soon people will tire of getting out of bed and working to support The World, and seeing others queueing up to come here and join the benefitfest.

The system can only work if those in the middle keep paying for it.

Its now non PC to be a little Englander.

rthw politicians follow their own agenda whihc has nothing at all in common with the wishes of the people - quite the opposite in fact.

Never mind folks, lifes a bitch, then you die.

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Adam Eve

Apr 28, 2012 at 11:22

Jonathan you are obviously YOUNG .

If you were older you would know that when the Queen came to the throne she gave up her right to the income from the Crown estates (Then just over £2 MILLION a year) for just £40,000 a year!

The Crown Estates income is now in excess of £200 MILLION a year and the Queen still takes about the same ratio £40 Million a year. So the TRUTH is they cost us NOTHING.

PERHAPS when Charles comes to the throne he will keep the Crown Estates income.......

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Moylando

Apr 28, 2012 at 11:44

James Horton....

......'that's enough for now' Yes I think it is - you ought to go and lie down. Then you could perhaps explain what an elected dictatorship is. Or why people can only socialise in pubs or any of the nonsence you write

I must say that reading this thread does leave me wondering about the satisfaction that people must get from complaining.

I spent yesterday with local volunteers cleaning up a dilapidated area, Then I spent four hours of my personal time taking older folk to hospital for operations to prevent them going blind. I met many other volunteers who give up time to help those less fortunate. I saw dedicated nurses and specialist doctors with skills that make people better. Generally I see a mainly content nation which looks after its needy as best it can.

The notion than anything but an inevitably small number of our elected representatives and public servants are corrupt is wrong. Our infrastucture is not as good as it could be but not bad given our competitive situation. Our children and young people need our trust and support not endless ranting.

In my experience the individuals ( and there are many here ) who complain about this country do so out of frustration and disappointment with what they have failed to achieve in their own lives - job wise, economically, socially - I have come across quite a few of these in Australia and ex pats in the middle east.

Few people who have embraced the opportunity of living in this country and succeeded in some large or small way moan like the curmudgeons here do.

But there is hope that they could do something to lighten the load. First start talking up your country instead of trashing it. Second, do something, anything to help around the place - become a volunteer. See whether there is some prospect of lifting yourselves out of your perpetual gloom and help someone else worse off than you. Stop moaning - start giving

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Denis Bourke

Apr 28, 2012 at 11:54

50 biggest negatives

1. Poms

2. English people

3. Poms

4. English people

5. Poms

6. .....

49. Poms

50. English people

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George Hill

Apr 28, 2012 at 11:59

I was enjoying this (mainly) sensible discussion. Until the Royal ars*lic*er chipped in.

Listen son, the "right to her income"? WAS NEVER "HERS" IN THE FIRST PLACE. They're "giving" us nowt and never have done!

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Drake

Apr 28, 2012 at 12:10

Moylando, you are a star. I could not have put it better myself.

There is a huge streak of solipsism in this thread, on the part of the moaners. We all have problems, the NHS is not as good as it might be, the sun doesn't shine as much as in the south of France, we need to educate our kids better. But, hey! We have a better standard of living than ever before in our history, it's a fantastic place to live and we should all be proud of being British and living in such a great country. If we have a positive outlook the country will continue to get better and better.

Look at Moylando's last paragraph as well. Shift your focus to other people rather than yourselves.You'll all live happier and more fulfilled lives if you look at the world (and this country) in a positive light.

Victoria, against your excellent list of 50 positives I now realise there is one negative - the glass half empty brigade.

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james horton

Apr 28, 2012 at 12:24

Moylando, you really are not very intelligent if you believe the UK is a democracy. An elected democracy is when the politicians go all out to secure our vote once every five years and then totally ignore us for the next four years and three hundred days.

Victoria refers to real ale as one of the delights of the Nation, real ale is normally sold in pubs which are closing at the rate of fifty per week because people can no longer afford to use them.

She also refers to the High Street, the last time I looked about fiftty per cent of my local High Street shops had closed.

Moylando, you sound almost Saintly I think I will nominate you for Beatification

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james horton

Apr 28, 2012 at 12:42

Moylando, you really are naive if you believe people in the UK are better off in most respects than ninety five per cent of the World's population. You have obviously not done much travelling in your time or you have been totally brainwashed by the "System".

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Rosco White

Apr 28, 2012 at 12:57

"35. Low crime rates and fear of crime" - You're havin' a laugh aren't you? !!!!

The ferals in this country are out of control.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 28, 2012 at 13:22

Drake! Perhaps some of us just found Victoria's list to be rather amusing and far from reality. So far as I can see, there is little moaning in this thread, rather an enumeration of where her 50 points do not reflect reality (see James Horton's comment). Criticism is not synonymous with moaning!.

As to your argument that "But, hey! We have a better standard of living than ever before in our history", it reveals that your subsequent comment " Shift your focus to other people rather than yourselves." is just empty words - since the standard of living for the vast majority of the population has deteriorated. It would appear that extrapolating your own situation to the rest of the population (the 99%), - i.e. since you're feeling flush, everyone else must be ! Are those trying to find a job after being made redundant as a result of the "austerity programme" feeling the benefits of the "better standard of living"?

But the quote in your comment which left my ribs sore was " If we have a positive outlook the country will continue to get better and better." Is "Drake" a pseudonym for for David Cameron? No recipe for improving the lot of the populace, just wishful thinking!

