To think the USA and UK should become 1 country

(350 Posts)
FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 31-Dec-13 00:08:33

As the title says.

I think it should happen, not sure why exactly other than to pool out resources.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 00:15:42

You would need a fucking big bridge

sugarcoatediceberg Tue 31-Dec-13 00:16:29

I think YABU

I wouldn't want the UK to be part of the USA for many reasons; their healthcare system and their lax gun rules to name two of them

MummyBeerestCupOfCheerest Tue 31-Dec-13 00:18:08

Are you high?

It's quite far away

And they're quite different (generalising madly here) in the main to us

Though the tv would be good

And the hot dogs


FrankAndFurt Tue 31-Dec-13 00:20:58

I have lived in the states, I don't think the US and the UK are compatible. confused

bunnymother Tue 31-Dec-13 00:21:29

If it means that J Crew would sell products in the UK for US prices, then I am all for your idea.

MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:22:04

WTF. I'm not American. I have respect for some Americans, but certainly not the gun-toting, anti healthcare, homosexual-hating, anti-feminist, evolution-denying evangelical bit.

Lemongrab Tue 31-Dec-13 00:22:12

YABVU. That is all.

MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:22:32

and they have shit chocolate.

bunnymother Tue 31-Dec-13 00:22:41

I think my post indicates the complexity of thought most appropriate for the OP's suggestion.

PedlarsSpanner Tue 31-Dec-13 00:23:01

GUFFAW at big bridge

no ta love, 'twould be a nation divided by a common language as well as by morals and mores (think about it)

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:24:34

No thanks. I left the UK a few years ago and every time I dream I moved back I wake up crying.

The idea of going back to an NHS scares me too.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Tue 31-Dec-13 00:25:35

yeah i could do with a gun or three

i wanna be in a gang

and i wanna call a bobby a cop - in a brooklyn type accent

I also want to try some of the amazing pastries - and the pizza pie

I bet they couldn't do a great curry though

How ever the most important culinary question they have chips and gravy? it's important

also Samual L jackson is awesome

VonHerrBurton Tue 31-Dec-13 00:25:45

I agree with sugarcoated.

80sMum Tue 31-Dec-13 00:25:55

Perish the thought!!!
The UK and USA have nothing in common!! Their culture is very 'foreign'. Just because they speak a form of English, doesn’t mean that what they say is always comprehensible!
Terrible idea. YABU!


Why would 'going back to an Nhs' scare you? confused

It's not like Halloween, the nurses don't dress like zombies

MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:27:26

Fuck. Not impressed by the thought of custardo with a gun.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 00:27:47

Oooh yes, the chocolate! Will you all share the secret recipe? Before I moved to the UK, I thought I didn't care for milk chocolate. Turns out I just don't like the shit they call milk chocolate in the US! grin

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:28:04

How ever the most important culinary question they have chips and gravy? it's important

They do here but it's called poutine. Definitely can do a great curry too.

caramelwaffle Tue 31-Dec-13 00:28:13

The idea of going back to an NHS scares you wobbly?


My youngest child alone has had - conservatively calculating -
+GDP £210 000 worth of NHS treatment: I am very happy.

Just to balance the argument.

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:30:18

*Why would 'going back to an Nhs' scare you? confused

It's not like Halloween, the nurses don't dress like zombies*

Gosh really? I thought they did.

Because of the underfunding and bureaucracy.

Sleepyhead33 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:31:00

NO way. The bully of the world and us-don't think it would work.

No idea why going back to an NHS would scare any American. what on earth do they have that's comparable?

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:31:21

Custard after many years I have managed to find chips and gravy but its still not the proper stuff sad

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:32:29

Wobbly is that any more scary than not having health insurance in the US ?

willyoulistentome Tue 31-Dec-13 00:33:17


GobbySadcase Tue 31-Dec-13 00:34:16



The nhs isn't perfect but it's a damn sight better than what the US has surely?

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Tue 31-Dec-13 00:35:15

I could look at it this way...there is a definate chips and gravy gap in the of opportunity etc. bill gates would have shit all on me

and i'll have a gun smile

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:36:06

If you have good health insurance and then can afford the co pays etc the health care here is very good, in saying that its probably just like private in the UK.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 31-Dec-13 00:37:01

I may be a little drunk and not thought of the ins and outs.

But I know a lot of people who have the American dream and that where the thread come from. I should have said that in the OP

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:37:05

Anyone else here actually tried living in both countries? I'm curious as to what they think.

I don't even think the US is really one single country in many ways. The problem often is that people perceive it to be.

NatashaBee Tue 31-Dec-13 00:37:19

I've travelled a lot, but have never lived anywhere as 'foreign' as the US in terms of beliefs and culture. On the other hand, if they became one country perhaps I would be able to get hold of Peperamis, which I really miss. Tough call.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:38:08

Why would anyone even think about this haha! Why would we want this?

Do they do fish and chips over there?

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:38:39

I grew up in the UK and came here when I was 20. I agree with you wobbly about the US being so different, I am in NJ and when I go to parts of Texas etc it is like a different world.

Sleepyhead33 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:38:41

Well exactly so what is the problem with the NHS that is far superior to anything that anyone without a private healthcare equivalent in the US would receive??? Confused???

MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:39:33

The American dream is that you can "make it" if you try. But if you have any disability or are not capable of "making it" then you fall by the wayside.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 31-Dec-13 00:39:38

I know all the USA States have diffrent laws and diffrent ways of life. The UK in it self would just be another state.

NatashaBee Tue 31-Dec-13 00:40:00

They do do fish and chips (they have chains like Long John Silver's) and the fish there is nice but not really like the UK. No curry sauce, mushy peas, pickled onions or pickled eggs, and you'd be lucky to find malt vinegar.

lessonsintightropes Tue 31-Dec-13 00:40:22

I've spent a lot of time in the US (visited 30 states so far and have another few planned for the next few months), a lot of friends over there too.

One of the reasons I love travelling there so much is because the US feels amazingly foreign to me in terms of attitudes etc, but because we share a common language and they are quite chatty, generally, it's interesting to explore the differences.

The US (barring the exceptionalism of the coasts) is a lot more conservative and religious than the UK, and is only likely to become more so with immigration from Latin America, Asia and Africa. It's a fascinating place and somewhere I love dearly - wouldn't keep on going back if I didn't - but think that culturally we are two thirds of the way to being European in terms of social attitudes etc and only one third towards the US, therefore the cultural difference would be too great to integrate properly.

However, the US is by no means homogenous - Louisiana, California, Alaska, New York and Dakota are more different from each other than are the UK, Poland, Slovakia and Italy, for example. It'll never happen for reasons of pure geography, and increasingly, race and tribalism - but I hope we don't lose our historical links, as I think there's a lot we can learn from each other (including things we could do better than the other cf gun crime; social equality etc etc).

Sleepyhead33 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:40:38

Sorry x posts. Meant in reply to goinggreyagain

willyoulistentome Tue 31-Dec-13 00:41:26

What do you mean you can't get Peperamis. Tescos have them.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Tue 31-Dec-13 00:41:49


MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:42:08

"I think it should happen, not sure why exactly other than to pool out resources."

So there's no reason then. And exactly which resources were you thinking of pooling?

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:42:27

It is true - malt vinegar is hard to find. Could be a dealbreaker?

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:43:36

No fucking vinegar? What sort of nonsense is this?!


Onesleeptillwembley Tue 31-Dec-13 00:43:55

Fuck off!

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:43:56

I will say that you never ever want to have to fill in a US tax return. It is worth the UK staying separate just to avoid that.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:44:01

Sleepy I am actually a huge fan of the NHS, my point was that your really can't compare US healthcare to the NHS you can only compare the US system to the private in the UK iykwim.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 31-Dec-13 00:44:14

Like money and knowledge.

aquashiv Tue 31-Dec-13 00:44:15

I have lived the States very happily but would not want to raise children there.

We are very different people. Not better not worse just different.

Although the comedy is cringe worthy.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:45:21

My local grocery store has proper malt vinegar, its in the ethnic food aisle grin

NatashaBee Tue 31-Dec-13 00:46:18

That is true, aquashiv, they just don't get sarcasm/ dry humour in the US. We watched some UK comedy with my American inlaws when we were over there at Christmas - they were utterly baffled.

Pooka Tue 31-Dec-13 00:46:23


I don't want the uk to be part of US. Let's face it, the relative sizes of the countries would mean that we would be a tiny state, part of US of A.

Gun laws, healthcare, social security, education. These are things that are markedly different and incompatible.

No thanks!

TheZeeTeam Tue 31-Dec-13 00:47:09

I can get malt vinegar at my local supermarket. I wouldn't though. It's gross.

Sleepyhead33 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:47:35

yes. I was agreeing with you completely.
private in the uk equivalent to US system.
NHS vastly superior to the rest of the US system.

MaeveORave Tue 31-Dec-13 00:47:53

"The bully of the world".

I agree. Irish people would love an nhs. Why would amybody not want free medical care.

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:48:08

OTOH you could take your kids out of school for holidays without getting imprisoned.

MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:49:14

But also they have crap maternity leave and only a couple of weeks of statutory holiday a year. (doesn't help that I'm self-employed though)

TheZeeTeam Tue 31-Dec-13 00:49:21

Fwiw, for my own family, the healthcare in the US is much better than anything we ever received on the NHS. By a million, million miles. That said, we have good insurance. I do really feel for those that don't.

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 00:50:51

Yes we'd want to switch generally over to the UK holiday entitlements. Although I get 6 weeks a year so it wouldn't really affect me. But longer maternity leave would definitely be a plus.

Sleepyhead33 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:51:34

Exactly, you can't compare what you have is equivalent to the UK private system Thezeeteam

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 00:52:09

Honestly, US healthcare is AMAZING if you have good insurance. I gave birth in a standard military hospital and not only was my care fantastic but the amenities were great too.

Single, ensuite room post-delivery
Lovely food
Cable TV
Epidural within 30 minutes of requesting it (which still let me be mobile)
Extensive support to assist with breastfeeding
DH could stay overnight on a pull-out sofa

Saw the same OB/GYN for all appointments for DS1 and usually the same midwife for DS2. Follow-up appointments were with the same individuals.

Most of all, the nurses, doctors, midwives I encountered were pleasant, polite, professional and seemed happy to be providing care. No one seemed overworked or overtasked from my perspective as a patient.

This is all within the military healthcare system which is great, but not generally very posh compared to the private hospitals in the area.

I would love another baby, but having one in the NHS is scary as hell to me!

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:52:30

Any maternity leave at all would be a plus.

footballagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:52:41


Being one with the septic tanks??!


MardyBra Tue 31-Dec-13 00:53:11

"US healthcare is AMAZING if you have good insurance."

I don't doubt that. It's IF though.

sykadelic15 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:53:55

MinnesotaNice You think UK chocolate is nice you'll have a fit if you try Aussie chocolate! No comparison. Miss it immensely and it sucks that UK chocolate is what's imported to most of the foreign markets sad

sykadelic15 Tue 31-Dec-13 00:56:50

wobblyweebles I have. I prefer the US personally. UK is very cliquey. Of course it depends where in the US :P

As for taxes... very true. Thank goodness for Turbotax though!

Oakmaiden Tue 31-Dec-13 00:57:04

Am I not right in thinking workers have far fewer rights in the US than in the UK?

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 00:57:41

OMG, Aussie choc is better? shock <my head just exploded>

caramelwaffle Tue 31-Dec-13 00:57:49

"Vinegar in the ethnic aisles"

No. Malt. Vinegar?


goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 00:58:43

Yes if you can afford it US healthcare is amazing but try getting any type of mental healthcare and it is a nightmare. Hopefully the law changes that are to be implemented this will make a difference.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:08

Pretty sure malt vinegar wasn't difficult to get back in the US.

However, white vinegar has been a challenge to find here in the UK.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 31-Dec-13 00:59:34

I don't like vinegar

NatashaBee Tue 31-Dec-13 01:00:07

Yes, a lot of states have 'at will' employment which means they can basically tell you to clear your desk and go if they don't like you. No statutory redundancy pay or anything similar, although some companies may offer a severance package by choice.

80sMum Tue 31-Dec-13 01:00:30

I lived in the US for 2 years when the DCs were little. I enjoyed my time there very much but It's an incredibly insular and arrogant country. For most Americans, there is no world outside the USA worth bothering about. Some of its citizens are breathtakingly ignorant of anything outside their home state, let alone outside the US.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 01:00:45

Oak maiden workers have very few rights and in some states have none.

lessonsintightropes Tue 31-Dec-13 01:00:45

I thought seriously about moving to Canada for years (easier as I speak French and have a graduate degree - US wouldn't have me) but was put off by 10 days annual leave vs 30 days annual leave in my UK job - the main reason I'd move would be to experience another place properly and you can't do that without the ability to travel in it and see places.

caramelwaffle Tue 31-Dec-13 01:01:15

White vinegar is in all the supermarkets I frequent Minnesota

(Essentially all the major UK ones)

ohtanmybum Tue 31-Dec-13 01:01:47

No thanks, any populous that has to believe it lives in the best country in the world and has
be reminded what its flag is every 10 yds ain't for me.

