Monday, December 23, 2013

Tories' Polish allies label Cameron's migration comments as "unacceptable"

Much has been said and written about EU free movement, indeed the rhetoric has escalated in the weeks before the lifting of transitional controls on citizens from Bulgaria and Romania. The question of on what terms EU migrants should be able to access the UK's welfare system - a crucial and sensitive issue - has been rolled into a wider debate about the costs and benefits of immigration per se.

While the tough message adopted by the government is designed to reassure a concerned public that EU migrants will not be a drain on the public purse, this has also generated a lot of concern among EU partners. While protests from the likes of Viviane Reding and Laszlo Andor will not cause anyone in Whitehall or Westminster to loose any sleep - in fact quite the opposite - the reaction from broadly sympathetic EU partners like Germany and the Netherlands ought to. 

Today, even Poland's largest opposition party Law and Justice (allied with the Conservatives in the European Parliament) stuck the boot in, letting it be known that leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski had personally written to Cameron to complain after the Prime Minister described Labour's decision not to apply transition controls to the A8 countries in 2004 as a "mistake" and a "shameful dereliction of duty". 

In an interview with Polish Radio today, Law and Justice MP Marcin Mastalerek described Cameron's comments as "unacceptable", adding that:
"If Cameron does not revise his view on this subject it will make working together in the European Parliament exceptionally difficult". 
Wprost cites Law and Justice MEP Ryszard Czarnecki as saying that:
"This is a completely mistaken diagnosis of the situation. The British economy has earned billions of pounds thanks to the work of Polish migrants over the past 9 years... I think the letter from [former] Premier Kaczynski will provide Prime Minister Cameron with some valuable material."
He added that he hopes the Polish government would also protest against Cameron's words which "are hurtful to the hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens who are working to advance the welfare of the UK".

Of course Law and Justice cannot afford to be seen giving Cameron a free pass on rhetoric that is seen as being hostile towards Polish citizens, so the tough tone is partially for domestic consumption. It remains to be seen whether the two parties really will struggle to work together within the ECR group.

Former Polish President Lech Walesa also joined the fray, accusing the UK of not appreciating how much they've benefited from the fall of Communism and of behaving "irrationally and short-sightedly".

The wider risk - as we've pointed out in our recent briefing analysing the results of our simulated UK-EU negotiations - is that Cameron's tendency to jump from headline to headline when it comes to EU issues risks alienating potential allies in his bid for reform.


Rik said...

The point is that it was a gigantic mistake from Blair.
And basically there are 2 options for Cameron:
-being nice and donot do anything about it. And subsequently let a few 100 000s Bulgarians and Rumenians in and later on Kosovars, Serbs, Ukrainians, Moldovans, Albenians and other undereducated people the EU could find in larger geographical Europe, in. Who will mainly longer term very likely erode the UK welfarestate and social cohesion.
-or start to discuss the issue and try to get the rules changed.

Basically seen the homefront he hardly has a choice it is option B.
From there things will have to be said and done, that a lot of people will not like. That is the way it is. You donot make omelettes without breaking eggs. And certainly not if the starting position is already a complete mess.

Anyway as revising the EU-Blair legacy before 1-1 seemed not really a realistic option, seen from the angle of preventing 3rd world immigration this works fine (as good as it gets).
Basically you will see 2 streams of immigrants.
-A first wave. These will via Cameron's 'indirect PR bureau' like we see here, hear in their own media that they are not really welcome in the UK. At least that is the impression they will get. And furthermore as the 'last minute legislation' are mainly focussed on entitlement tourist the least happy you are with groups the more negative the message is.
If you are a welfare seeker you will now think twice and probably move to Germany, Belgium or Sweden or alike and go for certain. People with no jobprospect will also rather go to a safe-entitlement haven. People who have a job will however hardly see the problem.
-The follow up (second wave). Partly determined by the success of the first wave. The more basketcases you avoid now the less you are likely to get lateron.

Anyway it is hardly useful to try to change the rules when the damage has already been done.

Looks like the Bulgarians and Rumenians are no using a PR agency or got a new one. The quality of their communications look to have improved considerably.

Rik said...

Anyway it is about time that the UK starts to look at 2 other parts of this problem.

Its pretty dysfunctional immigration service. It is improving but losing 100000 or so immigrants is totally unacceptable. You never get this under control if that is not considerably further improved. With as added advantage if you do that the people you donot want to see have easier alternatives on the continent. Water goes to the lowest point.

