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Expat opinions!

(75 Posts)
ninny Tue 19-Mar-13 10:30:59

I cannot understand why expats who have fled this country for one reasons or another have such strong opinions re the government, the budget, immigration and welfare. Why not concentrate on your new life and country.

Sel Tue 19-Mar-13 10:43:40

oooh, ninny brave of you grin

Mamie Tue 19-Mar-13 10:44:09

Well for a start we didn't flee. We took a rational and informed decision to spend some of our retirement living abroad. I pay UK tax on my occupational pension, so it does concern me how it is spent. I have family living in the UK so I am concerned about everything that affects their lives. We will probably choose to go back at some point in the future.
Meanwhile we also pay tax in France, I am an elected member of the local Council, We have lots of French friends and neighbours and vote in elections when we are permitted.
I hope this helps.

grannyactivist Tue 19-Mar-13 10:46:19

Hi ninny. I was an expat many years ago, although I didn't exactly flee the country, so much as follow my husband's job. All the time I was abroad I retained what I would describe as a healthy interest in the UK. I'm actually not a 'patriot' and regard myself as a world citizen, but it would have been odd to have artificially attempted to cut off what was a major interest simply because I wasn't living there any more. smile

glammanana Tue 19-Mar-13 12:41:37

Hello ninny I also lived as an ex-pat for a long while but paid taxes in the UK so I feel we are entitled to our opinions as to what goes on in the Country and how our taxes are spent,also at the same time paying Community & Business Taxes in the Country we moved to,like Mamie I wanted to know my family where being served in the best way possible.

Bez Tue 19-Mar-13 13:15:52

We have just started to live in what has been a holiday house full time and like Mamie we will be paying our tax in UK and some in France - also as our pensions come from UK we retain a healthy interest in what goes on. Incidentally the UK eventually fund our medical care too.

Butty Tue 19-Mar-13 13:20:37

Hi ninny. I take it 'this country' means the UK?

Like mamie, we didn't flee, but decided to enjoy some time abroad whilst we were still young and active. We also have family here. We've paid UK taxes on some income, and paid taxes in this country. I have family in the UK and America as well.
I have opinions on Britain because I'm British, and I also have opinions about how this country is run, because some family are French, and I live here.

I don't understand why you might see this as an issue.

MargaretX Tue 19-Mar-13 20:44:44

I didn't flee either- What a funny idea.
I am interested in politics. Whether British, European or German, I'm interested.
I have dual nationality and vote in Germany at the moment, if I came back to the UK I'd vote there then.
As I have German family I won't be coming back, but I have a sister in law in Yorkshire who I love dearly and she has bedroom for me where I have clothes etc. Of course I'm interested in the Uk and what goes on there, and I do think you are being unreasonable to object to us.

merlotgran Tue 19-Mar-13 21:05:23

I feel just the same about the Isle of Wight!

I've even joined an ex pat forum grin

Jadey Tue 19-Mar-13 21:47:32

Hi ninny I think that because they were probably born and lived in UK for a big part of their life, are still interested in Old Blity, its quite natural I think smile

positivepam Tue 19-Mar-13 21:48:21

I also belong to 3 ex-pat forums as we had hoped to move to Cyprus but unfortunately due to health reasons have had to cancel these plans and may perhaps one day(if possible)move to New Zealand. Anyway, I would never call it fleeing and would also expect to still have views and interests on all things British cos would still be paying taxes here and I also wonder why Ninny thinks that is wrong to do that or sees moving somewhere as fleeing.

granjura Tue 19-Mar-13 22:39:14

We certainly did not RUN AWAY from the UK, and may well be back at some time. We came here to look after my elderly parents - but we still have a daughter, OH and grand-children in the UK, and many many friends. I lived in the UK for 39 years and love this beautiful country, and care deeply about what happens to it and its future. I am also a local elected councillor here and involved in the local community where I was born and raised - but since when does that make me incapable and disallowed from comparing systems and caring for the country where my grand-children are growing up?