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 31-Dec-13 01:01:49

YANBU. I really would not like this to happen. It depresses me enough that we seem to know far more about the US then many of our European neighbours.

Also, they do not spell words properly.

80sMum Tue 31-Dec-13 01:02:35

It may have improved by now, but when we were there even senior managers only got 2 weeks holiday per year. And people could be 'hired and fired' on a whim.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 01:03:30

No direct experience with this, but I'm pretty sure in the US, if you are fired from your job then you become eligible for unemployment benefits.

caramelwaffle Tue 31-Dec-13 01:03:44

10 days annual leave is dire!

Am NOT a teacher, however the annual leave at my workplace is VERY good.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 01:04:40

It really depends on the state and the company you work for. DH gets 6 wks a year also those that are unionized have better protection.

stickysausages Tue 31-Dec-13 01:04:40

ODFOD. What an insult to the UK sad

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 01:10:56

See stickysausages your ODFOD comment illustrates a key cultural difference between our 2 countries.

I see this as a funny but interesting thread that compares two seemingly similar nations that were rooted in a common history.

Some (not all) Brits get their backs up thinking this marks the beginning of an invasion! grin

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 01:22:57

I definitely think there's some mileage to be had in combining the best of each country.

I'd like to keep our weather please. I'm skiing this weekend and I really don't want rain.

But I'd like longer maternity leave, some employment rights, and good fish and chips please.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 01:24:53

Roundabouts are nice too, once you get the hang of them. Keeps traffic moving much better than the American way of stop signs everywhere.

stickysausages Tue 31-Dec-13 01:26:11

Anything that happens in America... we get it 5 years later...

Nike hi-tops, hip hop... gun crime... obesity...

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 01:26:42

More importantly,

How would you build the fuck off big bridge?

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 01:28:20

We could both start and meet in the middle Socks grin

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 01:31:00

I'm guessing that since most people don't seem keen for the high-speed train from London to up North, a big-assed bridge to the US isn't happening. sad

TheZeeTeam Tue 31-Dec-13 01:32:13

80sMum, there are an awful lot of ignorant Brits too. Personally, if you worked out the ratio of Dumbasses in each country, I would say it's pretty equal.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 01:39:46

I wonder how long it would take to walk across the bridge

Its0kToBeMe Tue 31-Dec-13 01:41:15

Yes please. I love america.

JungleHumps Tue 31-Dec-13 01:47:05

If we did join, we'd be one of the biggest states (the biggest?) in terms of population. Even Scotland would hold its own (around 15th) and Wales and NI wouldn't be the smallest by a long way.

I read this book which was about this and loved it, but since it was published in 1998 I can safely say I was probably not entirely sober at the time:

And we have more in common with France than we do the US. Fact.

ravenAK Tue 31-Dec-13 01:48:40

51st State grin

Let's not.

Ericaequites Tue 31-Dec-13 01:50:09

I'm an Americans who loves England, but I don't want to be English. The Labor Party, Religious Education in schools, and the NHS are three reasons why the UK and USA could never unite.

AcrossthePond55 Tue 31-Dec-13 01:51:09

Well, we tried that about 300 years ago and it really didn't work out, did it? So we broke up and agreed we're better off as 'just friends'.

I'd say let's feel free to borrow the best of our respective countries from each other and ignore/forgive the things we don't like, just like real friends do.

Ericaequites Tue 31-Dec-13 01:52:02

Vinegar in all varieties is readily available in the States: balsamic, white, malt, and red.

JungleHumps Tue 31-Dec-13 01:52:06

sockpixie, approx 3000miles at 3mph = 1000 hours = 42ish days (non-stop) or walking for 8hrs a day = 125 days.

In neither case would the people of New York let you in, because you'd stink, have the rankest blisters and be thinner than them.

Ericaequites Tue 31-Dec-13 01:54:00

Workers do have rights in the States. At mutual will employment is no worse than your zero hour contracts.
We have roundabouts here in New England, but call them rotaries.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 01:54:27

raven That was grim. grin

Ericaequites Tue 31-Dec-13 01:56:31

For the most part, Americans don't want free health care because it's paid for through high taxes. Besides, I don't trust the government further than I can throw it.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 01:57:15

But if the UK leaves the bastard EU does that make America the rebound relationship? confused

nonmifairidere Tue 31-Dec-13 01:59:07

Are you serious, OP? There are two great things about America - the scenery and the wildlife, unfortunately these would come with a lot of unwelcome attachments. Anyway, they wouldn't want us, we're progressives, liberals and socialists.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 02:00:11

Erica I don't want free healthcare (the NHS is not free) I want healthcare that is a basic right not a privilege.... With the new healthcare laws we are making a dent in this but still have a long way to go.

JungleHumps Tue 31-Dec-13 02:00:38

And some of the wildlife is really fecking scary.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 02:03:44

Looks like jet packs would be needed.

Caitlin17 Tue 31-Dec-13 02:08:53

Daft idea. Another forum I post on is a music forum roughly people my own age , more men than women, about 1/2 American and 1/2 European (which for purposes of this Canada and Australia are in Europe) They are mainly lovely people but if the topics veer off music, books, films, my goodness there is a huge gulf between USA and Europe.

DizzyZebra Tue 31-Dec-13 02:09:13

Minnesotanice I had all of that when i had DS apart from cable TV but then in not sure why that would be necessary and unless you have complications a midwife is more than adequately trained to provide care.

Anyway, in answer to the OP; Fuck that.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 02:18:45

Well Dizzy I suppose it's not necessary, but it was nice.

Especially the continuity of care.

Basically, why would I choose to be in an understaffed ward with 5 other people and all of their visitors and their drama?

KeatsiePie Tue 31-Dec-13 02:22:43

Well it certainly would be interesting. Perhaps good for diversifying the genetic pool?

If there could be little hotel-ettes along the bridge it would be a lovely trip across, think of the view. Sort of like doing one of those multi-day marathons. But there would have to be food carts.

Caitlin17 Tue 31-Dec-13 02:23:42

On the health insurance issue I have BUPA via work, it specifically excludes anything relating to the gynaecological treatment Standard Life had to pay up for under the cover provided by my previous employer and both exclude any treatment for migraine as it was pre-existing.

I've always assumed people have private cover in the UK to jump the queue for things that will make life more comfortable rather than wait in an NHS queue but for all the biggies it's back to the NHS.The treatment my mother has received over the last few years from a local cottage hospital, health visitors and a large teaching hospital simply can't be faulted.

MinnesotaNice Tue 31-Dec-13 02:24:45

Ok, I think KeatsiePie is on to something. But what are we going to do about driving on the left-/right-side of the road?

KeatsiePie Tue 31-Dec-13 02:28:14

Oh dear. MinnesotaNice (perfect name for this thread!) that might be unsolvable. Perhaps if only bicycles and those pedalled carriages were allowed ... do the same rules apply on both sides for bicycles?

I like the idea of waking up and wandering out to a food cart for an egg-on-croissant and then eating it while staring down across the ocean.

spamm Tue 31-Dec-13 02:42:02

Having lived in both countries, I can see very clear benefits to both.

Yes, you can find malt vinegar, in fact it is practically a staple in Pennsylvania. I love the US healthcare system, but agree about those without insurance - it is a nightmare. I adore my dentist here in the US - never found good dental care in the UK. We live in a very multicultural area, and my son's school has so many different cultural influences - Chinese, Korean, Peruvian, Argentinian, etc.... The fish and chips here is a very poor parody, I hardly ever waste the calories unless I am in the UK.
The weather can be truly AWEsome (read scary!) and most people we meet are friendly, thoughtful and fantastic. But there are many, many idiots (just like the UK). Most of all, I love the can do spirit.

But the cultural differences are immense - far more than I even anticipated (and Marmite costs a bomb!).

steff13 Tue 31-Dec-13 02:58:55

That's a lovely offer, but I will have to decline. We would, however, be willing to accept Idris Elba and David Tennant.

Just FYI about our healthcare, there is Medicaid, which covers 100% of everything for low-income people (90%-200% of the federal poverty level, depending on the area), and public hospitals cannot refuse treatment for people due to a lack of insurance. They might get a gigantic bill, but they can take it back to the hospital and get it written off if they can't afford to pay it.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 03:05:21

Steff have you ever used Medicaid or tried to have a hospital write off a bill ?

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 03:19:41

No No No re the chocolate. Based on my extensive research the worldwide chocolate rankings in order of deliciousness are:


*Doesn't qualify for the term "delicious" used in any way, such as "partly delicious" or "vaguely delicious"

steff13 Tue 31-Dec-13 03:21:20

Steff have you ever used Medicaid or tried to have a hospital write off a bill ?

Yes to both. And, I work with Medicaid eligibility.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 03:24:53

Then you know it is a dire system and cannot be compared to the NHS.

Minion Tue 31-Dec-13 03:35:12

Steff you cannot have David Tennant, that's a deal breaker. In consolation, however, I proffer davina mcCall and Tess daly.
You can keep them two.

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 03:38:40

My experience of both using and working for the NHS was also dire.

Personally I think we should all adopt the French healthcare system. Perhaps some sort of menage a tepid?

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 03:39:29

Ha ha menage a tepid. More fun than a menage a trois.

steff13 Tue 31-Dec-13 03:44:41

Then you know it is a dire system and cannot be compared to the NHS.

I know no such thing. Medicaid offers valuable coverage to people who need it. It covers doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, surgery, etc., 100%. Nearly 100% of the doctors and dentists in my area and 100% of the hospitals accept it. I've worked with children who've received millions of dollars worth of medical care for congenital illnesses with Medicaid. People who've receive home modifications for their disabilities through Medicaid. Further, I did not intend to compare it to the NHS, I simply wanted to clarify that people in the US without private insurance are still able to receive healthcare. I don't know enough about the NHS to make a comparison, nor am I interested in doing so.

^Steff you cannot have David Tennant, that's a deal breaker. In consolation, however, I proffer davina mcCall and Tess daly.
You can keep them two.^

I don't know who they are, but as counter offer, you can keep David Tennant, as long as you take Piers Morgan back. smile

Newjobthankgod Tue 31-Dec-13 03:53:02

I lived in the USA until I was 21. I lived in the UK until I was 33. Then I went back home. I am a registered nurse who has worked in both countries. Let me just say HELL NO.

First of all americans wouldn't cope with an NHS. For all the whining they do about medical bills let me tell you that they are the first ones that would be on the ground at their doctors' surgery screaming, throwing a temper tantrum and smashing the place up if they had to wait more than 24 hours for scan, a specialist appointment and a result.

I work in a non profit hospital here. It is one of the best hospitals in the northeast and it gives free care to the uninsured and poor. They get private rooms with TVs high tech medicine, share a nurse with only 4 other patients (it would be 18 other patients in a uk hospital). They get room service. And they scream and tantrum. The room isn't big enough for their friends to hang out in, the tv doesn't have enough channels, the pizza and soda is no good. The doctor put them on a diabetic diet and now the kitchen room service wont send up ice cream so they throw a drip stand out the window and punch a nurses aid. Seriously. These people could not cope with an NHS. Neither the rich, the middle or the poor. Americans are bratty. An NHS type of organization couldn't afford all the equipment to deal with 80% of their patients weighing over 50 stone either.

Secondly, we would shoot all yous up with our automatic weapons. Seriously, just walk on my lawn bitches. Come on now.

mathanxiety Tue 31-Dec-13 03:54:32

Brits would never stand for leashing their dogs at all times, or shovelling snow off the path in front of your house.

The cultural differences are indeed immense, and the mindsets are poles apart, in particular the sense of possibility, lacking in Britain (but weirdly alive and kicking in Ireland most of the time).

I agree with the chocolate classification scheme offered by Arfishy. I would like to break down 'European' into:

Newjobthankgod Tue 31-Dec-13 04:00:26

I agree with steff13. The American health care model is cheaper for me. My employer pays for my health insurance for myself my husband and our three kids. I contribute a small amount that is less than national insurance. We never have medical bills. If my GP decides I need an MRI I get it as soon as I can go and get it done. Most of my patients are poor and get free care in the same place as everyone else. They get things like dialysis catheters/ tessio lines for their self inflicted poor lifestyle choice kidney failure and then they shoot thru the damn thing with heroin and break it. Then medicare pays for them to get another so they can have dialysis. You know the drill.

