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Winds of Change: Competitive Gov In The UK

November 11, 2009

A Thousand Nations regular Sconzey sends us news from the UK–editor

Jeremy Clarkson. He’s an automobile “edutainment” show co-host, author, columnist, and Prime Ministerial candidate. He’s irreverent, infantile, hideously politically incorrect–the British love him. He rails against the nanny state, burdensome regulation and taxation. He offends truckers, he offends all. He is the vox populi–the demagogue, giving voice to every Brit’s inner “Little Englander” negative-libertarian streak (although I doubt he self-identifies as such).

In his latest spiel he strays into unusual territory (very unusual for a Brit!)–competitive governance. Clarkson complains:

It’s a lovely idea, to get out of this stupid, Fairtrade, Brown-stained, Mandelson- skewed, equal-opportunities, multicultural, carbon-neutral, trendily left, regionally assembled, big-government, trilingual, mosque-drenched, all-the-pigs-are-equal, property-is-theft hellhole and set up shop somewhere else. But where?

You can’t go to France because you need to complete 17 forms in triplicate every time you want to build a greenhouse, and you can’t go to Switzerland because you will be reported to your neighbours by the police and subsequently shot in the head if you don’t sweep your lawn properly, and you can’t go to Italy because you’ll soon tire of waking up in the morning to find a horse’s head in your bed because you forgot to give a man called Don a bundle of used notes for “organising” a plumber.

You can’t go to Australia because it’s full of things that will eat you, you can’t go to New Zealand because they don’t accept anyone who is more than 40 and you can’t go to Monte Carlo because they don’t accept anyone who has less than 40 mill. And you can’t go to Spain because you’re not called Del and you weren’t involved in the Walthamstow blag. And you can’t go to Germany … because you just can’t.

The Caribbean sounds tempting, but there is no work, which means that one day, whether you like it or not, you’ll end up like all the other expats, with a nose like a burst beetroot, wondering if it’s okay to have a small sharpener at 10 in the morning…

Where indeed? He reels off this list of countries that he believes are as equally unpleasant as Britain, bemoaning the lack of anywhere with a pleasant climate, a liberal jobs market, socially permissive values, and yet, that’s nevertheless cheap (in terms of regulatory burden) to move to.

Wait, I know just the place… and it’s got a sea-view too…


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