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About poverty in Pas-de-Calais:   http://catholique-lille.cef.fr/page/comments.php?id=1474_0_46_0_C

Les foyers à bas revenus  (PAS-DE-CALAIS)

Une nouvelle conception de la pauvreté est née : I"'approche par les bas revenus". Elle nécessite la prise en compte de l'ensemble des revenus dont dispose chaque foyer : les revenus déclarés aux impôts, mais aussi l'ensemble des revenus de transfert, depuis les minima sociaux jusqu'aux allocations familiales et aides au logement. Dans notre région, plus qu'ailleurs, ces aides ont un effet très important sur le budget des ménages. Les aides au logement, conçues pour réduire les charges de loyer ou de remboursement de prêt, sont versées à plus de 440 000 foyers de la région. Les allocations familiales, à elles seules, sont distribuées à plus de 310 000 foyers de la région.
Y a-t-il plus de pauvres en Nord-Pas-de-Calais qu'ailleurs ? 266 000 foyers de notre région ont des ressources inférieures au seuil de bas revenus. Ils regroupent près de 696 000 personnes, soit un cinquième de la population âgée de moins de 65 ans.
Notre région se place parmi les régions métropolitaines ayant les taux les plus élevés de personnes à bas revenus, avec le Languedoc-Roussillon, la Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur et la Corse. Au sein de notre région, la proportion la plus élevée de foyers à bas revenus se retrouve dans les espaces les plus densément urbanisés. Les grandes villes, tout d'abord, parmi lesquelles on citera plus particulièrement Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing, Dunkerque, Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Arras, Lens, Douai, Valenciennes et Maubeuge. L'arc minier ensuite, précisément dessiné par les cantons allant d'Auchel à Condé sur Escaut. S'y ajoutent, à l'inverse, des territoires peu peuplés : des cantons ruraux dans le Pas-de-Calais, proches de Berck Montreuil-sur-Mer et dans l'Artois-Ternois, et des cantons de l'Avesnois.
Dans la majorité de ces espaces, plus de 25% des habitants vivent dans un foyer à bas revenus.
A l'inverse, les territoires les moins touchés par la pauvreté se trouvent dans l'arrière-pays dunkerquois, la Flandre Lys, et dans les espaces périurbains autour de Lille et d'Arras. Soit moins de 10% des habitants y sont à bas revenus.

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[quote user="Gluestick"]...Of course there are many Muslims in France: that said, however, they are not able to bend government's will to their cause in the way they have certainly achieved this in the UK.[/quote] (My bold)

How have Muslims in Britain bent the Governments will to their cause?

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Am I alone in being unable to reconcile the overhwhelming desire to leave the UK (prompted by a perception that it is becoming a muslim satellite state governed by incompetents intent on capitulation to BOTH the USA and Osama Bin Laden - however that is supposed to happen) with an all-consuming preoccupation with what goes on in the UK, and a need to run comparisons 24/7/365 with the "new life in paradise"??

If it is your decision to leave the UK due to a dissatisfaction with the way the country is "going" (whatever you perceive that to mean) then just leave it. Get on with your new life. If you're so happy, fulfilled and content with what you now have and where you now are, then why spend all your time banging on about how bad it is where you came from? Especially if your response to the deterioration is to sod off to another country rather than staying put and making any tangible contribution to improving things.

I might be in a minority of one, and if I am, so be it, but in spite of all my fond feelings for France and its people, I can't see it as any kind of Utopia, any more than I recognise the almost daily outpourings of bile on here about the problems in the UK by a bunch of people who, when all's said and done, don't even bl*** well live here anymore.

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Boring, and it's been said before I know, but I think going anywhere to escape is positively the worst reason you can have to move.

You are not in a minority of one, Betty, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Paradise isn't a place, it's a state of mind.  Stop searching for it and get on and create your own.

I go back to the UK a lot as I still have friends and family there.  I really do not recognise the dump which some people on here describe it as. 

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I think it's actually a bigger minority than many think.

In my experience the English in France - and I meet a lot of them - seem to have great difficulty in understanding that I am not in France because I do not like, or have become fed up with, Britain. I think it is possible to like, and feel an affinity with, both nations. 

