I think it was Churchill who said that to be born an Englishman is to win first prize in the lottery of life. The ensuing decades have not proved him wrong, despite huge changes in the social and demographic makeup of the country. So why are 200,000 people a year leaving these islands for a life elsewhere in the world?
The simple answer is because they can. The barriers to travel which used to exist have been pulled down and peoples' horizons have altered. Affluence brings with it a different worldview and a thirst to experience different lifestyles. It also results in more people wanting to come here, and who can blame then?
We hear a lot about people saying they have had enough of this country and will move abroad. I bet few of them do and they make up a small fraction of the 200,000. Sometimes when I listen to Gordon Brown I too am tempted, but I remember my experience of living in Germany for two years in the 1980s. I had a great time but I knew I would always want to return to the UK. There were to many things I missed. The internet makes things easier in terms of communication, but nothing can ever replicate the lifestyle.
So, dear reader, if for some reason you had to emigrate, where would you go? I'd head for either Colorado or Switzerland, I think.