Why are so many people leaving the UK?

The papers today ask why 400,000 left the Uk last year to live and work somewhere else. I would have thought the answer was obvious.

They’ve had enough.

We live in a country where anyone who has gained some qualifications, who tries to pay their own way and to live a decent life feels targetted by this government. We have our identity assaulted, our democratic views ignored, our pockets and purses rifled by the state, our opinions criticised or banned and the public services we do wish to use run incompetently or rationed for us.

We, the English, are told our country is the one part of the Union that cannot have devolved power. Instead our country is to split into Euroregions, and we are to be told we must be loyal to the South-east, or go round telling people we are east Midlanders. The North East told the government in a referendum they wanted nothing to do with regional government, so the government told them they would have more of it.

We are told we have to love the EU and accept its constitution, after the promised of a referendum in order to win a General election. Many of us see the EU as a hostile bureaucracy, tying us up in ever more rules and regulations. We are not xenophobes – most of us like our continent and appreciate its range of cultures, languages and cuisines. We just do not want to be governed by a bunch of bureaucrats who think they have to regulate every aspect of our increasingly complex lives and who we cannot sack via an election.

We are told by the governement that our lifestyles are wrong. As the Health Service grapples with its inability to keep hospitals clean and infection free the government blames us for being ill in the first place. People are told they are too fat, they eat the wrong foods,and they drink too much. The government encourages a debate criticising "middle class" lifestyles. Maybe it’s a prelude to a crisps tax or a further increase in alcohol duty.

If we dare to drive our cars we are treated like criminals. The government has put through so many new laws and rules that most drivers I see on the roads daily are breaking one or other law. Motorists do not accept the government’s demonisation of speed in all circumstances and want to see instead proper policing operating against the minority who are driving stolen vehicles and uninsured cars, and those who are driving dangerously for the conditions. Motorists feel picked on when they are just trying to get to work or to the shops to buy the family food.

If we are foolish enough to make some honest money then the tax collectors descend. The government only wants to know us when they are out to take our cash. The Revenue and Customs have become much more aggressive and in some cases unfair, as this greedy government raids us time and again to pay for their army of helpers and advisers, to swell their drinks cabinets and pay their first class airline tickets as they fly round the world lecturing the rest of us on the need to travel less.

We are not allowed to make comments on immigration for fear of a false accusation of racism. We are discouraged from criticisng the EU for fear of being called xenophobes. We are told if we want fairer and lower taxes it means we are nasty people wishing to worsen the few health and social services we all do want to be better financed and conducted. Our government snarls about success and privilege, disliking good grammar and independent schools and the best universities. It tells us the two big issues of the day are obesity and climate change. That’s not whay they are saying in the Dog and Duck.

They use the "war on terror" as an excuse to whittle away our civil lliberties. I can scarcely believe that under a Labour government people can now be arrested and held without charge for a month, and the government wishes to be able to do this for two months.

The threaten us with useless and expensive ID cards, when they cannot control our borders or run a National Insurance numbering scheme which works. We are made to go through all sorts of difficult security checks at public buildings and airports, but not at tube stations and most train stations. Once again it is the law abiding who are made to suffer.

Should we want something back for the huge taxes we pay, we are often out of luck. There is insufficient road capacity for the needs of a mdoern economy, in a country with a third less good roadspace than our contiental rivals(relative to size and population). There are still queues to get access to healthcare despite all the extra money spent. Many people do not live near to a first class state school, so their children are out of luck.

If Ministers cannot understand why people are leaving, I have this advice for them. Leave the Ministerial car at home next week, and try getting yourself to the office for 9 am each day. Work out what it is like paying the mortage, buying the petrol, paying the Council Tax and the family food on average earnings in this country, and ask yourself if people really are paying too little tax when you’ve done those sums. Try and imagine what it is like to be English, when the government is directed from a Scottish perspective on so many things. Ask yourself if you think it’s fair that Scotland has a totally different deal in the Union to the majority.

If you still can’t figure out why so many people are leaving, then you are not cut out to be a politician. You are simply, hopelessly and comprehensively out of touch. If you can, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.


  1. apl
    November 16, 2007

    A fine Post Mr Redwood.


    1. Colin Robson
      December 30, 2013

      Funny thing – I came across a Canadian site saying, “Why are the English all leaving Canada?” So I tried researching on line and discovered the figures below:-

      2011 84,000 Europeans became USA citizens My guess 20,000 were English
      2011 60,000 Europeans became Canadian Citizens but keep Euro Passports
      Then it gets real surprising:-

      2011 177,000 USA citizens came to England to stay
      2011 46,000 English Canadians returned to England to stay
      Not to mention:-
      2011 280,000 Germans came to England to stay
      2011 580,000 Polish
      2011 407,000 Irish (average Irish 500,000 annually)

      So ‘Poor old Blighty’, can’t be quite so bad after all!!!
      Out of curiosity – where are your links showing your opposing research?

  2. Tally
    November 16, 2007

    It's quite easy John, demand a vote by only English MP's in Parliament on an English Parliament. let's see how they all square up.
    No, I've changed my mind, let all MP's vote, but on the understanding that the Welsh assembly and scottish parliament will be abolished if an English Parliament is voted down.

    1. Lochduart
      April 26, 2009

      Doesn't the scottish deserve a capital S

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    November 16, 2007

    Well done, John, you are expressing the sentiments of millions in this country! However, I am sure that Commissar Brown and his minions aren't the least bit interested in the original question never mind your detailed answer.

  4. Ed
    November 16, 2007

    Well said. Labour have brought in small changes, but when you add the small changes together they have turned the relationship between the State and the individual upside down. What's worse is that they haven't asked us or told us their plans, they have just got on with it.

  5. Neil C
    November 16, 2007


    Agree with every single word. Have you ever thought of entering politics?

    My sister lives in Spain and I regularly send her the latest news from the BBC news website. You know the ones: somebody urinating on a dying person, youths kicking to death a man who tried to stop them vandalising cars, stories about certain peaceful religeons.

    Each time she responds with "now you know why we moved"

    2 other points; your thoughts on Gordons signing of the Scottish "claim of rights" where he agreed that the interest of Scotland "would be paramount"

    And I think there is a typo of continent in para 3


  6. Nigel Howarth
    November 16, 2007

    Absolutely spot-on. I'm hoping to move my family out for all the reasons mentionedd above. I've never voted Tory, and probably won't, but I just agree with everything you said. I hope it gets said in the Commons from time to time

  7. John Pilcher
    November 16, 2007

    Well written, just about sums up the situation, I have so many colleagues who feel the same.

  8. Tony Makara
    November 16, 2007

    All of the points outlined show why Labour will experience a landslide defeat whenever they have the courage to call the next election. Labour have abused the trust of the British people. I do not believe there is any great mandate for Labour to govern. At the 2005 election only 22% of those who could vote chose to vote for Labour, in other words 78% rejected a Labour government.

    In my daily life I do not hear one person praising the Labour government, all I hear is criticism and disgust. My family who are all traditional Wilson-style Old Labour’ style supporters hold this current Labour government in total contempt and a word that I often hear banded about is that this is an ‘Animal Farm’ government, one that continually promised to help the poor when in opposition but one that has become corrupted by power and has actually increased poverty in our country with the poor denied access to basic health care like dentistry. A Labour government that lavishly spent 600 pound per roll on wallpaper for its offices, which has lived the extravagant lifestyle at the taxpayers expense. The Animal Farm Labour government which has been so brutal when it has had the whip hand.

