Richard Dawkins wants to move to New Zealand to get away from Brexit 'madness'

Scientist says half the population of Britain and US would prefer a country ‘where intellect might be appreciated’

The British scientist Richard Dawkins has said he would like to move to New Zealand as a refuge from the “madness” of a post-Trump, post-Brexit northern hemisphere.

“America had just gone mad, and Britain had gone mad in a slightly less dramatic way with Brexit,” he told The Project, a New Zealand current affairs program.

“I thought about half the population of America and half the population of Britain would love to go to a country where intellect might be appreciated. So I thought New Zealand might be an ideal country – low population. I would love to be invited to New Zealand and to live here, and for others to live here too.”

Seriously, are there really people who think it’s funny (or “ironic” as they call it) that I’m speaking in Christchurch? Yes, I’m afraid there are. On Twitter, of course. Never mind, I’m looking forward to it. I love Christchurch. https://t.co/aKMXcwKob8

— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) May 8, 2018

In the three days after Brexit, Immigration New Zealand’s website had over 5,000 visits a day from the UK, and “move to New Zealand” became a top Google search term.

The actor and comedian Billy Crystal threatened to move to New Zealand if Trump won (he hasn’t), and so too did associate justice of the US supreme court Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

New Zealand has also launched multiple recruitment drives trying to attract post-Brexit Brits to shift south and fill jobs in the construction, infrastructure and health sectors.

On Monday the former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said she was invited to move to New Zealand after losing to Donald Trump in 2016, and she briefly considered it.

“I must say I really did appreciate the offers. Gave them some thought,” Clinton said, addressing a packed arena of 3,000 in Auckland.

“But I’m going to stay put because we have work to do in my country as well.”

Contributor

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin

The GuardianTramp

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