Monday, July 31, 2006

The Polish - UK migration backlash gains momentum

A campaign by UK’s Daily Mail attempts to highlight the downside of Polish migration. And 'liberal' Guardian journo is a racist twat.

The conservative, middle class Mail - which for as long as I remember has been carrying scare stories about waves, floods and other liquid metaphors of migrants swamping Britain - printed a story last week claiming Polish children were being dumped in orphanages in Poland so that parents could skip off to London for a good time and a decently paid job.

‘Hundreds of children, some younger than two, are being abandoned in Poland by parents chasing dreams of a new life in Britain, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The terrible legacy of the mass migration encouraged by Tony Blair's open door to job-seekers from former Eastern bloc states joining the European Union can be disclosed for the first time today.‘

Shock, horror, gasp! The paper rumbles on:

‘Even more tragically, some youngsters have killed themselves after being left with elderly relatives - while others have turned to drugs and crime when they were abandoned by their migrant mothers and fathers.‘

The Mail admits that nobody knows how many kids are being put in these homes (though it seems to feel confident that there are ‘hundreds' of them, all the same) but quotes a few experts to back up the story.

‘Beata Rostocka, a social services manager in Wroclaw, said she despairs of this harrowing trend. "We often get phone calls from mothers and fathers saying they are going to the UK or Ireland to work and asking if we can provide for their children's safe-keeping," she said. "It leaves me aghast."

Aghast! Gazeta Wyborcza has been running similar stories, quoting some of the same ‘experts’.

Then on Sunday the Daily Mail ran another story of a secret British government report which concludes that the UK will soon be overrun (swamped, flooded?) by eastern and central Europeans.

Around 600,000 Poles have gone to Britain to work since the EU’s expansion two years ago, says the paper. The Mail is arguing that further expansion next year, when Romania and Bulgaria are set to join, will tip the balance.

Not just conservatives...

But if you think that it is only conservative right wing British who fear the ‘Polish plumber’ then look at this little piece of doggy turd in the Guardian, the newspaper of choice for British liberal, environmentalist tree huggers. The first sentences written by journalist Simon Burnton about how the Brits work too hard go like this:

‘We work too hard [meaning: 'boo hoo, I want mummy and my therapist']. More than any nation in Europe, British lives are wasted in offices, leaving only a couple of waking hours each day for us to call free, even if they are spent on journeys to and from the workplace, frequently with one's nose pressed into the unwashed underarm of someone speaking Polish...’

If you substituted the word ‘Polish’ in that sentence for ‘African’ then Guardian readers would be screaming ‘racist’. But, alas, PC seems to cover every ethnicity these days except the white working class, and those from central and eastern Europe.


MattyJ said...

The Mail isn't good enough to wipe my backside on. There are worse examples than this of what a xenophobic gutter rag that tabloid is.

A few months back they had a leading story about a racist incident. The paper harped on about how a young boy had been given a 1 month suspended sentence for repeatedly calling another boy a 'p*ki'. Whilst most newspapers would be appalled by such behaviour, the Mail took a different line. Instead they approached it with a 'he's only 12, children say all kinds of things - he doesn't know what he's saying, this is another waste of tax payers money' angle. Basically if you're a child it's fine to be a racist, it shouldn't be nipped in the bud at a young age.

The worst thing about the Mail is that is presents itself as a serious newspaper. I wouldn't be suprised if it has given a lot of love to Lech and his brother over the past year. At least the Sun is blatant in it's pitch towards White Van Men.

I don't know about the Guardian though - they often let people with opposing opinions write their own pieces to show how 'liberal-balanced' they are....hmmm

roman said...

Mr. Burnton's remarks, being extremely crude and offensive, are obviously racist. If they somehow managed to get by the editor, they would undoubtedly draw much protest and criticism here in the states. A retraction and apology would be demanded.

sonia said...