I was moved to Poland in the 1990s and having experienced what this country has to offer, I found that it knocks Britain's "attractions" into a cocked hat. OK, it might resemble the UK of the 1990s in certain respects but its infrastructure is at the same standard (and its broadband is eons ahead). On the other hand, the people here are not anal retentives.

Every time I come back to the UK, I compare the situations and come to the conclusion that the UK is regressing while Poland is advancing - sad ain't it?

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Adam Eve

Apr 28, 2012 at 13:27

Thanks for the insult George Hill, I am NOT a Royalist just someone who reports the FACTS , like it or not. You probably disagree with the FACT that the DUKE of WESTMINSTER also has a very large income that he is entitled to, AND KEEPS (after paying income tax of course) !

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Jonathan

Apr 28, 2012 at 13:34

Adam Eve

Are you saying the queen takes no money from the tax payer?

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james horton

Apr 28, 2012 at 15:33

Victoria mentions the Pound (number 17on her list). I wonder if she will still hold the same view in a couple of years time when we have hyper-inflation caused by the experiment of printing billions of pounds of "New Money", an experiment where the "Experts" ignored what the end result would be. I advise anyone now not to keep money in a Sterling bank account because they are likely to lose much of its buying power in the next few years.

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Adam Eve

Apr 28, 2012 at 15:46

Jonathan,

Please read my ORIGINAL comment again.

I am saying that she GAVE UP to the country (for the period of her reign) her entitlement to the income from the Crown Estates (Widely reported in the Press at the time.) in Return for an income at the time of £40,000 per annum. ALSO for the future prospects read this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323228/Queens-38m-year-offshore-windfarm-windfall--owns-seabed.html

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wayne roberts

Apr 28, 2012 at 17:45

Cup of tea at 49? Thats the only reason to stay in this dump, and the premier league and the morons that follow it are the number one reason to leave..

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Alan Tonks

Apr 28, 2012 at 17:46

Drake- You have obviously never heard of a realist, being an optimist the half full variety.

But a realist is a person who sees this country as it is, and not with your fantasy outlook.

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james horton

Apr 28, 2012 at 18:25

Another good reason why the UK is so good. Years ago telephone directory enquiries was a free service provided by British Telecom until someone had the bright idea of introducing some competition into the system. Now it costs about two pounds to find out someone's number. They really do think we are stupid, don't they? Maybe they are right.

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Adam Eve

Apr 28, 2012 at 18:35

Go to www.ukphonebook.com you can search up to Five a day for no charge.

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james horton

Apr 28, 2012 at 19:38

Adam Eve, I am aware that numbers can be looked up on the Web but you cannot do it any longer for free by making an ordinary phone call.

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Medved

Apr 28, 2012 at 21:39

Everything bad about Britain is located in Scotland. And everything bad about Scotland is located in Glasgow. Remove Glasgow and everything looks brighter all over. I'm not kidding.

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Medved

Apr 28, 2012 at 21:40

Well maybe add Fife to that.

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Drake

Apr 29, 2012 at 10:32

Adam M-M,

Against my better judgment I find myself agreeing with the Dr Johnsonian view of Raymond Hurley.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 11:10

As the saying goes, dear Drake, "different strokes for different folks". I do, however, have a concern that our nationalisms (tribalisms) could lead to internal conflicts within not just the UK but also within Europe. Those of you who glorify "Great Britain" are living in cloud cuckoo land. Britain ceased being "Great" in 1947 when it "granted" independence to India - and subsequently other countries.

Now it is just an island with a population of 60m which is if no real importance in geopolitics ( the BRICs have greater sway). Get used to it and you will sleep more soundly.

PS Poland is much better than the UK, in every way

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 11:19

James Horton -

my views on the relative prosperity of this country are not inhibited by any lack of worldwide travel. In fact they are informed by a lifetime spent in many countries and taking a close look at the way the world is. Rather more than your view which seems over pre-occupied with directory enquiry charges and your nonsensical advice not to keep money in a sterling bank account. Your alternative ?

I'm afraid that reasoned argument seems to be struggling against random anecdote and prejudices that even proven facts can't shake

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 11:27

A reply to Adam Murza-Murzicz.

It is clear that you do not understand what the 'Great' in Great Britain means. It's a popular misconception that it means superior, better or has some other positive trait. It doesn't mean that, it refers to the larger collection of islands off the coast of north west Europe. To understand it fully it is a good idea to look it up on Wikipedia or do a Google search that will describe the meaning in full.

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Adam Eve

Apr 29, 2012 at 11:30

IF Adam MM you are going to say that Poland is better than the UK in EVERY way Perhaps you would not mind giving us 50 reasons why you feel that is so!

I have been to Poland very recently, well into the countryside as well as a couple of cities / large town (Katowice and Czestochowa) and I certainly did NOT feel that it was BETTER than the UK .

As for the roads!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How can the very Flat Area of the country have such terrible roads?

Best thing (or worst) is that it took 20 hours of hard driving just to get there.

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 11:33

Adam M-M

Your comment " Poland is much better than the UK in every way" is so stupid that I can only imagine that you have decided to take the mickey - although most of your comments so far do lead me to believe that you veer more towards stupidity than satire.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 11:47

Moylando.