If they genuinely felt the need to escape, then that's their decision. But I do get rather fed up with being told to go back if I like it so much and being considered something of an oddity because I still love my native country, and still regard it as 'great' Britain, despite having a house in another country.

I'm not accusing anybody here on this forum of this, but my pet gripe is those who take delight in disrespecting Britain, when their view is based solely on Daily Mail-style stories, and they gladly admit that they have not personally been to Britain for several years. Those stories are definitely not about the Britain where I spend a fair amount of my time (and I have worked for the Daily Mail's publishers so I have some knowledge of that rag's ethos). And Britain doesn't have the monopoly on financially-poor health services, MRSA in hospitals, government sleaze, fraud in high places, immigration problems, vandalism, drunkenness and drug culture among the young, etc. Just as France is not alone in having stifling bureaucracy, high unemployment, rural poverty, poor customer service etc.

Betty put it so well. What, for ****'s sake is wrong with having positive thoughts, and creating your own life, wherever that might be?

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Count me in as a fourth member of this minority...

I have long felt that with satellite technology, many new residents can stick to viewing only British TV channels and thus live in a bubble, thinking that all unpleasant news goes on somewhere else.

 

I am fortunate enough to be able to have a foot in both camps, in countries that I love for totally different reasons.

French friends are always trying to persuade me to live permanently on their side of the Channel, but I never would. 
The only valid reason they can grasp for my decision is that such a move for me would effectively disinherit my three stepchildren.

It would seem churlish to tell them the real reasons, but these include:

Having no desire to grapple with French bureaucracy any more than I have to.  (I have studied and worked full-time in France at various times in my life, and have encountered enough of it.)  French friends are astounded that in Britain you can become what you want to at a whim; they could not grasp that I manged to become a publisher by applying for a batch of ten ISBNs from Nielsen's - et voila.
I find trying to deal with the French on a business basis (which I have to do in a small way) infuriating. To put a new idea in front of them, you have to butter them up, and try to convince them that what you are suggesting is actually their own idea [;-)].
Plus, they never hurry to answer emails, or thank you for going to trouble to find something out for them. 
Today, for example, I had a reply from somebody at a major Pas-de-Calais attraction who had solicited my help in November with marketing ideas.  This is not my job, but in a spirit of friendliness and cooperation I replied to her original request within 24 hours, with a carefully thought-out list of contacts, . . .and heard nothing until today (exactly two months later), this after I had chased her up a week ago (in the guise of "just wondering whether you ever got my email of 7 November".)  She tells me she has not even been able to open the MS Works database attachment, and could I send it in another format!
I was gnashing my teeth again today, as I bent over backwards to get an early draft of a document off before Christmas to the marketing department of a (different) tourist board, who have engaged me as a consultant.  I have still had no word of acknowledgement from them, and the thing has to be discussed, adapted, translated and polished by the end of January.
And again (sorry, I'm getting it all off my chest now; it's very therapeutic!), in October I sent free copies of a guidebook to many people whose establishments I had mentioned, and with whom I felt I had built up a slight rapport, or who had actively asked to receive a copy on completion. So far (three months later) 37 of them - including some tourist-board officials - have not had the grace to acknowledge it, even by the briefest email.  All these, and maybe another 20 or so, I prodded gently in November with a slightly disingenuous email:  "...So sorry, we have had a postal strike in England; do let me know if the book has not reached you and I will send another", to which a few dropped me a reply saying yes, they had got it a month earlier. I am still waiting on the rest.

I do love France.  But for me it can't beat the UK: its humour, self-deprecation; adaptibility, ingenuity, inventiveness, friendliness and - yes - common courtesy.

Angela

 

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[quote user="You can call me Betty"]

I might be in a minority of one, and if I am, so be it, but in spite of all my fond feelings for France and its people, I can't see it as any kind of Utopia, any more than I recognise the almost daily outpourings of bile on here about the problems in the UK by a bunch of people who, when all's said and done, don't even bl*** well live here anymore.

[/quote]

I've tried to say this a couple of times since i've been on the forum and got jumped on each time for being "miserable" or "negative" [:D]

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I've lost count of how many times this subject has come up. It always ends up a slanging match with the pro 'this' and anti 'that' brigades. Jump in to mediate or add your little bit and you'll immediately get put in one camp or another.

