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to think that 'it's what they do in Europe' should be excluded for all arguments and discussions.

(88 Posts)
Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 11:53:40

So far in the last few days I have read threads where people have stated that in Europe they:
- have a much better attitude to renting and therefore it is more common to rent and the need to own property is a very British thing.
- that hitting another car when parking in perfectly normal in Europe and everyone accepts it and the British are just too uptight.

In previous threads I have also read that:
- in Europe they don't start school until they are 7 and they have the better maths and literacy results.
- children in Europe all have a glass of wine with their meals and are allowed to do as they please in restaurants.

Now I'm not denying that any of this is true but I am fed up with 'in Europe' being brought up as an argument.
Europe is not some magical mystical land, it is not one county, it is a group of different countries and cultures that includes our own.

Saying that in Europe they tend to rent doesn't help someone who wants to own their home and the attitude in this country isn't going to change quickly (mores the pity in my opinion).
Saying 'but it's what everyone does in Europe' doesn't help someone whose car has been damaged by someone who can't park.

It is a lazy argument and I think that like Godwin's Law we should name it.

Pootles2010 Mon 27-Jul-15 11:55:55

I agree - it's always owners that pipe up with it too.

formerbabe Mon 27-Jul-15 11:57:20

I agree op...do you reckon those in continental Europe use the argument that many people in the UK own rather than rent?!

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 11:58:03

Very true Poot, I am an owner but I would never dream of using that argument.

LazyLouLou Mon 27-Jul-15 11:59:29

YABU.

Looking at other possible scenarios is always useful. How can you possibly know if another way is possible if you don't consider other countries/people/companies etc?

Closing your eyes and singing "la la la la" doesn't solve anything.

Or am I just a bit upset by this: It is a lazy argument and I think that like Godwin's Law we should name it.

smile

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 12:02:37

I agree Lazy that looking at other countries is helpful and worth thinking about, but when someone posts upset that they can't afford to buy a house and are fed up with renting you can be damn sure that someone will reply with the 'in Europe' argument.
As I said I'm my post I think we do need renting regulation more in line with other countries but replying with that isn't going to help someone right now who is upset because they are having to move for the 3rd time in 2 years.

LazyLouLou Mon 27-Jul-15 12:07:56

So I may indeed just be shock that you want to call it Lazy's Law grin

I am usually sat on the fence because those who moan do so very loudly and often without much logic - as though a magic wand can be waved overnight and they can have exactly what they want, when and where they want it.

But I do agree that the rental market needs to be discussed, without all the 'btl landlords are thieving scum' and other ridiculous rhetoric.

HPsauciness Mon 27-Jul-15 12:12:15

I think it can help to look outside the box at our taken for granted assumptions and see them as just that, not facts of life that are true for everyone. For example, people in Med countries put their children to bed much later, they don't all spontaneously combust at 7pm as many British people seem to firmly believe. It helps to get a bit of perspective sometimes.

I don't think saying 'well, if you lived in Europe it would be normal to rent' to a poster moving for the third time is helpful, what is helpful is to look at why norms and the legal structure is different in Europe and how this could change here. It might also help people who feel like failures aged 30 if they don't own their house to realise this is the norm in most European countries and to stop feeling crap about something which is just a matter of norms/taste rather than an inevitable part of life from which they are now deprived (I rent, btw).

Kind of strange to limit discussion to 'What happens in Blighty' really.

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 12:14:36

But it doesn't just come up in renting versus owning, it's in so many things.
Being naked in your house, discussing sex with your children, allowing your children to drink wine with a meal, allowing you children to do as they please in restaurants, hitting other cars as you park, cooking, eating, decor - put simply, every fucking discussion, some bugger will come back with 'of course in Europe they allow their children to smoke and drink from the age of three while all sitting around naked and they don't start school until half an hour before their exams but still get better results than us'.

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 12:18:21

Kind of strange to limit discussion to 'What happens in Blighty' really.

I'm not saying that we should limit our discussion to what happen here, but rather that some people seem to see Europe as this mystical land where everything is wonderful and better than here.

Of course it is helpful to look at the way other people live their lives and what they do - but Europe is not some magic land with all the answers.

LurkingHusband Mon 27-Jul-15 12:18:32

I don't have a problem with "it's what they do in Europe" per se (being only half English smile). But it's irksome when it's only the bits that suit an agenda are mentioned, and when conflicting examples are mentioned, they're dismissed because they're "not British".