I do enjoy reading your comments, full of pithy and flowery language. You really aren't very worldly wise about finances are you? Why on Earth do you think there are shops springing up everywhere to buy your gold, have you not seen them? As paper currencies sink in value the price of gold will increase, that is one place you could invest any savings that you may have. The UK and most of Europe is in debt that is impossible to pay off. One way of reducing this debt is to 'Inflate' it out. You can look how this is done by doing a Google search. Basically the Government rob anyone with savings held in cash. For example if You have £1000 in the bank and inflation is 10% per annum, your original £1000 is only worth £900 after one year (in buying terms). I don't know where you have travelled to in your time. I have travelled all over Europe, the Far East and Central and North America and I say without doubt that the quality of life if most countries I have been to is equal or in many cases better than England.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 12:07

Maylando!

Have you ever been to Poland? Judging by your the answer is a resounding "NO". So how can you judge?

I spend my time (almost equally) between between the UK and Poland and would rather spend my time in Poland, where the people are more relaxed and the beaurocracy is not a major problem, than in the UK where everyone seems to be so up-tight - especially the Little Englanders

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 12:10

Adam Eve

Cannot argue that point. The roads are sh1t. Nevertheless, I love living here.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 12:17

James Horton

Granted that your definition of "Great" in Britain is correct. However, the prevailing view throughout the world is that it is an assumption of "superiority", which has managed to embed itself in the subconcious of the Little Englanders.

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 12:26

James Horton Ah - un-worldly wise about finance you think me ? - well I am a lot clearer about saying what I mean which is that it is almost impossible to operate in the UK without a sterling bank account - which is what you were advocating.

Now if you meant to say that leaving savings or investments in a sterling current account is not a good idea you may have a point - though I didn't actually need your tutorial on the effect of rising prices on the real value of money - a fact that is as old as history. As for your advice on where to invest - you mention gold -

I think that I will pass on that. I am a big fan of diversity. Your negativity towards your own country and your conviction that anywhere is better than home may be truly held - in which case I am genuinely sorry for you. For my own part having seen most parts of the world I am so pleased to call Britain my home - most of my family and friends live here and that seems to be the best reason.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 12:26

Moylando!

I have been keeping my money is a Polish zloty account for the past 15 years and am well ahead of the sterling exchange rate. The pound is a Dodo and only nationalist pride(???) is keeping it afloat.

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Geoff Harrop

Apr 29, 2012 at 13:08

Somebody once said that to be born in England is to win the jackpot in life's lottery. After a long life I don't disagree when comparing my lot with many others. But nothing is permanent and the way things are gradually going I fear it might be quite untrue one of these days. Hopefully I am wrong in this.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 13:14

Moylando.

I did say don't keep money in a Sterling account, obviously you didn't understand that I meant savings, if you have a current account with a small amount of money for day to day use, then surely it follows that you are not keeping your money in Sterling . However it is perfectly easy to operate without a bank account. Keep a small amount of money for day to day sundries, bus fares, newspapers, etc. Pay for everything else with a credit card and pay the balance off monthly, thereby you gain by getting free credit for a month or two and anything you buy of higher value is covered by the credit card company for insurance purposes.

I note that you passed on the gold question. It is anticipated that gold will double in value within the next three years against the US Dollar, are you sure you want to pass on that one?

I am not particularly negative about England but I certainly don't believe that we are a superior Nation. In fact it is the "We are better than everyone else" mentality that holds us back. I have watched the Country decline in many areas over the years and I think it's time to start reversing that trend.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 13:27

Adam Murza-Murzicz

I agree wholeheartedly that the notion of Great Britain means "Superior" to the Little Englanders out there but it certainly doesn't mean that to the rest of the World. For example, The Germans refer to us as Inselaffen, that's island apes. We are not particularly liked or admired in most parts of the World that I have visited and the ludicrous idea that we have A Special Relationship with the United States only applies on this side of th Atlantic Ocean.

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 13:33

If gold WILL double in value in the next three years WHY hasn't it done so already. There is no certainty about any price - otherwise there would be no need for a market.

However if you are so certain that the gold price will double I suggest that you get onto CFD's and spread betting right now. No need to wait for three years.

If you trade frequently enough on a rising price you will become a multi-millionnaire. Britain can't be a bad place if you can do that - can it ? Will you stay here when you are as rich as Croesus ?

PS Did you mean that gold might double in three years ?

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John Scoot

Apr 29, 2012 at 14:01

I've just got back from walking the dog - wild, wet & windy, but a good jacket sorted that. The bluebells are in full swing and all the trees are bursting into life. We stopped for a pint at my local - good Cornish ale and a roaring log fire.

We've just finished our Sunday Roast and I'm up in the office using superfast broadband to check my mails and fire off some drawings to our overseas clients. Later if the wild weather holds we might drive to the coast to watch the breakers off the Atlantic, if not we'll settle down with a good scotch and watch some of the best TV in the world.

Who'd want to live anywhere else?

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 14:22

Moylando.

Is it impossible for you to understand anything. I said it is anticipated that gold will double in value, therefore there is a doubt that it may not. On the other hand it could more than double. If you look at the amount of debt the US has and their endless printing of more and more money, (The figures are staggering, certainly scare me), then my bet is on gold. I have money in gold, accounts in Euros, Thai Baht and Malaysian Ringits and they have done well against Sterling. The Euro is the only one that's a bit worrying but I'm hoping that with Germany being such a strong economy it will hold up and survive.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 14:25

John Scoot, I really do envy those who of our compatriots who have adopted the "I'm all right Jack" philosophy. Sod the unemployed, the poor and homeless. We can drink our Cornish ale, a good scotch and watch TV. Ain't life wonderful??