Sel Wed 20-Mar-13 00:20:53

Possibly what ninny refers to is the reality of living in UK and what that entails - the budget, immigration and welfare etc. Whilst paying a percentage in tax on a Government pension surely entitles one to a say, that say can't quite carry the weight of someone who actually lives here and experiences the problems day to day.

No one denies anyone the right to live in another country for whatever reason but it is sometimes quite humorous reading the comments about various issues from those quite remote from the reality.

Mamie Wed 20-Mar-13 06:21:35

Perhaps people who haven't lived abroad recently don't realise that things have changed and people are not "remote from reality". You see these days we don't have to wait six months for a copy of The Times and letters from home to arrive by sea and land. We have internet, on-line papers, TV, radio, Skype, webcams. We travel a lot and many of us spend several weeks a year in the UK. In fact since we travel around the UK visiting family and friends, we may see and hear more than people who only live in one place.
Perhaps the OP is getting us confused with people who really did "flee" or with exiles in outposts of the Empire?
It really isn't like that any more, you know.

JessM Wed 20-Mar-13 07:03:51

The only out of touch comments I have ever seen on GN was yearning for traditional pubs (which all seem to have turned into non traditional restaurants) - but I guess some people who live in the Uk also yearn for old fashioned UK pubs. Some of the people who live in the Uk are also out of touch - like the politicians who all talk as if we still had family doctors who knew us in the way they used to do in the 1950s.

absent Wed 20-Mar-13 07:13:52

JessM There are still some traditional pubs that are popular and successful. It's just that those of us who know about them, keep the information to ourselves.

Mamie When I moved from London to the North-east just over three years ago it was, in some ways, like moving to another country. I have been very happy up here but life – good and bad aspects – is very different from how it was in London. I think you could well be right that outsiders see more of the game.

Mamie Wed 20-Mar-13 07:29:50

Yes I was thinking that the extension of the argument would be that people who lived in a remote rural village could have no understanding of a suburb or an inner-city. Which would be the "real" UK? Does it also mean that people in the UK have no basis on which to have an opinion on anything in mainland Europe or indeed the rest of the world? Do you have to experience everything directly to have an opinion on it?

JessM Wed 20-Mar-13 08:02:37

grin absent - you mean ones that don't do food ? Really?

ninny Wed 20-Mar-13 08:11:03

sel that's exactly what I mean.

Thanks for all your replies.

Bags Wed 20-Mar-13 08:17:40

jess, yes, really.

Bags Wed 20-Mar-13 08:18:18

The species is not quite extinct yet.

Mamie Wed 20-Mar-13 08:20:21

So we understand that sel explained what you meant, ninny, but I think we would be interested in your response to our responses. Did it help you to understand why we are still interested in and have opinions about what happens in the UK? Have our responses changed your view in any way?

absent Wed 20-Mar-13 08:27:03

I find the idea that "paying a percentage in tax on a Government pension surely entitles one to a say…" truly bizarre. The corollary, of course, is that if one doesn't pay tax, one has no right to voice an opinion. If by Government pension, the state pension is meant, no tax is payable if that's the sole source of income in the UK. That would therefore exclude quite a lot of people who still live in the UK, never mind ex-pats, from entitlement to comment.

Bez Wed 20-Mar-13 08:48:38

I think that most of us mean an occupational Goverment pension - teachers, military etc where you always have to pay your tax in UK.

Mamie Wed 20-Mar-13 08:50:24

I don't think any of the expats were saying that, absent. Just countering the implication that we had fled the UK and had no right to have any opinions about it. I very much mind how my taxes are spent though and anything that goes to say, free schools, makes me very angry. Of course people resident in the UK below tax thresholds have every right to comment on the UK. As does anyone anywhere really, though better if it is informed comment.
The pension we pay tax on in the UK is government or local government. State pension is taxable in France (in our case). These are the rules of the EU taxation treaty.
BTW the discussion about pubs with food kind of proves my point about how different bits of the UK are er different, don't you think?