    The other day I heard Labour MP Clive Efford arrogantly stand up in the house of commons and accuse the unemployed of wanting a lifetime of idleness. This is the type of abuse that would have got a Labour MP the sack in the pre-Blair days. Unemployment today is higher than it was when Labour came to power and youth unemployment is up 20%. Labours only solution to unemployment is to exploit the jobless for free labour under the wasteful NewDeal programme, which incidently has cost the taxpayer 3.6 billion pounds. We have to ask why so many of the unemployed who are press-ganged into the free labour disguised as work experience are placed with companies that donate to the Labour party? This really isan Animal Farm government. They have abused the trust of the poor and have only extended poverty in our country.

  9. Neil Craig
    November 16, 2007

    And what does one do?

    Join David Cameron’s Tories?
    Join UKIP? (I know it would be improper for you to suggest this)
    Shoot a planning inspector? (ditto I suppose)
    Put up posters on lampposts around your home town denouncing our leaders?
    Write letters to the papers?
    Go round to your local council building/enclosed railway station & have a cigarette?

    I really would like to know – perhaps some other reader may have an idea.

    Reply: We need to unite to get rid of this government, which lies behind so many of the problems.

  10. Stuart Fairney
    November 16, 2007

    400,000 + 1, 23 months and counting, for all the reasons you neatly summarise.

  11. Patrick Harris
    November 16, 2007

    I'll tell you what you can do:
    1. Sign EDM 266.
    2. Scrap your silly "Grand Committee"
    3. Campaign for an English Parliament.
    To get my vote all three of the above must be satisfied or I vote BNP.

    Reply: The only way to get rid of this government is to vote Conservative.

  12. lauren spratt
    November 16, 2007

    I am amazed but very pleased about your comments regarding England.
    I am sick of being told that an English Parliament would break up the Union. Why?
    Anyway there is no point in maintaining a Union where the English are increasingly subjugated(no exaggeration).
    It may have been alright to have a Scots dominated governmnt pre devolution but now it is deeply unjust to be ruled by ministers with no mandate.
    Gordon Brown has signed the Scottish Claim of Right in which he has pledged to make Scottish interests paramount.
    Please Mr Redwood use any influence you have to persuade Mr cameron that we must have an English Parliament.

  13. Mike H
    November 16, 2007

    Why are so many Brits leaving the UK?

    In one word 'government'.

    In a few more words 'this incompetent government and the damage it has inflicted over the last ten years':-

    We're subjected to ever higher levels of taxation, only to see our hard-earned money wasted.
    We're governed by politicians with no idea of the old-fashioned values of honour and personal integrity.
    Gross financial incompetence.
    Political correctness gone mad to the point where it is limiting freedom of speech.
    (edited policy towards immigration)
    Health and safety obsession gone completely mad.
    Meddling nanny state that thinks it should interfere in every aspect of our lives.
    The ever-expanding tentacles of the EU and the passing of more and more power to Brussels.
    An infrastructure that can no longer cope with the expanding population.
    The 'worst place to bring up children' in the western world.
    A seriously 'broken' society.
    No-go areas in town centres due to widespread drunkenness and yob behaviour.
    Vast numbers of people who appear to believe that the state owes them a living
    Housing prices that are so high that they cripple the average family budget.
    The long hours work culture.
    A state education system that has completely abandoned discipline and fails enormous numbers of children.
    Spin, spin, spin, more spin, obfuscation and lies every day.
    A national broadcaster that appears more like an arm of the government every day.
    An police force that is now so hog-tied by paperwork that catching criminals has been relegated to a secondary responsibility.

    Sadly, there are many more reasons that could be added to this list.

    There is an article in today's Telegraph covering this issue:-

    The 'your views' section had 520 responses when I looked. They make very depressing reading. We can only hope that someone in government takes the trouble to read them. Almost ALL of them cited the same sort of reasons. Many contributors said that having tasted life elsewhere, they would never return to the UK.

    Given a different set of personal circumstances I would join them tomorrow.

  14. Richard Clarke
    November 16, 2007

    Superb. That's why I left.

    -Living in Chicago and loving it

  15. John Gartside
    November 16, 2007

    The English are leaving because no longer do they see a future for themselves or their children in this country. They simply do not buy the propaganda of the government and it's official spokesman, the BBC, about how more vibrant, more enriched, more educated, more law-abiding and more prosperous their country has become.

    They do not believe because their own experiences tell them the exact opposite is the truth and what they are being fed are palpable lies.

    For many, the damage to our country has passed a tipping point. With one small country how can overcrowding be fixed? How can social harmony be achieved with so many disparate groups united in their hatred of the English middle class.

  16. Christine Constable
    November 16, 2007

    John, of course it is not as simple as this a senior Conservative such as yourself coming out with statements like this smacks of the same disingenuity we receive daily from Labour.

    It was the Tories that came up with the Regional Blueprint for England, it was Labour, granted, that made Tory plans a reality, but nevertheless Conservatives are up to their armpits in the whole ghastly concept. Regions were a Tory invention!

    It was also the Conservatives under Heath that got us into Europe. It was also Major who signed up to Maastricht.

    It was also the Conservatives who came back from each and every signing on matters EU pledging our sovereignty was protected and that we would always be free – the Conservatives lied, and we are now trying to sort out the mess lack of a back bone has brought to Britain.

    You may say John that you didn't agree with what the Conservatives were doing but as a part of the cabinent you had little choice but to go along with it. Or perhaps, with the wisdom of hindsight you realise what a monumental error it was to play into Europe's hands in the way the Conservatives did. What I do know is that many leading Conservatives support the move to Unitary Councils, ostensibly on cost saving grounds, however, it is obvious to most people that Unitary authorities are the precursor to Regional government – it doesn't take much of an imagination to see the next step as being the abolition of a few unitary councils in a region to have the regional nightmare so many of us have been fighting against.

    Without an English Parliament to protect the nation – England is lost – the Conservatives have helped to achieve what Hitler failed to, nothing to be proud about.

    I'm sorry John, but Tories haven't junked regional bodies, they are still heavily involved, they are also fully involved in getting councils to do away with themselves which plays right into Europe's hands. Why have the Conservatives been so quiet about their animosity towards regions? Why do Conservatives even bother to humour Labour and Lib Dems by referring to these artificial constructs as regions. We live in counties not regions and will always live in COunties no matter what politicians come up with.

    When you have a quiet moment why not key into Google "former county of Essex" and see what comes up. Yep, something we have been doing for a long time, how many of the people who live in Essex will be impressed to know they now live in a County that has effectively ceased to exist from an administrative perspective. Labour have just retained the name to pacify the ignorant fools who have delegated the government of their country to people who have hoodwinked them.

    No, John. Things are now serious. It is no longer good enough for politicians to come out with crocodile tears when they were the ones in power who let this mess happen.

    The people are waking up and the Conservatives are just as much at risk politically for betraying England as Labour are.

    For decades this British pretence has been used to blind the English to the fact that their country, democracy, heritage and national identity have been systematically stripped from them.

    I remember well speaking to a senior Conservative who tried to tell me that the Tories were the party for England. I asked them to give me ONE example of what the Conservatives did to further English culture and national identity during their 18 year tenure – they couldn't answer me.

