Letter: Goodbye to all that shambles

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The Independent Online
Sir: Having recently returned from Italy, I empathised with Imogen Edwards-Jones's 'A generation packs its bags and leaves' (10 March), about graduates and highly qualified young people leaving Britain.

Like her friends, having come back to the UK to 'test the water', I intend to return soon to the Continent. The problem, though, goes beyond recession.

Poor education, dirty and unsafe trains and cities, increasingly scarce and expensive public services, second-rate architecture, shambolic politics and desperate soul-searching as to the country's future role in Europe and the world are accentuated but not caused by the recession. Together these failures make Britain an unattractive place in which to spend one's life.

The Government seems not to realise that the most highly qualified and able young people are also those who can most easily leave the country. Unless the issue of quality of life is addressed, Britain's future workforce will be decapitated. European competition is no longer purely a question of economic statistics but of which country can attract and hold the best people. More than a low tax rate is needed.

Yours faithfully,



10 March