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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

So which country should Brits now be emigrating to?

A few months back – I don’t recall exactly when – I voiced my irritation here at the notion, regularly voiced by members of our commentariat until I said to put a sock in it, of leaving Britain to go and live somewhere else, usually the USA. I now officially withdraw this irritation. The sooner large numbers of Brits start voting with their feet, the sooner some kind of sanity may be restored to our public finances. Voice isn’t working very well just now, but there still remains exit, and the sound of people exiting is actually one of the loudest political voices there is.

Remember which way the Berlin Wall pointed? Idiot Western apologists for Bolshevism talked their way around everything else about the Evil Empire, but that they couldn’t explain. Remember when the success of Hong Kong as an alleviator of dirt-poor poverty and as a facilitator of the wildest of wild dreams was likewise denounced by the same idiots as a cruel and exploitative fantasy? Again, the statistics of who was then swimming, through what and in which direction, were the most telling of the lot, long before the economic numbers coming out of Hong Kong began to prove all those daredevil swimmers so magnificently right.

And here, now, nothing would concentrate the minds of our political class on doing the right things rather than stupid things like a mass stampede for the exit. If you are thinking now of leaving, do it. This would not only be selfishly sensible; it would be downright patriotic, just like regular voting for something sensible, only more so. In the event that any of our masters actually want to rescue our country from its present mess, nothing would be more useful to such persons than the pitter patter of adult feet, leaving for less insanely governed places. I still have hopes that Mr Cameron is now taking deep breaths and preparing himself to lunge for just this sort of glory. Call it the audacity of hope.

So, as the Americans say: way to go! But: where to go? Which countries are now the best bet for that alternative lifestyle, where you get to work, pay only moderate levels of tax, and are able rationally to hope that your grandchildren might do better than you instead of worse? The USA? Not now the obvious choice it might once have been, and in any case, how – legally – do you get in?

My suggestion is: Ireland. As the great Guido explained yesterday:

Ireland, which is taking the austerity route out of the crisis, slashing government spending, is attracting an entirely private sector solution to recapitalising banks. Property prices are becoming reasonable, tax rates are lower and big British run businesses are relocating to Ireland.

Ireland will probably be out of recession long before an economy crippled by Brown starts to recover – whomever wins the next election.

Apart from that peculiar “whomever”, that strikes me as likely to be very right, and a very good bet for a good place to go to. And as Guido makes clear, the pitter-pattering has already begun. And, look, Guido now has an update to that posting:

UPDATE: Ireland’s new finance bill is changing the law to entice non-doms to move from London to Ireland,

And I bet it’s not just non-doms. I bet that us doms are already joining in.

Pitter patter.

45 comments to So which country should Brits now be emigrating to?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Good point, Brian.

    I read in the Times (of London) today that lots of Australians are returning home from Britain. The exodos of people is likely to increase. The trouble is that the escapees are the entrepreneurial types that are unlikely ever to vote for McBroon and the rest of the bastards anyway. There has been a significant outflow of what I might call “Thatcherites” from the UK over the past decade, and it is only likely to increase.

    Just as a bit of information, in the US, if a citizen wishes to leave the country to become a permanent expat, they must pay a one-off charge to the IRS based on an estimate of their worldwide income. This was brought into force this year as part of a Congressional Bill ostensibly aimed at helping returning GI’s, but as usual, the IRS treatment of expats was smuggled in as an additional item. Leaving the US is actually pretty hard.

  • Ian B

    Well, that’s all very well, but some of us actually would like to somehow save the country we’re in, ta very much, rather than watching it sink from somewhere else. And, the whole “If you don’t like it go someplace else” principle is based on the idea that there is someplace else to go, and you can only keep doing that until the world runs out of someplace elses, which it is doing at a rapid rate. That some someplace elses are marginally better than this particular place in some respects isn’t really an answer. The Proggies are effectively in control of every someplace else that might be counted as “First World” and are rapidly turning the someplace elses that count as “Third World” into a progressive/NGO/UN fiefdom.

    We’re all out of boltholes.

    And. The proggies don’t actually care very much if we all fuck off, the indigenous pop, that is. It just helps them get to their multicultural utopia a bit faster. You really think they care if some conservatives/libertarians/people sick of the progressive surge leave? They’ll be standing on the dock cheering as the boat sails.

    The better off can keep hopping from bolt hole to bolt hole until there aren’t any left; and increasing numbers of the better off are up to their necks in the corporate state anyway. Most of the rest of us are pretty much stuck here anyway, so we’re kind of more focussed on preserving what we’ve got, or what we had anyway.