At the end of the day does it really matter, surely it's all about how an individual sees a particular situation. Thats not to say that those who see either places as nirvana or the depths of hell are wrong, it's just that particular individuals perception.

It is a fact that both countries have good points and bad. (also true, sur la monde)

It's also a fact that individuals have moved from one to the other for many different reasons.

It is also a fact that in the great scheme of things, as long as the individuals are healthy, happy and can pay the bills, none of this other stuff is really important.

Lighten up guys and gals, smoke if you've got 'em (but outside please [:)]), and enjoy what you have.

Gary

the eternal optimist...................................[;-)]

 

 

 

 

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[quote user="raindog"][quote user="You can call me Betty"]

I might be in a minority of one, and if I am, so be it, but in spite of all my fond feelings for France and its people, I can't see it as any kind of Utopia, any more than I recognise the almost daily outpourings of bile on here about the problems in the UK by a bunch of people who, when all's said and done, don't even bl*** well live here anymore.

[/quote]

I've tried to say this a couple of times since i've been on the forum and got jumped on each time for being "miserable" or "negative" [:D]
[/quote]

Well I don't know about some people in France supposedly wearing rose-tinted specs, but it appears that whilst there are some here, there are also some in the UK wearing them too.         Don't you believe that there are some of us who care about the UK, care about traditions, care about quality of life....we care because although we don't bl**** well live there, we have family and friends who do!   KathyF - you keep stating I make sweeping generalisations.    I speak from first hand knowledge.     We don't read newspapers in this house (just to put the people right who believe we have our heads stuck into the Daily Mail), however, we do receive daily BBC newslinks and we do see the BBC news.     Before anyone else shoots me down, we watch French television as well, this is not Utopia, or, as our French neighbours like it now to be spelt....Eutopia, France has its problems too, but not on the scale of the UK.      As I said before the island is too small, there are too many on it, too many been allowed on it, the system is crashing, not one system, many systems.   After millions of pounds have been spent on producing literature to aid the newcomers (can you imagine France doing the same for us entering their country - I think not), they now decide enough is enough.      After the prisons are overcrowded to the point of bursting its decided to send illegal immigrants back, what were they in prison for?  They can't have been up to any good to be in there, can they?    People's perceptions and opinions are different, accept that.     You mention you have none of this in Wales, yet in today's newslink I read this :  -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_west/7174064.stm

We have family in mid-Wales, and they are seeking a property in France, why.....because they want to get away from the yob culture, (their words not mine).    We have a family member currently in hospital after a mugging,    Now that should'nt give you a sigh of relief, but it does.....because they could be dead now if a knife had been involved, which is commonplace.    We've had a friend play life-lotto for cancer treatment drugs, why, because thats the way it is, too little money.....its spent on other things.   As I said before priorities are lost.       Britain was Great Britain once, France has never claimed to be Great, but here we have peace in our life and are not afraid to walk the streets day or night, and their health system may be being overhauled but if the UK Government did what Sarkozy has done a long time ago the NHS would'nt be crashing either.

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[quote user="5-element"]

Angela - absolutely SPOT ON!!!! Exquisite accuracy, alas.

[/quote]

Count me in the minority too.  We are fortunate enough to have a lovely home in both countries - and we love to visit France on holiday, but we would never, ever move there permanently.

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[quote user="Gluestick"]

Not much evidence of real poverty in our bit of the Pas de Calais,

[/quote]

One of our neighbours was telling me her husband earned 'good money' - he takes home just over 1000 euros a month!  They live in a little one bedroom village house and, as the only bedroom is used by their child, the living room doubles as the parents' bedroom.

Out of interest, a little while ago, I checked the salary rates for a role equivalent to the one I have here in the UK and was shocked.  Even commuting 2 hours each way (to our nearest major connurbation), I would earn much less than half my current UK salary. 