The bottom of the labour market is another attentionpoint. Most of the undesiderable immigrants get jobs at the very bottom of the labour market. Most of these jobs require hardly any training or specific skills.
Therefor it is completely weird that exactly this part of the labourmarket as far as supply goes has by far the highest unemployment. Simply doesnot add up in anyway.
There is a shortage which requires immigrants and subsequently very low unemployment or there is high unemployment in that sector and you donot need immigrants. One thing or the other.
The fact that employers are having problems to get locals for jobs however points into the direction that there is something structurally very badly wrong.
Basically the bottom of the labourmarket in countries like the UK is completely dysfunctional. And no European country is at this moment in the position to increase the number of passengers as that is what will happen.
With as added problem that the immigrants that come to do these kind of jobs are after a certain period behaving like the locals (or earlier immigrants). Simply a perpetual increase of nett (or only) receivers to solve the problem that is caused in the sector of the labourmarket they are part of. Groups that were the most likely candidates for high unemployment one or 2 decedes ago now actually have high or very high unemployment (next to the fact that they pay per capita much lower taxes than the aboriginals). And everything points in the direction that with the Balkan this will be very similar even if at arrival they start with work. History simply shows that at the bottom of the labourmarket immigrants after a few years start to behave like the locals there (and that is hardly a positive thing).

Piotr Koniusz said...

Rik, who do you call uneducated? Migrants from Eastern Europe are often educated to way higher standards than your pathetic BSc or MSc which is simply a matter of paying tuitions. I had a chance to study both in UK and Poland, and can tell you that you're speaking off your arse not your head mate ... And you have to realise you can't just pick & mix. If you get university stuff for Eastern Europe as well as engineers, you have to welcome a fruit picker too. if you build your Tescos in Poland, you have to accept Polish workers in Tesco in UK too. Otherwise, pick up your 2.2M expats from EU, your businesses which profit from other EU countries, and go and play on your own! Nobody likes this two-faced tone UK towards EU and immigration.

Anonymous said...

Just ask the people of the UK as soon as possible: Should the UK be part of the EU?

As soon as the people are asked and we move out of EU, the better.

People like Blair make us look fools, we are seen as a nasty neighbour whereas in fact, if we were given a choice we could vote to stay out and let everyone else carry on making mistakes for the future.

Anonymous said...

The UK is more than its economy.

The occupation of the UK by foreigners is a cultural Armageddon, irrespective of how much money big industry (not the UK taxpayer) makes from the resulting cheap labour.

Anonymous said...


I have just taken my family out of Ealing (London) which is the No.1 hotspot in the UK for immigration. I am so angry about the levels of (socially and economically) unsustainable immigration that has just washed over us like a tidal wave. English families are leaving en masse.

What the Poles, Bulgarians, Romanians et all have to ask themselves is - WHY ARE ALL YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN LEAVING THE COUNTRY AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY?

The issue of immigration to the UK is not a question for you, the EU or anybody else for that matter other than us.

The fact is that our politicians and the politicians of Europe have seriously gone off-piste in handing over powers to the EU. The people in the UK just do not want it.

The EU have ruined Europe and will make anybody that they can pay for it.

Go sort your own backyard out and stop worrying about something that you have no right to comment on.


un said...

I think this row is prompted by the general immigration fatigue of the English rather than being anti-Pole. We in the South-East have faced an enormous wave of immigration since 1997. In great parts of London, the native English are leaving. In 2011 of the total number of children born in London, 44% had two foreign parents whilst a further 20% had one foreign born parent.

There is no great sense of racial antagonism but there is some bewilderment at the scale of the change.

My impression is that generally the Poles face little hostility. There is much more concern about Somalis and Kashmiris other but voicing that concern risks accusations of racism.

If the Romanians and Bulgarians behave as the Poles there will be grumbling about numbers but the heat will go out of the debate. If the Roma arrive in numbers the debate will heat up and Nigel Farrage will triumph in the European elections.

christina speight said...

Those in the EU who do not like Britain's §mounting fury at being overrun by eastern European immigrants should try living amongst them. England and South Wales is one on the most crowded countries on earth and we've had enough.

We're only acceptable to some in the EU provided we'll go on paying top whack to be bullied. The prospect that we might walk away from the whole corrupt edifice frightens them.

The worm is turning

Anonymous said...

As usual politicians (UK and EU)manage to lump a whole basket of problems together and make a complete mess of solving them as a result.