My salary as a Nurse is 2.5 times what it was in the UK. The US system is weird and fails at times but it works for some. My dd has permanent hearing loss from waiting for an op in the UK. She would have had it in Pennsylvania under CHiP even if we were poor and unemployed.

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 04:00:27

Oh yes Martha, very good!

I'm going to counter offer Steff - Australia proposes Hugh Jackman in return for David T.

And no we don't want Piers either.

Rosencrantz Tue 31-Dec-13 04:06:09

I like right to control my own reproductive organ too much to be interested in becoming American.

goinggreyagain Tue 31-Dec-13 04:06:32

I knew I was completely Americanised when I was annoyed at having to wait a day for an appt for my GP .

Aussiemum78 Tue 31-Dec-13 04:57:47

I don't care, just leave Aussies out of it. We are busy being awesome on the bottom of the world with free healthcare, good beaches and decent coffee (America that's directed at the engine oil you call coffee!)

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 05:22:13

How's your weather today Aussie? It's gloriously hot here and we're preparing to go to the aforementioned gorgeous beach for New Years Eve fireworks.

<waits for FedEx to deliver David T>

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 31-Dec-13 05:48:11

Why would you need a bridge, there isn't one to Ireland, which one part is the uk.

But I agree it's not that thought out on my part. I blame the alcohol.

cleofatra Tue 31-Dec-13 06:09:13

Britains have been built up to believe that the NHS is the best in the world and I find many are very confused when they are told it isn't, necessarily.
Im with Aussiemum

Morgause Tue 31-Dec-13 06:27:58

God, no!

KeatsiePie Tue 31-Dec-13 07:00:29

Seriously, just walk on my lawn bitches. Come on now. Hahahaha! Totally.

I love my health insurance and my options for medical care but I am very very aware that it is tied to my job, and I really hate that. I think it is deeply unacceptable and embarrasses us as a country.

But we have lots of different kinds of weather here, and topography, it is very interesting. I suppose you could just visit to get the benefits of all that though. Hmm ... perhaps we could sort of smush up our major churches and your Church of England and see what the result would be, could be very interesting. Ooh, and what about the money? Who would we put on the bills?

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 31-Dec-13 07:25:35

It's not for me.

There are countries much closer to home who have better finances, better healthcare, 100% literacy rates (can't remember which one, but somewhere in Scandinavia I think), less crime and so forth. I'd rather share resources and knowledge with them.

America isn't for me.

Can I ask about American health insurance, because it intrigues me?

My employer pays for my health insurance for myself my husband and our three kids.

I take it your insurance would be cancelled if you left your job? What would happen then? Medicaid?

Say you developed an underlying health condition which meant that you couldn't work, so lost your job. So you'd then have no insurance, and an underlying medical condition. Could you still get insurance?

Last one - I've seen (on reality TV, to be fair), people who don't take their ongoing medication because they can't afford it. Isn't medication covered by Medicaid?

One of the things that scares me about medical insurance, is that I doubt I could get insurance at an affordable rate. I'm bipolar. I've cost the NHS thousands in the past year, and I pay the same rate of NI as everyone else. Yes, I feel guilty about it, but it's nice that I'm not dead.

rabbitlady Tue 31-Dec-13 07:28:51

do we get a free mcdonalds breakfast? if so, you can count on my vote.

sashh Tue 31-Dec-13 07:33:47


Thatcher tried to make us in to the 51st state, I don't want that.

I don't want the right to carry a gun to the corner shop.

I don't want some raving bloke who has no idea how my body works telling me I can't have an abortion.

I don't want to be turned away from A and E because I'm poor.

If I'm unlucky enough to need a mastectomy (mother x3 grandmother x1 maternal aunt x1 so a chance) I want to be in hospital after my op being looked after by nurses, not sent home with a drain in situ because an insurance company thinks that's OK.

I don't want kids to pledge allegiance at school every day.

If I'm working in health care and rushed off my feet I don't want to write in notes that someone has had a med and then not give it because I only have the time to give a med or write in the notes. If it is in the notes I won't be sued.

Ehhn Tue 31-Dec-13 07:48:29

I would hate to feel less than worthy because I'm an atheist. The thought of being connected to the Deep South fills me with horror. And I love the nhs.

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 31-Dec-13 07:49:23

Oo, another question; in the scenario above, where someone is presented with a medical bill, and they get it wiped off because they can't afford it, who makes up the shortfall?

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 31-Dec-13 07:50:25

Of course you lot can come back and rejoin the Empire, unfortunately you owe £6,987,674,571,555,289,357 17s 5d in unpaid back revenue on tea you imported without permission.

OodToSeeTheBackOf2013 Tue 31-Dec-13 08:01:51

If the bridge linked to NYC I might be tempted.
Though I'm not handing over David Tennant.
Not even for Hugh Jackman Australia!
Could we offer Bruce Forcyth? He's an antique...

HappTeeNewYear Tue 31-Dec-13 08:02:20

Oh fuck no.

I immigrated from the US and will never ever live there again. It's a developed country with developing country attitudes, healthcare and crime.

What a fucking ridiculous idea.

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 08:07:26

Oood, I reject your Brucie offer, regardless of "National Treasure" status.

What about Hugh Jackman and Crocodile Dundee for David T?

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 31-Dec-13 08:10:49

We'll write the unpaid tax off in exchange for you keeping Justin Bieber's mouth permanently covered in gaffa tape though.

arfishy I'll happily accept Hugh Jackman!

HappTeeNewYear Tue 31-Dec-13 08:14:24

"I take it your insurance would be cancelled if you left your job? What would happen then? Medicaid?"

There is a subsidiary called COBRA (stands for something or other) that you can buy when you leave your job to continue your coverage while you get a new job. It costs a bomb, though.

I think Obamacare eliminated preexisting condition clauses, but I may be wrong. It was suppose to but it may be one of those things the Republicans voted down the fucking wankers.

HappTeeNewYear Tue 31-Dec-13 08:15:56

Oh and most health insurance in the US doesn't cover meds.

Again, that might be different now with Obamacare, but it certainly used to be true.

In many ways I love my home country and will never relinquish my citizenship. In other ways I want to take the US to bits and rebuild it into what it should be. Most of the US is pretty good. Parts of it are fucking awful.

I'm glad to live in the UK.

helzapoppin2 Tue 31-Dec-13 08:18:00

I've lived in both. The OP's question shows the misapprehension that because we speak a common language we are " more or less the same".
We aren't, and never will be. You may as well suggest that the UK and Japan become one country.
Oh, and I found malt vinegar in the gourmet section, which made me laugh!

WaitMonkey Tue 31-Dec-13 08:37:35

Only read the first page, but I did laugh at fucking big bridge. grin

HappTeeNewYear Tue 31-Dec-13 08:39:06

A bridge would be awesome though, for visiting. With a hotel in the middle.

A bridge with a floating hotel!

Or an underwater tunnel!

Which I think was actually considered once.

HappTeeNewYear Tue 31-Dec-13 08:40:43

If Medicare is so good how come people go bankrupt over health bills (& can't get insurance if they've had - for example - cancer).

I quite liked the Japanese health care system fwiw. But you probably needed family around if you had an extended hospital stay.

I'm the first to moan about the NHS, but I'm pleased it's there & to know that I'm not going to be left bankrupt by an illness & health bills.

I'm also pleased that my severely autistic son is going to be in receipt of UK adult social care. It's not great, but it's a lit better than anything the States offers (unless you have $$$ yourself of course)

So no thanks. I quite like my meat etc antibiotic free as much as possible as well. I don't want to eat meat/drink milk from animals given antib's every day.

And I don't want all my recipes to include a tin of Campbell's soup.

HappTeeNewYear Tue 31-Dec-13 08:44:55

Medicare isn't good at all. Who said it was?

And not everyone qualifies.

Well steff (& a few others) seem to think it's the bees knees....

milk Tue 31-Dec-13 08:56:21

UK for 53rd state!!! :P

Pooka Tue 31-Dec-13 09:02:38

I also have BUPA through work. Useful if I have dodgy eczema on my hands and want to see a consultant within a week or so. Or when dd needed a tonsillectomy and we wanted to make sure was during school holidays.

But when the shit hits the fan I wouldn't even think of fannying about with private medicine. So when ds2 needed a blood transfusion when he was a newborn. When ds1 couldn't breathe. Bth times they were treated straightaway within the NHS and then had prompt, timely, smooth running aftercare. No worry about payment or authorisation. No hanging around.

And with ds1 his asthma is controlled with regular appointments with lovely GPs. No concern about affordability of medicines or it being a preexisting medical condition.

Also had three pretty great births with midwives and I liked the aftercare of midwives visiting for first couple of weeks, not having to travel to doctors for the early weeks.

Incidentally, I rang GP yesterday for non urgent appointment. Was told could either ring today at 8am to be seen today or could come in on Saturday for prebooked appointment. This is standard within the GP practice we are registered with. Kids are always seen same day if emergency, or within 3 days as non emergency. And they're terribly apologetic if as an adult I have to wait more than 3 days for an appointment. I luffs my GPs! smile

knowledgeispowerr Tue 31-Dec-13 09:03:28


dhisaconspiracytheorist Tue 31-Dec-13 09:04:51

My dh thinks that the uk is a historical concept and we are run by Europe now grin

ethelb Tue 31-Dec-13 09:04:53

As someone of both uk and us parentage im not going to jump on the us bashing bandwagon (grow UP!).

However, the two countries are sooo different culturally I am always shocked when people suggest this like they are soo big and sooo clever and sooo original. Why confused?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 09:06:35

would you need a bridge, there isn't one to Ireland, which one part is the uk

Because I decided with my sleep addled brain that was required.

Something to do with if it was one country it would need to be joined and a bridge seamed easier than picking it up and moving it as I didn't think it would fit, and I'm quite keen on the idea of a bridge.

MiserableJanuaryJerseySpud Tue 31-Dec-13 09:12:25

I would do it for the Lucky Charms.

eurochick Tue 31-Dec-13 09:14:14

Erm, Ireland is not part of the UK (only Northern Ireland is). The Irish are quite adamant about that.

TaillessChicken Tue 31-Dec-13 09:15:56

No, no way. I like both countries individually but wouldn't ever want to see them together, I love being in America when I am there and feel at home there but I live here (the UK) and belong here.

wonkylegs Tue 31-Dec-13 09:21:00

A big reminder of why the US is a no for me just arrived at my door - my prescription!
I have rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed at 19, I've had it most of my adult life and certainly all of my working life. In the US this would seriously affect my ability to get health insurance coverage.
The drugs I take here and the management through the health system would just be too expensive over there to contemplate.
This is partially due to the fact that they are expensive drugs but also because the NHS is better at bargaining with drug companies they are significantly cheaper here than in the US. This particular drug costs £9k to the NHS in the US it's on average (no single cost as it varies as to where you get it) $18.5k which is approx. £11.19k. This is the drug costs alone for 1yr, add on top of it the monitoring costs (compulsory as it's dangerous stuff), the other drugs that support it and then the drs visits and suddenly that adds up to a whole lot of money.
It's an amazing drug that gave me my life back but I know through many online friends on an international RA forum that in the US many long term sufferers struggle to access it as it's just unaffordable through the system there. Many have to choose education or drugs - here I got both (not entirely free but affordable accessible) & I think the UK benefitted as I am a functioning, tax paying member of society who brings in outside investment (through my job) rather than being crippled by this goddamn awful disease.
The long term costs are also offset as I now look like I'm going to avoid too much joint replacement surgery (v expensive) as the drugs have controlled the lasting damage grin

LaVolcan Tue 31-Dec-13 09:33:15

eurochick - the poster said that 'one part' i.e. NI, was part of the UK, which it is, but we like to forget with our Team GB stuff.

Sorry, off topic.

helzapoppin2 Tue 31-Dec-13 09:33:29

ethelb, I wouldn't bash the US. I learned from living there that the foundations of the US are so different from the UK and that's why we are so different. I lived in a neighbourhood with a website where everything was discussed, jolly good thing. The decisions on what to do were largely based on what the Constitution said. That just doesn't happen in the UK because we don't have a Constitution in that way.
The belief in individual rights, and dislike of central government are also much more extreme.
In the US a "liberal" can mean someone who believes in individual freedom, including the right to carry a gun.
All these things are vital issues in the US, but hardly figure in our thinking!

CheerfulYank Tue 31-Dec-13 09:44:46

I've never had insurance that didn't cover meds, Tee.

Americans are arrogant, you'll get no argument from me there, but I think (and I'll say this in the most polite way I can think of, because even though it's another poster's name I am Minnesota nice grin) there is a lot of arrogance about America too.

