Charting a couple's move from London to Portugal, tales, adventures and moving advice

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Broken Britain?

Posted on July 12, 2009 by movingtoportugal
Welcome to Britain

Welcome to Britain

I got “started on” today! I don’t think I have even used that expression since school some 17 years ago. It was all very unexciting really – I was cycling into the park to meet my wife in what would generally be classed as a “pretty posh” area of London and a group of 3 “youths” blocked my path in order to cause some sweary low-level trouble. It passed without event and in the grand scheme of things it was nothing major at all, but it was still enough to make me not particularly want to stay in the park, or even go there again really.

I am so pleased I am moving to Portugal in under four months. I have always been pretty patriotic, but it’s time to speak from the heart. This place sucks nowadays. The Friday before last, I had to snatch my wifes bag back from a bag-snatcher outside our very friendly London local – and living in London has made me so desensitized to this kind of low-level crap that I only just remembered about it and hadn’t thought to mention it to my family.

So as not to risk turning this post into an unfocussed political rant. Here are five things that are shit about London and the UK.

1. If you break a traffic or parking regulation in London you will be pounced on and fined immediately, be it by a well-paid, target-driven council worker or an expensive, tax-payer funded CCTV computer system. If however, you prefer higher level crime, you can go for shop-lifiting or burglary with complete impunity because there isn’t enough money to get cops to investigate that.

2. If you don’t fancy working and you prefer to drink or smoke weed all day and have fun by causing trouble in public parks – don’t worry YOU CAN. We have a welfare system that needs completely overhauling so that people cannot make a career out of laziness and stupidity. The Kaiser Chiefs should never have been allowed to release that song that says “It’s cool to know nothing.” For many I fear the irony was lost and it was adopted as a mantra!

3. Still on the subject of public parks. If you get some rare English sunshine and you fancy buying one of those disposable BBQs and having a couple of burgers in the park – YOU CAN’T. There is nowhere within the M25 where it is allowed. “Feral Youths – roam all you want! – Eco-friendly middle classes who fancy a quiet organic burger before clearing away and recycling all your litter – you are not welcome here!” Bloody ridiculous. Did everyone start out stupid or are they reacting to being treated AS IF they are stupid?

4. APATHY. Hold on, weren’t the majority of our politicians caught COMPLETELY RIPPING US ALL OFF a little while ago? Why did no-one DO anything? Well a few people texted a few jokes about it to each other, maybe a spot of light whinging around the watercooler. But then the Champions League final came along….now there’s some common ground we can ALL talk about! Pathetic. Everyone seems to have been so numbed by sport and celebrity culture that they don’t care what is important. Every person in this country who starts reading the paper from the back should be ashamed of themselves.

5. VANITY. A culture where physical beauty and/or sporting prowess are more revered and rewarded than genuine good is rotten to the core. Perhaps this culture is affecting the whole western world, but Britain is doing it’s best to lead the charge of the superficial. I thought all the Susan Boyle business may have been a turning point but it appears to have just been a temporary blip in the collective conscience, and the tabloids soon manged to put a stop to that. “SuBo” anyone? It makes me want to break stuff.

Sod it, it was a political rant, but I feel a lot better now. I just think it’s a damn shame that somewhere I have tried so much to love has been so spoiled. I am also pretty sure that it is going to get a lot worse and that we won’t be the last skilled, hard-working couple to get away and prevent our children having to grow up amongst the scumbags.

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6 to “Broken Britain?”

  1. claire says:

    Yep – unless you got loadsamoney to live in britain its not much of a life. The violence is getting worse, the drinking is getting worse, both of those wont improve until quality of life improves.

    I live in a city centre, one of the reasons I hate the summer is at the first sight of sun people seem to go mad, its a nightmare, people roam the strees shouting and drunk way into the night and in the early hours of the morning, sometimes it makes me want to cry. Warm summers are hellish in the city.

    Why are all the streets fithly with rubbish? Its not like this in north america -thats where i would go if i could.

  2. dreamer1 says:

    Isn’t it sad that we live in such a crappy society that ‘feral youths’ appear to be able to do as they please. Half of the policing done is by PCSO’s who don’t even have enough powers to arrest them, let alone move them along. And most of the time they would get a mouthful of abuse anyway which they then have to stand and take. All for the sake of a couple of grand a year difference in pay our government would rather give us ‘wannabe’ police. Pay them a proper rate of pay and give us proper police, then get these chavs off their perches and into work! I took my daughter for her driving test theory today, whilst sitting waiting for her (in Slough), I had to lock my car doors and only have the windows open a crack so no-one could lean in and nick the handbags. And that is not me being extreme, I used to work in Slough I know what happens.

    Roll on a simpler life!

  3. Steve says:

    I’m patriotic and I love the UK. I love the parks, the high streets, the humour, the TV and I love being proud of being British. The trouble is, it really does suck. Our pride is now eroded by the fact that so many countries, far less wealthy than ourselves, are so much better at so many things. Successive governments of gravy-train-riding incompetents have destroyed the economy, the infrastructure and the social welfare of Britain. Respect for authority is at an all-time low, taxes are so punitive you have to earn the national average just to survive (which obviously the majority don’t) and the cost of living is rising ever higher generally as more and more of the national infrastructure is given away to profiteers.

    I now live in Portugal and to be honest this country has many of the same problems, but there is a much stronger social fabric here, and people seem to have a much greater respect for each other and for the authorities in general – even if they still have the same complaints as us about corruption and incompetence.

  4. arthur sixpence says:

    sorry to get political, but you started it. people talk about the recent expenses scandal but nobody mentions that until the Blair government it wasn’t even necessary to declare expenses publicly, so we can’t even guess the scale of false claiming that went on before. the rich got richer. anyone who thinks Britain was broken in 2009, watch this space, because you have voted the ‘born to lead’ brigade in again, who get away with blatant lying on the BBC from the security of their public school elocution. but this is only MY opinion…

  5. Melanie G says:

    I left Britain 14 years ago (to move to France) because I couldn’t stand all the drunkenness.. admittedly I used to go out on a Friday night in my 20s and get drunk, but it was one night a week… now it seems getting drunk is a daily occurrence for many, creating a scene has no shame to it, and generally being unpleasant has taken over…I still think Britain is fantastic though for culture, museums, outdoors and funnily enough pubs!

  6. admin says:

    Our occasional visits back are quite enough for me now Melanie!

    Thanks for reading

    Best wishes,

    Ben



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