Here in conclusion and having made many criticisms of Britain today it may be appropriate to compare us with another country which seems to go out of its way to help people, rather than to hinder them. France is the nearest foreign country to Britain and in many ways is quite similar.
Both are European, both members of the EU, both democracies, both were allied during the last two world wars, the economies are largely similar, and since the Norman invasion in 1066, and the Huguenot refugee crises of the 1500 and 1600s when thousands of French Protestants arrived in England, there has been a fair bit of French blood flowing through British veins.
Yet the differences between the two countries are palpable. In general people in France are friendlier, the countryside is better kept, towns and villages are cleaner, service, be it in a shop or restaurant, is more attentive. The general attitude and feeling of well-being compares with that experienced in Britain during the 1950s.
The first thing that comes to mind is the intrusiveness of authority in Britain where there are more cameras per person than in communist China. In France there are hardly any and certainly none in what might be termed reasonably-sized towns and villages. They are not needed in France, the people do not like them and in all probability would not stand for them.
It would also be very difficult for local authorities to introduce CCTVs in the stealthy and underhand way that they have done in Britain. At the first sign of anything like that there would be a queue outside the mayor’s office demanding to know what was going on.
They do not even like speed cameras for which a good argument can always be made. But even here a difference exists between the two countries. In the case of static speed cameras in France there is always a large warning sign about 200 or 300 metres before each camera. Furthermore, on sale [and even in little advertising freebies] you can obtain a map that indicates every camera in France.
When police use radar traps, they have to publish in the local press on which roads they are going to be and often the local radio station will announce where they will be that day. If this is not more people-friendly than Britain, what is?
Fraser Blake, 70, author of 'Dear Chips' and 'A Rant Too Far?' grew up in Africa, was at school in Scotland, and worked for the British South Africa Police in Southern Rhodesia. He has taught English in Saudi Arabia and sold and renovated hundreds of properties in Northern France.
In 1998 Fraser was selling houses in the Mayenne department of the Pays de la Loire region and so was the obvious choice, when Cle France was started, to be their first agent on the ground in France. In retirement he writes, blogs, cooks, drinks wine, and hosts to dinner unlimited numbers of ex-pats.
Always on hand with a viewpoint, Fraser is going to share his views on France, the French and the British, and other people who buy in France. Sometimes informative, sometimes funny, painfully true, outrageously opinionated but always entertaining so we hope it adds a slightly different dimension to the usual normality of searching through the fantastic properties for sale on the Cle France website.
If you want more? then follow the links above where you can buy Fraser's published books.