If we were all conservative, gun toting, slack jawed rednecks, how in the world would Obama have been elected (by electoral college and popular vote) twice?

Whoever said that the regions of the US are very different is right. There are people of all sorts and beliefs and "types" and cultures here. It varies tremendously by area. We are a huge place; my parents live a five hour drive away and we're in the same state.

Also abortion is technically legal across the whole of the US, while it is not (to the best of my knowledge) in the UK.

And I like Hershey's better than Cadbury. <ducks and legs it> grin

Aussiemum78 Tue 31-Dec-13 09:57:39

You can't have Hugh Jackman, but we will trade you can have Shane warne and Liz Hurley.

The weather is awesome pp, spent the arvo in the pool. I did kill a spider though so the good ppl of the uk might reconsider if I really do live in the better country.

neunundneunzigluftballons Tue 31-Dec-13 10:12:54

I remember a radio interview with a guy who got cancer and could not work during his treatment. He lost his job, they cancelled his insurance and he was in the hoch for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It did not sound like a particularly useful way of conducting a health service, after indirectly paying a fortune for healthcare when you need it it gets cancelled.

Skogkatter Tue 31-Dec-13 10:33:35

I lived on the UK, US and Australia (where I live now) + Norway (where I come from). US and UK are just sooo different (mind you, the US is so different across the states etc; - living in Louisiana and living in Massachusetts was a whole different world) and why? I quite like the hot dogs tbf, and I like the schooling.

OodToSeeTheBackOf2013 Tue 31-Dec-13 10:36:11

I do think a 'House' style assessment might actually get me a diagnosis within a week rather than the 4 month(& counting) wait from MRI referral to consultant appt that I'm doing at the moment. But I'd probably not be eligible for insurance for back & joint problems as they've been around for years & would be pre existing so the assessment would bankrupt me.
As would the amount of time I've been off work due to said condition/pregnancy related

OodToSeeTheBackOf2013 Tue 31-Dec-13 10:37:25

Anyway back to the negotiations how about Bruce Forcythe + Justin Fletcher for Hugh Jackman

Actually you can just keep them.

Helpyourself Tue 31-Dec-13 10:40:07

The thought of not having an NHS scares me.

ComposHat Tue 31-Dec-13 10:49:35

178 posts on possibly the most idiotic thread in the history of the Internet. It only really needed one stating: you are being daft, get ye to netmums where they will gasp in awe at your piercing geopolitical insight'

Now I have made 179 and bumped it up the list. Bugger.

Snatchoo Tue 31-Dec-13 10:55:19

What a good idea!

But lets join the UK to the USA so the Yanks are all British grin

They'll love it!

Snatchoo Tue 31-Dec-13 10:55:49

Isn't there a transatlantic tunnel thing in the pipeline anyway?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 10:59:26

A bridge would be so much better,

In high winds it would be like a theme park ride

badtime Tue 31-Dec-13 11:18:04

Doubleplusun good reasonable

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Tue 31-Dec-13 11:20:05

The UK and the US already pool knowledge and resources - as is done between the UK and lots of other countries for many reasons. One can do both of those and still maintain differences. And the American dream has only ever been available to the few, and to most has been dead a long time.

I'm an American in the UK and the idea of going back gives me nightmares. I would not feel safe to return at all. Not just because of medical reasons (one would have to be very fortunate to have state care so readily available and to have hospitals take their debts, knowing that insurance companies have cut people off for reaching a lifetime limit and having played 'who will take this insurance' ring arounds, I never want to do that again), but the system is is built to protect the few, not the likes of me. Women's health care is continuously restricted (not just abortions but places that do any type of care that could be in any way linked to it), social services in many places are so heavily broken due to financial incentives (more American indigenous children are being taken now than in residential days, over 50% in some counties, and the vast majority placed out of the community even when that is illegal), and the for-profit prison system has created lost generations and communities (and the laws that allow slavery when it is a punishment for a crime never being questioned) not only destroys those in prison and their families, but the general economy as well (most complaints about jobs going abroad in the US are more likely to be replaced by prison labour than foreign labour - even when the US doesn't allow other countries foreign prison labour to be imported). And the education system is even more of a joke for those at the bottom.

The UK still has a lot of work to do and to own up to, but America's system is growing more unequal, more violent towards those at the bottom, and so many at the top are proud of it. It's disturbing. I wouldn't want to hitch ourselves to that.

KeatsiePie Tue 31-Dec-13 20:29:01

Despite being married I think I would find a sudden influx of healthy British men with various swoony accents very enjoyable. They would be in such nice shape from the long walk over. And perhaps needing to avail themselves of my shower, I would be most welcoming, good diplomatic relations begin at home.

Ohfuckeryitsmarzipan Tue 31-Dec-13 20:32:16

How much glue have you been on? shock

KeatsiePie Tue 31-Dec-13 20:35:53

Oh come on, it would be in the interests of our countries country to be welcoming grin

/not sure whether honored or appalled to have been asked the glue question

HoneyDragon Tue 31-Dec-13 20:39:14


And Mnetter that comes up with an idea that means Custy gets a gun need to take a long hard look at themselves. <<glares at op>>

Seriously, a gun? She's only just committed she peroxided her sons bollocks. The woman's not to be trusted wink

HoneyDragon Tue 31-Dec-13 20:39:35

Erm admitted....

MrsBeeZed Tue 31-Dec-13 20:42:02

You'll probably get what you wish for once this new world order bollocks is finally achieved

ElkTheory Tue 31-Dec-13 20:58:47

Arrgh. Why is it that every single thread on MN that has any relation whatsoever to the US is filled with ridiculous generalisations and insults?

Believe it or not, Americans understand irony (one of the most absurd of the common misconceptions about the US). Not everyone owns guns or worships in a fundamentalist Christian church. Many Americans would be more than happy to have nationalised health care.

Of course the US is no paradise. Neither is the UK.

I find it interesting that the more Americanised the UK becomes, the more intense the anti-American attacks and insults seem to be. One thing I can fairly confidently guarantee. If a similar thread were started on a US-based site, you would not see wholesale slating of the UK (with the possible exception of the obligatory comments about British dentistry).

RandyRudolf Tue 31-Dec-13 21:15:04

There are definitely things we could learn from one another.

Sadoldbag Tue 31-Dec-13 21:18:44

No thanks I find Americans highly strug and if people on here thing Dave is right wing they haven't seen anything until they get a look at Obama

David camron looks like a lefty vegan compared to them

Not to mention them treating 12 year old as adults in the justice system
There love for guns dear lord

Sadoldbag Tue 31-Dec-13 21:20:15

RandyRudolf like what how to deny people health care

Or I guess they could show us how to do poverty propley

revivingsnowshower Tue 31-Dec-13 21:32:26

Who are all these people saying the US is so different. I think I have watched enough episodes of The Simpsons to see we are very similar as for healthcare I have watched not only House but also Scrubs and US hospitals seem fine and the Drs and nurses are all very amusing. The only thing to do is avoid high school unless you are a cheerleader/jock <uses correct US terminology > and you will be fine.

wobblyweebles Tue 31-Dec-13 21:49:13

Yes ElkTheory, 'tis always the way.

RandyRudolf Tue 31-Dec-13 21:59:36

Well Sadoldbag I was thinking on the lines of showing them how free healthcare is done and them showing us good customer service.

revivingsnowshower Tue 31-Dec-13 21:59:46

High school can also be ok if you are a teenage witch, going by dds current favourite Sabrina, but i was a bit surprised to find out it is a really old show and Sabrina is actually now a middle aged witch.

ElkTheory Tue 31-Dec-13 22:28:53

What the UK could learn from the US:

separation of church and state

strong work ethic (though the US could learn from the UK in terms of days off per year!)

far less obsession with class and more class mobility (though in the last decade or so classes have become more fossilised in the US, a worrying trend)

freedom of the press (especially given the implications of the recent royal charter)

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 22:42:42

Justin? I'm still scarred from DD's toddler years with regard to Justin so that's a big fat no. Shane and Liz - I think the UK and Australia are currently both suffering so perhaps we should offer them to the US?

And I'm not sending Hugh over until I get David DameDeep. I think I'm going to have to up the ante and offer Dame Edna.

Aussie - yep, pool arvo here too and NYE at the beach. There's a gigantic spider somewhere in here but we unleashed the Mortein and hopefully dispatched it.

ArgumentsatChristmas Tue 31-Dec-13 22:46:20

The divorce happened years ago. Time to move on. We've both got over it. We are enjoying our relationship with the EU, in a subdued grannyish sort of way. The US is enjoying being a superpower and invading places and stuff. We're so over that. Anyway, these long distance relationships never work.

cjdamoo Tue 31-Dec-13 23:05:46

Whoever up thread said aussie chocolate is nice is a big fat fibber. Its horrible. As are the crisps. I have to pay $3 for one measly bag of monster munch from the 'pommie" shop.

Earlspearl Wed 01-Jan-14 00:05:30

Could we not just do a weather swap instead - so we get proper snow and proper sun. They can have our drizzle

TerrariaMum Wed 01-Jan-14 00:10:03


TerrariaMum Wed 01-Jan-14 00:10:16


TerrariaMum Wed 01-Jan-14 00:20:56

Sorry all. Stupid phone. Anyway, please no if just so I don't have to deal with the enforced gregariousness I fled from. Or the enforced positivity. Some people like that, I know and nothing against them. It just wasn't right for me.

This rainy island has been my home for nearly ten years now and I won't deny it has its problems, but I personally would rather live here than anywhere else. And if someone else feels this way about the US, brilliant, that's fine.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 02:28:49

Yes, because your ordinary American just loves invading countries. <eye roll>

mathanxiety Wed 01-Jan-14 02:53:29

<waves to CheerfulYank>

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 03:42:07

Hi Math! Not quite 2014 in your neck of the woods either?

Ev1lEdna Wed 01-Jan-14 03:46:59

2 words.

gun. laws.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 03:53:52

I've got a gun. In the garage. And am religious. But not the crazy sort.

I support universal healthcare though. Obamacare is going to drive our personal payments up, but it's worth it for those who can be covered now.

happytalk13 Wed 01-Jan-14 04:03:15

Lived there for several years. No, no and no again.

On the plus side - great steak, left-turn-on-red, great gyms with great childcare, White House Black Market, fantastic Mexican food.

On the minus - healthcare, guns, crazy evangelicals - and that's just for starters.

Again no.

Mr Jackson is indeed fab - I'm good friends with one of his cousins, sadly never got to meet him though.

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 04:17:38

What is this impression that the US is chock-full of evangelical gun-nuts running wild through the streets? Do they just get a ton of air time internationally, and so no one realizes that the vast majority of Americans are quiet people with a sane outlook on public safety and a firm understanding of the difference between church and state?

White House Black Market is great, as are Born shoes and Express skinny jeans.

Cheerful Yank, hi!

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 04:23:52

Oops happy just reread my post; didn't intend my questions to be aimed at you specifically, sorry.

I don't mean to imply that most Americans are especially soft-spoken, or liberal. Obviously lots of Americans are not liberal. I just mean, they're ... normal. The conservative politics of the ordinary conservative American are not outlandish, they're just like, ordinarily conservative.

Although I am American so who am I to say.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 04:39:20

Hi Keatsie! smile

I know! That's what I said in my previous post...if we were all raving conservative loons, no way in the blue hell would Obama have been elected twice. We're no more a country composed of Duck Dynasty types than the UK is a country of Daily Mail readers and people like this guy.

There was a thread on here where I was trying to explain that I didn't know any Americans who didn't believe in evolution (though that has since changed) and someone actually replied "well Americans don't travel much, you probably haven't met many." grin I was cheated of my SGM "I AM CANADIAN" moment (do y'all remember that grin) because I was ready to swoop in and bellow "I AM AMERICAN" but someone got there first and explained that, in fact, I had never been out of America so it was highly likely that I did know a Yank or two.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 04:41:27

And I think, as far as the ACA, people on both sides of the pond are misinformed. A lot of people in the UK don't seem to realize it is not just like the NHS. Not everyone qualifies for it, and it is going to raise healthcare prices for some. Like me. I don't mind, we can afford it and I think it's worth it. But for those who are barely holding on as it is...

happytalk13 Wed 01-Jan-14 04:44:19

Hey Keats

I have some lovely "normal" American friends, unfortunately my experience has been and continues to e that the crazy evangelicals shout the loudest and get what they want. The state of women's health services (especially for women who are at the bottom of the healthcare pile) is appalling and often because of policies driven by religious nuts (seriously a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound for women wanting an abortion in some states now? And it was pushed for by crazy evangelicals) I have a daughter now - there is no way in hell I'd want her brought up in the USA as it was when I lived there and from what I hear it's no better.

