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Are UK citizens more 'free' than people in the US?

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posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 01:56 PM
From all the things I read on ATS I think so.
Now, this thread is not intended to discuss who is ever actually 'free' because, of course, in any society with an established alpha group (from native tribes to 'first world' nations) personal freedoms are always curtailed if an individual is not the alpha of the social group, through coersion or otherwise.
I'm not interested in discussions about an imagined 'total personal freedom' as there are enough threads on ATS discussing that already.

This thread is an invitation to discuss specific examples which may be compared between the UK and US regarding which society has a more pleasant 'prison cell' or personally imagined 'freedom' construct perception, and more importantly, why?

I'll start with why I think my perception of freedom is preferable to what I read on ATS from US members:

Many US states execute certain convicted criminals.
The UK does not excecute any. You cannot bring a life back on appeal.

There are many many posts of police brutality on ATS, too many.
I found one thread about UK police from 5 years ago on ATS - that was after searching the ATS engine, and then Google, while including ""

US citizens can be required to pay income/earnings tax from income wherever they may happen to be living in the world outside of the US.
The UK does not.

Most US states charge 'land taxes' to anyone who owns forestry/agricultural/pasture/similar land.
The UK does not. We are free to purchase land, move a trailer on it and live with no taxes to the state.

Many US cities and 'population zones' prevent all manner of things such as kids selling lemonade from the yard, grass turning brown, lighting fires in the garden, growing vegetables in the front yard, keeping chickens/goats/whatever.
The UK does not. We have multiple laws that allow neighbours to complain about 'anti-social behaviour' providing an opportunity for a court to decide if the evidence supports a need to stop the individuals behaviour. No problem with animals either as long as hygiene and welfare considerations are adequate.

The US has a 'jay-walking' law which offenders may be fined for, or shot by a cop maybe for failing to comply?
UK law allows citizens to cross any road anywhere, except 70mph motorways/dual carriageways/urban clearways, trusting us to take responsibility for when it is safe, or not, to cross.

US ballot access for an independent candidate wishing to pursue political election is very restrictive, and appears essentially as a two party system based on the biggest budget.
I can get myself on the voting cards of my local constituency, standing to be a Member of Parliament, as simply as this:

In order to become a 'validly nominated' candidate, which means your name will appear on a ballot paper, you need to submit a completed set of nomination forms together with a deposit of £500 to the (Acting) Returning Officer before 4pm on the deadline day for nominations.

I would also get this single postage-free public mailshot bonus included for my deposit:

As a 'validly nominated' candidate you will be entitled to free postage for one election communication to electors in your constituency, as well as the use of certain rooms to hold public meetings.

US citizens wishing to fly (and those entering/leaving the US) get the TSA groping and aggressive border guard treatment.
UK border 'officials' do not routinely do that and are generally friendly if you are not being a prick.

US prisons have many people in cells for personal possession of banned substances.
The UK does not. Cops either go for 'confiscation' with a warning, an official recorded caution, or an £80 fixed penalty if the 'defendant' was being a prick. Even if the 'defendant' refuses that, if 'personal' possession is obviously perceived by the Crown Prosecution Service they will usually not go for prosecution due to the waste of public funds in legal fees.

Now, I could go on, but I've said enough for now, and invite any comments for examples about perceived freedom differences between the UK and the US. I will ask though that the obvious unelected 'Crown head of state' is not something I wish to see polluting this topic. I am not a royalist, and while angry that my son cannot aspire to be head of state due to accident of birth, I see the monarchy as an insignificance which I dismiss as irrelevant...and I support republican ideals, but this thread is not about those in absolute power in the US or UK, just us the people, and our perceptions of freedom.

Oh, and gun law rants are not welcome in this topic either, I am a citizen of good standing in the UK and can legally own a shotgun and a rifle, but I am happy playing with my old Barnett Commando crossbow - I don't need an AR-15 or suchlike, because more people are struck by lightening in the UK (around 60 per year) than die of gunshot wounds...and mostly criminal on criminal.