    The Conservatives have ignored England and have taken advantage of England's apathy to politics. Now that time has passed. Everyday I receive more and more members of the public often distraught at what Tory and Labour have done to their country and for them being part of a new political force is their only hope to rectify things.

    5 years ago when I came to see you you had no sympathy with an English Parliament, in fact at that time you were perfectly content to let the farce that is Westminster and our Parliamentary system continue on its bandwagon.

    Now things are not so funny. English people ARE dying for want of drugs available to Scots. English students ARE leaving University with debts of

  17. Terry Brown
    November 16, 2007

    To the Right Honorable John Redwood, MP. Well said Sir.
    The majority of English MP's have not the slightest interest in righting the myriad of wrongs they have inflicted on England, might I therefore suggest that you disassociate yourself from them and join the English Democrats?
    Faithfully yours
    Terence Brown

    Reply: Voting English Democrat lets Labour stay in charge!

  18. Man in a Shed
    November 16, 2007

    John ,

    I believe these are also the reasons why the right dominates blogging in the UK.

    There is a ground swell of rage against the useless careerist socialists who make a living as parasites on the rest of us.

    Great post – well done.

  19. Fred Forsythe (Not t
    November 16, 2007

    John, you are in a better position than most to something about it. Come out in favour of the inevitable (an autonomous English Parliament), kill Scots influence and authority in England, stop immigration, get rid of illegals, recognise that England is overcrowded and do something about it. Get our oil, fisheries, jobs, investment, and money back from Scotland, get out of the EU as quick as we can, scarp political correctness, sack inefficient workers and cut benefits. In other words go back to the England that they once knew and our people will come streaming back. Pre-requisite is that lots of people now in this country need to stream back also to make room, as our emigrants did for them.

  20. SJH
    November 16, 2007


    I'm an ex-pat who is coming home because I'm sick of the United States of Texas. Would you like to swap?

    1. Judy - The Woodlands
      March 4, 2009

      Hello John,
      Just a reminder that is an honor to live in the Great State of Texas. Those of us that were privileged enough to be born here are Texas Citizens for life, a title that is cherished past death.

      We will be just fine at your departure.

      God bless Texas!
      Judy – The Woodlands, TX

  21. johnlocke
    November 16, 2007

    Great post, thanks. Now when my foreign friends ask me why I'm so eager to leave, I can just point them to this.

    I suppose it would be unfair to completely blame this government for why I want to leave. Part of it is cultural: the fashion for heavy drinking, the sexualisation of everything, the pessimistic (almost despairing) feel of many people, and a number of other processes that are more cultural than political. But it's certainly 80% the government, for precisely the reasons you've given.

    Although everything you've mentioned is relevant and infuriating, the prime issue (IMO) is freedom. I can't think of anywhere else in the rich world where civil liberties have seen the sustained, deliberate, purposeful attack that they've taken here. Of course, authoritarian laws have been passed in the US, Australia, several European countries, but not on the degree that we've experienced here. Their laws have been more sporadic and specific; by contrast our government seems to be out to quash freedom almost for its own sake.

    As well as 'big' (for want of a better word) freedoms like habeas corpus and not having to carry your life with you on a card, there are plenty of 'small' freedoms that this government has mauled. To take an example completly at random: you are now presumed guilty if you don't re-register for car tax – ie you're assumed to be a tax-dodger, and you have to tell DVLA otherwise. Previously, it was assumed that you were ok unless you were actually caught without a tax disc. A small example, but there are dozens of others, and it's indicative of the control-freak mindset of this hateful government. Then there's the surveillance state, which would require another post.

    I recently graduated from a Russell Group university. I was so worried about the authoritarianism of the Blair/Brown regime that I was seriously considering emigration immediately after I graduated. As it is, I'm going to spend three years here getting my ACA qualification; after that, I certainly hope to have left. I only hope that the 'e-borders' programme hasn't started requiring exit visas by then!

    (To end on a slightly more positive note: 'pull' factors, like warm climate, good work, nice people (which is most important of all) etc should be more of a reason for migrating than 'push' factors. That'll certainly be the case for me 🙂 .)

  22. revinkevin
    November 16, 2007

    You make some very good points their.

    One problem England has with this government is that to many of them have signed the Scottish Claim of Right.

    Onee thing you can do about it though and that is to sign Early Day Motion 266

  23. […] Read it. A British MP tells it like it is. […]

  24. Tapestry
    November 16, 2007

    Regret to say, I've already left the UK. I still own my business which runs on over there without me, but my life has gone over to another part of the globe. As a boss of a business in the UK, you can take all those listed complaints and multiply by ten.

    A creator or jobs in the EU is a risk taker, a social criminal. Not out here in Asia, an investor is a hero. People are well behaved, repectful and it's a pleasure to build projects, have ideas and create the future – like it used to be in the UK pre-1997.

  25. Badri nath
    November 16, 2007

    Very simple: because the British system has failed

    1) Ask anyone in the world if they use anything Made in England.

    2) When was the last time something useful came out of British universities. Past laurels (centuries ago) of oxford/cambridge cannot be used to perpetuate greatness when it is void in the present. I speak especially in the subject of technology. Open the proceedings of any premier conference in the area of computer science, you will hardly see a paper from British universities.

  26. Dave Brooks
    November 16, 2007

    You've stated what should have been blindingly obvious to the whole of the MSM and the Government. A problem for you and your party is that all those leaving are your natural supporters.

  27. Patrick Carroll
    November 16, 2007

    I lived in the UK – in Reading – for a couple of years during the mid 1980s. I had a great time. Decent pay, weekends free, a company car. Good beer. All kinds of history, just waiting to be tripped over. It was an idyllic couple of years.

    I get the impression things started going downhill as soon as Thatcher was ousted. John Major always struck me as both schlemiel and schlemazel, and Tony Blair seems to have spent most of his time criminalizing activities.

    Still, I do enjoy my occasional visits to the UK.

  28. Cllr Tony Sharp
    November 16, 2007

    I have only one word to say about this posting John…


  29. E.Justice
    November 17, 2007

    Mr. Redwood the Conservatives can do something about it by opposing much more vigorously than they do.
    And please keep on about England,E.V.O.E.M will not do, we must have our own Parliament.
    I can just see you as Englands First Minister.

  30. DennisA
    November 17, 2007

    Absolutely bang on the button. How they have ruined this country. What a pity Gordon backed away from an election.

  31. AM Wilson
    November 17, 2007

    Move to Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Join the people whose ancestor's saw the writing on the wall back in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Better late than never.

  32. lvs
    November 17, 2007

    Dead on target. Let me add two more items. The home of soldiers and sailors who built a world empire puts Alison Lapper in Trafalgar Square, and bans carrying of pocket knives.

  33. mikestallard
    November 17, 2007

    This is a most unusual thread.
    I have just read all through it.
    There is not one person who does not wholeheartedly agree with the original article.
    And I do too!

  34. Thomas Bernardo
    November 17, 2007

    As an American, I have to say you've posted a harrowing description of life in England these days. Meanwhile, we're trying our best to keep such tragedies from occurring here across the pond, because we can see the same potential end result for our Republic. Unfortunately, we have our own Blairs and Browns, but we also have a few more opportunities for proper recourse. We may avoid such a condition yet.

    By the way, I have a house for sale in sunny Florida, and the dollar is awfully weak right now…

  35. AndyW
    November 17, 2007


    Interesting post. 400,000 have left the UK, what percentage emigrated from England?
    Do these numbers show that it is those from England that are emigrating whilst the Scots and Welsh remain because they have a level of devolution?
    How many are going to Europe remaining in the evil EU?
    How many of these are immigrants that found that England is not the land of milk and honey they expected?
    What is the balance of immigration vs emigration?

