Thursday, October 15, 2009

Durun Dongar Sazre

There's a saying in Marathi - "Durun Dongar Sazre"... Which means, a mountain seems green and beautiful from afar, but it's something else when you are near it.

The equivalent English saying is - "The grass is always green on the other side".

Why am I on such an idiom ride? That is because this particular news item caught my attention recently when I was searching for something else. (Actually this one too)

There are some damning statistics in there. It says last few years, UK has seen massive exodus of it's own people. Britons, that is. In this great revolving door called UK, immigrants (specially from India,Pak, B'desh, Sri Lanka..the usual suspects) outnumber the natives by a ratio of 2:1.
Surveys recently have uncovered huge numbers of Britons who, given a free choice, would get out of the country. Separate polls by ICM and YouGov found that more than half would like to leave - the YouGov poll found that 55 per cent had "seriously considered settling in another country".
Makes me wonder why the Brits are in such a hurry to leave that nation? Free health care, Free education... Free lunches..!! Shouldn't it be the other way round? The Australians and Americans (where most Brits are running towards) be running to Queen's great nation?

There may be multiple factors to this, and I am no socio-scientist to figure that out, but there's something that we all know. The UK has been ruled by the Labor party for almost two decades now. To be fair, they have been very popular, and continue to be re-elected every 5 years, keeping the conservatives (Tories as they are called there) off the aisles of power corridor for a very long time.

The last famous Tory was a 'someone' called Margarette Thatcher.. (yeh her). A towering political figure of UK, who ruled with an iron hand, but was also responsible for an economic turn around like never before. Thatcher and Reagan probably worked around the same time frame on either side of Atlantic. Both shrewd conservatives who became universally famous for different reasons, but their popularity at home was never in doubt. (Even the opponents conceded that)

But after that point (meaning, after end of Reagan ism and Thatcher ism) both countries took different paths. USA continued to follow loyally, the most common pattern of Democracy - swinging the power of pendulum between the Left and the Right. But UK din't. It continued bringing back Left, again and again completely demonizing and sidelining the Tories with a powerful pop culture ambush.

As an obnoxious centrist (and proud of it) I have my curious case of two countries right where I want. I see a country ruled for 20 years by the same party, with all it's 'easy' labor laws and free lunches (no wonder it returns to power again and again) now looking at the flip side of one party rule staring right at it's face.

If a nation looses it's banks, it's manufacturing industry, it's housing market etc, it can still hope to recover. There's a possibility of comeback. But once it starts loosing it's Middle Class, that's it.

And UK is currently being hit by the great flight of the Middle Class. Because for all practical purposes, it's the Middle class that drives the real economy. And once you start loosing that resourceful talent, you got trouble baby.

They say, for a child to develop a well rounded personality, it needs the nurturing of a loving mother and a toughness of a disciplined father. Both are essential for all round growth.

A nation too needs both forms of reinforcements. A fair social order and helpful hand of government for the weak, but also a tough fiscal discipline with incentive and merit based labour force to drive it.

French guyz realized it last year. The poster child of liberal Europe brought in a conservative Sarkozy to power. There's a good chance England will follow suit in next elections. Else, the emigration would continue at a scale, that won't help it sustain it's economy.

I am of an opinion that for a good health of a nation, the door of power should be revolving between two principle poles. If the door gets stuck with one pole, it's usually a sign of sickness. And that kinda sickness is usually diagnosed when it's too late to recover.


Post Script : A few years back, one of my college friends who had just returned from UK after a long stint there, told me something that struck me.. "Baring London, the rest of the UK is poorer than Maharashtra. You go 100 kms in any direction from London, and you'll see the real England".

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