    This is a battle being fought on a myriad fronts; in every nation of the globe. The bizarre idea that Ireland, a minor EU province, is somehow a safe haven is, well, stretching things a bit.

  • WalterBoswell

    Ireland eh? well your timing is perfect. House prices have dropped ~13% and are set to drop some more by the years end* and the recent reduction in the North’s VAT from 17.5% to 15% will put pressure (fingers crossed) on the South’s Government to follow suit. Ikea will open to meet all your flat pack needs within the next 12 months and we’ll have an underground choo choo within a decade.

    However be prepared to be shocked at the over spending in the public sector, but something tells me you’ll be used to that anyway.

    Oh, and I know a place where pints are 3 euro all day Sunday and Monday.

    * Unless you’ve got a big down payment don’t expect the banks to give you a mortgage.

  • I think if you are heading to a Euro-zone country then Ireland is a good bet. However why head into that debacle? The Euro is plummeting against the dollar and the pound?

    The full extent of the failures in the Euro zone have not fully been realised and the ECB sure as hell ain’t going to be looking out for Ireland when it makes decisions.

    Depending on where you go the US is a good bet. Those who want to go further away Oz & the new socialist-free NZ are looking good.

  • jmc

    Guido may be amusing about UK politic but he is a total plastic paddy when he writes about Ireland. The Irish economy is in complete meltdown and will not recover for a decade. The political class responsible for this debacle (the third time they have done this) make Gordon Brown look like a towering genius. The Irish economy was completely dependent on facilitating multi-national tax evasion and blowing a credit bubble of truly epic proportions. Take them away and you have an economy as strong and dynamic as Portugal.

  • jerry

    Wow

    I don’t know pay/salary levels in some other countries
    but New Zealand, Ireland, and ‘Oz’ are WAY outta my reach.

    400,000 for 2 bdrms and a bath – no thanks

    I stick with what I have – a lell of a hot cheaper !!!!!!!

  • matt

    If the currency charts are anything to go by, then Switzerland and even more Japan are the places to head.

    Moreover, Japan has already gone through the whole 20 year deflationary slump thingy, so must surely be the first one out of the blocks on the other side.

    The Nikkei is now virtually back to where it was before their whole 80s bubble kicked off; this, as connoisseurs of such things will know, is usually the way of mania corrections, from tulips to the South Sea and forward to stocks and property.

    I’m not saying they’ve hit bottom yet, given the timescales on which we’re talking, but they are very probably a hell of a lot closer than we are.

  • Tim S

    China. They make stuff. They work hard. And in their own funny way they are proud of their independence.

    All qualities that are long gone from most corners of the western world.

  • Eddie Willers

    Well, no one mentioned whether english speaking countries were only to be considered or not.

    After 5 years in Mexico (a country that has laws, yes, but little money or will to enforce them – ‘steenking badges’, anyone?) we are getting ready to up sticks and move to Canada – a thought that sometimes fills me with horror as it is, surely, yet more Socialist than the UK, no?

  • Current

    I’m a brit living in Ireland. What can I say, it’s not so different to home. Everything costs more, everyone drinks more and they don’t like the British very much.

    As another poster said Ireland has had an enormous credit fueled boom, much worse than in the UK since interest rates have been much lower. The recession is likely to be longer here. That said the government have acted much more sensibly than the UK government.

  • Tanuki

    I’d suggest somewhere like China or Russia – where bribing the local officials to turn a blind eye to your business activities and other foibles still comes [relatively] cheap.

    Alternatively, somewhere in the central largely tax-free part of Africa – though you still run the risk of choosing the _wrong_ local militia to back.

  • Simon O'Brian

    Just as a bit of information, in the US, if a citizen wishes to leave the country to become a permanent expat, they must pay a one-off charge to the IRS based on an estimate of their worldwide income.

    Wind up your US affairs, move your money overseas, let your friends/family know if they want to see you again, they are the ones who will have to come visit, and only once you leave the USA do you then renounce your US nationality to a US consular official.

    And wish the IRS good luck collecting what they think you owe them on your world wide income. That’s what I did. Happiest day of my life.

  • Brad

    I’ve pondered moving out of the US as of late. But then I got to thinking (dovetailing with other discussions here about lesser of two evils) that if I do move to someplace else, it will only be marginally better for a brief period and will have picked, again, the lesser of two evils. Perhaps the time has come, once and for all, to denounce evil and fight it. Perhaps at the earliest stages you’ll be nothing but a martyr, but simply choosing to take the slightly easier road will just put off the inevitable for a little while.