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Adam Eve

Apr 29, 2012 at 15:04

Adam MM ,

We can drink our Cornish ale, a good scotch and watch TV. Ain't life wonderful??

YOU base yourself in Poland , last time I was there I could not buy Cornish ale, Scotch (REAL Scotch) cost a fortune and your TV is Crap ,

My Polish girlfriend is on her way here for a three month stay looking forward to decent TV.

So that three items better than Poland , still waiting for your list....

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Medved

Apr 29, 2012 at 15:10

Adam Murza-Murzicz is being silly.

Poland is a fine country with an honourable history. I have been there. But many many Poles are unhappy with the country. The Catholic Church which is in a power sharing deal with the current government (hence the burial of a not so heroic president in a sacred cemetery reserved for heroes recently - but that's another story) and the result is not good. It reminds me of Ireland about 50 years ago.

I have no idea why Adam is being silly perhaps for fun. If he wishes to continue in the same vein he may like to explain the current mass exodus of young Polish people to this country and to the USA and to (as the saying goes) - "anywhere".

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John Scoot

Apr 29, 2012 at 15:33

Adam M,M

Where do you get off accusing me of ignoring my social responsibilities? Our employees are paid far higher than the national average, virtually all of our new employees were previously unemployed, our company is more than diligent paying our taxes. I was brought up in Harold Hill one of the poorest places in Greater London, I went to Secondary Modern School and I've worked all of my life to make what we have now.

I must say I would hate to live in your bitter, bigoted little world.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 16:03

Moylando,

I have realised after reading your postings that you are not English or British. I reach that conclusion because of your inability to fully comprehend the language. However it would be interesting to know where you come from and what your Mother Tongue is?

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 29, 2012 at 16:11

Moylando is correct.

Britain is a good place both to live & work, both in terms of the standard and quality of life.(life expectancy is higher than the OECD average,and higher than both POLAND and the USA)

It is though, a pity that Cityire provides such an excellent platform for the assorted misanthropists,sociopaths and downright demented such as

Adam Murza-Murzicz.

Still no country is perfect.

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 29, 2012 at 17:33

James Horton,

apologies,I should have included you in the ranks of the demented.

I would also point out, that proper nouns such as 'James Horton' start with capital letters,and common nouns,such 'mother tongue' with lower case letters.

Is English your second language ?.

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Medved

Apr 29, 2012 at 17:42

Raymond. The trouble with adopting the linguistic anal-retentive approach is that now everyone will scrutinise your posts for the slightest mistake. Watch out !

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 18:24

James Horton -

I think that you will find that the use of the word - "anticipate" with the word - "will" is grammatically wrong. "Anticipate" means to regard as likely - "will", a future tense verb ( like the word, shall) expresses inevitability. Since there is no inevitability of the gold price doubling in two or even ten years, the use of the word "will" conflicts with likliihood. I am sure that a better word to use is "may" and this is what I suggested.

I happen to think that all statements that use absolute language tend to get ridiculed in todays uncertain world

I think that you will find that my understanding of the english language is quite adequate. I might even go so far as to say that it is better than yours as I have noted that your expression is clumsy and your syntax is poor. A particular annoyance is your tendency to use capital letters in the wrong place.

Regarding your impudent and faintly xenophobic enquiry about my where I come from and my mother tongue I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Since your stance criticising those who support the well being of this country has been so poorly argued - relying on random observations about QE and telephone directories - I must assume that rational debate in not your strong point.

If you fancy a change of scenery, I am told that Poland is the new paradise.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 18:53

Yes I was correct, you are not British.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 19:24

Moylando,

Although you have studied English grammar and you are able to use the language, I stand by what I said, you do not fully understand the English language and never ever will.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 19:46

Raymond Hurley

Shame that when they have no rational argument some people descend to abuse. Having lived for almost 50 years in the UK and then domiciled myself in Poland for the past 15 years, I believe that I am qualified to judge which is the better country to live in. OECD statistics not withstanding, Poland provides a far better quality of life than the UK, something which you xenophobes will never appreciate.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 20:14

Adam Murza-Murzicz

Interesting that you have settled in Poland. I imagine it is far less crowded than the UK. I don't know if you are British but were you readily accepted by the Poles. As you say the quality of life is better, which I am sure is true. did you find the move to Poland an easy one? What is the situation regarding accommodation? Is it easy to rent somewhere? Why I ask these questions is because I find England becoming unbearable these days. Someone was stabbed on Friday night a few miles from where I live and is critical, this is not a one off, it's a daily occurrence now. In fact I do not go out after dark because it's unsafe. I believe this is true in most English cities. It would be nice to live in a more stable and civilised country.

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 20:28

james horton -

With your superior grasp of the english language why do you wrongly use small case for your name ? This is wrong or is it just an affectation?

On my nationality, you claim, "Yes, I was correct , you are not British" This assertion is typical of your style of argument. In the absence of any reliable evidence whatsoever you declare an absolute opinion. How can anyone take you seriously ?

I am resisting the temptation to confirm my birthplace because it would suggest that it had some relevance to anything to do with the views I hold of this fine country.

As for my understanding of the english language I am too modest to let you know about how qualified i am in that subject - and also in many subjects we have touched on - economics, social history, international affairs - in fact many matters where you clearly have endless opportunity to improve upon. I have hopes that you could yet rise above your narrow prejudices

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 20:43

Moylando, I grant you that you are well educated and I don't dispute that fact. My guess is that you are German, I could be wrong but that is the impression I have of you.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 29, 2012 at 20:45

Yes I am British ! I do have a slight advantage in that I was brought up in a Polish family where my mother never learned to speak English, so I am bilingual.

