Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cheese Stands Alone

The UK has changed little since I lived here, but Euro-scepticism does seem to have solidified. The UK has never been particularly keen on being part of Europe (witness pounds, not euros) and people today seem to consider the adoption of the Lisbon treaty a stealth bomb maneuver.Wannabe UK Prime Minister David Cameron is raising some European ire with his Conservative party platform to take back power from the EU. The French have called the move "pathetic" and say that the UK is "autistic" in its obsession with taking back power. I have no real problem with Europe or the EU in principle, but I cannot imagine that the EU has a chance to be a world power rivalling the US unless Britain is a part of it. 
The movement toward autonomy is not surprising given the state of the economy here. Many blame immigration (just as they do in the US). It is true that Britain's crazy asylum laws bring in far more immigrants than can be dealt with - or afforded. Others blame the Labour party for failing to reform pretty much everything. Gordon Brown is deeply unpopular. One of my friends, a peace-loving person normally, hates him so much that she mentioned performing acts of a disturbingly violent nature if he were to come into her personal space. I just watched him on TV blathering on about Afghanistan and muust admit that he is probably the most boring politician Britain has had since John Major. But I can't quite figure out why he is so hated, apart from the economy.
The City seems pretty unchanged, if a bit quieter than it used to be. The shops (including Boodles and de Beers at the Royal Exchange) and restaurants are still busy. Bonuses are said to be rising again, so I expect that central London property prices have just about bottomed out. Plus ca change, really.

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