    What is your breakdown of the figures?

    Reply : the figures supplied do not have that interesting amount of detail. The responses to the blog show the overwhelming majority agree with the comments on why people are leaving.

  36. Neil Craig
    November 17, 2007

    Your reply to myself & others that we should rally round the Cameron Tories because it is the least worst option shows why this country desperately needs a genuinely democratic PR system to allow serious party political debate & shift the blockage (imagery deliberate) which is poisoning our political life.

    How to get from here to there? Perhaps those of us who would prefer to support alternatives to the duopoly could promise to vote for ANY candidate who supports PR (from Respect through to the BNP) & individual Tory & Labour MPs could issue a personal statement that they will support any Bill, from any source introducing it or calling for a PR referendum, as many once issued anti-EU election addresses.

    Reply: PR would not have created a Parliamentary majority against the EU constitution or in favour of a referendum if it had been in place for the last General Election. Nor could PR handle the current problem, that 2 parties the Lib Dems and Labour were elected on a platform of offering a referendum on the Constitution and now will not support one.

  37. Mitch
    November 17, 2007

    Mr. Redwood,

    I could have sworn you were writing about Canada. I am a Canadian who moved to the United States for essentially the same reasons you have outlined above. Substitute "Quebec" for "Scotland" and you have distilled the problem in Canada as well.

    It seemst that both in Canada and Britain, the political elites have the same myopia. Canada's previous prime minister, Jean Chretien, dismissed the brian drain, implying that those that have left do not share "the Canadian Values" (i.e. Liberal Party Values) and that uncontrolled third world immigration will fix all.

    My question is, why do the elites of Anglosphere have this self-loathing death wish whereby our culture and society is slowly being poisoned?

  38. Craig
    November 17, 2007

    Stand up and fight, Britons, or shut the hell up. Same goes for all those in America, Canada, Australia, and any other nation where the elites whittle away your rights and flood your country with millions of immigrants.

    Because let me tell you a little secret, that those 400,000 will soon learn: there is no place left to run – certainly not America. The elites are doing this to every country in the West. We have all been turned into little children, whose only business is to sit and watch "American Idol" or "Britain's Got talent" or whatever. Some of the policies you decry are already happening here in the USA, and most of the rest aren't that far behind.

    Democracy is on the wane. (A politically incorrect thought has been removed – ed)

    If Britain re-elects Labour to yet another term – and I strongly suspect you will – then I will know that you are not serious at all. The first rule of reacting to failure is to punish it. It doesn't matter that you THINK the Tories won't be better. All that should matter is that you KNOW that Labour will continue to fail.

  39. William Gruff
    November 18, 2007

    If only the government of which you were a member had not been so destructive, spiteful, rotten and criminally dishonest, Mr Redwood, we might not be in the situation you describe now.

    The country voted for Mr Blair's dishonest project only because it was sick of Mr Major's.

  40. Neil Craig
    November 18, 2007

    John your criticism that PR would not produce a pro-referendum Parliamentary majority is probably correct in the short term. However in Scotland the SNP, Tories & Greens, who make an effective majority, are all pro-referndum for the UK & are visibly nerving themselves up to have one in Scotland alone. While non-binding this would have wide repercussions.

    My point is that in the medium term PR would open up British politics & while I am actively opposed to the Greens on almost everything I think we have healthier politics for them being able to stand or fall in their own name rather than Zac becoming a Tory advisor.

    Reply: I wonder if Salmond has the courage to hold an EU Constitutional treaty referendum? – I fear he will "bottle it". It would be great if he didn't, as a strong "No" vote in Scotland – liekly to be more pro EU than England – would put more pressure on Brown and his poodle Foreign Secretary Miliband.

    Those who want PR face the same problem as those of who want less EU and a referendum – we first need to build a majorirty in Parliament for it.

  41. Mountjoy
    November 19, 2007

    The things you describe are spot on, and are exactly why I am going back to Northern Ireland, after six and a half years living in England.

  42. David Whelbourn
    November 19, 2007

    As one of the 400,000 I can inform you that you have hit the nail on the head.

    I left Nov 5th 2005 and after 2 years in Canada I can tell you I will not bringing my high tax paying butt back to the UK in the longer term if at all.

    I foresee dire consequences if this government isnt thrown out at the next election.

    One point I have to make is that many living overseas do not vote simply because the overseas voting system rules. I have to reply by postal vote within 4 days. It takes 10 days to get to Canada …. times up before I even get the postal vote forms in my hand. Surely they can send out the forms from the Local embassy and receive them back or in this day and age use the internet, National Insurance Numbers, tax references, date of birth etc all could be used to validate you are who you say you are.

    I hope you and the people in UK can sort out the mess that this government has forced onto the country.

  43. Praguetory
    November 20, 2007

    David Whelbourn – you need to get a proxy vote. Disgracefully, nothing else works.

  44. jameshigham
    November 20, 2007

    This will stand as the definitive statement on the issue, an issue that my colleagues and I are deeply involved now in fighting.

  45. MattGardner
    November 22, 2007

    As an expat Briton having lived abroad for 20 years, I'd like to comment that:

    The UK swings back to the right & the US swings to the left!!
    The majority of what you have described is now common in BOTH countries. Left wing / right wing, it seems to make no difference. But at least in the UK, there is a way of life. To those who plan to leave; is the English way of life really worth cashing in for a higher standard of living? Its just stuff.

  46. Paul Crofts
    November 24, 2007

    It's really great to hear how patriotic all those people are who have left the UK over recent years. I suppose they can now all proclaim how much they love being British, whilst whooping it up in Spain, Cyprus or other countries that they have moved to. No doubt they are "surviving" on their vast unearned incomes or savings whilst simulaneously proclaiming how they were "robbed blind" by the Labour government and high taxation.

    I suppose they also complain about all the foreigners who are "pouring" into Britain, taking "our" jobs, houses, women etc., etc., I wonder how they would feel if the Spanish (or nationals of the countries where they now live) took a similar point of view towards them?! Also interesting how they are able and willing to take advantage of the EU free movement provisions whilst at the same time slagging the EU off. Hypocracy or what?

    However, I am encouraged that thousands of decent, hardworking, EU nationals have been pouring into Britain over recent years to replace all those Brits who left and to fill all the vacant jobs in our economy that desperately needed filling. Thank God they came – and what will we do when they leave? I am sure all those patriots who left will return in the country's hour of need! I hope not. For me it was "good riddence" when they left in the first place (phrase left out – Ed)

    1. Alan
      September 29, 2009

      It's funny that you mentioned we need the skilled workers to fill the skills gap currently in this country. I would very much love to be trained as an electrician but cannot on account of my age (30) So what's the alternative? flood the Job maket with cheap EU nationals while the indiginous young people are left with soul destroying, stressful low paid service work. If I wanted to become a skilled tradesman just about anywhere else, I could tomorrow. But because of so many limiting factors in applying for such jobs here, I after 4 years of trying am still in the same position I was at the beginning.
      The drink and drugs problem of this country could be tackled quite effectively if people under 40 in the UK believed that there was a future for themselves here if they worked hard enough. Sadly, this is not the case. The opportunities to do well just don't exist. Rotting on benefits or working flipping burgers or working in a miserable call centre is as best as anyone can do here.
      The only party I'm siding with is the one that's best for the country. After 30 years of Tory and Labour incopmpetence, it obviously ain't them.

