Middle Class families want out of Broken Britain for more moral lands
British families want out as more seek relaxed life abroad
A majority of middle-class families want to leave Britain because it no longer offers them an adequate quality of life, a new survey has concluded.
By Andrew Hough
8:30PM GMT 01 Nov 2012
Researchers found almost two in three families wanted to emigrate overseas because of the poor weather, rude locals and a celebrity-obsessed culture.
Families say they also want to escape the economic downturn, expensive housing and the “loss of community spirit and neighbourliness” in British society.
The survey, conducted by the University of Huddersfield, also found most wanted a new, more relaxed life in a community with a more optimistic “can do” attitude.
Despite celebrating a year when British national pride is arguably at its highest, families admitted they wanted their “children to grow up in a country with a stronger sense of community than they believe exists in the UK”.
Australia was the first country of choice, with almost one in three wanting to move Down Under, followed by the United States, New Zealand, Canada and a host of European countries such as Spain, France and Italy.
Among the factors highlighted for wanting to leave Britain was the poor weather, with almost six in 10 blaming miserable conditions as their number one reason to leave.
Almost half blamed the economic downturn, more than four in 10 wanted to live in cheaper housing while more than a third highlighted “bad manners” and a loss of community spirit and neighbourliness for their motives.
Nine in 10 British parents said they wanted their children to live in a country without a “celebrity-obsessed culture” but which had a more “optimistic, can do attitude”.
The poll of 1000 British families was commissioned alongside a report for the Government of South Australia’s Office of Agent General, based at the Australian Embassy in London, to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“The comparative prosperity of our nation and children is fundamental to our sense of ‘Britishness’,” said Prof Paul Ward, co-director of university’s Academy of British and Irish Studies and the report’s author.
“But losing this position in the world’s economy is prompting many Brits to reconsider where they live.
“Many are choosing places founded by British settlers which retain core British values, or values similar to them, but are more affluent and in a better position to invest in economic drivers for the future such as health, education and transport.”
He added: “Many of the families we speak to, tell us they want to live in a community that embodies old-fashioned British values while enjoying a warmer climate and better work-life balance.”
The report, titled When the British built Adelaide they wanted to build a better Britain, suggested that “old-fashioned British values, thriving community spirit and a more relaxed way of life” were evident in the South Australian capital.
The SA government is currently embarking on a major drive for skilled, middle class migrants and officials say a recent series of organised “road shows” were heavily oversubscribed.
The survey found that families were looking for better weather, such as that in Adelaide (Picture: REX FEATURES)
Today, Matt Johnson, the SA deputy Agent General, told The Daily Telegraph that more than 800 people attended the roadshows last month alone, with almost the same number turned away.
“Our study provides an interesting insight into the aspirations of British people,” he said.
“Interest is very strong and bear in mind also that we now pre-screen all attendees to ensure we’re speaking with the right demographic – age, skills, language and experience-wise.
“The reality is, you can’t buy the sun. Brits continue to be really interested in Australia.”
Officials are also currently undertaking a wide-ranging review of the state’s “brand” as part of a new marketing strategy to lure tourists, new business and migrants to the state, which is said to be “pro-monarchy”.
It is understood the report’s findings have been discussed with senior government officials in Adelaide after the local state Premier Jay Weatherill, visited London in May this year on a “trade mission”.
Mr Weatherill met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a highly publicised black tie gala dinner of the Thirty Club at Claridge’s hotel – organised by the Agent General Bill Muirhead – and conducted high level meetings with several British-based businesses.
Next week, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will visit South Australia as part of their tour of the Asia-Pacific for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.