    We are already on the brink of an historic shift here in the US. It will either lead to much darker days or just maybe to something freer. Most days I see the darker days ahead as more likely, but it will become a certainty if I were to leave and, again, for what? A slightly lesser evil somewhere else whose ponzi schemes have five more years to their life cycle?

    I guess, too, I have some hope that if I need to make a stand somewhere, I think there are likely more like-minded people here than elsewhere. I could be wrong, but I think people here in the US will fight sooner when the pressure is turned up.

    So, I’d either stay and fight within the UK or come over here – we could use all the firepower we can get.

    Either way the time has come to stop obeying our governments. They are tyrannical. I can’t think of any better operating definition of tyranny than being forced to live your life for another/others. Sometimes I get the feeling some people think that as long as you aren’t being gassed and creamated you don’t live under tyranny. When my obligations to others is greater than what I can keep for myself, that is tyranny and it must be fought. The first act is civil disobedience. When your government no longer serves its purpose, as protector of life and property, and becomes an usurper of freedom, you have a right to throw that government over and the best way is to refuse to fund it. It is then up to them what course is taken from there.

  • Percy Dovetonsils

    I was amused by the aside about how to emigrate to the U.S. “legally.”

    For goodness sakes, immigration “laws” are a mockery here, to the point where only fools “obey” them. Come on over and blend right in. Or, if you’re a little Bolshie, declare yourself an “undocumented” immigrant and loudly demand your “rights” to full access to the welfare state.

    (Of course, this may only work for our immigrants from Latin America. The authorities and the Open Borders advocates might not be as sympathetic towards someone who speaks English and has advanced work skills.)

  • Adrian Ramsey

    My country, right or wrong:
    If right, to keep it right,
    If wrong, to set it right.

    Goodbye, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • Oli

    I don’t want to leave the country of my birth.

    If I did, it would only serve the wrongdoers purposes. Better draw a line in the Earth and keep it free.

    The first step is to become financially independent – after that it becomes much easier to fight – but like the majority of the UK public, I didn’t realise that the easy money was part of the way the government were going to get more control of me!

  • tonathenethenathlon

    I was thinking about this the other day, not because I’m horrified by the panic spending (though I am) but due to itchy feet. I like the look of the Czech Republic; flat tax, not in the euro zone, eurosceptic population, relaxed atmosphere. On the other hand it is excessively dependent on Germany and somewhat corrupt – still you can’t have everything.

  • michael farris

    The Berlin Wall analogy doesn’t work. The reason that people fleeing the East German regime was important was that no one else was willing to take their place.

    But for everyculturally British person who wants to emigrate now, there are 10 non-British immigrants who’ll glady take their place from the Indian sub-continent, Africa, the Middle East, former Soviet Union, Latin America (vamp till ready).

    The real potential for any of these immigrants to contribute more than they take from the economy (many would be good economic citizens, many would rather go on welfare and mooch) is irrelevant to the current governing structure of the UK (as both major parties are all about co-opting block-voting population segments, which makes campaigning easier than appealing to the individual judgments of a diverse population. Generally, the current government (and current opposition) would probably rather as many emigrants leave as fast as possible.

    If someone wants to leave the UK they should not have have any illusions that this will ultimately help their former country, the only reason to leave is to leave and write off the country before things get too bad

  • Buck up, guys. The point of democracy is not that the people are always right – they aren’t that bright, really, being by definition of average intelligence – but that they can recognize when something has gone wrong. If the milk or the government smells funny, they chuck it out. We just had this happen in the US, and I expect it will happen again in four years. Eventually, by process of elimination, if nothing more efficient, we will come up with something that works.

    No Anglosphere country has ever gone as wrong as the larger continental powers. Moan all you like (it’s probably helpful, so keep it up), but neither Britain nor her offspring has had anything like France in the 1790′s (some would argue through the 1870′s or even 1945), Italy in the 1920′s, Spain in most of the 20th century, or Germany or Russia in the in the 1930′s and ’40′s.

    Throw the bums out! Get new bums, if you must, but throw the bums out so that everyone, including the new bums, understands the price of fucking up.