  47. David Whelbourn
    November 27, 2007

    Paul Croft comment is typical of someone who has no idea that the vast majority of those who emigrate are not going for the weather and are not living on vast unearned incomes.

    They are mostly comprised of decent family groups who were probably paying high rate tax and not able to claim any benefits from the government. In short they were the cash machines that the Chancellor has been making his regular withdrawls from.

    I am sure the vast majority of those hard working individuals who have rushed in to take our places will contribute hugely to the UK chancellory. Ha I think not. They will be sending their money home and spending the minimum amount.

    I can tell you that my country of choice welcomed us with open arms, people say "We are glad you came and brought your family, we need more people". As a patriot I served my country for 12 years and then went on to work hard and pay for my own studies with my hard earned cash. Through my skills and intelligence I progressed to paying high rate taxes and never claimed any benefits from the UK since I was 16 years old. If you are glad I am left then more fool you.

  48. Stuart Fairney
    November 27, 2007

    Mr Croft's post

    It's really great to hear how patriotic all those people are who have left the UK over recent years. I suppose they can now all proclaim how much they love being British, whilst whooping it up in Spain, Cyprus or other countries that they have moved to

  49. mikestallard
    November 29, 2007

    The huge question is this:
    Why do we put up with 42% taxation?
    Why do we put up with an EU that doesn't manage to declare its accounts and then persecutes, through OLAF, people who blow the whistle?
    I just wish someone would tell me.

  50. Kristen Grimshaw
    November 29, 2007

    I would be long gone but for my partner's elderly mother whom we are not a position to leave! What a place this country has turned out to be. Once the ruler of the World, now just a (very unpleasant place -ed). Crime, immigration, rubbish government, high taxes – the list is endless. Well, we all know what we can do… leave! And thats just what I intend on doing as soon as possible!

  51. British Patriot
    November 30, 2007

    Somebody Somewhere could clean up ast election time and go down in history with the likes of Queen Elizabeth Ist and Winston Churchill, you know what to do.

  52. Iain Waye
    December 5, 2007

    Succintly put from start to finish, but you left out a vital area. Our legal system is creaking to a standstill. Not only criminal law, prisons, police etc. but the Civil law system as well. It is overwhelmed with tens of thousands of debtor judgements which will never be executed because of the toothless system that was introduced to protect the vulnerable but which has been conveniently hijacked by every cowboy builder and dishonest trader in this country over the last 10 years. Anyone who is owed money because of shoddy work or broken contracts has to face a bitter choice: Spend more and more money pursuing the miscreant or accept their loss. It is a heartbreaking process for many to come face-to-face with the general helplessness of the legal system in this country.
    My solution. I'm off mate.

    February 2, 2008


  54. John N
    February 28, 2008

    Interesting post. I would like to share my experiences with you.

    I left the UK in 2006 to live in the US. I used to work in finance in london – I work in investment banking – and commute into Paddington. My door to door time in the UK was almost 2 hours each way morning and night so I was absent from my home in the UK from around 6:00 in the morning until at least 8:00 at night.

    Over time I saw my standard of living declining in the UK – the trains were usually late and overcrowded, countless delays, and goods and houses are getting more and more expensive. By UK standards I’m paid pretty well but I always felt that things were too expensive and that really, I should be able to afford to live nearer work, in a nicer house with more space and as a family we had the right for my wife not to work to look after our baby.

    I imagine that many people find themselves in the same position. The inland revenue do not allow the husband to use his wifes tax allowance if she doesn’t work… no ‘credits’ or other allowances were given to us because I basically earned too much and I basically knew that it would be financially tough for us as soon as my wife stopped work. This means that many many people apart from myself are forced by the government to have their wives return to work and place their kids in daycare – not something that we wanted and not something I was prepared to have mandated to me by an ineffectual rancid shower of con-artists in westminster.

    I had been considering the issue for several years before this point, particularly under the current labour government, and I sadly came to the conclusion that there were not many good reasons to live in the UK any longer – and also – that my children and their children probably might enjoy a worse quality of life as the situation in the UK worsens over the next hundred years.

    The reason I think this is that, as an island, the country only has so much space. Much of the space in the North is under-used, and in the south is over-used with the problems with transport, roads, crime,schools,space, hospitals that this overcrowding produces. Given the maths involved, sooner or later, there has to be a point where the population of england stops growing. What will be that point be? and what will the quality of life be like for those people at that time? My view is that as any area gets more crowded, things become more expensive. It becomes harder to get goods in and waste out. It costs more to light, to live in and takes more time to travel around which all impact the quality of life of people who live there. It seems to me that ‘quality of life’ requires space.

    In addition the damage to the economy caused by the Thatcher years which decimated the manufacturing sector have resulted in the ridiculous service economy concept that happily ignores that really, countries need to make things in order to prosper and now of course, countries with large populations willing to work for low wages such as in india have made inroads into ‘service based’ jobs such as call centers. I really see a grim future for the UK to be honest when people wonder what is going to put food on the table in the year 2050.

    The England I would have loved to live in was about 60 years ago, with more fresh air, more uncluttered roads and a tidy absence of rubbish, crime and the rest of the commercial blight that seems to swamp the country now, as its inhabitants struggle to get to work under seemingly permanently grey skies.

    Whilst living here in the US, I have come to realise that no country is perfect. There are certain things, mainly family, that I miss about the UK. I miss the cheese there for one thing. I miss the architecture and the dry wit of the people. I miss parts of the english countryside which truly are beautiful although I am sad that if John Prescott had his way, much of that will disappear under housing development. Such is progress.

    However. The fact remains that here, I now have more time with my family, more money, a much larger house with almost 2 acres of garden for my kids to play in, a shorter commute, and a happy absence of John Prescott in my life. I have to balance that against the eye-wateringly bad television, the sometimes jaw-slackeningly bad driving on the roads, and the health system which works as long as you are rich, young and healthy. I’m not sure this is the place to be old and sick.

    Since my commute now takes half the time and the trains are always reliable, I find myself in a better mood when I get home. In the UK, I was often ready to smash things up when I got home I was so annoyed that the trains had been delayed again… Do you know that my longest ever journey from Paddington to Reading took almost 5 hours… ?

    I realise that brits often complain about the weather, but its true that the grey skies often get you down. The weather here is a lot better and make it easier to get up in the morning.

    Also, UK readers might be surprised to hear, but crime is a lot lower than you would imagine. In the county where I live, in 2005 there were 10,000 reported crimes. In Berkshire where I used to live, there were more than 200,000 crimes in the same period. These areas are roughly similar in size. So – people living in a nice community here rarely experience any vandalism, violence or other crime. Many of our neighbours don’t even lock their doors and people routinely leave their cars unlocked. This is only 33 miles from New York City – and NYC is not the crime-ridden place that you imagine. Its a lot cleaner and I feel a lot safer than in london for example.

    The year I left england my daughter had her pumpkin lantern smashed by vandals who dragged their knuckles up our drive especially to do it. Here, it simply wouldn’t happen. I don’t understand why the crime and vandalism in the UK seems to have increased.. perhaps its part of the drink culture… but its yet another straw too many as far as I’m concerned and I found myself increasingly uninterested in the place as I discovered that nothing I did could possibly make a difference. The things I disliked were just too big and too many.