600,000 Poles have gone to Britain to work since the EU’s expansion two years ago

There is an important context you're failed to mention. When Poland joined the EU, only Britain, Ireland and Sweden allowed Poles to work in their countries (and Ireland only because its agreements with Britain forced her to). And since socialist Sweden has few job opportunities, and Ireland is small, UK is virtually alone in facing the influx of unemployed Poles looking for work. If all the EU countries did their fair share, those 600,000 Poles would be spread out from Milan to Madrid to Munich. But right now, they are all in London, Liverpool and Leeds, and a racist backlash was almost inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Well I can only say what I see - our little (20,000 people) town has seen an influx of Polish workers in the last 12 months. (At least 40 families.

Very eager to work and will take any job going no matter how lowly paid, not forgetting lots of our local people wouldn't get out of bed for the money on offer and it's not like they are good or even nice jobs. My Polish friends tho - did plan their move very carefully. He came over, got a job - went back for the wife and child when they were established. (8 months later) That said his wife did 'praise' the life style here and some of her Polish friends have come in search of the promised riches and opportunities that frankly never really existed in the first place:-(

I don't envy them - life has been hard for these people - but it is now getting better - and frankly they deserve it.:-)

Frank Partisan said...

It is not uncommon, for one family member, to go to another country, to work and send $$ to the family. They don't make their children orphans.

beatroot said...

When Poland joined the EU, only Britain, Ireland and Sweden allowed Poles to work in their countries (and Ireland only because its agreements with Britain forced her to).

Those three countries opened up because Poles were already in them already and the governments realized that many more would come anyway, so they made sure Poles etc did it legally.

But…because of a tabloid outrage about being ‘swamped’ blah blah both Ireland and UK added the proviso that if the migrants lost their jobs they could not claim benefits.

This sop to the tabloids has meant many migrants are having problems paying for housing and some have taken to the streets begging. This has increased the tabloid hysteria. So the governments have shot themselves in the foot for trying to placate hysterical anti-immigration types.

I agree that if Germany etc opened their job markets up it would eased the pressure a little on the UK and Ireland, but only a little. Poles have links with Sweden and Britain, where there are already Polish communities and family ties.

But when Bulgaria and Romania join next year they will not – as the Daily Mail seems to think – be swamping the UK. Those countries have ties with Italy, Germany, so they will be making for there not London or Dublin.

Lar said...

Sonia, Ireland was not forced into the situation by its labor agreements with Britain. Ireland has for decades had an agreement that English people can work without the need to apply for work permits, and vice versa. In the past, this did not mean all EU members could work there without the need for permits. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
Ireland choose to open its markets for several reasons. The two most obvious are it is in keeping with the spirit of the free movement of labour in the EU, and Ireland's booming economy means there is demand for workers at entry-level wages.
I don't think it's exaclty a 'sop to
the tabloids' that including a proviso on social welfare was included. When claiming social welfare in Irealnd, it is not simply a case of roll into the office, fill out your form and ask for your money - your past contribution in terms of what taxes you have paid in the past is taken into account. That old difference between economic and political migrants always creeps into the argument here.

Depite all the ranting by the Mail, Ireland still needs more migrants to fill the gaps in its labor market, and the Irish economy is more than happy if they are Polish and on the books.

As for the Guardian's racism, maybe so, but the entire tone of the column is childish prattle - treat it with the respect it deserves, and instead of hysterically screaming 'racist', just chuck the article in the bin.

Agnes said...

"They don't make their children orphans." - Ren, partly true. Often there is no one to take care about the families (especially children and teens) left behind. I have seen rather scary statistics conecrning this problem.
"But when Bulgaria and Romania join next year they will not – as the Daily Mail seems to think – be swamping the UK." - Beatroot, don't be so sure: they went to Spain and Italy mostly (before that to Turkey) because those let them in.

"instead of hysterically screaming 'racist'" - Xenophobic sounds better in this case. As one has that at home....

Anonymous said...

In Oxford it seems that every other person is Polish, but to me that seems great. After I have been 10 years working in Eastern Europe for the EU earning large sums of money, I can understand their motives and feel proud that Britain is able to provide them with jobs and that they can learn (as they often put it) what a civilised country is like.

The other day I saw that Tescos are now selling Polish tomatoes. Is there no end to the flood? :)

Anonymous said...

In the UK, the immigration issue is the cheapest political trick in the book - always has been. It's appeal to a xenophobic, island race is hard to appreciate if you are a mainland European.

