geoffrey said:To those who have emigrated and snipe from thousands of miles away - thanks but no thanks. We have to live here.
At the risk of dragging this thread further into the mire...
If this comment is a direct dig at me, then I think a response is warranted in self-defence. If not, them I'm being over-sensitive, but...
1. The reason I'm thousands of miles away is solely down to the UK Government policy, and its lack of support for the industries within which I was encouraged to work, encouraged no less by a Government Quango 20 odd years ago. In the last 3 years, I have been effectively deprived of permanent job prospects, and then when I went self-employed came under a punitive tax regime. By the way, having emigrated, I'm still liable for UK tax and NI so I haven't completely escaped Gordon's clutches.
2. Am I happy to have emigrated? No, I'd much rather be in the UK, but living under a fair regime that does not extract ever increasing amounts of money from tax-payers to spend it on an ever burgeoning public sector that adds nothing tangible to the British economy. Taxation should be fair and more to the point, it should represent the wishes of the majority of the electorate - its our money, and the politicians are meant to be doing our bidding after all!
3. I have a strong sense of duty - I have never shirked from RNR obligations and this year will be only the second year in over 20 years that I won't achieve bounty (the other time was study leave for an OU degree). I actually investigated the option of continuing my RNR commitment over here in Canada attached to the Canadian forces, but this wasn't possible.
4. I feel strongly that the UK is on a dangerous slippery slope - the mass immigration of recent years has changed the UK beyond recognition from even 10 years ago. Religious extremism of all flavours is unhealthy and for a Muslim cleric to say to the Home Secretary "How dare you come to a Muslim area" is beyond the pale. I think experiment in multi-culturalism has failed - its time for the UK to reassert its character and culture and stop pandering to the liberal elite. Will forced re-patriation work? No; is it morally right? also no. Do I agree with it? Again no.
5. I'm currently living in a country that is full of immigrants - in my time here I've been made welcome, but the preponderance of Canadian flags and patriotic messages has also made clear to me which country I'm in; my kids' school has a "wear red to support our troops" day on Fridays - my youngest lad wore a red England football shirt last week and received a few comments. In the UK, would a British person dare to comment on the apparent unpatriotic nature of someone's clothing? My lads are both learning the words to "Oh Canada" - its sung at Scouts and also at School - they want to conform, they're not complaining that its not their national anthem. I'm happy to conform to the Canadian standards, support the local troops and try not to impose my lifestyle values on my neighbours - I'm the interloper here, not them. I'd be happy if the interlopers into Britain could do likewise.