A few weeks ago I wrote this:
It think it goes deeper than that. The Brits are trained from birth that the “nanny state” will take care of them. Period. If they need health care, its provided. If they lose their job, their mortgage is paid by the government. Hungry, call the local welfare office and dinner will be delivered, kosher or Muslim if you like. So, they EXPECT parking to be free.
PT European reporter Peter Guest responded with this broadside:
Bite the Hand that Feeds You (not much)
In a recent blog JVH fired a fairly broad and I think rather ill informed blast at the UK and our so called “nanny” state. Just because it’s in the Daily Mail John doesn’t make it true. Like most of Europe we have a welfare state, which means that we pay taxes and everyone who needs medical treatment gets it, not most people, everyone, even you John if you get hit by a bus. Meals, where did this come from John? We do have a system where elderly and sick people who can’t look after themselves can pay to get a hot meal delivered; and yes we do respect their religious and cultural sensitivities; are you suggesting that we shouldn’t?
My response to Peter:
The Nanny State. Sorry Peter but the UK is the poster child for the Nanny State. It’s not just health care, it’s everything. The average Brit feels that there is no problem the government can’t solve. I have run companies located in the UK, I have fought the battles to hire and fire, I have seen how your fabled health care system makes folks wait months or even years for surgery. I have seen people who simply stopped working and had their mortgages paid by the government. I didn’t make this up – Ever try to get a squatter evicted from a piece of property you own? I have – it’s virtually impossible. They are protected by the “nanny state.”
The end result is that there is an expectation level ingrained in the populace that certain things will happen and if all else fails; they will be taken care of. This, I think, creates a problem. It means that if someone loses a job as a millwright in Northampton and likes Northampton, where’s the motivation to move to Cardiff, where there are millwright jobs a plenty. Just sit on your nanny protected butt and wait it out.
My fear is that this creeping nannyness is happening here. We must fight it at all costs. The thing that makes you who you are, is individual responsibility and being able to succeed or fail on your own. That should be treasured above all else.
PS, no Peter, I don’t get free medical service in the UK – Last time I got sick and went to a clinic, they took my American Express Card to cover the costs. My company may pay taxes there, and I may have 10 people that I have hired and pay their salaries, but if I get sick, and I’m not a Brit, or signed up on the health care plan, I pay. And rightly so, I think…