I have evangelical friends who vehemently believe all Muslims are evil and will take over the world soon, I have evangelical friends who pretend to love but despise anyone who isn't like them and make sure they use their vote to try to bring in politicians who will push appalling policies. I have many evangelical friends who think the likes of the Alaskan Woman are sane and sage politicians.

OTOH I have a very small handful of friends who are like the American you describe and they are fabulous, wonderful, funny, non-sheeple. I lived in 2 states and frequently visited another, the majority of people I met unfortunately fell into the crazy evangelical category - and separation of church and state is just an illusion when these people are using their vote to impose their beliefs on a population.

It was a 6 year experience - maybe I was just unlucky - I hope there are actually far more thinking, compassionate Americans than the majority that I met.

RealAleandOpenFires Wed 01-Jan-14 04:58:28

Pantos would never take off across the US really, would they?

Ok, now to turn the OPs question around...*Would the UK accept states who decided to be British by proxy, by becoming Provinces of Canada (and following Canadian/UK laws et cetera)?*

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 05:10:18

CheerfulYank hahahaha! So unfair that you were cheated of your swoop and bellow grin

Re: the ACA: I checked out that health sherpa site ( to see what it would cost us, if we didn't have coverage through work, to buy in -- totally unaffordable. I know it varies greatly by state and there are subsidies based on income, but still, it doesn't look great. I was sorry to see this. And I was sorry to learn that it's also going to raise costs for people like you (business owner? not to pry) ... I mean, the ACA is such a triumph and yet it has been so hampered and compromised and that just makes me sad.

That video is so CUTE. I get your point re: the idea that we might assume that these kids = London/the UK, but I also just really want to introduce them to some giant badass American rappers grin

mathanxiety Wed 01-Jan-14 05:13:22

I have had the enormous good fortune to live in the metropolitan area of an old-fashioned American city formerly a byword for Irish/machine politics/gangsterism and corruption. Actually two such cities, come to think of it.

They are great places to live -- with great schools and safe neighbourhoods, and communities with wonderful facilities that were paid for and maintained by local taxes, which were fantastic for the DCs. They boast a great spirit of civic responsibility and volunteerism, and a culture where families don't consist of two camps - parents vs children/teens -- no groups of teens wandering the streets at night, hardly any graffiti...

I remember being stunned on a cross country trip west in 2000 to see the bumper stickers and billboards for Dubya -- it was all-Gore-all-the-time where I had driven from.

My points being:
You can't always judge a place by its reputation.
There are large areas of America where liberal Europeans would feel very at home and in fact might learn a lot about civic values, as well as places where they might like to just put their foot on the accelerator and move on.

happytalk13 Wed 01-Jan-14 05:23:26

Yes, Math - my enforced move from quaint New England to the Mid-West only served to push my experience further into dislike. Though I have to say, the evangelicals and their extreme views seem to be heavily present even in the north east - or that was my experience.

I wish it had been a better experience - it probably would have been but for some personal circumstances. There are things I certainly miss and some people I wish were still my neighbours (I very much miss my first neighbourhood in many ways) but I'd never want the UK to become part of the USA based on my experience.

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 05:30:28

happy I think you are quite right re: who shouts the loudest. I was also thinking as I read your post that one problem I do think many nice normal conservative Americans have is that they are far too credulous wrt. the media; there is a really worrying tendency among many Americans to accept what they see on the news without considering the source. This might be generational to some extent though; I think kids these days (kids these days! I'm old grin) are very used to questioning the motive of what they read/hear, whereas older people come from a time when I think the media held itself to a standard of fair and accurate reporting that is not in play anymore. I also have a fairly low opinion of our education system pre-college and suspect people just are not being taught to think critically.

This "I have a daughter now - there is no way in hell I'd want her brought up in the USA as it was when I lived there and from what I hear it's no better" is really interesting to me to read b/c of course if we have kids (unlikely due to a number of factors) we would be raising them here, and there are aspects to raising kids in the US now that really give me pause. But I don't know how different it would be elsewhere. On one hand, there are countries where reproductive rights are far less threatened; the ultrasound thing is just profoundly appalling. On the other hand, I do think opportunity for a young woman to excel here is very great. Whether it is greater than some other places, though, I genuinely don't know.

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 05:36:51

Heh, happy and math I've lived all over the US and when I moved to the Midwest I was surprised that it is far less politically conservative here than I would have thought.

That's another thing though, along the lines of what you were saying about travelling through this country, math -- the US is just so big, has so many people living in it, that most interest groups are pretty large. It's to say "this view is representative and that one is not" when 1) they are not all getting equal air time and 2) they are not all getting accurate representation in the media and 3) there are just so many people. Experiences of American culture just vary so much. I think that's one reason why there are so many different impressions of the same place.

happytalk13 Wed 01-Jan-14 05:45:30

In all fairness, Keats, you could say that about many Uk-ers too - my GIL's quote the Fail as Gospel (and look right idiots to boot)

WRT girls and opportunity - I personally didn't see it being any better than the UK - and maternity rights etc aren't exactly fabulous in the USA, but having said that I was a SE SAHP while living there - but so were most of the women I knew - SAHP seemed to be the norm whereas here in the UK it doesn't, whether that's out of choice or necessity I'm not sure. It's the tenuous reproductive rights that bothers me the most though - I've discussed this at length with several friends over their who are mothers to girls and they find it downright frightening too - the wilful ignorance of the evangelicals over this issue is astounding to me.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 01-Jan-14 06:08:28

It would never work - our version of a right wing leader (Cameron) is significantly more left wing than an American left wing leader (Obama).

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 06:16:54

Lol I know Keats! Drop him off in a bad part of Oakland and see if he's "top boy" then grin

Again, happy, it really does depend on the area, as I have lived in the Midwest my entire life. I lived in Ohio until I was 8 and Minnesota since; I love Minnesota and consider myself "from" there through and through.

Minnesota is usually a bit more liberal than other states, mostly I think because it was largely settled by Scandinavians and that culture is very much still present, with a good dose of the practicality and efficiency brought in by the German Catholics who also settled here. But we're definitely solidly Midwestern too, there's very much a "shake it off and get on with it, work hard and you'll be fine" mentality.

Sorry if I'm babbling, I've been at the bubbly grin Happy New Year!

And I'm sorry you had a bad experience, Happy. Also tbh I'm frightened to raise a daughter in the Western culture at all really!

Oh, I'm not a business owner smile But premiums are going up for a lot of people who get healthcare through work.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 06:20:14

In what ways, Mum?

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 06:39:12

wine Happy New Year from farm country, everyone!! cake

happy did I get it right that you're saying you thought having a SAHP was more the norm where you lived in the US than in the UK? How fascinating -- I would think it would be much less financially risky to be a SAHP in the UK due to social services. So it's especially interesting if in fact it is riskier here but also more popular here despite the greater risk b/c of differences in cultural approaches to family, etc.

Re: the extreme-right/evangelical position on reproductive rights: that's actually a good example of what I mean about the majority of Americans vs. the fringe group that gets attention in the media. Surely most Americans, conservative or not, think that the ultrasound thing is really extreme and nasty. Surely most Americans, including those who are against abortion but not totally crazed about it, really would not support treating women that way. But perhaps I am wrong to say that.

CheerfulYank yes totally. He looks like such a kid. Which, well, he is, but in a way that e.g., Eminem didn't look like a kid in his younger days.

I'm getting a little rambly and random too! Ha. Must go to bed.

Dolcelatte Wed 01-Jan-14 08:39:57

Can we have New York please, as an extra county/European state, but not the remainder.

The only advantage of a full scale union would be that presumably the border controls would no longer exist. I don't think I have ever met anyone so rude as the people who work at the USA border controls. They just seem to be gratuitously officious and unpleasant. We had the misfortune to transit LA a few years ago - my mother in law has a false hip which set off the alarm and you would not believe how unpleasant the airport staff were to her; she was reduced to tears and despite having previously lived in the USA for a number of years, has vowed never to return. On the other - admittedly limited - occasions that I have had the misfortune to pass through border controls, I found the staff equally unpleasant.

The USA also have very odd attitudes to alcohol. I was in a bar somewhere in Florida and attempted to buy two glasses of wine, one for me and one for my DH, who was sitting at a table. I was advised that I could not buy two drinks at the same time, in case I was proposing to consume them both........!!

Even though Florida is the presumably fluffy and touristy part of the USA, I just didn't feel comfortable. The overt patriotism is intimidating - at the end of an evening of family entertainment, some sort of horse show, everyone was expected to stand up for the national anthem and to show support for the soldiers in Iraq, or some other country they were meddling in. I didn't want to stand up but was, frankly, afraid not to.

Also, it is hard to find vegetables - it's not meat and 2 veg, it's 2 meat and a carrot, if you're lucky.

I am a European and happy to remain so, thank you.

PasswordProtected Wed 01-Jan-14 09:13:14

I wonder if you would all be so keen, had the American vote between Englush & German as their official language gone the other way?

wobblyweebles Wed 01-Jan-14 13:03:24

It's hard to find veg?

That's the weirdest criticism of America yet. Lol!

stopgap Wed 01-Jan-14 13:04:14

happytalk13 I think you're right that being a SAHP is far more common in the US than it is in the UK. I only know one friend in the UK who stays at home, but have tons of SAHM friends around here. I think subpar childcare is partly a reason, subpar maternity leave, but there's also a different cultural attitude at play.

I've lived in NYC and CT for eleven years, and have found most Americans to be charming, upbeat and enthusiastic, but not overbearingly so.

What I dislike about living in the US:

Bloody ticks and Lyme Disease
Gun laws
Having to drive a great deal more
The tendency to reach for prescription drugs at the merest hint of a sniffle
Leash laws for dogs
The lack of public footpaths

What I like about the US:
Nobody dismisses with scorn your new business venture idea/acquisitions
Social mobility is better
Slubbing it in trainers and sweats is perfectly fine for a Saturday venture into town
Working out is not looked upon as a curious venture
Far less pressure to drink oneself into oblivion
Generally land is cheaper, so having a huge back yard is the norm

OodToSeeTheBackOf2013 Wed 01-Jan-14 13:17:53

Think I'll turn down Dame Edna and keeping tight hold of David Tennant so how about Jeremy Clarkson and John Barrowman (though I'm not sure he actually belongs to us) .

By the way are we having an Australian tunnel as well? Or could the spiders come through?

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 15:47:38

That's awful Dolcelette sad I gave no experience with boarder patrol.

However I was a vegan for awhile so I can assure you I was able to find vegetables to eat, and have bought several drinks more times than I could possibly count confused The only thing I can think of even close to their reasoning is that in some states bars can be sued if they allow someone to be overly intoxicated and drive, if someone is killed.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 15:48:47

have no experience

Dolcelatte Wed 01-Jan-14 19:20:19

Thank you for being so gracious CheerfulYank.

Of course there are many charming Americans, so apologies for a bit of a rant. There are some wonderful American poets and authors, as well as films and I probably didn't search hard enough for the veg! In short, I am sorry to have seemed so negative, your country has much to admire and be proud of; perhaps we are a bit more cynical here which expresses itself in irony/humour.

Happy new year!

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 19:39:43

To you as well smile

I agree about the irony, though it's not so much that Americans don't get it as it just isn't as prevalent. In the same vein it seems to me that sometimes our satirical humor is misunderstood...for instance on here and among my Brit friends on Facebook I've seen links to sites like the Onion (though not the actual Onion as it's too well known) with "can you believe..." Er, no, 'cause it's fake! grin

Oswald68 Wed 01-Jan-14 22:48:07

At the risk of making this too seriously I think wobbly should think again about nhs. The spend on healthcare per capita in uk is far lower than in US. In US it is private individuals paying for private provision, with many not be able to afford anything. If his US private healthcare is better it is because he is paying more for it privately than the average UK citizens pays in tax towards the NHS. If we raised the taxes and spent the same per head on the NHS as the US does on healthcare privately then we would have an extraordinary level of provision across the board.

Sesquipedality Wed 01-Jan-14 22:50:25

Good plan.

I love the USA.

Capital punishment and all.

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 23:11:46

Er ... great. You do realize we are not all in favor of it? And you're good with every aspect of current UK government policy and law?

Sesquipedality Wed 01-Jan-14 23:22:40

The key thing we have in common is extraordinary rendition.

Now that's cooperation.

CheerfulYank Wed 01-Jan-14 23:36:05

Death penalty hasn't been legal in my state in over a century.

KeatsiePie Wed 01-Jan-14 23:47:27

Not legal in mine either, though apparently reinstatement has been a campaign topic in recent years.

wobblyweebles Thu 02-Jan-14 02:44:05

At the risk of making this too seriously I think wobbly should think again about nhs. If we raised the taxes and spent the same per head on the NHS as the US does on healthcare privately then we would have an extraordinary level of provision across the board.