At the last general election, immigration was the main platform of the UK's Conservative opposition.

But in reality, the Government loves cheap labour from Poland and anywhere else. The British Health Service is staffed by cheap labour - Mauritians, Somalians, you name it. No one else will work for so little money. Poles have been working illegally in the UK for many years, particularly in the food industry, doing terrible jobs like packing chickens at night. This is how the retail food chains make huge, indecent profits.

Under the current system, the Government is delighted - it can now exploit Polish workers and collect taxes without ever giving them a penny in benefits. It is actually quite indecent. The 'Mail' story is just window dressing, a cover.

Anonymous said...

It's unwise to use words like "many" and "a lot" in describing social phenonema.

I've read recent reports that indicate the Polish brain drain has been much exaggerated.

So, too, no doubt, the migration as a whole lends itself to wild exaggeration as well as all the anecdotal tales arising from it.

polishpenguin said...

Thought you guys might like this article.

Anonymous said...

ooooops! speaking of oxford, and polish-british relationsips, someone mised this example of blatant polish antisemitism:

here more about the poor victim:

beatroot said...

Matty: I don't know about the Guardian though - they often let people with opposing opinions write their own pieces to show how 'liberal-balanced' they are....hmmm

Well, exactly, hmmm..but unwashed Poles is not a ‘point of view’…it’s a prejudice.

Larski: what is good is that this is more media prattle than real person prattle. But with social service and financial support lacking for these Poles tensions in some places may emerge. It has in Northern Ireland.

Has the problem been exaggerated? Yes. Might it become a political issue in the UK? Yes.

Anonymous said...

Am not sure that I really understand Polish people ?

I mean we have really gone out of our way to help settle a Polish family in the last 18 months of them being here school, furniture, house etc, Child benefit etc. Things we have given them for free include - beds, furniture, clothes, curtains, bedding, fridge, cooker, - the list goes on. We really like them and want to help - but now? they are working and doing really well and can afford what they couldn't afford before - they are replacing some of the stuff we gave them for new things - great - go for it I say - good on yer:-)


BUT - I say this because the stuff we gave them for free they are now selling to new Polish incomers? is this normal Polish behaviour?

I mean most of it to me is 'tat' but to them? good stuff? but it doesn't seem right somehow that they can sell stuff to other displaced people that we were happy to source and give for free - am feeling a bit ? well ? like I don't understand this way of life? is it me? or is this par for the course?

Views please?


sonia said...

the stuff we gave them for free they are now selling to new Polish incomers

It's called capitalism, Issie. Making a profit. Immigrants, by nature, are the most capitalist-minded people in the world. They go from one country to another to make MORE money, not less. If they were socialist-minded, they would have stayed at home and gave their furniture to refugees from Chechnya... for free (and the Chechens probably would have sold it and made a profit....)

Anonymous said...

I know (sigh)

But I feel so bad about the poor single parent of two kids who is having to pay this family (4 of them working here!)

I know what you say - but it stinks

This isn't the way I do things :-(


Anonymous said...


How do you know for certain that these Poles are selling the items you gave them to other Poles?

If they are doing as you claim, it seems that are just greedy. And just because perhaps this one family is reselling second-hand donated things doesn't mean it is widespread among Polish immigrants. Why do you seem to think this is so exclusively and typically a Polish phenonema, Issie?

And just because they want to make more money and don't want to be dependent upon charity doesn't make them capitalists. To be sure, I've met more than a few greedy socialists in my day -- but even more so fascists.

Anonymous said...

Because they told me!!

I don't think this is exclusive to Polish people but - have never come accross this before (isolated village twit that I am in England)

ButI am sad about this

These (material) things are nothing to me - gawd anyone would give them away!!

But to this poor single parent WITH two kids - they are !

I don't know what to think anymore - sigh - I have just spent two weeks in Poland with them - Tomek told me Polish people are very selfish and only look after number one - I didn't really belive him

They have now 'feathered their nest' great that's what I wanted them to do! mission achieved:-)

But to sell off 'cast offs' in this way - I am sad - but I syill want to help - should I? carry on? say nothing?