    So in summary – I think that everyone should make their own decision.. I personally used to moan to myself for years that I wished things were different. It was only when I realised that leaving the UK was a sensible option that it became clear.. There were just too many things wrong with the country to make it worth staying around any longer. So to anyone reading this and taking this seriously I would say.. Don’t just think about it.. don’t waste years of your life complaining about things. Do something about it and live abroad. At the very least, it will mean you have a more balanced view of things if you decide to return to the UK since everywhere has its own problems and advantages.

    Despite it all, I still retain a soft spot for the place. Pulsing like a beacon through the days and nights, the place still sends out its invisible waves of recollection, calling back to us over the miles… until even the last of us come home.

  55. Tina
    March 3, 2008

    Well said!!

    I left the country in January – and blog about Escaping England. I am 36 years old and completely disillusioned by the lifestyle on offer in my home country.

    For me the options are simple:

    1. Leave the country and my family 🙁 to try to find a better quality of life somewhere else..

    2. Live in England – and struggle against depression and financial security.. in order to be close to friends and family…

    I hope to have a child one day – but can't stand the thought of bringing a child up in England…

    I feel that things have gone too far… radical changes are needed.. but I see no glimpse of anything that can offer hope!

  56. Pete
    March 11, 2008

    Personally… I always thought it was due to the weather, but I could be wrong

  57. Emma
    March 12, 2008

    Superb article. I am also making the move to Spain in May. I have plans for family now and NO WAY will I bring a child of mine into the world living in this disgusting country I totally agree with Tina's comments.
    I also feel that one of the main reasons this country is in a mess is beacause people are spending their time sitting here moaning about it on this wall! I can't see a civil war happening but its only a matter of time before something goes off. As Powell once said 'there'll be blood on the streets' and we are getting closer and closer to making his words come true.
    I work two jobs and get hammered for tax…is it really worth it? Honesty is not the best policy anymore

  58. Steven
    April 15, 2008

    Another UK citizen to add to your list Mr Redwood.
    Having monitored the Labour tax machine at work, and the economy wrecking maching at full speed, I have decided to quit the UK before I go to the wall as a result of the financial mess created by Gordon Brown and Tony Bliar. Gordon Brown has lied and dithered, and the Labour party are exposed again. Maggie Thatcher was right; 'Labour isn't Working!', and it never will.

    Good riddance Britain, cannot wait to get out.

  59. Paul
    May 10, 2008

    a fine post indeed….But we Brits need to stick by our country through thick and thin, we cannot just run away…Things will get better in time. But not if our countrymen are just jumping ship! Show a little nationalism, what would your ancestors think?, you know?

    1. Mike Townsend
      January 12, 2009

      What would our ancestors think? They would turn in their graves if they could see what they fought for. Things will not get better. What makes you think that? Its too late. To show a little nationalism you need to be proud of your country and since so many of us are no longer proud why should we stick to it through thick and thin? Oh, and yes – we can run away.

  60. David Whelbourn
    May 11, 2008

    I agree Paul but I do not see anything changing in my lifetime and currently taking up arms to enforce my rights as an English wasnt an option. I do foresee a time when extremist's will start a campaign just as right wing parties such as BNP are gaining a toehold in British Politics.

    After 45 years, and 12 of those serving in the British Army, I decided enough was enough. It was more important for me to seek a better way of life for my family.

  61. Lee
    May 21, 2008

    A most excellent post Mr. Redwood !

    I myself left the UK in December 2007 to take up a new job in Australia. Do I want to go back to that (words left out)country ? no thanks.

    I'll leave them to fill the skills gap, assuming the labour goverment can find sufficient translators, interestingly enough in Australia you can't get in unless you have a good standard of spoken and written English – is that racist ?

    I'll look forward to visiting on holiday to see friends and family then breathe a sigh of relief when I'm back on the plane to Melbourne – assuming that is Heathrow have managed to put my luggage on the plane !!



  62. Tutanhaken
    May 21, 2008

    Well You All Know What To Do …..Vote With Your Feet , The Turn Out At The Polls Is Always Abysmaly Low,You Can Bet Your Life ,That Most British Immigrants Use Their Votes.Make Sure The Candidate You Choose Is Their To Express Your Views… Not There Just To Line His/Her Pocket ,Look At All The Recent Controversy Surrounding Their Expenses,I Could Go On And On ,But I Would Not Be Telling You ,Something You Are Allready Aware Of.
    I Am One Of Those Planning To Emigrate,Not Like This Government Who Plans To Fail.

  63. Mark Willcock
    May 27, 2008

    You have hit the nail on the head there Mr Redwood.
    When my friends and family ask why my wife and I are leaving and taking our skills to Australia, I shall direct them to the above artical.

    P.S I think you way of reasoning might be quite well recieved down under, perhaps you should consider joining the exodus!

  64. Derek Lowe
    July 3, 2008

    I would regard myself as the quiet general public which generally goes with the flow but, I feel totaly helpless. If I, without the experience and power of our current leadership can see where we are going wrong and what is needed to steer this country round ( as does 80% of the population) why cant the people in power. It is time to make your voice heard. Everybody who is unhappy with our leadership – dont just accept the status quo – do something and add your voice to the masses.

  65. Melanie
    July 7, 2008

    Tally Ho!. I have had enough and off to the USA. I am one of the 4 million Brits leaving every week . For good!!! You have hit it spot on with your review. Personally, I am fed up with not hearing anyone speak English on the streets anymore, to name but just one gripe. The English way of life, our culture and our freedoms have been completely crushed!. I can only compare England's demise to the Fall of The Roman Empire. When one has had a useless leader like Tony Blair in power for too long, (more concerned with lining his own pockets than running the country), what do you expect. Mr Redwood for Prime Minister!!!!

    Tally Ho!

  66. Jonathan
    July 16, 2008

    I have read this with great interest. As with the 400,000 that have left and the 1000's others, I also wish to leave this country. The reason being is that I see no future for my child. Jobs are being outsourced, those that aren't you have to have degrees, slave labour in the form of migrant workers, cost of food and fuel and an ineffective and best described as corrupt government offering laughable leadership, this country has nothing to offer. My wife and I both work in order to keep a roof over our heads and so we can provide for ourselves and our child, my wife can only work part time because we cannot afford the cost of child care (thank the lord for grandparents) the government has increased the tax she pays and reduced our tax credits so we are no worse off, making it harder to live. The streets are no longer safe and the government don't want to invest in prisons, police or get tough on crime, that want your burglar to become your window cleaner. I used to love my country, now even my grandparents are ashamed of what has become of this country and said I should take my family and leave. Am I rigth to want to leave for greener pastures? What reason is there to stay? Maybe I should start by moving to Scotland at least our prescriptions would be free!

  67. JPM
    August 4, 2008

    Unfortunately the only people that can afford to remain in the UK are investment bankers and benefits scroungers. The latter group don't care about providing a better life for their children so the fact they cannot afford the best schools and future for their children doesn't matter to them. There is nothing left in the UK for honest working people who get up in the morning and work hard to provide for their children. I am in Boston and will not be coming back! It'a real shame what the left has done to the UK.

  68. David Whelbourn
    August 6, 2008

    We left in Nov 2005 for Canada.

    It has taken us nearly three years to settle in. Recently my two daughters (18 and 21) decided that they would not be going back to the UK to study or otherwise.