Precisely. Start funding it better and make it work better and it would be a fantastic system.

With its current funding levels... Well... Just read the other threads about it right here on mumsnet.

I'm all for single payer healthcare, but not one that offers the current service levels that the NHS offers.

wobblyweebles Thu 02-Jan-14 02:45:23

Capital punishment not legal anywhere near where I live.

Gay marriage is though. I hear the UK is catching up on that :-)

NotNoah Thu 02-Jan-14 08:09:32

Agree with Caitlin17, I spent 2 months on a training course in Texas a few years ago. It was mainly US students with a few internationals. I became very good friends with a Norwegian which seemed to just happen naturally. The Americans were lovely people but we didn't seem to get the same things, definitely a culture gulf. Of all the places I have travelled it was the only place I got homesick, even if just there for a week.

clarinetV2 Thu 02-Jan-14 11:55:53

Would the US offer a welcome/acculturation present of a year's pass to Dollywood to its new UK/US citizens? If so, I'm in!

helzapoppin2 Thu 02-Jan-14 12:24:39

Keats, I seem to remember it was right turn on red, not left!
I came home a year and a half ago so am mentally replaying my drive to town! Anyway, it was a very good rule!

spamm Thu 02-Jan-14 14:55:48

I am very surprised by the attitude of: " if I had a daughter, I would not want to bring her up in the USA." I have a DS, but if I had a daughter, I would love for her to be brought up in the community I live in here in the USA. The promotion of positive role models for women here is far more prominent than anywhere else I have lived (UK, Switzerland, Italy, Africa) - they have all sorts of sports schemes, internships, memberships for women and young girls that give them fantastic role models, and a very varied range of role models at that - women who live each stage of their life as they feel best, whether they are Staying at home with their kids, or working in the community or in professional roles.

I have personally been selected for 3 schemes through my job to promote and support women as they are trying to fight against working mothers leaving the work place. I meet the daughters of my friends and I have been asked to mentor several of them - amazing ambitious young women who have great minds of their own, have travelled extensively and have a clear idea of their self worth. I would be proud to have a daughter like them!

Absy Thu 02-Jan-14 15:24:04

I've experienced private medical in the UK, and it's not always that great. The doctors IME are quite complacent as they still know they're going to get a shitload of money regardless of what goes on (bitter recent experience) and the insurance companies can be very difficult about paying for stuff if you have the slightest whiff of a permanent condition.

Personally, I would agree to the alliance purely to have readily available Reece's pieces and peanut butter M&Ms. <shallow>

wobblyweebles Thu 02-Jan-14 15:35:21

spamm - I totally agree, and I have two daughters.

mathanxiety Thu 02-Jan-14 18:03:20

You can make a left on red if the street you're turning left on is one way leftbound. (So to speak.)

And wrt media -- Fox News is a good deal less rabid in Chicago than in Kansas City for in stance. News organisations trim their sails according to the prevailing wind. That said, I am baffled by the appeal of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, who are syndicated nationally, with no editing of tone or content.

I have brought up girls in the US and found the school and sport system fantastic for them. They were handed every opportunity anyone could hope or wish for to succeed. I agree with Spamm's observations about active promotion of women, availability of a multitude of positive role models and the attitude that you are free to choose, and there will always be someone cheering you on if you are willing to make your choice work for you.

I like the attitude to driving that American women in general hold -- 'just do it'. I like the fact that my DDs as well as my DS will all be required to pass their driver's ed course before they can graduate high school and will therefore be equipped to drive for the rest of their lives. I am saddened by statistics showing fewer women than men drive in the UK and have been on threads here where women have told of being afraid of driving, in general showing a complete lack of confidence in their potential to drive. The various justifications for not even learning baffle me. You can learn the skill without intending to use it, but there is this fear among some women that is palpable. Worse, it is acceptable in the UK for women to express this fear of large pieces of machinery. My mother used to be like that (in Ireland) until she got her licence at age 68. American women, in general, do not express this sort of fear. They tend to be more gung ho.

I know there are problems in American education in general, but if it could be plucked up in its entirety as a concept and set down in the UK I think it would be a very good thing. In particular I love the separation of church and schools, which may sound strange coming from someone who sent the DCs to a parish school for elementary - but the point is people choose a religious school if they want one, and state schools that are entirely secular can be very, very good. In many places you have a real choice. The public school system and state universities in the US are the reasons the US pulled ahead of the rest of the world in the 20th century.

spamm Thu 02-Jan-14 21:07:28

Now if you want constructive criticism of the US, how about this: slow down with the bloody cheese grin! I love cheese, but I do not need it on everything! The good part is, if you ask for changes to your meal, the kitchen does not grumble, they graciously send whatever you ask (within reason)

KeatsiePie Fri 03-Jan-14 02:04:03

spamm this "women who live each stage of their life as they feel best, whether they are Staying at home with their kids, or working in the community or in professional roles." is really well put, that's how the attitude feels to me, and I really like it. Unfortunately I've never lived outside the US so can't compare it to attitudes elsewhere.

Actually it's really interesting and surprising to me that this flexibility spamm is describing might be more present here considering I think our maternity leave is worse (and therefore less flexible) and so are our daycare options.

It wasn't me with the left turn on red thing but yes I think if you're turning from a one way onto a one way you can do it. Right turn on red is okay almost all the time, unless there's a sign specifically saying you can't.

Nice post math! I love the just do it attitude and am glad I was raised with it. British women seem very capable to me though, based just on this board ... I sense that there are differences in attitude/expectations but they are too subtle for me to pin down.

Interesting about the public schools here; I have a really low opinion of them but again don't know how they compare.

I LOVE cheese grin

Goldenbear Fri 03-Jan-14 10:32:09

Mathanxiety, I can't say your notions of what UK women are like resonate with me at all. I am 36 and I can't say that I have witnessed or heard of any of these fears. I was 17 when I passed my driving test for the first time, I wrote off my mum's car a week later and had bruising along the whole of my right side from the crash- it was quite bad but i couldn't wait to get back behind the steering wheel. My peers were very similar in their attitude towards driving. I don't think it is a generation thing either, my gran drove a bus during the war and a lot of women of her generation were very able and lived through the blitz without men by their side to 'save' them! My Mother and a lot of her peers were politically active, strong in their determination to change the 'established' British institutions.

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:52:22

The is more spend per head on healthcare in the USA than the UK - but that doesn't completely mean it makes healthcare better. It depends on how you define better.

If you define better at a bill of £3000 for 1 hour spent in the ER where you sat alone in a room for most of that time, and one nurse and one dr saw you for 5 minutes and gave you some steroid cream then ok, it's better. If you define better as your Dr saying you need a CT scan immediately because he is very concerned you have a blood clot and your insurance company turns around and says no which leaves you then with no choice but to go to the emergency room because your Dr says you absolutely must and after the fact you are landed with a 6k bill on top of what you pay in insurance every month as better, then yes, it's better.

If you define better as spending an hour in the physio's office "chatting" about what is wrong with your back instead of getting treatment and then being charged £240 dollars for that privilege (on top of what you pay in insurance) then ok, it's better. Incidentally, I could have gone privately here in the UK, actually got treatment and paid £40-80 pounds.

It's swings and roundabouts, but I can tell you that I didn't receive any better healthcare in the USA than I did in the UK - and I don't have to worry about my bank account when I do need healthcare.

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:58:39

As an aside - Cheerful, people actually take The Onion seriously? Wow.

I wish I had known more people in the USA who found The Onion, Mr Colbert, South Park etc hilarious for it's piss-taking satire. Obviously, due to the show's popularity there must have been plenty out there who did enjoy it, I just seemed to constantly meet people who were religious nuts with world domination and female subjugation plans who had no sense of humour at all.

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 11:01:40

shows', not show's - 11am and I'm still only firing on 6.

NatashaBee Fri 03-Jan-14 11:04:33

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 11:18:08

Oh. Dear. God.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Fri 03-Jan-14 11:22:46

I have decided that it just wouldn't work out.

nickymanchester Fri 03-Jan-14 12:42:13


That's awful Dolcelette sad I gave no experience with boarder patrol

I have had similar nasty experiences with the American TSA. If you do a quick search you will find that many people, both American and non-Americans, have many horror stories to tell about the treatment they've received at the hands of the TSA.

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 13:01:44

The TSA can be pretty unpleasant - I've had good and bad experiences with them. JFK airport comes to mind with the bad - barking at people, staring them down, getting impatient when people are having difficulties removing their shoes - incredibly rude and unnecessarily intimidating.

DIA - lovely and friendly.

wobblyweebles Fri 03-Jan-14 14:24:40

What the UK border control/security have done to us so far...

'Accidentaly' invalidated husband's indefinite leave to remain so that he could no longer work or claim any kind of benefit and had to spend months waiting for the Home Office to reissue his visa.

Held on to his US passport for over a year while they processed his UK citizenship application, so he could not travel anywhere.

Thrown away my extremely allergic daughter's allergy medication before she got onto a plane where they were serving peanuts (against their own published rules).

Insisted that my blind 91 year old grandmother throw away a bottle of whisky that she had bought in duty free on the plane before she got on an internal UK flight.

But I'm sure they're really lovely people underneath :-/

ElkTheory Fri 03-Jan-14 14:47:31

Nice to see some more balanced posts in this thread after the predictable anti-American insults. I agree with much that Spamm and Mathanxiety have written.

I have lived in the UK, the US, and Russia. There are aspects of each country/culture that I like and admire, as well as elements of each that I loathe. Recently I spent some time in Sweden and loved it so much that I began to daydream about moving there (despite sheer impossibility of such a move). But I imagine if I actually lived there for an extended period of time, I would discover its flaws and drawbacks. Perhaps it's better to retain the illusion. . .

CheerfulYank Fri 03-Jan-14 15:03:26

The driving thing is true I think. As an American who doesn't drive I am looked at with absolute bafflement when people find out. Whereas when I first started on Mumsnet I was amazed at all the posters who said they didn't.

Happy not the actual Onion but things like it. Although obviously people do believe the Onion too. <cringe>

Math I am religious as well but I really like our secular schools as well. If I want to send my DC to Catholic school then I should pay for it IMO.

CheerfulYank Fri 03-Jan-14 15:04:40

Take out one of the "as wells", won't you, Math? smile

tb Fri 03-Jan-14 18:35:43

In a word, 'no'.

But, I pissed off to France 7 years ago, as we were becoming annexed to the US with Blair/Bush praying together.

LaVolcan Fri 03-Jan-14 18:39:01

I think the driving thing is more a town/country split. If you live somewhere where there is one bus in the morning and one home at 6pm or worse, the same service but only once a week on market day, then you learn to drive PDQ or you are stuck. City people, e.g. Londoners, don't have to worry about getting around with their extensive tube and bus network.

So large rural areas could account for the same need to drive in the USA.

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:41:14

It's funny, but this thread has gotten me all nostalgic

Cocoa Beach
"Mums" and pumpkins and apples...oh my!
The USA's obsession with seasonal decoration of porches
Hard wood flooring
Chick Fil A
Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich
Snow you could count on
Ice storms (even with 3 days of no power)
Mike's Pastries in Boston
Clam Chowder
July 4th
Quaint colonial houses

I do miss it....just not the fuckwit that was attached to it.

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:42:03

I've never understood the obsession with mowing lawns though...

happytalk13 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:42:43

Oh, and Eatingwell and Oxygen magazines...I wish they would publish those in the UK.

wobblyweebles Fri 03-Jan-14 18:54:05

It's true happytalk - even though I'm very happy not to live in the UK I get all nostalgic for bits of it. The Peak District, country pubs, wandering round National Trust gardens, edible quiche for sale in supermarkets, etc.

mathanxiety Sat 04-Jan-14 06:02:52

I think the thing about the US and driving is very few see it as something they don't need to at least learn, whether they end up owing a car or not. Driving is very much the norm and people tend not to sit down and decide not to have anything to do with cars. You might decide it was a good idea to commute by train, but you would probably have a car at home or parked at a park and ride spot at the station.

