Sunday, 12 August 2007

Back in the UK....

It's good to be home.

From Rwanda I travelled for 36 hours to the west coast of Ireland - a place where my family have holidayed for 36 years. When I was a child this was a deeply poor area. Children piled out of cottages with no shoes, donkeys were still used as transport and rocky hilltop "fields" were tilled by hand. I nearly bought a house there 10 years ago - I can't afford to now - Ireland today is a very wealthy country.

I have seen that Ireland's economic boom has been partly due to international aid but it has also been thanks to great education, hard working people and low tax policies.

Its always interesting to see how ones own national news is reported from overseas. I'm returning to a stock market crash, hiking interest rates, foot and mouth and a fight about congestion charges.

In Ireland traffic is a huge problem. I hate traffic jams. They are a waste of time and, in an economy, time is money - but I'm not convinced that conjestion charging is the solution - unless coupled with massive improvements to affordable public transport. I haven't seen that commitment from our government.

2 comments:

The Wilted Rose said...

Vicky, the UK can learn a lot from the Republic of Ireland. World-class education and competitive tax rates, you rightly point out, are central to this economic performance. Some of the embryonic policies emerging from your Party's Policy Reviews are pointing in the same direction, so let's see some brave commitments from the Front Bench -- to reverse Labour's chronic Policy Non-Delivery.

Ellee said...

I admire the RoI too, I think their govt is very courageous by the way in introduced the plastic bag levy and successful affordable housing schemes 10 years ago; we are so far behind them in the UK. Hardly surprising it was voted the most desirable place in the world to live a year ago, I believe. You should have bought a house there Vicky. I'm kicking myself for not buying one in North Norfolk many years ago too when I had the chance.

Welcome back, and congratulations on everything you achieved in Rwanda.