The Bard’s story III : the community

The thing that drove me to leave Switzerland was mainly the lack of a grip on the real world. Having the impression of being stuck with a low-income job, in an overpopulated country where everything has been bought by the richest and where nothing is accessible any more, because even the poor with no income are ruined by the minimal costs of health insurance, TV national tax, and, above all, price of rents. A word of advice: if you come to live in Switzerland, don’t try to ask yourself how much it costs to take a breath of Swiss air: it will take your breath away. The feeling of being lower down the social ladder than an economic migrant or a seasonal worker, because those accept a miserable wage that we Swiss wouldn’t accept, and so they get the open position. In 2015-2016, we were in the middle of a period when the French news was cloaked in a black veil: the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Bataclan massacre, the Brussels metro massacre, and many other events that have already been forgotten by the general public. Any population that was still sane, aware of reality and responsible for its children, began to reject those newcomers, and governments, notably in Hungary and shortly afterwards in Italy, began to reinforce their borders. And yet, here at home, they were asking for more. Despite the fact that over 25% of the country’s population was made up of foreigners, almost reaching 50% in Swiss towns and cities, they were taken as “climate refugees” to please the leftists, or as “underpaid seasonal workers” to please the rightists. They were praised everywhere, on the radio, in advertisements, in films; in all forms of communication, people felt sorry for them. Reception centres sprang up like mushrooms, while creches, schools, hospitals, trains and motorways were already saturated. They were crying about the rise of the far right and radical groups, whereas eight years later, in 2023, the same ideas would become the majority in France (according to the polls), and even in several European countries, to such an extent that even the left (in Denmark in particular) ended up saying the same thing as the far right eight years before. Lol.

But in 2015, we were still a long way from that. I thought that the whole of Switzerland was caught up in this third-worldism, this infantilising spiral, highlighting the mediocre and those on welfare ; but in reality, it was mainly my immediate environment that made it seem so: my profession, which was only available in big cities where life was expensive, forced me to live in unpleasant neighbourhoods (even if there’s nothing in Switzerland that resembles the no-go areas of the French suburbs, there are still towns and regions that are a bit shady and attract a certain type of disreputable population). What’s more, current events in France – the killings and attacks, the powerlessness or lack of will to curb the phenomenon, and the relatively similar political opinion between their people and mine – made me fear that the wave of insecurity, “mad trucks” and “knives of peace” would soon be arriving in our French-speaking mountains. Insecurity that has not yet reached such a level at the time of writing: let’s knock on wood to keep it that way.