Just about everyone under the age of 35 speaks English now - which was not the case when I was sent over here by my now defunct bank.

The Poles are a nation which loves "white foreigners" - especially English speakers.

Property is cheap to rent and the cost of living is low - you can more than survive on a British state pension

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 20:59

Adam, thanks very much for the information. You guessed right, I am just coming up to my 65th birthday. I have always been active, so am still quite fit with no health problems. I just don't want to spend my retirement imprisoned from dusk to dawn, which is the case for many older people in England now. Even in the daytime there is a level of tension, you really have to be aware of who is around you. Not pleasant at all. I will seek out some more information but it's always good to get a personal recommendation.

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Medved

Apr 29, 2012 at 22:08

james no need to be lonely. There are lots of Polish girls looking for a sugar daddy.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 22:19

Medved, rather a cheap comment. I am not lonely, never have been and I'm certainly not looking to be someone's sugar daddy. please don't make silly comments like that, it does you no favours.

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Moylando

Apr 29, 2012 at 22:27

james and adam m-m -

It has been a bad day weather wise here in middle England and I have enjoyed the diversion of exchanging views with you. james - if things are as grim as you say they are around your way I do feel some sympathy.

I suspect that both of you have an ironic sense of humour and despite your attempts to make your postings seem genuine I have seen through you - you are having a laugh. I've enjoyed it. Ta Ta

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 29, 2012 at 22:32

James Horton quote:

'I have money in gold, accounts in Euros, Thai Baht and Malaysian Ringits and they have done well against Sterling'.

I would suggest James, that you appoint some one with a Power of Attorney to look after your money.

Check page 18 of the Saturday FT.

Mid 2011 approximately 1.11 Euro to the Pound Sterling.

End of April 2012 approximately 1.22 Euro to the Pound Sterling.

The first rule of investment: 'Do not let prejudice or sentiment cloud your judgement'.

Your obvious dislike of our country has cost you dearly.

Good riddance.Enjoy Poland.

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james horton

Apr 29, 2012 at 22:54

Raymond, another one full of cheap, nasty jibes.

I invested in Euros originally at 63 pence each and still have them in a European bank.

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james horton

Apr 30, 2012 at 00:34

Raymond, I do not dislike the Country of my birth, only what has happened to it. I was just listening to LBC in London, a talk station, a woman was saying that on Friday the roads were completely blocked around the Oxford street area, the tubes were packed. She hardly heard any English spoken and her point was, if it's like this now what will it be like when there are two million more people here for the Olympics. Add to that all the violent crime that is taking place and you should be able to understand why people have had enough of it.

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james horton

Apr 30, 2012 at 00:34

Raymond, I do not dislike the Country of my birth, only what has happened to it. I was just listening to LBC in London, a talk station, a woman was saying that on Friday the roads were completely blocked around the Oxford street area, the tubes were packed. She hardly heard any English spoken and her point was, if it's like this now what will it be like when there are two million more people here for the Olympics. Add to that all the violent crime that is taking place and you should be able to understand why people have had enough of it.

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james horton

Apr 30, 2012 at 00:34

Raymond, I do not dislike the Country of my birth, only what has happened to it. I was just listening to LBC in London, a talk station, a woman was saying that on Friday the roads were completely blocked around the Oxford street area, the tubes were packed. She hardly heard any English spoken and her point was, if it's like this now what will it be like when there are two million more people here for the Olympics. Add to that all the violent crime that is taking place and you should be able to understand why people have had enough of it.

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Nick S

Apr 30, 2012 at 01:29

Working hours? Surely Britain has the longest working hours in Europe. Does that make it a good place to live? I think not.

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Drake

Apr 30, 2012 at 08:35

Wow! So this is how you all spend your Sundays. Me, I was out walking in the beautiful English countryside.

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 08:51

James I am sorry if my "cheap comment" has upset you.

Maybe you shouldn't be on these blogs if your skin is that thin. You rise to the bait too fast. For me these threads are akin to wandering round a human zoo looking at the specimens. It's fascinating. And yes I confess that sometimes I can't resist shaking the cage and watching the reaction.

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james horton

Apr 30, 2012 at 08:52

You are fortunate enough to live somewhere that was dry yesterday. Most places sufferred gales and pouring rain all day. The English countryside is very beautiful It's the overpopulated cities, larger towns and transport infrastructure that's no good.

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Adam Murza-Murzicz

Apr 30, 2012 at 09:27

Drake!

and I was walking in a huge forest (about 1000 sq km) watching deer, elk and all kinds of birds which have all but disappeared from Britain.

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 09:57

Опасайтесь медведей Адама!

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Adam Eve

Apr 30, 2012 at 10:05

Adam Murza-Murzicz

BUT STILL even through you are "an award winning Journalist" cannot / have not given 50 reasons why Poland is better than the UK.

Come on to you it should be easy....

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Drake

Apr 30, 2012 at 10:38

James Horton,

Either you are getting very repetitive or your index finger is out of control.

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Adam Eve

Apr 30, 2012 at 11:33

SICK JOKE MEDVED!

RUSSIAN, Опасайтесь медведей Адама!

