Sunday, 28 October 2007

Now they tell us ...

"There are fewer than 20,000 British expatriates on the electoral register, a tiny fraction of the estimated six million Britons living abroad. Part of the problem is that many overseas voters simply don’t know that they are eligible to vote," say The Electoral Commission.

Actually, I knew that I could vote: here in Spain I can vote for local councillors, whilst I could vote in general / European elections in the UK. That I haven't done the latter is because it's been too much trouble.

What I didn't know, however, is that there's a time limit: "British citizens living abroad who have been registered to vote in the UK at any time within the past 15 years can register as an overseas voter."

And, guess who has already been away more than 15 years this year?

Humph, it suits them, obviously, to have a time limit on this - and up to a point, I can understand that someone who has been away that long could be so far out of touch with their country of origin that their vote was of debatable value there - yet, the British Govt. does not see fit to having a time limit on imposing some of it's taxes? Funny that, isn't it?

You can download an overseas registration form and find out about registering here, if you're eligible and feel so inclined, but I wouldn't mind betting that the seriously low registration level is as much to do with folk not wanting to tie their old location to their new for various reasons we can only speculate about.

The campaign does seem a jolly good way for the UK Government to track where their citizens have gone. Something else which strikes me is the high opinion the UK has of itself. Well, it always did have delusions of grandeur, but it really must be time for it to finally accept that it now has neither "colonies" nor Empire! :) Mind you the colonies United States are just as bad, because this is equal to the Green Card ads that I am fed a constant diet of online.

Presumably, because I live in "another country", they think that I must be "desperate" to go to the US. (I would have to be 'effin desperate.)

The register to vote campaign starts with the assumption that "There are some things you miss while living abroad." This really depends on attitude and I would counter that once Brits stop expecting "Britain with sun" wherever they go in the world, then they don't miss a darn thing. Those of us - probably a very large part of the 6 million - who left Ripoff Britain because we thought it sucked, certainly won't see it that way. It also seems to me to be entirely out of touch.

Whilst I am sure there are many "Little Britain" enclaves dotted around the world, with "old hands" sipping tea on (irrigated) lawns, as if the days of the Raj had never ended, I wouldn't mind betting these are restricted to the armed forces and a few isolated spots. The majority have most likely gone abroad permanently and because they want to, not because they have some "overseas posting" they must "grin and bear". Those of us who actually thought about this and where they wanted to live instead have almost certainly found a culture, politics, climate, cuisine, etc., that suits them better. Via: the Telegraph

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