I wasn't sure what we would gain by the move.  Everyone seems to cite rural living, good food etc as the big plusses of France, but here in the UK we live in a lovely rural area on the edge of the Peak District, we can walk from our house along pretty country lanes to good country pubs serving good food and great beer.   My drive to work takes less than twenty minutes along country lanes and I watch the cows go for milking from my office window (before anyone asks - I work for the head office of a bank not a farm [;-)]) Plus, we have regular farmers markets, my supermarket here in the UK sells a wide range of ethnic foods (kind of equivalent to the cheese shelves in France [;-)]),  there are loads of ethnic (and other) restaurants nearby and in under an hour, I can be in one of three major cities for fab shopping, theatre, music, museums, international sports venues, concert arenas....  And I can enjoy all of this and have a few weeks in France every so often whilst maintaining a salary which my French neighbours would think was astronomical [:)].  I can't think of a single reason why I would want to move to France permanently.

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[quote user="Scooby"][quote user="Gluestick"]

Not much evidence of real poverty in our bit of the Pas de Calais,

[/quote]

One of our neighbours was telling me her husband earned 'good money' - he takes home just over 1000 euros a month!  They live in a little one bedroom village house and, as the only bedroom is used by their child, the living room doubles as the parents' bedroom.

Out of interest, a little while ago, I checked the salary rates for a role equivalent to the one I have here in the UK and was shocked.  Even commuting 2 hours each way (to our nearest major connurbation), I would earn much less than half my current UK salary. 

I wasn't sure what we would gain by the move.  Everyone seems to cite rural living, good food etc as the big plusses of France, but here in the UK we live in a lovely rural area on the edge of the Peak District, we can walk from our house along pretty country lanes to good country pubs serving good food and great beer.   My drive to work takes less than twenty minutes along country lanes and I watch the cows go for milking from my office window (before anyone asks - I work for the head office of a bank not a farm [;-)]) Plus, we have regular farmers markets, my supermarket here in the UK sells a wide range of ethnic foods (kind of equivalent to the cheese shelves in France [;-)]),  there are loads of ethnic (and other) restaurants nearby and in under an hour, I can be in one of three major cities for fab shopping, theatre, music, museums, international sports venues, concert arenas....  And I can enjoy all of this and have a few weeks in France every so often whilst maintaining a salary which my French neighbours would think was astronomical [:)].  I can't think of a single reason why I would want to move to France permanently.

[/quote]

Lucky you.

 

 

Georgina

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[quote user="Marton"]    Don't you believe that there are some of us who care about the UK, care about traditions, care about quality of life....we care because although we don't bl**** well live there, we have family and friends who do!   [/quote]

Sorry if this seems a bit harsh, but obviously the deep care you're so fervently expressing seems a bit forced. You don't care enough to stay and do anything to support the family and friends who are obviously suffering so badly from all the ills you're so keen to list. Neither do you care enough to stay yourself and make any tangible contribution to changing the things you so passionately care about. Whinging on about how terrible it all is does absolutely nothing to improve the situation, and at least, whatever you may think of the UK, there still appear to be a few people around who are proud of being British and proud of their country of birth.There are even some who are quite prepared to extend that national pride to living there. Something, regrettably, that could not be said of you.

I live 16 miles outside central London. I have a 20-year old son who lives on the borders of Peckham and Camberwell. You may have read about Peckham and Camberwell in the papers or seen recent references to them on the BBC websites you frequent. Oddly, neither I nor my son nor any other member of my family feels "afraid to walk the streets day or night", I've worked in over 40 countries worldwide, mostly travelling alone, and I've lived in several, including France. I'm fairly streetwise....and the only place I've ever been mugged in my life was in Paris.

 

 

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[quote user="Marton"] 

You mention you have none of this in Wales, yet in today's newslink I read this :  -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_west/7174064.stm

We have family in mid-Wales, and they are seeking a property in France, why.....because they want to get away from the yob culture, (their words not mine).    We have a family member currently in hospital after a mugging,    Now that should'nt give you a sigh of relief, but it does.....because they could be dead now if a knife had been involved, which is commonplace.    We've had a friend play life-lotto for cancer treatment drugs, why, because thats the way it is, too little money.....its spent on other things.   As I said before priorities are lost.       Britain was Great Britain once, France has never claimed to be Great, but here we have peace in our life and are not afraid to walk the streets day or night, and their health system may be being overhauled but if the UK Government did what Sarkozy has done a long time ago the NHS would'nt be crashing either. [/quote]

Well, I just wrote an answer to this, but lost it, so I'll try again.....