Translates as "be afraid of Bears Adam"

In Polish "Boi się nosi Adam"

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PAYE taxpayer

Apr 30, 2012 at 12:21

There is still a lot of historical dreamboating about what is great about Britain. If we think the NHS is the best thing about Britain, why do we vote for political parties that are doing their utmost to privatise it? Every time I see a doctor, I am told that it could be 'handled much quicker if I went private and paid for it'. The NHS has been on a slow road to full privatisatuion (ie: demolition) since we joined Europe because our NHS is completely incompatable with membership of a country called 'Europe'. Dream about History, but face the reality for the future. What will be the 50 best reasons for living in Britain after 2020?

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james horton

Apr 30, 2012 at 13:55

Paye taxpayer,

the 'Great' in Great Britain is purely a geographic term and nothing whatsoever to do with being superior or better.

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james horton

Apr 30, 2012 at 13:56

Paye taxpayer,

the 'Great' in Great Britain is purely a geographic term and nothing whatsoever to do with being superior or better.

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 14:37

About the NHS and "creeping privatisation".

People forget (or never knew) that the original Beveridge report recommended an element of private sector involvement in the NHS from the start. This was ignored by Aneurin Bevan.

Does nobody ever ask themselves why, if the NHS is so wonderful, no other country in the world has adopted the same system?

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 30, 2012 at 15:06

The term Great Britain is a political term.It refers to the island of Great Britain, which comprises Enland,Wales, Scotland and islands offshore the British mainland, that are represented in Westminster.(As of the Act of Union)

The term UK refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

To those hung up on the use of the term 'Great',I would say get a life.

Find something really useful to worry about, such as population growth or global warming.

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Rose G

Apr 30, 2012 at 15:15

If we are discussing standards of living, then obviously Victoria must be earning money & not paying her taxes!

When I received my salary this month, I find that I am taking home less than last month. We have had a salary freeze for the last 3 yrs, but we are now having to contribute more to our pension schemes - I do not believe it is right that we sign a contract, & further down the line anyone in government can come along & change everything, without so much as a by your leave.

My standard of living has been decreasing steadily, while those who are millionaires already continue to benefit from many loopholes which allows them to avoid taxes = no doubt the Royals too use this mechanism to avoid their correct taxes - does this not concern anyone, because as the notional head of the country, she has agreed to the policy of the existing loopholes?

Since the beginning of the year, petrol prices have just gone on rising - I am not prepared to use public transport as there is no guarantee that my journey will be completed or that I will reach my destination.

While prices for consumables are increasing, our salaries are frozen, how on earth can we still maintain that our standards of living are fantastic? Perhaps for the millionaires, but ordinary people are struggling to keep up with price rises.

Insurance companies know they can charge us any amount to drive our cars & there is very little to be done about this too.

As for the scammers that keep calling us on the landline - the police, the government & any other sector that keeps records of our details are passing it onto 3rd parties for a payment - we have very little privacy in this arena. As for CCTV, there is not an area that we can visit without having some camera recording what we are or are not doing.

Going through the airport to travel anywhere recently? Is a bloody joke. How many people have actually been apprehended for terrorist activities while going through the airports? We are treated as if we have no common sense, just because our politicians have none & quite frankly, its a bloody shambles.

As for the hypocrisy & the corruption, it is a must that we should try to do each other down just so we can show a profit margin.

As for those whose only answer to criticism is for us to leave, why is this exactly? This is a forum where we are allowed to post on what we believe to be true.

If one side is allowed to air their views, then it is legitimate to have another point of view, so please, if you believe any criticism should result in deportation, why don't you too join the corrupt clan at westminster, they would welcome ijeets like you!

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 16:05

Rose G agree on many of your points but you write "I do not believe it is right that we sign a contract, & further down the line anyone in government can come along & change everything, without so much as a by your leave"

Surely this is exactly what the trades unions have been doing through strikes for higher pay or shorter hours or more perks etc etc for decades. A strike is 'de facto' a breach of a signed contract.

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Potus

Apr 30, 2012 at 16:07

Rose G...

It sounds like you have not been lucky enough to have had your phone tapped by...'him' / "them"...thats right...You know... 'him' / "them". Otherwise, you might have perhaps been lucky to have some "largese" paid into your account by way of settlement.

This, am sure has not been helpful with the selective picking of the "rich and the famous" who are being informed about their phone being hacked into. Otherwise, what's the difficulty in publishing all the phone numbers hacked into !

Or have you seen any of the 9 to 5 professionals like you being made richer in the on-going revelations on hacking ? I understand the problem relating to corruption, moreso as its fast becoming institutional. Meanwhile, always remember you only get rich in the dark. The world now knows one of the surest means to join some exclusive clubs is - hacking and sell the story to the highest bidder! No morals whatsoever!

But then, you should count yourself lucky, afterall, you have not been blessed with a visit by "the powers that be' and in which case....no chance of having a camera installed in your bedroom watching / recording every aspect of your life / lifestyle. So manage with ALL those ones in every nook and corners of the country ...at least for now. I can assure you, its going to get worse, as its one of the surest revenue sources for the government.

As regards the politicians, simply don't go there. You still have to perform the civic duty. Morals ? Don't touch it ! I assume you will be voting for a Mayor of your choice shortly? Enjoy.

On a final note, you still have a job, mortgage, and inspite of the petrol cost, your car is still there, you can afford going through the Airport - so jetting away is not an impossibility...That points to the fact that Britain is still a great place to be...

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George Hill

Apr 30, 2012 at 17:04

Hi Rose G. Nice to hear from you again. More power to your elbow. The following ISN'T aimed at yourself.

