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British Expat Newsletter: June 2019

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In this issue

This month

The long Brexit lull continues while the Conservative Party goes through the long protracted process of electing a new leader – and therefore a new Prime Minister. It’s quite amusing (in a dark sort of way) to reflect on the Tories’ outrage at the Labour Party’s transition from Blair to Brown in 2007, where only Labour Party members got to vote in the leadership/Prime Ministerial election. Here’s what one commentator had to say about it:

They [the British people] voted for Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to serve as their leader. They were at no stage invited to vote on whether Gordon Brown should be PM… They voted for Tony, and yet they now get Gordon, and a transition about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero. It is a scandal. Why are we all conniving in this stitch-up? This is nothing less than a palace coup…

We’re about to get the second change of Tory leader and Prime Minister in three years. The country voted for Dave, and yet we got Theresa in 2016. And the Tories didn’t even bother to have an election within their own party then, making it an even less democratic exercise than the Tony-Gordon handover.

Then there was May’s spectacular U-turn at Easter 2017, when she decided that the country needed an election to bring about a more strong and stable government. (That worked out well.) So: we didn’t vote for Theresa in 2017, and we certainly didn’t vote for either of the last two standing in the Tory contest. Yet we’re getting one of them foisted on us by the will of 160,000 rich white old men. (86% of members are in social class ABC1; 97% are white; 56% are over 55; 7 out of 10 of them are male.) And on their own self-assessment, they’re even more right-wing than UKIP members.

The commentator I quoted above has a regular column in one of the national broadsheets. It’d be nice to think that he might have the consistency and moral courage to turn his ire on the Tories this time round. I won’t be holding my breath though. Especially as he’s one of the candidates. Yes, it was Boris Johnson.

Some analysts reckon that if you’re spending more than about 30% of your income on house, your quality of life is starting to suffer. ComparetheMarket.com have carried out a study of average rents and average incomes in 30 world cities to see which are the most affordable. While their methodology’s a bit suspect (for instance, they assume that couples earn exactly twice as much as singles), it’s still an interesting read. Have a look!

I was amazed to find that BE has never featured a Quick Quiz on New Zealand before now. That’s been put right this month. How much do you know about our Antipodean cousins?

And our latest Pic of the Week is also from NZ – a wooden head carving outside a marae or meeting-place, complete with tattoos.

Are you ever flummoxed by fancy foodie words, mystified by menus, or confused by culinary terms? Then head on over to Scoffopedia.com and become enlightened by our quirky A-Z of food. And it’s got cartoons in it! Don’t forget to tell all your friends about it too.

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Their website stocks over 10,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands, meaning you can enjoy the British food you miss, wherever you are in the world.

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British Corner Shop

So there’s a round-up of all that’s been going on. Come on over and see for yourself! Don’t forget…
Visit the BE website and join in with our lively community!

Till next time…

Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat—the definitive home for British expats

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