Nowhere did I suggest, Marton, that Wales has no problems with anti-social behaviour, though I have to admit to not finding the link you post very alarming [:)]. But there are far fewer of them in rural Mid-Wales than in the bigger towns and cities. What I have said and will repeat, however, is that I simply don't recognise the places I have lived  in your one-sided and, to me, very exaggerated view of the dire state of modern Britain, and this is especially true of the beautiful and tranquil area where I now live.

I also take issue with your statement that the NHS is "crashing".  Yes, it has its problems, as does the French health system in its own way, but it still does a great job for a lot of people. I've had cancer twice in the past 9 years and both times the treatment I received was superb. Here in Wales prescription charges have been abolished so that everyone gets their medicine without it costing them a penny at the time of need.  We also get heavily subsidised dental treatment, neither of which would be true if I lived in France. This isn't a dig at the French system, just a reminder that there's still a lot that's very good about Britain.

To put it quite simply, I love Britain and am very happy to go on living here.  I also love France and thoroughly enjoy all the time I spend there.  For me it's a case of both/and, not either/or, and I feel richer for it.

 

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[quote user="Scooby"]
I wasn't sure what we would gain by the move.  Everyone seems to cite rural living, good food etc as the big pluses of France, but here in the UK we live in a lovely rural area on the edge of the Peak District, we can walk from our house along pretty country lanes to good country pubs serving good food and great beer.   My drive to work takes less than twenty minutes along country lanes and I watch the cows go for milking from my office window (before anyone asks - I work for the head office of a bank not a farm [;-)]) Plus, we have regular farmers markets, my supermarket here in the UK sells a wide range of ethnic foods (kind of equivalent to the cheese shelves in France [;-)]),  there are loads of ethnic (and other) restaurants nearby and in under an hour, I can be in one of three major cities for fab shopping, theatre, music, museums, international sports venues, concert arenas....  And I can enjoy all of this and have a few weeks in France every so often whilst maintaining a salary which my French neighbours would think was astronomical [:)].  I can't think of a single reason why I would want to move to France permanently.

[/quote]

Scooby

I feel the same way about my life here in Britain, I live in Rural Shropshire 1 mile outside a beautiful small market town, born and bred within 10 miles, all my family within 30 minutes drive, the Britain / England I read of so often on this forum is not every where and I do feel very privileged to live here. I'm not blind, I do see what is happening in Britain, its not perfect, but I don't read national daily papers that bombard you with all this 'horror', why should I waste my time constantly reading about things I have no control over. Why do people have to invite such negativity into their lives, I tragically lost my daughter almost ten years ago, and I learnt after that what is important in life, its peace of mind, easily said, but not easy to achieve.

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[quote user="You can call me Betty"]

[quote user="Marton"]    Don't you believe that there are some of us who care about the UK, care about traditions, care about quality of life....we care because although we don't bl**** well live there, we have family and friends who do!   [/quote]

Sorry if this seems a bit harsh, but obviously the deep care you're so fervently expressing seems a bit forced. You don't care enough to stay and do anything to support the family and friends who are obviously suffering so badly from all the ills you're so keen to list. Neither do you care enough to stay yourself and make any tangible contribution to changing the things you so passionately care about. Whinging on about how terrible it all is does absolutely nothing to improve the situation, and at least, whatever you may think of the UK, there still appear to be a few people around who are proud of being British and proud of their country of birth.There are even some who are quite prepared to extend that national pride to living there. Something, regrettably, that could not be said of you.

I live 16 miles outside central London. I have a 20-year old son who lives on the borders of Peckham and Camberwell. You may have read about Peckham and Camberwell in the papers or seen recent references to them on the BBC websites you frequent. Oddly, neither I nor my son nor any other member of my family feels "afraid to walk the streets day or night", I've worked in over 40 countries worldwide, mostly travelling alone, and I've lived in several, including France. I'm fairly streetwise....and the only place I've ever been mugged in my life was in Paris.