I think some of us have lost our way a little here. Far from discussing 50 ways... there is a detectable element of xenophobia creeping in.

The climate in UK has to be a great plus point, even if it’s not unique. I sense not a few correspondents bad-mouthing the weather, imagining it would be better if it was like (say) Bondi beach every day. Or Florida. Or Thailand. This, of course, would be a nightmare. Just imagine you laying your bricks or whatever you do, in New York or Cape Town in high summer. Same at the other end of the thermometer. Try driving your white van in 12 foot of snow in North Dakota. Wintering in New England is extreme. Nothing like those extremes here. The climate tries to KILL you in lots of the places you’ve only dreamed about. No, let’s settle for the UK – there’s only a handful of places Worldwide with such temperate, pleasant weather.

To return to what seems to be taking up a lot of “discussion”. I use the term loosely, having read pretty well all that’s been said. The UK has derived great benefit from the influx of “non UK” peoples. And must continue so to do. Like the rise of America a century or so back - impossible without the influx of skills that continues today. ALL of those friendly invasions (and the odd unfriendly ones) have brought significant advantages and skills with them.

With the possible exception of the Anglo-Saxons, who brought “not a lot” in the way of culture, this range of diverse cultures has strengthened our “Island Monkey” stock over centuries. We should be grateful! It’s worth remembering that, to take three (almost) random examples of “English Greats” – Churchill (half American) Brunel (half French) and Wellington (Irish). From our current stock of politicians, remember Portillo, Howard and the Milibands – within a generation, they’re more English than the English. There are hundreds more examples. That’s without even mentioning the Royals.

No, let’s rejoice in our diversity and remember that’s what gives us our strengths. Mind you, it would be nice if more of our youngsters took their education seriously. Mastering our language ISN’T “anal retention” – whatever the uneducated say. Do I remember a Tony Hancock line from the 1950’s that runs “I knew she wasn’t English. She spoke it too well”.

Persuade our future generations that education is essential. Sine qua non, maybe. Study, learn, compete – don’t settle for ASDA (Wal-Mart is a disgraceful company at best) and don’t leave the professions entirely to immigrants, welcome as they are.

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 20:26

George. Since I am the only one to have used the term I assume you are calling me uneducated. For the record I did not say that mastering the language was anal retention.

I said that making nit-picking comments about other people's english AND making inferences from the same about their character or nationality IS anal retentive and makes the author vulnerable to criticism of their own use of the language.

Turning to your overlong "headmaster's address" above. Better to say plain "you" than "yourself" (although this annoying myself/yourself-ism becoming so common now). "Worldwide" should not be capitalised. Not a lot of need to use quotation marks for “not a lot”. If you ask whether you remember a Tony Hancock line then add a question mark. Oh and "imagining" should be capitalised. It starts a sentence.

But I'm not being anal retentive. Just trying to help you master the language.

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 20:31

Ok delete the remark about "imagining" it's a comma. BUT "Like the rise of America a century or so back - impossible without the influx of skills that continues today." is not a sentence and has no verb. Ergo should not have a full stop.

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Medved

Apr 30, 2012 at 21:07

Get my point ?

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Raymond Hurley

Apr 30, 2012 at 22:57

This topic has delighted me long enough, and this will be my last post on the matter.

It is my opinion, that the general well being,happiness and quality of life of a population can be measured in it's suicide rate.

Some of you may find the following short table instructive:

Poland 14.9 per 100,000

New Zealand 13.2 per 100,000

USA 11.8 per 100,000

Canada 11.3 per 100,000

Australia 9.71 per 100,000

UK 6.90 per 100,000

From the table you see for instance,that the suicide rate in Poland is 2.15 times that of the UK

Those of you that have the time, may also care to investigate the murder and homicide rate for each country.

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Medved

May 01, 2012 at 06:05

Seems a tempting and quick solution to the question Raymond ....... but .........

Unfortunately more than one well researched study has concluded that "because of widespread and systematic bias, “official statistics are so greatly in error that they cannot be used for the scientific study of suicide” (Claassen et al 2010).

Lies, damned lies, and all that ...........

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Rose G

May 01, 2012 at 12:18

I have enjoyed my stay in the UK despite the many misgivings I had in the first instance. The UK has provided me with the ability to provide for my children & to bringing them up on my own after my divorce. I was able to get a university education while studying part time, it has provided both my children with opportunities they would never have had in South Africa.

BUT

I do not agree with politicians being able to take us into war, acting like we are subservient to the USA & their foreign politics.

I do not believe that burdening future generations with huge bills for their education is a progressive action at all, especially in view of the fact that nearly everyone in government who voted for increasing tuition fees benefitted from free university education. Scrapping EMA also at the same time meant that those from poorer backgrounds are being discriminated against - EMA certainly assisted my son towards completing his education at college & move on to university, as I was not able to assist him with his expenses. He has been a taxpaying member of our society since he was 15.

I am totally against supporting IVF treatment - there are sufficient children in care homes, should you wish to raise a child!.

I am against providing care for drunken sods turning up at A&E - this is certainly misuse of taxes.

I am against providing care to those who have BMI of 50 or so, who still cannot correlate that their weight relates to the amount they scoff all day long - instead of gastric band surgery & bribing them to lose weight, try to cut down on the amount you eat - that should do the trick.

I am against invading other countries because we do not agree with their politics.

