James Forsyth, reports in the Spectator this week that ‘senior Downing Street aides have been much struck by polling showing that more than 40 per cent of Britons would emigrate if they could.’
Whilst they may have been ‘struck’ I doubt they can be truly surprised and it leads me to ask how many Army families have thought about trying life elsewhere? After all, many will have had a taste of what other countries offer during an overseas posting and the fact that they’re used to setting up life in new places suggests that they are more likely to be adventurous. In recent months two former AFF employees and their Army families have resigned from the Army (note 'resigned', not redundancy) and started new non-military lives in Australia and they are just the ones I know personally…. another is making plans for Canada.
I know that we are monumentally lucky, both my soldier and I have employment and we are far more 'comfortable' than most, but here’s the rub, we’re skint, constantly. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I buy food from the reduced rack, we run only one car, and my clothes are from Ebay, but the realisation, not that this is as good as it gets, but that in fact, it’s only going to get worse as the pay freeze, lack of promotion prospects and higher SFA charges take effect leads me to wonder where we might find a life which has more prospects. Like many Army families it’s not just the Army that I’m considering asking my soldier to leave….and I wonder if many of those applying for redundancy will use their lump-sum and pensions to secure a more comfortable life in warmer climes. And by the way it's hailing, mid-April, cold and I can't afford to have my heating on..
Tweet me on Catherine Spencer@AFFComms where you would #emigrateto
Since writing this I have been reminded, that yet another former member of staff and Army spouse will emigrate to Canada this summer...and I suspect more will come out of the woodwork yet - and who can blame them!