To my mind:

Movement of people with skills and the desire to work is laudable.

Movement of people to exploit benefit systems should be discouraged and blocked.

Local populations who prefer to exist on benefits rather than take jobs which are then filled by immigrant workers should be firmly discouraged from doing so.

Gaps in local skill education should be corrected.

Lumping all these together is lunacy as is denying that there are negatives to open movement (the commissions point of view).

I really doubt the people of the UK are incapable of differentiating between these issues merely that politicians are too weak to move beyond symplistic messaging.

Anonymous said...

The population of the UK is becoming unsustainable because of the huge increase, and it isn't newborn infants driving it up is is the influx of foreigners from the eussr, we can not keep taking more and more people increasing he unemployment and stressing the police health and housing. We need to end this nonsense now.

Bugsy said...

Piotr - Most of the 2.2 million UK expats are retired, they contribute to the community in which they live and in some EU countries DO NOT get the services to which they are entitled. Working expats must have competitive qualifications or they wouldn't have a job, so you to think about this a little more.

With regard to Tesco's or any other business, Polish shops in the UK employ Polish staff, Tesco's employ many foreign nationals in the UK, not only UK citizens, get your facts right. In Poland the expectation would be that they employ local people as importing UK staff would be counter-productive, language problems etc.

Denis Cooper said...

Well, I don't blame the Poles and other eastern Europeans. True, it grates when they start telling us that they have as much right to be here as we have, and when they forget that if it wasn't for us risking nuclear war by standing up to the Soviet Union for over four decades then they'd still be under its domination, and when they take it for granted that taxpayers in this country must now fork out again to subsidise their countries. But I know who is really to blame for this situation, and that is our own politicians of all three of the old parties. Not just Labour, or the Liberal Democrats, or the Tories, but all three of them.

Wojciech said...

Hi all,
I am a Polish immigrant and I do appreciate the opportunity your government has given me 10 years ago. After living and working in the UK for 7 years, I have never claimed one single benefit. I have always worked hard and paid taxes accordingly. In meantime, I had contact with dozens of British people who has been drinking cider in the morning when I was leaving to work. Whole generations of people who never worked. Why? Because they can't be asked. I am currently a manager in a rapidly growing company in North. I agree with the fact that there are some decent numbers of Polish workers in our company. There is a simple reason for this. There has been a number of occasions where Brits were employed, but didn't give a s*** about the job. Turning up late, not turning up at all, or not being able to do the job properly. I don't want to generalise as there are some decent and hard working Brits too (I wish I could say majority). They have been kept and everyone is happy with them. The problem is that the other half was so unreliable that the company was loosing money. They were trained and pissed off as getting up at 6-7am every morning is a tall order.
What has shocked me when I first came to UK, that your social system is so irrational, that people are better of not working, than working. This is seriously wrong. I heard people saying that it's pointless to work as if they worked and deducted costs of commuting, baby sitters and wasted time, they would have end up with same money as they were on benefits or worse! Up until now, I thought that "this is not my business". It is your country, and I'll either accept or adjust to live in your realities and will not try to change you as I still consider myself as a guest. Benefits in Poland are not good enough to make a living, even more, they are not good enough to survive the period out of work without help from family and friends. Therefore, to summarize - both systems are crap. There should be something in-between, as every one of us may be in a situation where we lost a job, or had an accident, and we all deserve governments help on such occasions, since we have been paying taxes for a number of years (obviously that doesn't include people who "traditionally" never worked). This however cannot be dragging for years. They should cap the benefit system to 6 months, maybe a year or two in exceptional circumstances, not for 10, 20, 30 years! Another thing is that all those people on benefits, regardless whether they are British, Asian, Polish, black green or purple, they should do some social work to get the benefits. There are many hospitals, hospices, councils, who are struggling to get things done within their "tight" budgets, but at the same time you are paying thousands (millions?) of people sitting at home and drinking beer. Get their lazy arses to do some good (yes polish lazy arses too). There are roads to be fixed, there are flowers to be planted, streets to be swept. Do not pay them for being out of work, if they can do some work for you!

Wojciech said...

