Are you scared?

I may be getting the wring info but....

I hear that patients in UK are being sent to France for operations/treatment....

paid for by the UK gov????

I also have been told that the French health system is changing?

To allow health cover to people under pension age providing that they

have lived here for more than 3 months and can prove it!

Another point there is not to laugh at just about everything people say when you don't understand which some more nervous people appear to do. I saw a nasty situation develop in the Bergerac Leclerc some months ago when somebody not looking properly smashed their trolley into the side of a child's head and the mother very pleasantly and calmly asked the English couple to apologise and be careful in future. They looked at her and started laughing, which is when the woman lost her rag and the little girl started screaming. The English couple were escorted out without their shopping when they got shirty about not realising what had happened and nobody explaining. That is a case of learn French, at least learn to understand and take a point out of satire - that it makes fun of the plausible or actual rather than contriving something comedic.


I didn't put a health warning on the article as they've already done it with SATIRE in bold at the top. It just made me laugh, I'm not out to upset anyone or point the linguistic finger at people either. For those who struggle, keep struggling, you'll get there, any any effort is better than shouting in English, as Norman points out ;-)

My quarterly pittance, aka pension, arrived yesterday. The UK can be as cocky as hell but the exchange rate at present shows the filthy lucre becoming less valuable. Just imagine the exchange rate if the referendum says leave the EU. It will plummet. So, the couple of hundred Euros I am down from three months ago will probably be nothing compared to what will befall us then. Add to that the high likelihood of pensions being frozen. Private pensions are naturally also down too. I am more than happy I am still working for as long as I can earn a groat or two but those who cannot... Now, if this trend continues, even if people sell up to go back to the UK the exchange rate may bring them a bit more money back however not enough probably. I have been told that now that people are wise to the possibility of the UK getting out, that UK people trying to sell are already having potential buyers negotiating prices down in anticipation.

The government has a lot to answer for if they take the UK out of the EU, at least in terms of responsibility for those who are forced into hardship by that. Whilst most things should be fine, as Jonathan Barclay says, but remember that in principle people moving from one country to another within the EEA can be means tested, that is very likely to be put into practice for UK citizens. I escape by not being married to one of those. However, this now needs to be taken seriously and even pre-planning the next step for some people.

Andrew, I DO hope people see the word 'satire' on the site. I note it was written as a dig against Cameron saying Muslem women could be deported. Not too subtle and not even very well written by Joe Mellor despite his displayed media credentials.

However I think there IS a good point here, and speaking as one of the linguistic cripples of this world who know little or nothing of dreaded 'grammar" in English, let alone another language, I DO believe it to be incumbent on us to learn the basics at least. At the minimum learned to say 'please' 'thank you' ' how much' and smile a lot in the 12 countries I worked in (sorry anybody wanting to learn Hungarian or Estonian, or Russian or Vietnamese, or Arabic is either totally committed to those countries or a linguamasochist - and yes I made that word up!)

However, I will have to dig it out as I put it to one side as a live bomb, when early in my life here I bought a 'simplified' French Course book from major UK Publisher. I read the introduction and suddenly realised I too did not speka da English, as I didn't understand a word of it! Academics would have wallowed in it in orgasmic delight I am sure, but the Herberts of this world like me were and probably still are - lost.

On the other side as I produce books of graphic design from worldwide sources I am called upon to do some relatively simple translation in many languages, so I am surrounded by Dictionaries - usually bought in the countries concerned. They help with words but not with the daily idiomatic speech that every country seems to use as a matter of daily conversation. So often the translations are 'guestimates'.

I also find that deafness is not a great aid to conversation, but it doesn't stop the reading of French! So if a less than intellectually endowed yobbo like me can do this much, then so can anyone else in my book. Oh and just a point - just because a French person either doesn't speak English or chooses not to, doesn't mean he or she is deaf like me - and shouting in English really doesn't contribute anything, other than putting people's backs up - and embarrassing other Poms!

There might even be a few (of us) cheering as the ox-carts set off :-D

!!! 95 % of Brit Expats Sent Back to UK for Failing Language Test !!!


I like too. Well said Norm!


Jonathan I fear that if the UK leaves Europe a number of protections for EU citizens will be 'vulnerable' as the Brits. being no longer Members of the Club, will no longer see any obligations to obey any of the rules, most of all those applying to non-contributing cost elements as we would undoubtedly be dubbed.

Nice simple story to be sold to the sheeple in the UK, who have always in my relatively long-term memory needed someone else 'to blame' when things went wrong. I remember how the radio and tv industries blamed Japan for daring to supply better and cheaper items in Britain. The same applied to the auto industry, and others. All part of the English Arrogance - which was promoted at the so-called 'higher levels' with the 'British is Best' tripe which again the sheeple lapped up.