After all, there is also a large road and street network in London, so why not just drive? Americans tend to assume they will drive. Driving is something you do like eating and sleeping.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 11:58:07

I went 10 months without a driving license in the USA - it was fucking miserable. You simply cannot not drive over there unless you want to be completely isolated - well in my case anyway. Here in the UK it is very easy to get out and about without the use of a car - unless you live in the sticks. Popping into town can be done on a bus - unless you live in a major city in the states that's not possible - or at least where I lived it wasn't. and we weren't out in the sticks.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 11:59:18

Wobbly - Wholefoods used to do lovely quiche if IIRC smile

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 04-Jan-14 12:09:15

We wouldn't need a bridge sockreturningpixie, you big silly!
No bridge to Hawaaii, after all!
I have lived in both, and while the enthusiasm and optimism of America is very energizing, the insularity and insecurity is not.
Healthcare, with the right insurance, is excellent, but I knew sooo many people with no insurance at all, and that is scary.
On the one hand, in the US, you can get fired for not much, on the other hand you can start up a business from scratch a lot easier over there.
On the one hand service in restaurants is fab there, and eating out is fun, on the other hand the supermarket food is worse, and very uniform.
It wouldn't work. We are too different. After being there a few years, I realised that we actually have more in common with our European neighbours that the U.S, and that's where we should be. Everything the U.S imports here doesn't translate to our culture and way of life, and ultimately is bad for us.

happytalk13 Sat 04-Jan-14 12:22:42

Math - can I ask you though, why you think that the USA is ahead of the rest of the world? I find that statement odd to be honest especially when you equate it to a much better education system - the USA frequently collaborates with scientists and engineers from other countries, including the UK. One example is the Mercury and Apollo programmes; they had a significant amount of UK educated scientists helping with design and development (around half of the engineers on Mercury were British). And the fuel cells used on Apollo were designed originally by Frances Thomas Bacon - born and raised in Essex.

mathanxiety Sat 04-Jan-14 19:25:14

What I meant by that (and I said pulled ahead in the past tense, referring to the twentieth century - the rest of the world is very much catching up now) I suppose was that America was turning out engineers and science grads, plus agricultural and mining grads in huge numbers, and often from humble beginnings, thanks to the existence of the state university system and free public schools. The career of Dwight Eisenhower is an example of someone coming from pretty much nowhere.

The result of all that encouragement of engineering was domestic appliances, cars, radio and then tv, consumer culture and the world's largest economy, the manufacturing base necessary to conduct war on two fronts (WW2), the military-industrial complex and eventually the space programme -- while other countries of course produced scientists and engineers and contributed valuable expertise, only America and the USSR had the resources to get rockets off the ground. Two very different systems in some ways, but both concentrated on turning out graduates in science and engineering and jobs in those areas were available even in hard times (because of government policy in both cases).

mathanxiety Sat 04-Jan-14 20:11:39

And of course funding the Marshall Plan, which was a major factor in rebuilding western Europe. The plan and other aid could not have been accomplished without an American GDP in the late 1940s of c $260 billion.

spamm Sun 05-Jan-14 23:58:10

I used to think US supermarkets were terrible, and then I discovered Wegmans. They are FABULOUS and they do a great quiche. So even that aspect was much improved for me.

happytalk13 Mon 06-Jan-14 05:59:36

Math - I hope you didn't feel that I was trying to start some kind of UK is better than USA conversation. Indeed the USA helped rebuild Europe after WWII (wouldn't have been in anyone's interest not to) Collaboration that benefits all is a good thing - if it hadn't been for WWII, according to some documentary I saw, we'd probably be 50 years behind where we are now technology wise - a lot of that came from collaboration between countries in an effort to beat the other side.

Spamm - I too found the supermarkets somewhat lacking, and then I discovered Wholefoods!

I wish we had Barnes and Nobel over here - we did have Borders, and they shut down before I returned. Oh to have a huge book shop with coffee, desks and hours of free time....

What about Yorkshire teabags?!
I couldn't live without 'em shock

happytalk13 Mon 06-Jan-14 06:58:07

What about cream or worse coffee creamer in tea?!?!?! I'm looking at you, McDonalds in Topeka who refused to let me have some milk in my tea!

mathanxiety Mon 06-Jan-14 07:13:13

I get Tetley and Barry's. I would never drink tea west of the Mississippi unless in SF and points north.

happytalk13 Mon 06-Jan-14 07:38:42

In all fairness, Panera bread used to do a pretty nice tea (plus bread that actually tasted of bread). Plus gorgeous soups...

I'm having a mental block - SF?

Crowler Mon 06-Jan-14 08:33:56

Blimey, the US has gone downhill. I just visited over Xmas - it's on security lockdown. Everywhere you look, there are posters that say:

If you see someone doing suspicious, report it.

If that's not the four horsemen, I don't know what is.

Also, the annoying uptick with which they end sentences. I hate it.

And, the food is really bad - I used to be terribly nostalgic for it. This time, I had vomit-burps every single day I was there. Nice.

wobblyweebles Mon 06-Jan-14 21:32:35

Have they put bins back in public places in the UK now, or are they still on lockdown too?

CheerfulYank Mon 06-Jan-14 21:36:20

Where in the world were you, Crowler? Never heard of a poster like that!

ElkTheory Mon 06-Jan-14 22:13:04

Were there really signs saying "If you see someone doing suspicious, report it"? That doesn't even make sense grammatically!

I love regional American cuisines. Amazing seafood in New England, Tex-Mex in the Southwest, New Orleans creole and Cajun cooking. Yum.

Crowler Tue 07-Jan-14 07:29:20

Oops sorry - there were lots of "If you see someone doing something suspicious, report it!" signs.

I saw them in the airport & shopping malls - I was both in Orlando and DC. It's Orwellian.

I really like New England food as well.

Callani Tue 07-Jan-14 11:13:51

Just a few areas where there are massive clashes between UK & US cultural expectations:
- Health care
- Female reproductive rights
- Religion
- Gun laws
- Working hours (about 40 per week in UK, 48 per week in US)
- Holiday days (20 min in UK, 9 in US)
- Education
- Taxes (39% of GDP UK, 25% of GDP US)
- Politics
- TV (particularly adverts)
- Pet ownership (ok, I'm getting a little bit silly now)

Even being completely partisan and not declaring one to be better than the other, the incompatibility of these areas would make this impossible. As it goes, I prefer the deal we have in the UK but I am incredibly biased by having been born and raised here.

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Jan-14 14:56:35

How are your TV commercials different? And pet ownership? The only commercial I've ever seen was one for Lelli Kelly's. :D

KeatsiePie Tue 07-Jan-14 15:10:58

Hmm, I was just in DC before Christmas and they're still doing the "if you see something, say something" campaign in the metro. Maybe I am just overused to it but it doesn't bother me.

Are there not signs or announcements about reporting suspicious packages or anything like that in London?

KeatsiePie Tue 07-Jan-14 15:12:02

Oh, I want to know about the pet ownership and commercials also! And the working hours.

Crowler Tue 07-Jan-14 15:15:58

No - maybe a few signs in airports/train stations saying "if you leave your bag unattended it will be confiscated".

In the US they have these posters with models acting out their suspicions saying "See something? Hear something? Better safe than sorry. Report it". It really bothers me because it's an obvious attempt to encourage people assume that everyone around them is a terrorist, and support the ridiculous infringements imposed by Homeland Security/TSA et al.

They also have advertisements for weapons manufacturers in the South with the American flag waving behind them.

wobblyweebles Tue 07-Jan-14 15:28:37

In the US they have these posters with models acting out their suspicions saying "See something? Hear something? Better safe than sorry. Report it". It really bothers me because it's an obvious attempt to encourage people assume that everyone around them is a terrorist, and support the ridiculous infringements imposed by Homeland Security/TSA et al

How odd - I have never seen those. Who did they say to report 'something' to?

You didn't answer my question though... do they still avoid putting bins in public places in the UK in case of bombs?

Frankly that worried me far more than any signs.

ElkTheory Tue 07-Jan-14 15:31:59

The last time I was in London (a few years ago), there were signs in the tube saying things like "Report suspicious activity."

I remember the signs from the 80s too, when IRA bombings were happening. One had a numbered list of what to do if you saw an unattended package. On one such sign, someone had written in an additional number with the instruction "Fucking run."

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Jan-14 15:34:46

The only thing I've ever heard of is a campaign in inner cities to encourage people to report crime, because of the "stop snitchin" or "snitches get stitches" way of life there.

KeatsiePie Tue 07-Jan-14 15:38:21

Hmmmm. I am not a terribly optimistic or credulous person -- but I honestly think the primary goal of the "see something, say something" campaign is to keep the subway safe. I really do.

I don't think we're being encouraged to think everyone around us on the subway is a terrorist, but I do think that we're being encouraged to think that anyone could be. Which is true. I do not like thinking that way, but I see that technically it is true.

But -- many, many people in the US really do not like or endorse some of the practices of the TSA or the NSA. In a way I think those signs raise awareness of the issues that many people have with them: I see one, and though I am reminded to look out for suspicious packages, I am also reminded that I'm really worried about infringements on our privacy and also really worried about how unsafe the world has become. So the reaction provoked is complex for me, and I hope for other people, as I think it's important that people be thinking about these issues.

Crowler Tue 07-Jan-14 15:40:14

I'm going to have to check the tube next time I'm on it - I don't think there's any "report suspicious activity" signs on it. Undoubtably it's more pervasive in the US.

You didn't answer my question though... do they still avoid putting bins in public places in the UK in case of bombs?

I have this idea in my head that they did this for a while after the 7.7 bombs but now they're back to normal... ? Maybe someone else can confirm this. I do remember having difficulting finding a bin in the UK at some points but not recently. This did drive me insane.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 15:45:46

The standard work week by federal law in the US is 40 hrs. per week for non-exempt (hourly) workers. Any hours over 40 have to be paid time and a half.

The uptick at the end of sentences is only in a few American accents. The majority of Americans do not speak this way. One of the reasons that this feature is perceived as very common is that some of the accents that have it are from California and thus find their way into media more.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 07-Jan-14 15:52:35

Pet ownership ....when I lived in the US (Pennsylvania) I hardly ever saw dogs being taken for a walk. But there were puppies in glass boxes in the shopping malls. Dogs kept on their own land by having some sort of wire round the perimeter and a collar which gave them a shock if they came too close. 'Indoor' cats scared to go outside which were declawed.

Animal cruelty certainly exists in the UK but these were things associated with nice, middle class, 'animal lovers'.

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Jan-14 16:02:54

Oh, I see. Most pet shops are out of business now thankfully! As far as walks go I know a lot of people who just let their dogs run around in their yards and think it's good enough.

Also I don't know anyone who has pet health insurance.

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Jan-14 16:04:36

But yeah invisible fences are common. Usually doesn't shock anymore though. Gives a buzz noise and a vibration.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 16:08:05

And the cream in tea thing. Yes, this is definitely a cultural issue in the US, just as it is a problem for Americans to get cream, instead of milk, for their coffee in the UK. smile

TheZeeTeam Tue 07-Jan-14 16:08:38

I don't know anyone who DOESN'T have pet insurance! Dogs are walked on the trails in the woods rather than in the neighbourhoods here,but the vast majority are definitely walked. There is a huge, booming dog walking industry to prove it!

Re invisible fences. As much as I was horrified when I first saw them, I can understand them now. They are much, much cheaper than physically fencing in 1, 2, 3+ acre plots. And the dogs still have plenty of room to play outside. Our back garden is fenced in, but the last owners did it and that was a big plus for us when we bought the house.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 16:15:51

Oh, and way back someone said they had trouble finding vegetables in Florida. I live in Florida (where it is damned cold today, btw). We have vegetables. Many vegetables. And also fruit. Most of it locally grown.

Crowler Tue 07-Jan-14 16:16:18

The uptick at the end of sentences is only in a few American accents. The majority of Americans do not speak this way. One of the reasons that this feature is perceived as very common is that some of the accents that have it are from California and thus find their way into media more.

A lot of people I grew up with speak this way and did not ten years ago. In my experience, it's pervasive.

wobblyweebles Tue 07-Jan-14 16:17:20

I'm seen as cruel by some of my friends with indoor cats because I do let my cats go outside. There are bears, coyotes and fisher cats out there so it is a risk.

However I think it's better to let them out and take the risk than to keep them in which just seems wrong.

My BIL and SIL in the UK have an invisible fence - it's not just a US thing but they're more common here because fewer people have actual fences. I have no fences or walls at all round my house lot, just woodland... with deer wander through at the moment :-)

Crowler Tue 07-Jan-14 16:18:26

We had an electric fence for our dog when I was little. Is this considered cruel?

wobblyweebles Tue 07-Jan-14 16:19:41

The uptick at the end of sentences is only in a few American accents. The majority of Americans do not speak this way. One of the reasons that this feature is perceived as very common is that some of the accents that have it are from California and thus find their way into media more.

Yes I agree - I don't hear people talking like that much, and I work with Americans from all over the country.

What I DO love is when I get on a call and it sounds like Elvis is on the call :-)

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 16:21:47

Crowler you may be interpreting it differently than I do. But ending a declaratory sentence with a question mark is definitely not pervasive in US accents.

Theplumpwhiteduke Tue 07-Jan-14 16:29:16

Having just walked my dog in - 22 degree centigrade weather I really wish people here didn't walk there dogs. But we do. Before anyone accuses me of being cruel to the dog for walking him in the cold, I am not - he loves it.