I am against supporting the EU, now & forever - no European will welcome me to their country & as I have no intention to ever visiting the many European countries (Amsterdam excepted), I do not believe in funding their lifestyles nor the lifestyles of the equally corrupt EU officials - it is just another layer of corrupt people my taxes are supposed to support.

Having worked & lived in the UK for the last 25 odd years, I am entitled to free NHS treatment, if I can access it & not failed by junior GPs whose prime intent is to save their organisation money & not offer treatment as & when it is required.

I am entitled to collect on a state pension in the future, hopefully before my numbers called up, which though maybe a pittance, is something I have contributed towards.

So for those who would wish me away, sorry folks, I mean to collect what I am owed, before fading away to some remote place I can call my own, without parting with an arm & a leg for a broom cupboard - UK house prices are unrealistic, unachievable for most & undesirable for me!

I am also

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Moylando

May 01, 2012 at 15:38

Rose G

A lot of " I " in your message.

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Raymond Hurley

May 01, 2012 at 22:35

Moylando,I read again your post of Apr 29, 2012 at 18:24.

A good prose style,a moderate and careful argument.

I would advise others to re read it,especially James Horton

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Medved

May 02, 2012 at 07:43

An (educated) wit once wrote on one of these blogs that all blog threads begin in a learned and polite fashion and eventually reduce to personal abuse (in one form or another). Then the threads end.

I never cease to be amazed at the truth of this observation. And I would add that rattling cages on the way seems to hasten the process.

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Graham Barlow

May 03, 2012 at 18:46

There is no ,doubt that the UK is a fine place to live. The trouble is that it is in steep decline when you compare it to the 1950s. Then it was still full of opportunities for the young to train for hundreds of different occupations, and the world(Western) was full of opportunities for Britains to prosper . The life style of the British was clearly recognisable and their characteristics and diversity was clear cut. Today this is no longer true, and we are fast losing our identity. as the rest of the world craves the life style, and will do anything to get it. America no longer provides this as it used to with its space, it has lost its image, as Britain will too under the weight of influx of peoples who wish to emulate the British lifestyle. If it were only that easy. Fragmentation will be the final result with no future cohesion, and the culture will be lost with its institutions withering on the vine. Some will survive like the BBC with its chameleon culture life is already becoming very bland with its celebrity values, and our Politicians no longer command respect or posses gravitas and wisdom. Regretably I am not optomistic for what lies ahead.

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Geoff Harrop

May 03, 2012 at 22:00

I agree with a lot of that Graham. In the fifties after National Service I went for 3 job interviews in one day and was offered a job each time. I started in a steel buying office. The company and many more like it have long gone - the stuff we made is now produced in China and elsewhere.

What a difference for young people of today. Houses then were a few hundred pounds each. We have more technology now but in many ways the good times for this country are over I fear for many years and maybe for ever. A series of short-sighted politicians have to take much of the blame.

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Moylando

May 03, 2012 at 22:19

Alfred Lord Tennyson -' tho' much is taken, much abides...... that which we are,we are.

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Anonymous 2 needed this 'off the record'

May 03, 2012 at 22:35

Evening Moylando.

I must admit that my knowledge of Tennyson is scant,starting and ending with 'The Lady of Shallot'

Could you tell me, which poem the quotation is from.

PS I have enjoyed all of your posts without exception.

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Moylando

May 03, 2012 at 23:12

Anonymous 2 -

From Ulysses - the last verse

"Though much is taken,much abides; and though we are not the strength which in olden days moved heaven and earth, that which we are,we are.

one equal temper of heroic hearts made weak by time and fate but strong in will, to strive.to seek,to find and not to yield"

Keeps me going.

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Rishi via mobile

Jan 04, 2013 at 15:31

I agree !!! Britain is fabulous !!!

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Graham Barlow

Jan 05, 2013 at 12:43

By and large Britain is a pleasant place to live and grow up. This has been my life's experience as a devout Englishman. The very fact that the rest of the World wants and are doing their best to break in and live here underpins the notion that there are large parts of the World that are unjust hell holes in which to live. Any one from one of these do not have the right to critisize life in Britain. Just think yourself lucky, and try not upset the natives.

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wayne roberts

Jan 05, 2013 at 17:03

It isn't a 'fact' that the rest of the world wants and are doing their best to break in and live here, a few hundred people out of 7 billion maybe, but not all of them.. you can't really think that some damp island stuck in the middle of the north sea is where the rest of the world really dreams of living? Its expensive and most people look miserable and dream of escaping from it.. the suicide rates are higher than in many of the worlds poorest countries.. and if you are old, God help you..

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mark jukes

Jan 06, 2013 at 14:02

Wayne you need help!

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Stella Arman

Jan 06, 2013 at 15:07

Is this blog the feast of reason and flow of soul?

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Stella Arman

Jan 06, 2013 at 15:07

Is this blog the feast of reason and flow of soul?

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Stephen via mobile

Jan 21, 2013 at 17:45

Multiculturalism sucks..... are now a minority in our capital! How is that a good thing??

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Stephen via mobile

Jan 21, 2013 at 17:49

Multiculturalism sucks......Brits are now a minority in our own capital!

What's good about that??

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Medved

Jan 21, 2013 at 19:15

Britain is not The Pits nor is it Nirvana. I don't really understand why people even debate it. It all depends what floats your boat. One thing has to be said though. Americans never come here to live. They have "multiculturism", bad weather (go to Seattle), guns, rednecks, and all sorts of "annoying things" but they never come here. Conversely the world is queuing up to enter America. Why ?

Now that's worth debating.

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