Sorry am feeling a bit pissed off here:-(


Anonymous said...

To be sure, Pani W. should be held accountable for her actions.

But the item in Wikipedia is also deplorable (here's a snippet):

Maria Fieldorf Czarska, the General's daughter, says bitterly that she doubts Mrs Brus will ever come to trial: "she will say she is old, she will say she is ill, she will say we are anti-semitic." The Independent cited her (Czarska) saying: "Poland has said sorry to Jews too many times. Now it is their turn to apologise to Poland", adding: "The sad truth is that our secret services in the 1950s were dominated by Jews. They were disposed to Communism, perhaps it is genetic. All the people connected with the arrest and prosecution of my father were Jewish, and most of them went to Israel. Nobody says sorry to us, but nowadays we have to say sorry to Jews all the time."

I think they should both be sent to a nudist colony on an island in Northern Canada, and left alone with each other, segregated off n a seperate compound. Just ice.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


Why would you go on vacation with folks you find so selfish -- and who seem, from what you quote Tomek as saying, to pride themselves as being such?

If you want to "help" perhaps you should consider helping others who more likely than not won't be so selfish.

beatroot said...

I mean most of it to me is 'tat' but to them? good stuff?

I really don't like the patronizing tone there, sorry. Do you think that these people are some kind of backward peasants who can't tell the difference between your old rubbish and a piece of good furniture?

If they are selling something that isn't theirs then they are stealing and there are laws against that.

No, you really don't understand, do you?

Anonymous said...

No for gawd's sake - and really sorry if it sounded patronising it wasn't meant to be.

Of course they know tat from good stuff - I have only ever given them good stuff - what I am mystified is that they are selling stuff I gave them for free?

To a single parent of two kids with sod all? that is where I am having a problem? it was free to them? so why not give it away - recysle we call it

I didn't mean to offend here - maybe - I will go with the flow ? sorry I even asked.

These people are lovely - they took me into their homes - showed me Poland has it is - I really appreciate that - but I just think that ? well ? it's late - maybe I should sod off somewhere else:-(


beatroot said...

I have only ever given them good stuff

If it is good stuff then how can it be 'tat'?

but if you give someone something then it becomes their property. So they can legitimatly do whatever they like with it.

f you told them that it would be a really right-on thing to do to hand it to the next people - recycling! - then they would have.

Anonymous said...

OK point taken

But - I think :-)

Mmm - this may change the way I help people from now on

I know this is life? but like I said I am from a poxy village in the UK - where people want to help - they don't understand the way that things move on - sorry:-(

That's life -it isn't what we are used to - sorry

Take care - time to 'but out' me thinks

Thx for foccusing my mind here:-)

Great to have been able to contribute - albieit for a short while:-)


beatroot said...

I am sorry you feel like that. I know you wanted to help and I am really glad that you are concerned about these people.

And I hope you keep a good attitude. If you take the time to understand their perspective you will not get so negative about Poles selling the small asset you kindly gave them.

Peace, etc

Anonymous said...

I haven't gone just yet:-)

I think I have been misunderstood (my fault - call it?? - err? my fault - stupid English woman:-)

I haven't expressed myself at all well - and am sorry for that - guilty as charged:-)

(Always own up to my mistakes that's me:-)

I really do like Polish people - we have have had a fabulous holiday this month with Tomek and Marzena (and family) - we really loved it - and appreciated it - and of course seen things we would never ever have seen before

I know it sounds like I have been gripping:-(

Oops - Am not - honest - I love these folk - we have had such a good time all of us in the last 12 months sharing things, culture, food (especially - Polish food is brill:-) history etc

I just think - well ??


Another day - me?

I really don't want to offend anyone - would rather run!! for the hills

Kick me off? bar me at your leisure;-)


beatroot said...

I know you like Polish people and you can come here anytime. The thing with words on the comment pages of blogs is that are taken at face value. So if you get something a bit 'loose' then people jump all over you. Bloggers get viscious. But you develop a thick skin.

So don't take it personally.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, it is well planned plot by well defined centres and I am convinced that the British women are pulling the strings.

Knowing their own questionable qualities as far as appearance and sexappeal is concerned, they feel under a very serious threat.