[/quote]

]

I couldn't have put it better myself, Betty. 

When I am in France, I make a point of buying the local/regional papers and they are full of reports of vandalism, attacks, theft, drug problems, poor educational standards, etc etc etc.  They even report murders sometimes.  We have a house in what is regarded as a "...calm, rural location....".  The local papers in my UK area (busy South East England) seem to report the same problems in about the same degree of magnitude.

It is possible to love the UK and to love France.  Living in one does not prevent love of the other.  Some of the arguments seem to represent the childhood "....my Daddy is bigger than your Daddy..." approach.   [:(]

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Jackie you are correct when you say"important in life peace of mind, easily said but not easy to achive"

For me....that is the reason why I have moved to France in anticipation of achieving just that.

Over the last few years I have fallen out of love with UK.It has never beeen a political thing because I do not get involved with politics.I have to say that I feel that the country is not being run well...and concidering that the leaders are paid so well and have a massive reponsabilty they should be doing a better job.

The NHS ...is in a shambles...not compared to a third world country but in comparison to its past.With all its power the NHS should have improved with time ....moved forward...scientificly....and for shear desire of achievement great discoveries have been made to combat desease.But...at the same time...on many occassions people in need of these new medications[an existing remedies] are denied these life saving drugs.I have sat around a table with management of a major hospital and witnessed their reluctance to understand....or, perhaps care.Time and money is wasted by the NHS in employing the wrong people.5 well paid people do a better job than 10 badly paid.The NHSs administration is bad.There is no true leadership in the wards.....The Matron.

There are still great surgeons  and good doctors in uk.....as indeed there are around the world.There  are still also good nurses.Bedside manner...well it is not suprising that many patients leave hospital and need counciling.My own experiences with hospitals and   GPs left me deverstated   and over 10 years there was a net of errors, neglegance and nonchalonce woven over my life.

When I visited the bank the queue was massive...the bank manager would change every few months as they could not handle the stress.The polution was so bad that sometimes I could not breath probally [I can now]There would be debry of beer cans,filthy matresses, carrier bags  with disgarded worldy goods left on the Green[near the bank]and they were there for months......may still be there now!This is part of my life ...not the chapters of dissaster which are found in newspapers.I was anble to create the means to move on.If, in any I can help others through my life exspereinces ...then I am happy to do so.To me life is about people[and certainly cats]

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Re KathyF's observations regarding the NHS, I feel that she should have pointed out that the service she, quite rightly, gets from the NHS is only available in Wales and Scotland. In England, where the majority of UK citizens live, one has to pay nearly £7 per item for prescriptions and the only way to get satisfactory dental care is to pay for it. All out of one's taxed income.

As for pensions and care for the elderly the levels of both in the UK are a disgrace.

I have recently had dental treatment in France, a checkup and two small fillings and that was more expensive than in the UK. I didn't try to obtain a refund through the system because I was not sure whether I qualified for one. I had a quote for two crowns, much more expensive in France

Recently in France I had a medical condition, fortunatly not serious, which required several consultations and quite a lot of medication blood tests and so on. I paid out around 150€ in various charges but I received £57:58 in refunds. I am not a resident in France.

I would agree that usually if one is unfortunate to have a serious medical problem the treatment under the NHS is superb, this is assuming that you do not die while awaiting treatment.

So there you are, one persons experience, many will have more experience of the two systems than me but I would prefer to be ill and treated in France and have dental care in the UK.

Finally my cat received far better treatment from our vet than my experience of the English version of medical care service for humans.

C

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I left the UK in 1993 and have been fortunate enough to have had the chance to live in the four courners of the globe since. I arrived in France in early 2002 due to work. I do not believe I view the UK with rose tinted spectacles, but there can be no doubt that things have changed for the worst.

Apart from my all to infrequent visits, my view of the current standard of life in the UK comes from Sky news and reading the Daily Mail, which I accept both have their own agendas. My wife is not from the UK and has never lived there, and sadly as her information comes from the same sources as me, has said that we cannot ever live there.

In my view the UK has gone from being a once respected nation, to a nation of couch potatoes, second rate medical care, third rate transport system and has a government bent on destroying it even further. It is also the only country I know where displaying the national flag is almost an offence.