  • RAB

    Er N Cyprus, Sri Lanka,
    well ok they are sort of war zones, but hey you can live like a king on £10 a week….
    Then there’s Malta.
    Some here have special knowledge, so I will let them speak-
    But I love the place too.
    So do half the pensioners in Britain around January time,saving on the heating bills and getting four meals a day (high tea is included)
    We could all turn it into a Libertarian Paradise, just by being there!
    What say you…

  • Superautonomist!

    I recently read that the US IRS has successfully pressured Switzerland into revealing the amounts of cash, and the names of the owners, in their vaults. So Switzerland has lost a lot of appeal, on that alone.
    How are the Jersey Islands?
    Of course, you could emigrate to the Principality of Hutt River, in Western Australia. Prince Leonard can’t last forever, and the State might try to take back the land when he passes on.
    Or we could create one new nation in the Kimberleys, thousands and thousands of Libertarians converging there to proclaim a tax-free country!
    Any other likely spots for new countries? (Northern Siberia?)

  • Simon O'Brian

    I recently read that the US IRS has successfully pressured Switzerland into revealing the amounts of cash, and the names of the owners, in their vaults.

    Please include a link to where you read this. This is very misleading. Swiss Banks will reveal details on US nationals to the IRS if (1) the foolish depositor admitted he was a US national (2) he has not ditched his US nationality for one which only claims ownership of a place, not people anywhere in the world.

    There at several ways that are perfectly legal in Switzerland to keep your money from the eyes of the IRS but personally I think ditching US nationality is the best way. People can delude themselves the system is reformable and worth fighting for but that’s a delusion for sure.

    I took my wife’s nationality and that made all my dealings with the IRS a great deal easier. Plus it can give you a great hobby writing back to the IRS every year explaining that no matter how many times their earnest agents quote US law at you, you don’t care because you never intend to return and your passport is a different color now.

  • Andrew Duffin

    A point nobody ever seems to notice is that a British person cannot just “decide to go and live” in the US.

    Go and try getting an immigrant visa and you will see what I mean. Basically, if you come from any “First World” country, it is simply impossible.

    Maybe everyone else on this site is already married to a US citizen or holds a Green Card or something, but ouwith those categories, it’s about as possible to emigrate to the US as it is to emigrate to the moon.

    And if Dale Amon is to be believed, maybe in fact the moon would be easier.

  • beloml

    Come to Texas! Seriously, if you like low taxes, a high standard of living (including affordable housing, great food and cultural activities) and a can-do entrepreneurial spirit, Texas is the perfect place for you.

    Forbes says it’s the no. 1 state for business

    City Journal compares Houston favorably over New York City

  • beloml

    Sorry! My first attempt at linking didn’t work.

    Forbes article:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/25447829

    City Journal article:
    http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_3_houston.html

  • perlhaqr

    We need a new Hong Kong. Sadly, no one is likely to allow us the space for one.

    Taking over somewhere else might be an option, but of course, a bunch of white people colonizing Africa will draw rather unpleasant looks from most of the world, and whether or not you care about their opinion, we’d have to care about their guns.

    I waffle between “Build somewhere new” and “Save the homeland”, but boy does that second option seem bleak and impossible at times. And given that the alternative is starting another country, that’s quite a hurdle to match.

    Duffin: Being married to a citizen doesn’t cut much ice either. I’ve a friend who is trying to import her husband from Australia. It’s been 3 years, and he doesn’t have a green card yet. I think Dovetonsils had the right idea. Fuck the law, come illegally, and wait for the next “amnesty”.

  • Alex

    Can I tentatively suggest South Africa? You do have to love behind razorwire and men with guns, but other than that it’s a fabulous place. The silver lining of government incompetence is that they can’t get their act together to interfere too much.

    And when they do, a few quid usually sorts it out.

    It’s an accidental libertarian paradise.

  • staghounds

    Anyone who works is welcome in the USA. Don’t worry about the legalities.

    Anyone who’s seriously interested, send me a mail-

    staghounds@bellsouth.net

  • staghounds

    Anyone who works is welcome in the USA. Don’t worry about the legalities.

    Anyone who’s seriously interested, send me a mail-

    staghounds@bellsouth.net

  • Eric

    I’m not sure why anyone would want to come to the US now. Every day I wake up to the news our rulers in Washington have spent another 5% of our GDP since the previous day. It’s likely to end very badly.

    Simon O’Brian, I thought tax evasion was covered under the various extradition treaties… are you sure you’re in the clear?