I mean seriously have you listened to the words 'Jerusalem' lately? - blinding jingoism that may have receded but certainly hasn't disappeared. I was reminded and irritated and finally delighted with the English crowds at the Rugby World Cup. Don't bother me with the rules of the game - we are English and as God was (and is?) an Englishman we deserved to win. An attitude I have come across around the various parts of the globe I have worked in, and guess what? Most people don't like it.

I am also afraid that previous contributions won't count for anything if the Brits. leave. As in Australia a simple stroke of a pen will make that vanish with no recourse. 'Place not your faith in Politicians' - the Gospel according to Clark!

I spent some time looking at comments in a number of European, especially UK, online newspapers in response to the latest opinion poll saying that there is now a majority for leaving the EU. I know it is extremely difficult to be impartial but I shall try.

In the UK so much of the pro-Brexit comment is about migration that it is almost too shocking. Some of it touches on racist, certainly a great deal is biassed by particular views on people's belief. There is a contradiction between the past and the present. It constantly reminds us of the imperial past of England, there seriously is emphasis on England to the partial exclusion of the other countries that make up the UK, that appear to include a great deal of denial. That there was an empire over which 'the sun never set' is indeed historic fact. It was in decline when I was born so that throughout my life I have seen its decline and aftermath. It came to be under a shadow of WW2. Europe was rebuilding itself but there were shortages of workers, so immigrants filled the many gaps. Many of them are my contemporaries or a bit older. At the top end that makes a few of them great-grandparents, many of the grandparents, some of their children grandparents and certainly a third and fourth generation are UK citizens who know no other life. They include many Moslems, most of them have been more secular than devout until people began to turn against them. Now they are confronted with a history of their countries of ancestry having been occupied and ruled by the British, used as labour and materials for the enrichment of the centre of empire and, in the passage of time, supply the UK with labour, becoming part of the population and then having the UK appear to turn against them. Yet some of the comments make a point of adding that people know Moslems and that they are not all bad, almost implying that there is a standard that makes many of them inherently bad.

The vast majority of former Empire, now Commonwealth migrants have been in the UK a long time. Even a very large proportion of the immigrant population now come from former or present commonwealth countries, protectorates or countries that the UK had full responsibility or a share in creating. That responsibility appears to be denied. What any of that has to do with the EU who are being blamed for migration is a puzzle.

Then there is the outrage with the number of EU benefits claimants, the legendary Poles who turn up leaving two wives and sixteen children at home for whom they claim every possible benefit (I exaggerate, but just a little) and then all of the others who are taking jobs that leave 'youngsters' with no jobs. That the EU people usually take specific skills with them is often omitted and that skills training that the young people in the UK require is insufficient seems to escape mention. I even read a comment about somebody going to their usual supermarket and hearing French, 'something like' German, Polish or Russian and African (??) rather than the English it ought to be. Well dear commenters try a trip to Eymet in the Dordogne or one of the other 'colonies' here in France and get used to a cosmopolitan world.

So it goes on and on and on. However, it becomes repetitive to the extreme. Pro-EU people are admittedly just as repetitive referring to the demise of a UK alone in the world, more than a few share my view that it will contribute to the eventually splitting up of the UK, some are really concerned about the divisions between rich and poor and how the UK alone will become a playground of billionaires whilst an increasingly economically depressed population will drag the country down as the last remaining industries dwindle (Tata have just announced cuts yesterday, they warned but nobody seems to listen until after the event). They tend to be 'shouted down' by Brexit supporters across the board of the UK media but get a great deal of support in European media. Surely that says something.

Little is said about the fate of UK citizens in EU countries, varying figures show 2.3 million known people up to 2.8 million when others who are not known to be out of the UK are included. Around 1.5 million of people going abroad are graduate level or post-secondary education qualified work seekers moving to places where there are greater economic opportunities. Given the present freedom of movement within the EU, of those at least one million are in European countries. Given a couple of hundred thousand graduate level EU people live in the UK how on earth can one feasibly cope with perhaps 300,000 out but 1,500,000 back, roughly five times as many. Then there are those who are living in France or cheaper countries like Croatia and naturally Spain, Italy, Portugal, etc, where property is cheap. If they can sell up, how can they move back to the UK? There are plenty of houses on the market, but many of them will not be able to afford them and rental property is so expensive what they take back, assuming they CAN sell up, it will use up their money in no time. Many people will go back to no jobs or as low income pensioners, disabled and so on, thus they will put up the benefits bill - assuming benefits still exist or they are allowed eligibility. A few people mention those things, most do not.

