Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Emigration - 18th March 2003, 20.42

I was attending the Emigrate 2003 Fair at Sandown Exhibition Centre in Esher last Friday and visiting relevant stands concerning emigration to part of the Old Commonwealth and the First Empire. The Fair has become increasingly popular over the last few years and all ages were represented, queueing to have their skills and work experience assessed, asking about farms in Alberta or just pining for a better standard of living. There were certainly close resemblances amongst many attendees to the marchers on the Countryside Alliance last year and I met one young farming couple who were hoping for better prospects abroad.

On one wall was a poll demonstrating why people wished to leave and the issues that most exercised them. This is from memory and I haven't been able to track down the particular survey though the Daily Telegraph poll from last year showing that 54% wished to leave the country is still on line in article form. What it did say was, that besides bad public services and hellish trains, a significant minority considered the Euro and Europe to be reasons for departure. Some Eurosceptics, those who would be inclined to join the Tories or maintain a conservative outlook are voting with their feet.

This is just anecdotal, but it may be one of the explanations for why the Tories are not reviving.


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