Editor’s blog: Poles, don’t go home

I’m not surprised to read this morning that British Poles have had it up to here with the Daily Mail. The Federation of Poles in Great Britain has ‘reluctantly’ filed a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission accusing the newspaper of defaming Polish residents in the UK. In its letter of complaint to the PCC, the federation accused the Mail of printing articles that gave rise to ‘negative emotions and tensions between the new EU immigrants and local communities’.

I’m not alone in wondering what would happen if they got fed up and went home tomorrow. Everyone I know has their own Polish wonder story. It’s an urban commonplace. Our baby is looked after part-time by a delightful young woman who has a degree in child psychology, never stops smiling and answers every remark I make with ‘no worries’ (fiancee is a Kiwi). When I think of a couple of the hopeless English misery-guts who looked after my first son, I still shudder. On an unexpected return home once, we found one of them in the shower with her pair of eighteen-month old charges sitting dazed in the living room.

My house is cleaned by another marvel who spends all her cash broadening her mind by travelling with her earnings – from Athens to Havana. And she works like stink as a receptionist in a GP’s surgery. This morning my delivery of a new pair of Merino wool blend socks from M&S online was ‘packed by Miroslav Filipowicz’ – presumably also a Pole. And we’re also having a bit of building work done at the moment – so inevitably the Poles got the contract. Indeed, so vigorous are they about their work that we heard from our neighbour that a massive argument and minor scuffle broke out the other day, presumably as they disagreed about the relative merits of the English versus the Flemish brickwork bond.

Of course they’re not all great. We had a disaster last year with one over-energetic chancer who totally messed up a bathroom. I’ve never seen tiling like it – ‘Bronislav the Builder! Can he fix it? No he can’t’. But in general they’re making a massive contribution to our economy.

So, lay off the Poles – they’re precious. How one gets the many millions of Brits stuck on unemployment and long-term sick benefit off the dole and into the jobs currently being done by the Poles is another, but equally important, matter…

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    I am glad this has finally made its way into the media. Hopefully, Poles will get further reassurance to leave the UK with immediate effect. It is a disgrace how they have been treated and portrayed in British media. They have given so much to this country and came here with so much hope and eager to work. What they did not realise, including myself – also a Pole but not a plumber – would you believe it?- that all they can expect is a double faced English hypocite. Poles are not really welcome here other than nannies, hotel workers and builders. I sincereley hope the return of Polish people will be just as quick as their arrival – with me, a London Pole in PR, in the first wagon.
    Go on then, pack your bags Poles and kiss the Brits in the ass…!!

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    Couldn’t agree more with the editor- every Pole that I have ever come across is helpful and helping their host business. Only the myopic/ill-informed or xenophobic would see their impact on British life being other than a net-gain.
    Go compare with the pain us Brits abroad can cause…

    Simon Biltcliffe
    WEBMART Ltd.