It is time consuming but worth the effort trying to get a cross sectional view. My feeling having done what I did is that there is a great deal of bitterness and anger that is driven by some kind of national self-image that relies on the past far more than the present, worse still to the future, that assumes that the UK can remain one of the countries in the driving seat of this world. That shocks me. Perhaps reality is too much for people to bear but there is plenty of information to get a far more rounded picture of the world, the EU included, and the UK's ever shrinking place in any form of influence whether political or economic.

No, I am not scared. In my way I am relieved to know what I have learned. However, I am afraid for people who may be hit by the negative possibilities of what might come of the UK leaving the EU.

Elaine, I am getting more convinced by the day that I should take French Nationality, apart from the fact that my life is here and has been since 1992 when we first bought a house. A little investigation shows that if the Brits did stop our Pension rights, then the French Govt would pick up the slack deducted from her French payments, so we think she will be OK. For me there seems no such safety net, unless I did take up Nationality but that would not get a Pension but some sort of welfare.

Of course as one gets older the question of 'end of days' tends to exercise one's mind, and it does appear that whichever of us pops off first - logically me being eight years older, can get a Widow's or Widowers pension, but I am not sure how this would work unless it was French Nationals involved.

Like others I have little or no connection with the UK. This is my home, and where I have chosen to live and been accepted by the French for all the quirkiness of the bureaucratic system. Bye and large I have always found it to at least be well-intentioned, unlike the UK system which I always found to be begrudging, particularly if one is/was a returning expat. I did it once, but never again.

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that Britain long ago lost any moral leadership in the eyes of the world, and it is stunning that so many there seem to think the world is waiting for a new and British Millenium.

I could be wrong, but I just don't see mass deportations of Brits from France, even if the FN by some fluke got in. If Germany suffers from World War guilt which is leading it into strange and misplaced decisions I doubt if too many French would care to be reminded of Vichy France and the Milice.

The PM, David Cameron, wants to stay in the EU, if he can achieve a few tweaks -- which, according to Jean-Claude Junckers, is quite likely.

The Labour party, too, is in favour of staying in and working on change from within.

The Greens are in favour of staying in.

As far as I can tell, the SNP are in favour of staying in -- at least,when they were talking of leaving the UK, they said they wanted Scotland to be in the EU.

We know UKIP aren't -- but they seem to be a spent force since the GE. Since Jeremy Corbyn's rise to the top of the Labour party, it appears that the UKIP vote was mostly a protest against "more of the same" politics.

So no, I'm not scared. But, having read your post, I did suggest to my Senegalese husband, who has lived, worked and paid taxes in France for 16 years, that he renew his efforts to attain French citizenship. Maybe being married to an EU citizen may help... maybe the fact that his father, having been born into French citizenship in Senegal, might help...

...but I shall certainly be voting for the UK to stay in. Apart from anything else, if we had to sell our lovely old house in Perpignan and leave France, I still wouldn't return to the UK. I'm living my dream here!

It is now a ten-year old situation so a lot of the shock has worn off and we have adjusted accordingly, but IF the UK takes away our part pensions, then we will be well and truly back under the breadline again, with very little left in the savings account. Not quite the situation I had planned for with my Pensions.

Unfair of course, but real life I fear. My main objection is listening to IDS (and I am trying to stay within the rules of netiquette with my whole soul wanting to describe him as I see him!) However as I recall it he said 'Beware the Quiet Man' - at least he was honest about that.

Really scary Norman And it seems so unfair

Bit too rosey Tobias they have reason to be worried. For pensioners no more S1 who is going to pay for their healthcare? IDS of extreme dubious honesty has already announced he will freeze the old age pension in line with Canada and Austalia. He's already taken our WFP dishonestly, against European rules. Our right to be here in France is gone. What will the French do? Probably what the Brits will do and if the outers have their way Europeans will be kicked out. Sadly the situation is explosive.

My advice REGISTER TO VOTE if you can. Under 15 years. Over 15 years write to your last MP quoting your last address and lobby him for your right to vote. After all 800,000 yes votes will make a huge difference.

Unless our friend IDS came up with another of his clever plots as he has done to people in other parts of the world, namely the pensions in Australia and Canada type of move.

I would wonder whether even the most right wing government could face the litigation that would arise. Home owners would not be easy to exclude for one thing and forcing people to sell... Putting on pressure perhaps, but actual throwing or pushing out too tricky.

Many Etonians refer to having been to Slough Grammar. I trained as a lawyer in London, and most to the partners were old Etonians. When I turned up for work, I was told by one of the partners that the other articled clerk joining at the same time had said he had been to Slough Grammar, so they assumed he meant Eton, when in fact he was being accurate. He got the job anyway, and in due course became a partner.