    My sister and her husband left for Australia about the same time and they seem more settled now too.

    Canada isnt utopia, they are beset with similar problems as the UK. However for us it is a better way of life, more relaxed, more polite, and more fun.

    No matter what though we will always be English and I will always be concerned for England. Currently watching the way the economy is shaping up is worrying, and I am thankful we moved out when we did.

    One point on economic management. Our petrol costs are managed by the province who dictate weekly the maximum cost of a litre of petrol (they allow an additional 2p charge for distribution) and we pay about $1.25 (about 65p a litre) down from about $1.45 3-4 weeks ago. There is about 20% tax included in the price. I am not normally a fan of government control but this system does seem to work. Also most Canadian banks insist on a minimum of 10% down payment on your house before they will provide a mortgage. Hence no overheated mortgage market and house buying to live in rather than for investment.

  69. Andrew
    August 15, 2008

    Good posting. However, I lived in the US and emigrated to the UK and find life a lot easier and happier. I'm sorry but the grass is not greener in America. Examples:

    When a person gets put in handcuffs for looking suspicious just for driving in a store car park after closing hours to get a drink from the outside drink machine and throwing a piece of paper into the bins outside, something isn't right. Especially if there were no "no trespassing" signs for afterhours anywherei n sight.

    When government officials even think about setting up neighbourhood watchdogs to watch for suspicious behaviour in your own home, it may be time to get worried.

    When a government passes rules to monitor what books you check out at the library, you know it is time to leave.

    When football matters more than academics, something isn't quite right about "family values".

    I could go on and on. I fear the US has beaten the UK to the police state. I wish all those the very bset who move over there but you may be making a quick trip back. I'm glad I got out when I did and have no intentions of moving back.

    1. mikestallard
      August 16, 2008

      Do you know, I thought it was me!
      I went on a completely innocent trip with my wife to see the Fall Colors in the Shenandoah Valley last year.
      I was almost strip searched in the security when I went to see the USS Constitution. I was smiling at the over the top security, and when I didn't go through the archway the first time, I could see that I was getting into trouble.
      Walking through the streets of a completely innocent town to get a burger at 7.p.m. in broad daylight, my wife and I were followed, in the completely deserted street, by two very scary looking black men.
      When I went to to look at the excellent statue of Ulysses S Grant outside the Congress in Washington for five minutes, we missed the tour bus because it had to move away in case they were terrorists!
      When it had driven round a couple of times, we got on- and you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife!
      I quite agree with you – there definitely is a dark underside now.

  70. Nathan
    August 16, 2008

    If you had asked me 15 years ago if i would ever leave the U.K i would have laughed. How times have changed….. Myself and my wife left the U.K for Canada 6 weeks ago after looking into it for 3 years. Its the best move we could have made. Im proud to be British i love the history and the countryside but i don't miss the overcrowding, dirty streets and the expense at all. I know its early days and time will tell, but here we can afford to get a mortgage on a nice place and still have money left over to run a car and treat ourselves. Also people are friendly and willing to help unlike the U.K.
    I miss family and a decent curry but we all have to make sacrifices.

  71. John
    October 20, 2008

    Mr Redwood,

    I have to agree with what some of what you have to say to a degree although unsuprisingly you gloss over the abject failure of our political system to deliver. I guess that would be because you are rather more part of the problem than the possible solution prehaps?

    I am indeed intending to leave the uk as thanks to the policies implemented by your party when you were in power and further “enhanced” by the next arrogant “servants” that were elected I have come to realise that I am simply a walking wallet to be plundered by the state.

    You told us to invest in our pensions then failed to legislate to protect them and then plundered them in an act of State larceny. And who is to say that a future chancellor won’t be tempted to do the same again.

    Both main parties are so far in the pockets of the businessmen that bankroll them so whom do you all really serve ? Those that vote or those that fund?

    Tax under all administrations of the last 20 years have gone ever upward and accountability for what happens to all this money has all but disappeared.

    I now work to subsidise the life of my Ex Partner and her new boyfriend. I have been forced to sell my home in the teeth the global credit crunch made possible by the de-regulation and free markets your ideology swears is the only way even in the face of the stark evidence in the last few months that this system only works for the privileged few.

    I will now be left homeless but for the charity of family or friends and the CSA or CMEC as it will be still don’t look like they will feel satisfied that they have done their job properly, which appears by the way to be to peddle the lie that they are looking out for the interests of my children whilst destroying utterly the life of their father and any inheritance that they might have been able to look forward too. Guess you MPs overlooked that outcome when you set all this up. Guess what I’m not a feckless father who wants nothing to do with his children and guess what that is exactly the likely end result of what you have legislated. Oh and even more gauling is that I know that there are fathers out there that do deserve to be hounded in this manner who pay nothing and eventually their debts are written off. How do you think that plays with me?

    Oh and if you have 5 mins it’ll only take that long go look at what rights a father has when his partner takes his children from him. Actually I’ll save you the bother unless he can afford to gamble a huge amount of money on a lawyers services with no guarantee of any success try none whatsoever.

    And you wonder why we are so angry when you only maybe get a chance of justice but only if you can afford it ? Is that the kind of world we work and pay our taxes for ?

    I have heard it all from both sides for long enough to know that the rhetoric will not change what really happens and you politicians don’t appear to listen to or have much of a clue what goes on outside of that little bubble of Westminster and the media circus in which you operate.

    When I leave it will be the only remaining act of protest left open to me that I believe actually counts. I withdraw my funding of UK plc via the Taxation system. I will take my skills to somewhere else around the globe and I’m fortunate that I have such skills and can do so. I shall rebuild my life wherever I end up and try and make sure that there will be something for my children to look forward too eventually.

    Do I want to leave my home and children no.
    Will I continue to live in perpetual misery and debt treated like a piece of scum only good for taxation no thanks I’ll pass. Especially when it is clear that that tax is going to be used to fund wars that slaughter innocent millions, and errode the liberties and freedoms of the very citizens that are being taxed.

    Are you or any other politician going to change anything that really matters to the real people in the real world or are you going to continue to look after yourselves and your mates in big business telling us all its for our own good once again forgetting whom you really serve.

    Are you really going to tell people the truth about what would really be required to change this country for the better.

    I’m afraid based on the last twenty five years of observation no I don’t believe there is the will or the wit to actually achieve that anywhere in the ranks of parliment.

    Don’t bother asking for my vote, your credibility and that of all your colleagues in Westminster whatever party they represent has no currency with me any more. Until you can change my mind and that of many like me then I believe that that errosion of trust between electorate and the elected is one of the biggest problems I think you face.

    Will I miss my home country’s beauty and past culture and tolerance yes.

    Reply: I agree with you that the connections between big business and politics can be unhealthy. In “I want to make a difference but I don’t like politics” I criticised the big money culture of national politics. David Cameron has rightly offered disarmament to Labour, so each main party is allowed to spend much less.
    I also agree with you that the divorce system in this country can leave people very bruised and feeling there is no justice.

  72. David Whelbourn
    October 21, 2008

    Funnily enough in a article in a local Canadian newspaper they reported that the UK was the worst place to be the world if you were a husband and father in a divorce case….. It seems to me that the previous post backs up that article.