Last year I took my wifes parents to the UK for the first time. I spent 2 weeks showing them as much as possible, we had a great time. As we were leaving I asked them what they thought, they had very much enjoyed it but the one remark that stuck in my mind was "what is wrong with the girls in your country? They are all so overweight" I was saddened by that remark but must admit, in contrast to where they are from where obesity simply doesn't exsit in the younger population, most of the young girls we saw were overweight, and instead of dressing appropriately, insisted on wearing tight tops and mini skirts which emphasised the beer bellies that hung out over them. I don't remember it being like that when I was young. We were all busy outside doing crazy things like riding our pushbikes, without helmets !!! And running round the local park. Now thanks to the lunatics at the health and safety commission our kids are not allowed out, for their own good, instead they get to sit on the couch all day playing playstation.

The other problem in the UK is the governments absolute mission to apease all faiths and minorities at the expense of our own cultural heritage. I believe it is a governments responsibility to preserve our culture, not feel embarrased by it, and they should be held to account. At the begining of the post was a link to a newspaper, one of the quotes was from a school teacher who said that in the nativity play the three kings were not going to bring gifts of gold, frankincence and myyrh but of peace and cooperation??? The nativity is a scene from the christian bible and they were going to change it not to offend any muslims. Can you imagine what would happen if they changed something from the Koran, there would be flag burning and riots. Why can't the powers that be just treat everyone the same?

A friend of mine was telling me how his young son brought a letter home from school saying they were taking the children to visit a mosque "in order to give a balanced veiw of faiths", my friend bumped into the headmaster outside the school and said that it was fair enough but asked when were they going to visit a church as well, the headmaster said they were not, as it might offend the parents of the muslim children. My friend was speechless, how can that give the children a balanced view? My friend then said that in that case he would not permit his son to go on the trip, the school wouldn't back down, so he had to keep his child off school that day and write a sick note. I don't doubt that taking the christian children to a mosque would give them a more balanced view of faiths, then why deny the muslim children the same possibility. By not visiting a church only goes to promote the "ours is the one true religion" piffle the fundamentalist Mullah preach when they begin the indoctrination of their youths.

Personally I don't think multiculturism works, the beliefs and ideologies of different people are just not compatable and it would seem that the current hot topic in the media is Islam. I don't mind of someone wants to believe in Islam, it doesn't work for me, some of their beliefs, the subjugation of women, sharia law, slicing their childrens heads open on Ashoura day etc etc is a bit too much. What I don't like is when I have to change my lifestyle to accommodate them.

There is a guy on youtube called Pat Condell, look him up, he is quite exteme in his views for me, but I believe he is also the voice of a growing number of the populace in the UK. The reason his views are becoming so mainstream is driven by the governments poilicies and the media's desire to stir up the nation.

 

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[quote user="oakbri"]

 My wife is not from the UK and has never lived there....

Last year I took my wifes parents to the UK for the first time. -----

 I was saddened by that remark but must admit, in contrast to where they are from where obesity simply doesn't exsit in the younger population...

 Personally I don't think multiculturism works----,

[/quote]

In my experience, multiculturalism works when extremists of all kinds are kept at bay.

Oakbri, I was interested by your claim of ''Personally I don't think multiculturism works...''.   However, reading your post, you say that your wife is not from the UK etc. I assume, therefore, that you married someone not of your ''culture''. I fail to understand your comments unless you can give me a definition of multiculturalism that I do not know.  I hope you realise that a marriage between a French and a Brit or a French and an Italian is actually multicultural (though not multiracial if they are both of the same colour).

Are you saying that your marriage is a failure?

So, as many people tend to write often on this forum... I'm confused.[8-)]

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[quote user="raindog"][quote user="oakbri"]

 Now thanks to the lunatics at the health and safety commission our kids are not allowed out, for their own good.


[/quote]
eh? [8-)]
[/quote]

Sorry raindog, have you not read the reports of climbing frames being dismantled, the game of conkers being banned etc etc, all for health and safety. If the kids are no longer allowed to play games we all played (and survived [:-))]) then no wonder they are turning into a nation of couch potatoes.

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