London gyms are posting record profits from desperate housewives trying to shed some pounds. Plastic surgery business is booming: the most popular procedure is Camilla-something-something syndrom removal (narrowing of jaw and ear flattening), second only to "Lady D hook nose" miracle cure, which pretty much removes the so-typical nose hook.

Bookstores record increases in book on sex, with the best-seller: 'Discover Doggie Style' and 'What these Polish Gold-diggers use Head for' being the most popular.

An eye-opening is a sudden surge in divorces due to maid pregnancy, which, together with gay marriage, makes the divorce lawyers drool.

michael farris said...

"BUT - I say this because the stuff we gave them for free they are now selling to new Polish incomers? is this normal Polish behaviour?"

In a word. Yes. Poles tend to be successful in individual cases as immigrants, but they're not kind or helpful to new arrivals from Poland who are regarded as fair game for pretty much anything that can be done to them. The behavior of this family is certainly not kind or gracious, but as these things go, it's very mild.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent report, it goes to show hoow much better the UK will be when we LEAVE the EU.

enigma_foundry said...

As well as 100s of 1000s of Eastern Europeans there are 100s of 1000s of Africans and Asians. Until Poland experiences such an influx of foreigners and such a rapid change to it's social fabric...

1. Hmmm... The influx of foreigners in Sept 1939 rapidly changed the social fabric to the degree that you can not possibly imagine. So zero sympathy there from me.

2. The net effect of Polish immigration into UK is positive, They are their producing value, paying taxes, and contributing to society. So you have more Hospitals, more Nurses (quite a few who may be Polish BTW)

3. I share your concerns about Cultural Identity, but I would note that the British have more in common with Poles than many other immigrant groups, so I don't understand the focus on them

4. You should probably remember that it was Poles who: Manned the 303 air fighter squadron, broke the enigma cipher, among other things, so I see the present influx as a very small payment on a very large debt.

5. UK decided thorough democratic means to enter into the EU. If you want to leave, fine. But don't take your frustrations out on some immigrants.

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Anonymous said...

I am not trying to be nationalist and I am not narrow-minded thats for shure, but I can say one thing-Poles r the most selfish people I have ever seen!!! You can have nice time with them in the pub, have a laugh at work, but you can never fully trust them...And I am an immigrant myself, a student and bla bla, I DO understand that I person has to find the means to survive, but not in such way...Maybe Russians are raised differently, but I DO NOT understand their way of living

Anonymous said...

Well excuse me, but where in the UK do you live?

I live in London in one of the boroughs most affected by the Polish migration and work in one of the other most affected boroughs, Hackney & Westminster.

I have lived here all my life and I am unable to find affordable housing and as such, may have to leave the city. The Polish however, have no problem paying the extortionate prices as they are willing to share rooms which in turn lowers the quality of the neighbourhood, over burdens the local services etc etc.

The British are more than willing to do the jobs the Poles are doing- big businesses however are happier paying less. The Poles, then cannot afford the living costs and live in overcrowded conditions. This is not something we should be celebrating. There are plenty of people in Hackney already with housing issues and if the British won't do these jobs- which is a load of crap because there was not hundreds of thousands of unmanned jobs before which the Poles have miraculously filled- whats wrong with the 56% non-British in Hackney, roughly 15% which remain unemployed?
On a day to day basis I see groups of Eastern European men touting for illegal work on the streets.

And then there is Westminster where I work. There are literally hundreds- if not thousands of homeless (E'European) men who have become a burden on Westminsters long term homeless (of which there are many). The council has spent literally hundreds of thousands of pounds either returning the Polish, or handling their issues and the problems it has caused for locals.

A local girsl school here has Polish girls who do not speak one word of English.

What percentage of Eastern Europeans are claiming some form of benefit or working illegally?

regards, Jemsa

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Anonymous said...

LOL, about Jews; why some people won't educate before taking a stand? Who killed milions of Jews?Germans, it's a historical fact, and Germans applay political vengeance to clear themselves. Why nobody mentioned how many Poles were killed because heliped for the Jews, like my grandfather? Who is responsible for that?

P.S. Sorry for my English.

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