Fight Or Flight

Readers of our blog ‘The Social Contract’ could view this article as part II & you never know it might become a trilogy!    

I want to address the concept of living & working where you are treated best rather than enduring a degrading environment & being treated worst.

British culture in common with many nations, particularly since WW2, has been grounded in a ‘never give up’ approach. Fight to the death & ye shall prevail…And there are many points in history where this attitude won out & helped create the reputation – part myth, part real that exists to this day.

However there was one critical ingredient then that is completely missing now – a population & government acting in lock step as one, with one voice.   Throughout the Twentieth century we can find moments where it was perceived to be worth the hardships in the short term to generate a better life later on.

Even as recently as 30 years ago, the UK with London sitting as almost an autonomous country within a country seemed full of vigour, opportunity, adventure & prosperity. A place worth fighting for!

But here we are in 2021 with a riven population, constant restrictions on our freedoms & absolutely no plan, strategy or roadmap toward safety and prosperity. We discussed the vast inequality of the tax system in the last blog & over the last 100 years those paying most of the country’s bills faced Hobsons choice – that is to say they had no choice but to suck it up & try to fight from within. And fighting from within was a real option.

The reason that politics was a sport for gentlemen and the aristocracy until very recently was no accident. If you were expected to pay much more than everyone else then you wanted a seat at the main table and a loud voice so when you needed to fight your corner you could be heard.  

Now the tabloid newspapers create a hue and cry anytime it looks like a business person or company even attempts to lobby, gain influence or become an elected member. Did you really expect that someone paying millions and billions into the exchequer black hole is willing to do so without a say in where it gets spent or the laws of the land??      

But the prospects to fight today are limited with slim pickings. And the net result is the worst of both worlds – being treated as a pariah with no ability to influence or be heard. And that ladies & gentlemen is what creates the smooth, long runway for flight.

Over the next 10 years, little by little with no fanfare or publicity the UK’s movers and shakers will depart. Many have already gone. They will take up residences where they are treated best, where the fiscal treatment of them is fair. Some may even change citizenship and take up a different passport. Along with the people go their businesses, foundations & trusts so more jobs & wealth creation will move out of the UK.   

There’s a faintly romantic notion of needing to go to a desert island or tax haven in the Caribbean when leaving. No more. Within a 3 hour flight of London are handfuls of world class countries seeking to actively attract UK high achievers, providing them with lifestyle and favourable tax treatment… but most of all… with respect and dignity.

Fight lost and flight won.

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