I have lived in the US for over ten years and rarely recognize the country when it is discussed on MN. It is such a huge and varied country that it is impossible to generalize.

TheZeeTeam Tue 07-Jan-14 16:30:13

Wobbly we still get the deer in the garden. They jump the fence! They come in, eat my flowers and the birdseed, and then tease the dogs leaving it right up to the moment the bulldog is almost there and then leap off through the end of the garden and jump back into the woods! It's hours of entertainment!

TheZeeTeam Tue 07-Jan-14 16:32:39

Theplumpduke I agree re the generalisations on here. And the dog walking tbh. I'm impressed. My dogs went out for a pee this morning and have shown absolutely no interest in leaving the sofa ever since!

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Jan-14 17:04:05

It was -30 this morning so I had 6 year old DS let the dog out. Every man for himself grin

KeatsiePie Tue 07-Jan-14 17:26:49

Ha Cheerful I've been meaning to ask how you're holding up in the cold! I think you have it worse than we do. -10 this morning here. Yesterday was appalling. Our dog is all stressed out b/c she desperately needs her exercise -- we walk her about 2 hours/day -- but she's old and it's not safe to walk her when it's this cold. She keeps going outside and rushing back in and going back out.

So re: dogs in the UK vs. the US: is it that people in the UK walk them more? I feel like it really runs the gamut in the US. (runs the gamut? Can that be right?) When I lived in cities everyone walked their dogs constantly, it seemed. Suburbs, fewer walks b/c everyone had a yard, but still a fair amount of dog-walking visible. In the country now, we still walk ours, but a lot of neighbors just let theirs run around loose. The thing I really hate is when people tie the dog out and call it good.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 17:42:14

There is a lot of dog walking where I live in North Florida. We are near a golf course, and DH takes our dog on long walks where she hunts and retrieves golf balls from the surrounding area.

spamm Tue 07-Jan-14 18:13:37

Not sure where all these dogs live that are not being walked, but that is how we met most of our neighbors. We have tons of trails in our neighborhood, poo bins and free bags. We also have a 200 acre nature area that belongs to our housing association, which is fantastic for walking the dog. Our only big frustration is the lack of "right to roam", which is definitely a jewel in the UK crown. We make up for it by going to the state and National parks, but it is not quite the same.

I have a 40 hour work week (although I work more hours, like I did in the UK), I have 20 days vacation, and more long weekends than I ever had in the UK.

Before you bash the USA for everything, you should know your facts. I lived in the UK for 14 years, and loved so much about it. But I now live in the US, and there is lots to love about it too. The most important thing to remember is that it is such a diverse country. I can fly to the UK faster than I can fly to California, which is like another country altogether.

I do not get small minded people who bash another country just because they have prejudices based on one holiday somewhere. I am doing my best to be an excellent ambassador for Brits here in the USA and that includes trying to learn as much as possible about this diverse culture.

wobblyweebles Tue 07-Jan-14 18:19:07

This thread reminds me of another thing I like about the US. When we arrived I didn't know a soul.

I took my kids to the park and people said things like 'Hello, are you new here? Nice to meet you. Can I help in any way? Here's my number. Are you free for coffee tomorrow?'

Within a couple of weeks I had a whole social circle. It was lovely.

I've lived all over the US and the only place that wasn't really like that was Seattle.

wobblyweebles Tue 07-Jan-14 18:20:39

TheZeeTeam - sounds lovely! My cats occasionally stalk the deer, always makes me giggle :-)

KeatsiePie Tue 07-Jan-14 18:22:52

wobbly I lived in Seattle for a while and found it surprisingly hard to make friends there! Everyone is so laid back and the city is so nice that I thought it would be easy, but people really seemed not very interested in making new connections. I was really lonely there my first year.

What is the right to roam?

ErrolTheDragon Tue 07-Jan-14 18:34:17

>Not sure where all these dogs live that are not being walked
I said - Pennsylvania. But to be fair, you didn't see many humans walking either, other than in the state parks and the shopping malls.

Whereas for instance CA, plenty of dogs and people out and about. Probably down to the climate. The USA is oddly homogenous in some ways (McDonalds etc) but hugely heterogenous in others!

Crowler Tue 07-Jan-14 18:43:00

Americans are without question friendlier than Brits.

I'm not "bashing" Americans or the US. Does it count for anything that I'm American, by the way? So my view is not based on a brief holiday.

Sadly, the country has gone downhill, it's being run by morons, there's a lot of morons who have let this happen, their news is a joke, it's terribly insular, and they've just let Homeland Security run roughshod over the country.

happytalk13 Tue 07-Jan-14 18:55:09

I remember commercials on the radio about getting the general public to be aware of suspicious activity.

Bins in the UK - I've seen plenty - might be different in London - didn't take enough notice last time I was there.

Dogs - I wish the UK had similar leash laws to the USA and dog owners seem to be more considerate in the USA too though I do not miss the constant barking in both the neighbourhoods I lived in - drove me nuts.

I miss deer in my garden! We had 7 all at once on day and spookily they all looked around at me looking through the window at the exact same time!

My cat got out and I didn't notice in time - I found his head and shoulders on the field sad

People are very friendly but I never got a chance to truly settle in one place and make really good friends. Having said that I also found drivers generally more aggressive and on occasions obnoxious and intimidating - and I am not easily intimidated when behind the wheel.

All being said and done though the two countries would not mix - at all. I really don't think it would work.

spamm Tue 07-Jan-14 18:56:37

Crowley - I suppose we have a different approach to things then. I figure that there are tons of morons everywhere, but they do not necessarily represent the heart of any country. There are certainly tons in the UK!

And I do not recognize the Homeland Security argument, but then I was brought up in Europe and Africa, the threat of terrorism was a big part of our lives (Brigate Rosse in Rome, IRA in London and across the UK, the civil war in Mozambique...) so the US certainly seems incredibly laid back to me on that front. Immigration and customs used to be HELL, but it is improving all the time, despite the odd hiccup, and I find general administration reasonable good: you just have to figure out how things work, as it is so very different to the UK or Switzerland.

The big thing for me was that I underestimated how culturally different the two countries are, but I am coming to appreciate it more every day.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 07-Jan-14 18:59:21

>Americans are without question friendlier than Brits.

I'd question that wink - its down to the individuals you happen to meet. We found it really hard to get to know anyone when we lived in the US - before kids or internet, they'd have helped I'm sure - other than colleagues. Sure, you get to first names quicker and more people say hi but beyond that superficial level not significantly different.

2014meh Tue 07-Jan-14 19:04:50


Are you on glue ?

Enough said.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 22:59:46

I agree the right to roam is great. Last year we were in Scotland and went pretty far off the beaten path in various rural areas. We were on roads that looked more like private driveways, and several times had to open and close gates as we progressed (and wait until the sheep moved off the road). One of our group of four was convinced that we were trespassing and that we would be confronted by a farmer with a shotgun.

I recall that Donald Trump was a bit shocked to learn about the right to roam relative to his fancy new golf development.

SconeRhymesWithGone Tue 07-Jan-14 23:09:47
mathanxiety Wed 08-Jan-14 06:27:09

I have (cross my heart) never once seen any sign asking me to report suspicious activity anywhere in a huge and very cold midwestern city that boasts a subway and extensive rail system and two airports. OTOH, London in the early 80s was almost a fortress with signs everywhere. I also had the experience of travelling through Northern Ireland to Donegal from Dublin during the 80s; being stopped in Enniskillen to allow fully armed soldiers walk through the coach and stare at all the passengers makes TSE rudeness pale into insignificance. (And good Lord, they really are incredibly brusque and rude, and there is absolutely no reason for it).

ttby Fri 06-Jun-14 23:19:05

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SoleSource Sat 07-Jun-14 00:45:46


PrincessBabyCat Sat 07-Jun-14 00:59:39

No. We threw your tea in the harbor and booted your ass out for a reason. wink

Sorry, but your health care makes me cringe. 9 weeks waiting for an MRI, no calling offices to ask doctor's opinions, needing referrals to see specialists, mh and everything else always being on file no matter where you go, having to share a room in the hospital... yuck. No thanks.

Ours may be expensive if you don't buy insurance, but it's being reformed so that everyone is able to buy insurance if they need it. It's not perfect, but we're working on it.

PrincessBabyCat Sat 07-Jun-14 01:18:00

Americans are without question friendlier than Brits.

Eh... We're only friendly in the southern states. There's nothing like southern hospitality. Midwest is pretty friendly and polite. West coast is full of flakes. East coast isn't very friendly at all.

LithaR Sat 07-Jun-14 02:47:33

As long as we get some pumpkin pie and twinkies, not signing up without the treats lol

CarbeDiem Sat 07-Jun-14 03:10:06

Only allowing myself to type - YABVVVVVU op
I don't want to join to America

<runs away to tape fingers up>

oohdaddypig Sat 07-Jun-14 03:10:29

I will take your scenery. And wildlife. And your "can do" attitude.

Your attitude to guns terrifies me. That alone puts me off ever making a move there with the DCs.

The NHS is bust right now. There is a lot the UK gets wrong but I honestly think it offers far more opportunity than the "Land of the Free".

Brabra Sat 07-Jun-14 05:22:14

MinnesotaNice, your amazing US healthcare gave you a
"Single, ensuite room post-delivery
Lovely food
Cable TV
Epidural within 30 minutes of requesting it (which still let me be mobile)
Extensive support to assist with breastfeeding
DH could stay overnight on a pull-out sofa"

Many people don't want a highly medicalised birth though. And as for your husband staying the night, I was allowed to go my own bed, with the midwives coming out to visit me. The NHS is so much better than anything I have ever experienced in the US and I have been here far longer than I planned.

Brabra Sat 07-Jun-14 05:23:42

The biggest difference I have noticed is that Americans take life far too seriously, they don't have half as much fun as we Brits do. I miss the sense of humour in the UK, and the sense of fun!

Mya2403 Sat 07-Jun-14 14:03:13

Hell NO!. Lax gun controls high crime rate.Non existence of basic health care. We have enough problems of our own to deal with. Don't even started on the tea party and abortion laws etc.

cosmicstardust Sat 07-Jun-14 14:31:17

I am American. I love the UK, but no way in hell would I want to become one country. The UK would end up being a state within the US anyway with some of its own laws and some controlled by Washington, which, as I understand it, is what many in the UK want to get away from in leaving the EU. Canada and the US are actually bordering one another and don't have enough in common to become one country, merging the US with the UK would be ridiculous.

Lanabelle Sat 07-Jun-14 14:35:26

Hell no

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 07-Jun-14 14:37:53

We have basic health care in the US. It is by no means non-existent. Our system is flawed certainly, but the Affordable Care Act will remedy some of the flaws if the Obama-haters give it a chance to work.

lljkk Sat 07-Jun-14 14:41:20

ZOMBIE THREAD only awoken by spammers.

Rainbunny Sat 07-Jun-14 19:24:04

Hell no. I live in the USA and the more years I spend here the bigger the cultural differences I notice between Americans and Brits, particularly in the past five years. We may appear to be similar countries but the USA is quite different. I have zero trust in the American government, the entire country is ran by corporate interests. There are virtually no members of congress who aren't millionaires in their own right and there are no effective limits on lobbying by Corporations. Then there's the "individualist" character that Americans' are proud of. What that really means in my experience is that people should expect to take care of themselves, anything approaching a community based solution (which means administered by government) for example healthcare, well that's practically communism in the minds of many Americans. When the Affordable Healthcare Act was debated there were Republican rallies where people would cheer at the mention of a young man dying of brain cancer because he had no health insurance, yes actually cheer! Then's there maternity leave, or lack thereof. The USA is the last country in the developed world to not have any paid maternity leave, you can only get up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if your company is large enough to fall under the federal statute covering this. I'd take Britain anyday (I'd be back in the UK in a heartbeat if I didn't love my American Husband so much.)

I have some amazing friends here, and I have enjoyed many aspects of my time here but the longer I stay here the more I miss Europe and European values.

TucsonGirl Sat 07-Jun-14 19:26:22

I don;t even think the US will be a country in 50 years time, no way should we join. We should be an independent country, not part of any superstate whether USA or USE.

brokenhearted55a Sat 07-Jun-14 19:35:22

Sorry, but your health care makes me cringe. 9 weeks waiting for an MRI, no calling offices to ask doctor's opinions, needing referrals to see specialists, mh and everything else always being on file no matter where you go, having to share a room in the hospital... yuck. No thanks.

I can call my GP and ask for a call back.
I have taken my consultants email addresses from thr hospital website and sent them emails....they've always replied.

If you are being asked to wait 9 weeks for an mri it's because you can wait.

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