Great Britain

I remember I was born in a new council house in a new estate called New Addington in 1959.

My parents sent me to the local infants and junior schools where I passed my "Eleven Plus" exams making me eligible to go to a selective grammar school which, despite the Labour Party's hatred, took people from any class or financial background if they had the potential to benefit from such an education.

I believe in meritocracy and have benfitted from it. I saw first hand what socialists did to education as I was the last "selective intake." Every year after us we benefitted from the "comprehensive intake."

I took my "O" Levels and "A" Levels and obtained acceptances at all the presitgious universities at which I had applied to do Biochemistry.

Unfortunately, I chose a course which I recognised as being the future of the science, Immunology. This was before AIDS was recognised, before DNA testing, etc.

I say unfortunately because the only college offering the course turned out to be a clearing house for failed medics, the backend of the University of London, Chelsea College on the Kings Road.

Being brought up in a grammar school as "the top 10 percenters" I was ready for real study and real work. What I found was the typical socialist slop. Bitterly dissapointed I did a juvenile thing, I dropped out.

When I say I dropped out, I continued to pass the exams and stayed until my third year, I just didn't do any work! Instead, I drank in the student bar (where the biochemistry profs hung out scouting the fresh talent each year), hacked computers round the college, and learnt scuba diving from the electronics grads who ran the student diving club. EE grads in the bar is also where I learnt everything about computers which has supported me the rest of my life.

I became 18 and eligible to vote in 1979. I voted for Margaret Thatcher, much to the consternation of my father. I voted for her every election she stood. I was fortunate to leave the country after her party stabbed her in the back and we ended up with John Major. I voted for her and her policies and not her party. To me parties are a corruption of the system of representation.

Margaret Thatcher nearly turned the sick man of Europe into a modern, efficient, free-market economy. I understood that philosophy, the philosophy of Adam Smith. Thats why I understand the concept of America. The British threw away the potential to be a world leader by example as opposed to as a "superpower", to be truly "Great Britain." Instead they've opted to sink back down again into the stifling nanny statism of Europe.

Of course Americans are doing precisely the same. I came here in the presidency of George Bush, Reagan's John Major, and have had to see the expression "In America, anyone can be president" become something I have to avoid saying to my kids. I'm eligible to take citizenship of the USA but I'm waiting until the White House is cleaned out, I don't want to be painted in the future as one of those Clinton/Gore "citizens." I don't want to be a "quoted" American anymore than I want to be a hyphenated one.

But my politics is that I don't really want to be seen as just a member of any grouping, geographic, cultural or political. I am me. I exist. Deal with it. Don't classify me into a group and then "deal" with the group. America, the concept, is about rugged individualism, well at least it used to be.