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  1. We work for companies based in Bordeaux. For a while I was working remotely for a UK company, but to be frank I got a bit tired of being self-employed - the administrative hassle was never-ending.
  2. We're near Bordeaux. Biarritz is nice - very nice. Whole Basque coast is nice actually. I'd be happy to live there myself. It's a bit of a mixed bag though: houses are expensive, some roads are gridlocked in tourist season. Big cultural contrast between the poncy Parisian "immigrants" and the Basques. The Basques are very proud of their culture, with a strong will to keep it alive. Downside is they can be strong willed in other areas! The job market is fairly restricted - it's not London! But if you've got a job, then there's lot to do. Go in with the mindset that from San Sebastian to Hossegor as basically one conurbation, lots of towns with very different vibes.
  3. A late reply, but I'll post it anyway for anyone else reading this thread: we moved from London to the South of France 3 years ago. A big part of it was cost of living - we're far better off now. As a couple (both working) London was great. With a kid, it became impossible. I don't regret for a second our move. However - the grass is not always greener on the other side. France has big issues: the bureaucracy is far, far worse than even the worst description that you've ever been given of it. The job market is difficult - you need to speak good French, have relevant recognised qualifications. Renting a place can be a nightmare - anecdotally I've been told that 80% of rentals are now covered by "Assurance Loyer Impayés", which is basically landlord insurance against non-payment of rent. And if you haven't already got a permanent full-time job with a local company and completed the "période d'essai" (trial period) - then you'll get told to go away. So basically you're stuck with choosing from the worst 20% of the rental market. If this sounds negative - well, I want to be clear that it's not a walk in the garden. But we're here, and we're happier than we were in London. For us, the upsides are really worth the aggro. But YMMV.
  4. I often read the above, but I struggle to reconcile it with reality. The most popular media in the UK is TV. How many of the most popular TV channels are right-wing? How many are pro-Brexit? Same question for the radio stations. The only media where right-wing views are strongly represented is print.
  5. The political landscape has changed very rapidly, and the political parties have not responded. For example, the most important question of today - Brexit - does not fit at all into the traditional left/right split. E.g. I used to live in St Albans, where a Cons MP was comfortably re-elected despite her name popping up several times during the Expenses Scandal. Yet St Albans also voted very clearly for Remain. So what's going to happen on Thursday? (answer: I haven't a clue) I now live in France, where the political parties were equally unable to react to changing voter priorities - and the 2 main parties got wiped out in the recent elections. Instead, in the first round of the election you had new 2 parties that did not even exist 2 years ago taking around 40% of the vote, and the much-reviled far right also surging forwards. Interestingly, when I discuss politics here, a lot of (youngish) people are up to speed on land value tax, citizens' income, and similar ideas that are almost never debated in the official channels - TV, newspapers. There was a moment when I thought the UK Labour party would split between the Corbynistas and the Blairites. Maybe it was a missed chance - the chance to start a party with a new set of priorities. As opposed to (and sorry if this upsets some people) the current UK choice of replaying the 1970s, or replaying the 1900s.
  6. Not a purge. A number of people decided to stop posting here. Some (like myself) still sometimes contribute here, but far less frequently. There's been no outright bans AFAIK.
  7. Just got back from London - I go every few months for work. I had to visit various places: Victoria, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Aldgate. Was shocked by all the homeless, they seem to have massively increased in number in a short span of time. I also noticed that whereas previously there were many East European beggars with the obligatory Big Issue in their hands, these seemed to have simply vanished; instead I saw many people who spoke with a native accent, were in a very poor state (skin scabs, shakes from drug addiction), and had the traditional homeless equipment (sleeping bag, crummy backpack). I formed a general impression of people really in the poo, whereas previously it was almost as if the Big Issue sellers were just regular people doing a job.
  8. Being generous here: "efficiency" might refer to the lower weight of a 2-stroke compared to a 4. For a range extender - which will most of the time be switched off and just a dead weight to lug around - weight might be a lot more important than fuel efficiency.
  9. I'm reassured that your experience working in the City of London has given you such clear insight into the mindset of the British working class.
  10. +1 I was initially puzzled by the BofE's decision to drop interest rates when the £ tanked - which is exactly the opposite to what every economics textbook says to do. Then I realised that if the economy crashed, it could be blamed on Brexit; the muggles would waver in their support for Leave, the government could 'regretfully' postpone - and later cancel - invoking Article 50, and the ruling classes would have got their way.
  11. It's not the 'next step', it's right here right now... When you call a GP and get given an appointment in 10 days time (yes it's happened to me), or you have to wait 6 months for a routine operation... then it's pretty clear that the NHS is not there when you need it. But you're still paying for it.
  12. There's an element of Washington Monument Syndrome to a ban on routine operations for smokers and fatties. What I mean is that such a ban affects a lot of people (or a lot of people who know someone who might be affected by it), meanwhile other causes of waste in the NHS will not be investigated - or even discussed. The useless tiers of middle-management Change Coordinator Champions has already been discussed. I'd like to add the spending of money on special flowers such as expensive anti-aids drugs for gay men who can't be bothered to put a condom on it or Viagra (Jesus, an inability to get a hard-on is hardly a life-threatening condition).
  13. Could you please clarify your post - "how much of that..." - how much of what? Cars made in Germany? Cars made in the UK? Or something else?
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