Ben Black, Director

City vs Countryside, and Another Brexit Benefit?

Ben Black, Director

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Clutching at straws

I'm still struggling to come up with positives from Brexit, but here's another one. Slightly more convoluted than last time, but please bear with me...

London property prices have been jet-propelled over the last 30 years. One of the consequences of that has been loads of professional families deciding to chuck in their 3 bedroom, South West London semi for a mansion in the country somewhere - just don't mention the commute!

For those of us that remain - in London that is - it's all about staying close to friends and the culture. For those that go, well, it's all about space for the kids to run around. How on earth can you expect children to enjoy the innocence of youth when they're playing in the drug filled streets of one of Europe's capital cities?

Town mouse or country mouse?

Now, that's all very well and good, so what's the problem? None really, apart from that classic tension between the city dwellers and the country folk about who's bringing up the happier, better-adjusted kids.

In my family, it plays out like this. I'll have a week of my summer holiday with my parents in France. At some point my older brother will arrive with his four, slightly feral, outdoor boys. My mother will notice that the country gang:

  • are happier in their own skins,
  • are more adventurous,
  • have less need of the television or iPads,
  • eat everything,
  • run more,
  • seem more robust.

Meanwhile my father will notice that my city gang:

  • are actually able to hold a conversation, in French and English,
  • know stuff,
  • dress better,
  • use words such as please and thank you.

Swings and roundabouts...

And the bi-product of all that grand-parental commentary? I fall out with my sisters in law and spend the next 3 months putting all the pieces back together. Meanwhile, all the cousins are, of course, best friends and are too concerned with doing whatever kids do, to worry.

And what has that got to do with Brexit? Not much, other than London property prices will probably come back down to earth. And when they do, there will be no need to move out, and my sisters-in-law will start to love me again. Every cloud...

Ben Black

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HR and diversity professionals.