  73. Marshall
    October 25, 2008

    Does no-one else in England take any responsibility for the mess the country is in. So the parents who put material above their children therefore would rather have a big house than spend time with their kids (apologies to those who need a 2nd income because someone has decided their job isn't valued so they need a 2nd income to make ends meet in a modest home. )
    What about the parents who don't teach their kids any morals and how to respect others ( or even respect their own parents)
    I left the UK because I was fed up of people who are so insecure that they are borrowing money to put themselves into severe debt so they can feel self-esteem and pretend they're 'POSH' for want of a better word. They pretend day in day out that they are wealthy to fit in. Meanwhile they're kids get whatever they want are never disciplined and don't actually have any self worth because there are no boundaries.
    I lived in Chichester and what a beautiful little city it was but the ignorance and stupidity I saw there of people who thought they had made it cos they lived on some ugly modern estate which they paid so much money for and the houses are detached but look like boxes. Apologies again to my great friends there but some people were unbelievable. They had no social skills they were just social climbers who wouldn't want seen with me and couldn't bear the fact that my kids were cleverer than theirs because how could they. E when I didn't play the game. I'm sorry but I like Me how I am and have no interest in playing your social climbing games whilst ignoring or not teaching your kids anything about caring for others.
    It all just makes me want to yawn.
    I live in New Zealand now. Where people value time with family and friends and everyones invited whatever their job and children in school respect the well-behaved nice kids and don't crawl around helping the wicked.

    1. Chris
      April 5, 2009

      New Zealand house prices have gone up more relative to local wages than they have in the UK, I suspect that you did not notice coming from here.

      Please don't blame the victims, most people that bought houses bought them because it was the right time in their life to do so ( I know all about that, and felt all the huge pressures from family, friends, professional advisors, adverts, TV, and the press). The victims were and are victims because the banks willing lent them unsafe amounts of money. The leaches have been the Buy to Let market, whom use houses as an investment rather than some where to live, and they did Gordon Browns bidding to sustain the boom, and they felt safe to do so, as Nu Labour was doing the EU's bidding, fulfilling its Nu Population policy.

      Yes the people here are turning bad, but the people are the victims, being manipulated, and for the past 10+ years they have failed to see it. Clandestine organisations such as Common Purpose with their tentacles in Education, Health, Fire Service, Local Governemnt, Press, The Police, The Churches, and of course Central government have been very successful so far.

  74. Joanna M
    November 17, 2008

    Great article John!!! I accidently came across it while I was lookimg for an update, more like a reason to come back to the UK. My family and I migrated to the caribbean in 2005 and we wish everyday that things would change in the UK so we can come home. I have met other English expartes out here who would also love to come home, but feel they can't with the high taxes, cost of living etc. Mainly the taxes and the fact that Britian has open it's doors toooooooo wide! since joining the European union.
    British people don't feel at home in Britian anymore, they feel demotivated when they have to give almost half of thier wages back to the government each pay day. The violence, the government that just can't get it right!!! Well here's a clue…..TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN FIRST!!!!! CHARITY STARTS AT HOME!!!! Entice the British people back to thier home land and build the country from within, by lowing taxes, closing in the doors to the rest of world alittle and make Britian strong from within. Let British poeple enjy and be proud of thier home land.

  75. Mike Townsend
    January 12, 2009

    I was brought up proud to be British. I have worked all my life, paid my taxes and gradually watched this country slide into a degenerate Euro county and something I no longer wish to be part of.

    My two sons were brought up here. They both are going through University with the intention of working abroad. Like so many young people of today they don't want to live here.

    I am 48. Thankfully in just a few years I will be in the fortunate position of being able to leave this depressing island forever. Luckily the place I will go is somewhere I have worked, mastered the language and found an alternative home.

    Perhaps I can then live out the rest of my life in a more caring culture, better weather, more relaxed and easy going life-style and under a country that still has fair laws and respect for its citizens. I won't return. I no longer feel anything for this place.

  76. Luke McFadden
    March 8, 2009

    good points Mr. Redwood, effectively put. Nice to see things clarified, contextualised … and yes absolutely, so many of us would leave at the drop of a hat, if the opportunity came around. Finances, family links, housing, routine, etc tie so many of us to this old hill of bones …

    if there were less practical constraints on going, the numbers would double at least, if not more …

    sadly some don't do so well overseas, like the 'por favors' of Spain, the aging British population who fled to Spain in the '70s but who now fall between jurastrictions when it comes to pensions etc … not an easy time for them …

    but you're dead right, if we've half a chance we'd go, nowhere in the civilised world could be worse than all this … roll on the Olympics!

    1. Chris
      April 5, 2009

      We should really be done with the corrupting political correctness and start using the freedom of speech, and perhaps even offend a few people by saying, we full up(words left out)

  77. Lochduart
    April 26, 2009

    As an ex Tory of 50 years standing I now support UKIP as do the 2.25million other ex Tory's who want us out of the United States of Europe as members and continue to still trade with the Common Market as an equal partner as we were before Heath sold us out. The French farmers and the Spanish fishermen are laughing all the way to the bank.

  78. Lochduart
    April 26, 2009

    Further thoughts of an ex Tory. Would it be nice to have a hung parliament, and a National Government with Nigel Farange as PM , Vince Cable as Chancellor, John Redwood as Foreign Sec, David Davis Home Sec, and Frank Field as Minister for Work and Pensions.

  79. Ben
    June 25, 2009

    I'm a Yank, living in New York City, and we've had another "British Invasion" since 2004. I don't mind. We're getting the Brits with money, skills, and family values.

    Britain is experiencing what Manhattan had in the 1970's. Public services like transportation, sanitation, and police got worse. Crime went up, the streets got dirtier, and the city was no longer safe. So people moved away.

    I lived in the UK from 1988-1992. In that era you never heard of crimes involving guns (unless it was the IRA). Now, I see articles about shootings all over London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, etc. It's like the kids are armed to the teeth bullets are flying all over England.

    I have this to ask…..


  80. Helen
    August 7, 2009

    Wow, you people should live in Berlusconi's Italy.

    Or actually, in 80% of the world where there are zero democracies.

    British people love to blame – and we do have bad politicians – but apart from your odd Obama (or not, depending on your political taste) most politicians anywhere and everywhere in the world are pretty bad.

    I am a young person with a minor in Politics, so I can also agree that Brown is a completely unfit leader and many of our current politicians are terribly corrupt and feel the need for them to go. I feel passionately about this.

    However, that is a separate issue. The government does not MAKE the feel of the country. Britain is a big country and Brown is not responsible for gun crime, poverty or the multititude of problems our society is facing.

    WE ARE.

    We, the British people, are why so many people move abroad and why I chose to study abroad.

    *Take responsibility for your own lives* is what we, as British people, sorely need to do.

    Britain is the only country where a mother blames the pregnancies of her 12 and 14 year old daughters on lack of sex education in schools.

    We have good jobs, good money relative to most of the world and decent education – yet people STILL are unhappy. Perhaps more so than in many of the poorer countries.

  81. Martyn Priestnall
    August 13, 2009

    It's stupid blaming any particular govenment when
    it's the political system that disenfranches the voice
    of the sensible majority, members of whom exists
    all across the political spectrum.

    Direct democracy anybody?

  82. PinkyAndTheBrain
    April 10, 2012

    It’s now in 2012 and this article couldn’t be more poignant with the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition that is in power!

  83. Blanche
    February 17, 2013

    I live in a small Middle-East country, and I am a college student. In spite of the fact that have so much difficulties as an immigrant. Living, working, having a post-graduate education in the UK is a dream for most of the students in my country. I am so surprised.

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