  • I suggest looking into http://freestateproject.org/. America is getting bad — actually, has been bad, and is getting worse — but we believe that we can make quite a bit of progress by *concentrating* political power in a small area — the state of New Hampshire. The Dems and Reps each have about 1,000 activists in NH. We’ve got 8000 signed up and are looking to have 20,000.

    New Hampshire is the freeist state in America:

    * non-criminals can openly carry handguns almost everywhere
    * no seatbelt laws
    * no helmet laws
    * no sales tax
    * etc, etc, etc
    * License Plate Slogan: “Live Free or Die”

    But to me the best part is the community we are building.

    Every Sunday morning, if you’re near concord (and NH is small enough that the entire state is near concord), you can go to the “Church of the Gun” — a bunch of Libertarian meet on a private gun range at somebody’s home for shooting and fellowship.

    Free staters don’t think you’re nuts if you want to trade in gold or silver, instead of FiRNs.

    Many Free Staters believe that tax evasion is a right — if not a duty — and are more than happy to help.

    All in all, I think that the New Hampshire should be considered by anyone who cares about freedom and is willing to relocate to find it. If we reach critical mass and come to be a large influence on state politics, the sky is the limit.

    And if the US government collapses … which is never impossible … there is no better place to be surrounded by well armed, educated, and like-minded people, and to help revive what made America great.

  • Paul Marks

    Texas and New Hampshire – both fine States, New Hampshire has lower taxes (for now), but it is trending Democrat (Rich Paul’s idea that Libertarians are, or will, be a powerful force in New Hampshire I will not comment on).

    However, both States (and Nevada, and South Dakota and Alaska and all the other nice States I have heard tell of) have a problem – Washington D.C.

    E.U. hater that I am, as yet being part of the American Union is even worse for a State than being part of the E.U. is for places like Ireland (D.C. imposes much higher taxes and spending than the E.U. does – and the Euro is still optional, the Dollar is not).

    As for Ireland – is it really “slashing government spending”?

    If so then being part of the Euro credit bubble (hardly the fault of Ireland) will not hold it back in the end.

    In short Brian and Guido will be proved correct – if what they say is happening is happening.

    Russia and Mexico:

    Yes they are very corrupt – but libertarians who think that is a good thing might change their minds when they get abducted and bits are cut off them (whether they pay up or not) and so on.

    Sorry but corruption does not mean “pay bribes and they leave you alone”.

    Australia and New Zealand.

    Interesting choices – as long as one stays away from centers of banking.

    New Zealand has a better climate, but Australia (for now) has less government spending – but both are less statist than Britain (or bailout orgy America).

    Of course there are less statist places still.

    The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands – but they are under threat from British government harm.

    Pity, I liked the Isle of Man when I visited the place.

    All the towns there had their charms, in different ways.

    It is big and varried enough.

  • Simon O'Brian

    Simon O’Brian, I thought tax evasion was covered under the various extradition treaties… are you sure you’re in the clear?

    Tax fraud is a no-no most places but tax evasion is looked on altogether more reasonably. I abandoned my US nationality to evade taxes future, on that I have been very open. As I made no false statements either before or after I ditched my US citizenship, no fraud was committed (and even the IRS have not claimed it has).

    Under Swiss law I am under no obligation whatsoever to report my worldwide income to a foreign state (i.e. the USA), even if the USA thinks I still have to years after giving them the finger. I paid the USA all I owed them right until the moment I torched my passport and they simply cannot enforce their wish to collect any of what I have made outside the USA even 1 second after that time. It is worth mentioning other than the ritual threatening letters, which I rather enjoy replying to, they made no attempt to drag me in front of a Swiss, or any other non-US, court. They stopped writing a couple years ago and kinda miss the fun.

  • Superautonomist!

    My information about Switzerland saying ‘Uncle Sam!’ was from the Business section of ‘The Australian’, which copied a page from ‘The Wall Street Journal’, and which I read on Tuesday the 25th of this month.
    If you live in Switzerland, are you allowed to carry a gun? What are the tax laws like? Is it true that the country is a weak federation? And isn’t the EU trying to pressure your country into ‘harmonising’ with the EU?

  • …get out ! This is the dawning of a new libertarian age, enervated and empowered by the internet…NZ is your logical destination. Small, a little browbeaten by a decade or 2 of socialism, but a work in progress, crying out for pro-freedom agitators. I was born in Preston, but thank my rebellious, now dead father every day for his decision to move here. Return to the UK on holiday when you can afford it, like most of us expats do…but this is the place to be. Geographically, socially (and with your help) politically. See Mickysmuses.blogspot.com. God save the Queen…

  • Magnafan

    I’ve lived in both Canada and the US.
    No, Canada is not more socialist than the UK. The Canadian government seems more sane than that in the UK. And the civil service in Canada, including the police services, seem more competent in Canada.