I always look forward to interesting or reasoned discussion, and please feel free to hijack the thread if I'm not involved, as long as it goes down a clearly on-topic debate of UK/US perceptions and comparisons of 'freedom'.

Kindest regards,

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 01:57 PM
Free people!? Hell, send me a baker's dozen.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:01 PM
I don't believe we're more 'free' in any meaningful sense than our friends in the US - but I also don't think Americans are really any 'freer' than anyone else in pretty much all the first world either.

I've never heard a convincing argument to support the idea that American Freedom is substantially different or better.

edit on 22-8-2014 by KingIcarus because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:05 PM

originally posted by: skunkape23
Free people!? Hell, send me a baker's dozen.

i refuse to believe that you read the entire thread in less than a minute.

Really annoys me when i see member doing what you do, just jumping all over the title of a thread with a quick one-liner in a attempt to grab some stars.

Read the whole OP then reply.

So to get to the OP, I think you have a valid point, you raise some very good points that do depict the UK as being a "freer society". However I am sure many Americans will disagree

I am just waiting for the first one to start with that classic misconception that we are all "subjects" who cannot own guns and must swear a oath to queen and country sipping a cup of earl-grey whilst petting a corgi and being all so very polite about the whole thing.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:08 PM
I don't see how anyone can be freer then anyone. We were all born free, its the tyranny that we except to varying levels, one day the docile public across the globe may turn on their masters, freedom without order is chaos. There is a happy balance somewhere in between I just don't think we have found it yet. No one is freer then another.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:09 PM
a reply to: grainofsand

How free can the UK citizens be if they belong to a kingdom?

How free can the US citizens be with a president who thinks he is a king?

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:10 PM
I would go but, as you've discovered I'd just be double taxed.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:16 PM
a reply to: grainofsand

Isn't freedom a matter of how one is free to do as they choose as long as they don't harm another as well as keeping the fruit of their labors without having their hard work and income extorted?

If I am grasping the concept of this thread, may I respectfully ask the question, "No matter how free we may feel we are at the moment, is it just me or are things about to come to an abrupt halt as to freedom how we know it?"?

I meant that as a non geographical question......

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:17 PM
Well, one could argue that the UK has been more of a surveillance state than the UK (more cameras ect) for a far longer period of time than the US.

Also, if I am not mistaken, there are certain laws in the UK about using racist language? It's odd, because some things I see on British TV would not be allowed on US broadcast TV, and some things on broadcast US TV would not be allowed on UK airwaves.

Interesting thread!

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:19 PM
a reply to: grainofsand

Any country that has thousands and thousands of cameras... everywhere...EVERYWHERE...every street, building, station, roadway, corner, church, club, sports arena, parking lot, your own the HUNDREDS of thousands trained on all people everywhere all the time....How "FREE" is that?

edit on 07-31-2014 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:19 PM
Well hearing that its starting to sound like it! Watched 3 seperate cars get pulled over in just a 10 min drive home. This is on back roads in Alaska! Definately seems like no matter I go Cali, Arizona, Utah, Alaska. Its police state mentality. "Yes sir, No Sir" or your a threat. To quote the Clash. Know Your Rights, "You have the right to free speech. Unless youre dumb enough to actually try it!"

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:19 PM
i think you are fair to call this up.

do i feel safer as a citizen? i really do (being a uk guy) i dont feel like i would get gunned down no matter what i do .

EDIT: i should also mention that the CCTV doesnt really make any impact.
edit on b2020259 by Biigs because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:20 PM
Thanks for the replies so far folks, but as I said in the OP we are all controlled if we are not alpha in our social structure.
The things I see on ATS shock me about the US sometimes, only today I read about the 'electrocution device used on a defendant in court' thing...and I hope it is a hoax.
We don't do that in the UK. Even police beatings in a police station/cell/cop car stopped after the CCTV was introduced over the last 10/20 you guys seem to want the same as us?

