I like Britain.

Seriously, I do. Some very good friends of mine are from the island and I lived in their capital and volunteered in the mother of Parliaments.

Nontheless, I have to quote this article from the Observer. It’s an old one, but given the Anglo-German tradition of (in these days) humorous bashing, there was no way to avoid it. The article is called “Why the Germans are right about us” and deals with a story the German magazine Stern had published about the abysmal public services in the UK.

In the end, it’s all a matter of productivity differences – there’s an absolute and relative difference in output per hour per worker relative to the US/JP/GER/FR. Thus not all – although quite a lot – can be explained by Tory government-induced lack of money for public goods. I might post more on the details after I read the 128 pages of Nick Crafts latest essay (pdf) on the relative British economic performance from 1870-1999.