    Canada is entering a recession–a lot milder than the US one, however. Our banking system is solid. However, the manufacturing-based province, Ontario, is going to take quite a hit. It’s a major supplier to the moribund US industry.

    Alberta and Saskatchewan are the growth provinces right now.

    Housing?: a four-bedroom executive home in any Toronto suburb hovers around $500,000 Canadian. (I think it’s one pound to two dollars.

    Climate? There’s the rub. The climate goes from sauna to deepfreeze very quickly with short springs and falls. Summer weather you would find boiling is considered comfortable in Ontario. And do you like days and days on end below freezing?

  • Magnafan

    Oh, and one more thing. If you have liberal or socialist tendencies, please don’t come to Canada. They’ve already taken over the two largest cities, which of course, have begun to rot because of this.

  • Someone has mentioned Czech Republic.

    It’s a great place to live esp. on expat salary. However, the socialists are likely to take over in 2 years, meaning kiss your flat tax goodbye. They are currently polling at 40+ percent.

    Then again, it’s like Casablanca here today, oh yeah.

  • David

    Chile and Singapore are the boltholes I have my eyes on.

  • As many previous commenters have mentioned, the problem of bailing out to the US founders on the fact that it’s practically impossible to lawfully immigrate to the US. Even leaving out the ludicrously low H1B cap that is used up within an hour of being released and isn’t even an immigrant visa anyway!

    Americans just don’t seem to appreciate how difficult it is to become a non-American-born American these days. Reason magazine has a demonstration of the insanities of the immigration process here

  • tonathenethenathlon

    Thanks for your comment, Thomas. One of the problems with emigrating is that it’s hard for an outsider to judge the political direction of another country, especially where there’s a language barrier. My guess is that the CSSD are getting the midterm protest vote with respect to the missile shield issue. I’d still be interested in moving there, even if I’d think twice about investing there in the short term.

  • Paul Marks

    The Social Democrats are slowly messing up Chile (they have targeted education for a start).

    Singapore I know little about – other than its government pension fund is dodgy (but then they all are) and it seems a lot of private people have been shoved into the scheme.

    Still nothing like Argentina – where the stealing of the pension funds to be “invested” “public works” has shocked even the leftist scum of the “Economist” (which shows their is a difference between the “soft left” and the “hard left” – a difference I am normally too intolerant to take note of).

    Switzerland – firearms are compulsory for adult citizens (but that is a form of “gun control regulation” that I am not wildly angry about).

    Zug is the lowest taxed Canton.

    Although it is not the most attractive (their is hard argument about that title – and as I have never been to Switzerland I am not going to express an opinion).

    “Loose Federation”.

    No.

    The right to secession was broken by the war of 1847 – no slavery excuse, the liberals wanted to sit on traditionalists Catholics (ban the then conservative Jesuit order and so on) and some Catholic Cantons tried to leave the “Confederation” – which then proved not to be a “Confederation” at all.

    Then there was the Constitution of 1848 (O.K. ish – but covering de facto occupation of the traditionalist Cantons, election rigging and so on).

    The Constitution of 1874 (worse).

    Various other Constitutional changes – nearly all bad.

    And to big government Switzerland of today.

    Still it is better than Britain – not that this is saying much.

  • Paul Marks

    On Australia:

    At least the new Prime Minister is a comic.

    He blames (according to the Spectator magazine) the present economic crises on the influence F.A. Hayek.

    It is, of course, exactly the Austrian School of economics (people in the tradition of Carl Menger – such as F.A. Hayek) who opposed credit money expansion and warn that it leads to boom-bust.

    No wonder the “Economist” loves Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – he is their sort of scum.

  • Jim Jones

    The UK is a great place to live. What surprises me is the lack of confidence of the politicians. Thatcher, Blair both voted on the best place to live by moving to the USA asap. They could have made the UK a better place to live, they didnt. Most MPs have properties either in France, Spain or Malta and plan to exit with big pensions when they retire. I dont believe you can really promote the UK but at the same time be planning your exit with as much loot as you can wangle. This is what Blair and Thatcher did, and many more will do. My idea, dont vote with your feet, get the lazy, unethical crooks out of government by voting at the ballot box. Then you wont want to leave.

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