Answer me this... - MPA
I work in Switzerland for quite a lot of the time. The Swiss are supposed to be the most anti-car bunch in Europe. So why....

- is petrol about 55p a litre
- do they have road planning that works
- do they have an integrated public transport system so I don't NEED to drive in town

... of course Tony's Crony at Transport tells me I "simply don't understand"..

The Swiss also have the highest standard of healtch care in Europe and one of the lowest rates of personal tax and low unemployment and low inflation..... they also have a directly accountable political system. Ho hum.
Re: Answer me this... - Bruce
They may well have a Government that works considerably better than ours!
Re: Answer me this... - ladas are slow
you have convinced me, i will be moving to switzerland.
Re: Answer me this... - alvin booth
Wish I knew MPA. When I was a kid I used to believe that we had the best in everything because thats what we were led to believe.
Unfortunately when we get older and see more of the world we realise that it was simply propoganda that we were given.
As you get even older an unfortunate trait called cynicism takes over and you believe virtually nothing that authority tells you. I say unfortunate because somethings must be true but one looks for the catch.
We must be one of the highest taxed nations in the world but where does all the money go?? Not on the roads or the NHS or public transport for sure.
We seem keen on having our armed forces spread across the world but for whose benefit I'm not sure. I come to the conclusion that our politicical parties still think we have an Empire and they do so love to tread the world stage whereas little countries such as Switzerland concentrate on looking after the people who elected them and believe charity begins at home.
Alvin..little englander
Re: Answer me this... - careful driver
yep i've lost faith in the institutions that manage our society, and the small pressure groups from the same schools and same social circle that remain so much real power regardless... and the fashions that they all grab hold of...

the council and civil service mandarins, and all of the masses of people on the public payroll who just do such a c**p job, and i feel so much genuine sympathy for those on the sharp end of the public services trying to do their best

ive been around the world, and earnt this country a fair wodge of dosh in the process...

i can honestly say

i) poor people get better health care in the US despite there being no nhs
ii) most europoean countries do not treat drivers as public enemy number one like they do here

And like you i have very much come to the conclusion that the myths we were brought up with are just that...
UK is still a great place, but thats generally despite the people in charge, and not because of them...
Re: Answer me this... - Brian
Careful Driver
How right you are. The emphasis has changed from enlisting the help of the authorities to improve things to finding ways round the c**p decisions and systems that the authorities have imposed.
Minority pressure groups have obtained so much influence that resources are being seriously misdirected.
As a poster on another thread pointed out, Switzerland has stable institutions, a strong currency and Worldwide respect, without its leaders jetting off to international meetings at the drop of a hat. In fact, who ARE the leaders of switzerland. QED.
Re: Answer me this... - Anthony Farrar
I agree, I have reached the age of cynicism (is that how you spell it?). I don't trust our politician one bit. I see in the past few days Tony Blair has overidden the Lords to pass the European Arrest Laws, which incidentally include the crime of Xenophobia - Long Live England - I'm a criminal already.

Our taxes go on a blue water navy, which we don't need, free houses for ministers and senior military personnel, free cars for the same, free flights for the same, subsidised holidays for the same, plus 40%, self-voted pay increases.

Motorists are the big criminals because most of us are law abiding and can be traced - via the DVLA - so no hard investigative work for the rozzers.

Not all motorists are criminals though, Jack Straw's driver, Tony Blair's driver and the Chief Constable of Sussex's? driver - they're not.

I was in Switzerland in the Summer and what a nice place to be. Except you have to learn three languages and you can't go to beach on a sunny day.
Re: Answer me this... - alvin booth
I'm sure your'e right. A retired friend who lives near the Akotiri RAF base in Cyprus is perpetually complaining of the huge numbers of higher ranking military and senior civil servants who always jetting in for on RAF transport planes on fact finding trips.
Counting the bloody toilet rolls at the taxpayers expense is his favourite clique.
He is convinced that the only reason we keep bases in Cyprus is as a perk for freeloaders. I tend to agree with him.
Re: Answer me this... - Otto
You wish you knew MPA. LAC hopefully might meet him before you!

The leaders of Switzerland are the Bankers. This most boring country produces just about nothing, and contributes the same to society. Its banking laws are a disgrace.

Re: Answer me this... - Anthony Farrar
And its national airline isn't so hot either
Re: Answer me this... - THe Growler
Few if any officials get elected to do the job, but rather in what's in it for them. It is a tragedy that the UK is now finding out what most of the rest of the world has always known, and a comment on how far the place has sunk. Europe has some of the most corrupt politicians outside of your average banana republic, get into bet with Euro-doom and lo, thou reapest what thou soweth. But then you get what you elect.
Re: Answer me this... - Dwight Van-Driver
As Growler says the trouble with politics is that the Government always get in.

Re: Answer me this... - Stu
Anyone fancy the two years compulsary national service the Swiss maintain.............and three year compulsary cuckoo clock apprenticeship.............and all those fondue parties. No thanks.

Great unemployment benefits , lager culture and an over inflated national pride for me!!!
Re: Answer me this... - pugugly
And the biggest class A drugs problem in Europe ! (which tends to suggest that all in the Swiss garden is not rosy)
Re: Answer me this... - MPA

typical knee-jerk response to the Swiss. Suggest you read the Swiss Banking Code before you make statements like this.

I am English and bloody proud of it and it really hurts to see other countries do things far better than we do.
Re: Answer me this... - Richard Hall
Switzerland also has a gorgeous railway system - clean, efficient and just about everywhere in Switzerland seems to have a railway station. Their architecture is terrible though.
Re: Answer me this... - Otto
1. Careful consideration often confirms that the knee jerk response was correct.

2. The efficiency of the Swiss is not in question.

3. I was wrong in saying that Swiss banking laws are a disgrace. I should have said the interpretation and application of the Swiss banking code, by Swiss bankers, is a disgrace.

Re: Answer me this... - Brian
The rot starts at the top.
Politics is the best-paid unskilled job going.
Cabinet ministers need no qualifications whatsoever in the subject of their ministries. There is no requirement for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to even have a D grade in maths, let alone an economics degree.
Those in government who are not lawyers are polytech lecturers or union officials. And ministerial posts are being filled by unelected cronies who are given a life peerage to bypass the electorate.
We have had third world public services for years, now we have third world politics as well.
Re: Answer me this... - Steve G
As Billy Connolly (comedian) rightly said....
" the desire to be a politician should automatic exclude you from becoming one".

Value my car