This topic is about comparing us alleged (and incorrect) subjects with you US citizens.
Please do feel free to share your own specific examples as I did...or argue against mine, I'm easy.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:21 PM
I personally feel we are a pretty free country. I will try to address some of your issues with us. You have to remember we have WAY more people here to deal with..

1) yes we execute some criminals. hard topic to debate so I will let it go.... Not exactly for it though.

2)Yes we pay income tax. Thank you. Our tax dollars are what fund our country, good and bad.

3) kids selling lemonade being busted is few and far between. I see it all the time. (kids selling lemonade) fires, well if you live in the city pretty sure you can't, Do you want neighbors burning their trash right next to your house? but I live in the country and can burn in my yard everyday...
grass turning brown is another city folk or most likely a suburb with home owners association....

4) Jaywalking... I actually got stopped by an officer for this while in Las Vegas. Before that I thought it a joke. He explained that crossing the street wantonly creates havoc, on highly travelled roads it becomes deadly for pedestrians and drivers...

5) never been "groped" by TSA... not a big fan of the whole thing though...

The truth is, I can drive into town, see an Ice cream store full of old folks, parents with children and young lovers waiting in line for ice cream. I can go about my life with no care I am being surveyed, put on a list or about to be beat down.

We are the land of the free and the home of the brave....
never forget

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:24 PM
I believe the more money you have the less of a slave you will be...Free-er...Freeer.....Freer...Hmmmm

What is Freedom? Americans have different types of Freedoms that we Brits dont get to enjoy and probably Vice Versa.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:26 PM
a reply to: grainofsand

Outstanding post and hopefully the start of an interesting discussion GoS.... i've often argued that The US is far from as free as many here suggest and are simply placated with their own variety bread and circuses, though aren't we all.

However, are the folk in the UK any freer? I expect that my own national bias is in place here but i do think so. As a long term regular multiple law breaker, often brazenly when younger i have never worried about Police brutality, i have faith in the *relative* fairness of the justice system and my ability to get legal representation, not that i ever ended up needing it.

I also have had excellent health care, free and then later tbf reasonably priced higher education with easily attained loans with beyond excellent conditions with regard to paying them back, plus the various factors you mentioned in your op.

With regard to becoming head of state though, i feel that it's a factor that cannot be compared as it's all a charade anyway, US or UK.

For many people, i'm sure the States is a superb place to live and raise a family, but the social disparity is greater than the UK from what i gather and while i could produce a massive list of complaints about the UK and could write a list as long as my arm about major changes i would make..... yes, i think that the UK is far freer.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:26 PM

originally posted by: tinner07
5) never been "groped" by TSA... not a big fan of the whole thing though...

I have literally been groped by the TSA when landing in LA and Chicago's O'hare and it was extremely unpleasant, im a white Englishman i couldnt look less like a terrorist if i tryed.

Still they basically touched me up like i had #ing C4 in my ass or somthing, horrible scenario, while people from Pakistan walk through with no problems and im like really? me? seriously?!

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:27 PM
a reply to: seeker1963
I agree, and I feel I have less restrictions than US citizens on ATS appear to have.
...regarding your valid and interesting question, if it ever happens then I will deal with it as it may happen...but I'm sure I'd prefer to deal with it in the UK if we continue to have the same illusion of freedom with less restrictions in my day-to-day life than the US or elsewhere.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:28 PM
I don't see the U.S. as being any more free than the U.K.

All I can see (as an American) is that the U.S. is much more passionate about their 'freedoms'. We tout them about in such a way as to make us feel superior to other nations. And, any chance we get, we go all-out in exercising our 'freedoms'.

posted on Aug, 22 2014 @ 02:29 PM

originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: grainofsand

Any country that has thousands and thousands of cameras... everywhere...EVERYWHERE...every street, building, station, roadway, corner, church, club, sports arena, parking lot, your own the HUNDREDS of thousands trained on all people everywhere all the time....How "FREE" is that?

90% of those cameras are privately owned, and have nothing to do with either government or any other civil body. People are " free" to install a camera on their property if they wish.

Reply to the O.P.
Here in The U.K. i am free to use any hospital in the country..........for " free"

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