Katiepoes Mon 27-Jul-15 12:33:03

It's this lumping of an entire continent into one mass that annoys me. When 'Europe' is mentioned do these people think what happens in Finland is the same as what happens is Portugal? Not to mention the fact that like it or not the UK is a part of Europe.

Compare by all means, but please use actual countries and not ridiculous sweeping statements.

UrethraFranklin1 Mon 27-Jul-15 12:34:31

You realise that plenty of us are actually in "Europe" and not resident in the UK? Are we all to be banned from MN or are we just not allowed to mention anything non-UK centric? hmm

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 12:37:40

It's this lumping of an entire continent into one mass that annoys me. When 'Europe' is mentioned do these people think what happens in Finland is the same as what happens is Portugal? Not to mention the fact that like it or not the UK is a part of Europe.

This is exactly what annoys me.

Urethra I think that to say 'here in Holland/Spain/France we do this....' is fine, as said above it's the lumping together of 'Europe' as one country that we have nothing to do with that annoys me.

Sometimesjustonesecond Mon 27-Jul-15 12:42:24

Agree OP. Just because X happens in Europe, it doesn't automatically follow that X is better.

I quite like not giving my children alcohol with dinner (does that still happen in France or is it a myth) and I am ready for them to go to bed by 7.30 pm!wink I dont think my husband needs a mistress (France again) or that the shops need to be shut all day on Sunday. My dc thoroughly enjoyed school at 5 - the whole day was geared towards stimulating their minds. What's not to like?

I like how we live in Britain. That said, I quite fancy afternoon naps!

ISpidersmanYouMeanPirate Mon 27-Jul-15 12:44:56

I think it's the lumping together of Europe as some all-winning argument that annoys OP.

I live outside the UK, in "Europe". I'll happily contribute to conversations with a local point of view and how things work in this country (or another country I know well) but I do think saying a sweeping generalised "in Europe they do X" as a reason that a poster shouldn't be unhappy with their current situation is silly.

Step Mon 27-Jul-15 12:45:20

Errr and the UK is on the continent of where then? ..... yip Europe.

ComposHatComesBack Mon 27-Jul-15 12:47:28

Yes, the best one is "in Europe they actually like children" when people complain about bad behaviour by children in a public place.

I aldo find the sanctimonious response of "that's such a first world problem.' Well I live in the first world, so yes my problems are not of the magnitude of surviving in a conflict zone or sourcing clean drinking water, but then given that the person who posted that isn't either if they're spending their time making snippy and pious comments on an Internet forum.

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 12:50:09

As I said the the OP Step

Europe is not some magical mystical land, it is not one county, it is a group of different countries and cultures that includes our own.

Coffeemarkone Mon 27-Jul-15 12:50:31

" Errr and the UK is on the continent of where then? ..... yip Europe."

it is not 'on' a continent really that is what makes UK and Ireland different.

BTW everyone thinking that 'Europe' is so great should try and push a buggy round an Italian city or take a child with a slight facial disfigurement to Greece...where you will wonder what they did with their Downs kids...
.
Or have an autistic child in France where they will be denied education, possibly removed from your care and wrapped in icy sheets.

OK that is my little rant of the day over.

UrethraFranklin1 Mon 27-Jul-15 12:54:08

It's generally British people who lump Europe into one cohesive lump, its not the people who actually live there.

And the UK is not part of Europe. Not in any meaningful sense.

pickingstrawberries Mon 27-Jul-15 13:00:51

Isn't it usually Scandinavia that's heralded as the perfect existence for all on here?

Coffeemarkone Mon 27-Jul-15 13:00:54

" And the UK is not part of Europe. Not in any meaningful sense."

exactly, not geographically, not culturally, not at all....

Pipbin Mon 27-Jul-15 13:04:00

Thats the one Picking where children don't start school until they are 17 and then all their learning takes place outside.

Not to say that there isn't a lot that we could learn from Scandinavia but we can't just change everything overnight.

pickingstrawberries Mon 27-Jul-15 13:06:14

Yes grin

I think people forget Scandinavia has practically no immigration, extremely high taxes and is just generally a very expensive place to be, which forces its own social cleansing. It can't be compared to the UK, lovely as it is.

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