Regarding what Mr. Cameron said about migration control - I agree. I have been surprised myself that so many people from Lithuania, Latvia and Poland has relocated after 2004. This should have been controlled in a better fashion. If you were only prepared to accept 20k, then limit the number to 20k and try to make sure that they are genuinely looking for work, not trying to rip off your system. If you don't have a limit, then make sure that you are prepared for 500k, 1,2 millions.
Now to be honest, I am also concerned about Romanian and Bulgarian citizens migrating to UK in uncontrolled fashion again. I know Poland is not the richest country in Europe, but it is nowhere as poor as Romania. I am telling you that numbers may be much higher. There are thousands of Romanians begging on Polish streets. If they think Poland is a wealthy country, then what Western Europe must be like for them if it was attractive enough for us to move? I have moved not for money, but for experience and political reasons as I got sick of looking at politicians jumping to each other’s throats about some shit from the past. At the same time trying to reach deeper into pockets of people who are trying to do something about their lifes. This attitude kills polish businesses and makes it difficult to make a profit without trying to trick the taxman in every possible way before he takes everything you have. Polish people have always been fighting with the rotten system and it always reminded me of friendly fire (but intentional). Cat and mouse really, and I am not that patient to cope with it. F*** you Poland!
Now, Mr. Cameron is saying that education needs to be better as you can't blame us for being better qualified. Helloooo!? This is the major failure of this system. There is no discipline in school. Kids do whatever they like, exams has to be passed as if they aren't then this would result in protests from parents and ruin school stats! Kids need discipline as without it they expect that everything will be given on a plate and nobody is expecting any effort from their side. This develops their "can't be asked" attitude which is then transferred onto their professional life in future.
I don't know how long this has been going on for, but this is the major issue, which is resulting in immigrants taking your jobs. If you're not qualified, or not efficient, can't be asked, then why would someone want to employ you? I have met people - white British citizens, who couldn’t write! This is unbelievable in 21st century in Europe. I work with well-educated people, with degrees, who ask me how to spell things (not in polish).
You really need to serious social and educational reforms as this system is taking you nowhere and I'm not saying that Polish system is any better. Ours is too strict and yours is far too relaxed.
Merry Christmas :)

Pork Sword said...

You are correct in your assessment of the UKs failure reqarding the benefit system. It was designed originally to help, for a short period those made redundant. Over successive governments from the 80's onwards the benefit system in the UK has become an uncontrollable beast resulting in multiple generations of inactive people. For them-why work- when you can have a benefit system that lets you survive quite well. It is a tragedy & great embarrassment to many normal UK people that we have so many layabouts- meanwhile you & your compatriots have made the considerable effort at great risk to leave your home country to live & work in the UK- simultaneously supporting the ever increasing number of economically inactive people of working age. The UK & the EU generally are the architects of a huge problem resulting from the "social requirements & responsibilities" heaped on wealthier countries to provide social support to immigrants arriving in the country from other EU states. The financial load on the UKs shoulders to support the current benefit system is a disgrace, arrival of immigrants from the Eastern EU has shone alight on a long standing problem that the UK has. Detractors are using the immigration issue to hide the even greater problem of 7 million unemployed, at least 50% of which are just plain lazy. Abusive comments don't help- the taxpayers of the EU need to have a right to vote on EU policies, Barroso & his clique of Socialist supporters & colleagues have made a fine mess of the EU over the last 10 years- if they continue there will be civil unrest on huge scales & possibly civil wars. England is country with plenty of problems, however, it is an open country willing to promote people on their abilities & not what professional qualifications they carry- hence your success. Remember that, the UK gave you the chance that your own country could not- for that alone your patriotism should be challenged

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, this is Piotr a.k.a. Peter. It happens that I have gained a double citizenship so I feel more than having a right to comment on immigration in the UK and I do not appreciate you telling me what rights I have. EU is far from perfect but it does not ruin nobody. UK banks have fucked up a big deal and now UK picks up the bill for it. Any idiot can go and piss on all about EU being bad blah blah blah. And what you do when EU tries to curb silly bankers? You go and moan again that EU tell UK what to do while UK had 2 years to sort your own mess!

Denis Cooper, as a matter of fact it was Churchill with Roosevelt who gave up on Poland and Let Soviet Union control Poland for many years so I'm hardly thankful to UK for such a betrayal! Similarly, Polish fellows like Lech Walensa stood up to Soviet Union so you know ... I'd say you may exaggerate British role in the collapse of communism in Europe ;-)

Bugsy, it happens that in my local Polish shop there are a Chinese and British shop assistants so stop generalising. As to Tescos in Poland, I do not care who they employ. They crash our small local shops and smaller food industry players. They are like vermin. And am glad you talk about your retired expats. DO you think your 2.2M of retired expats do not put burden on hospitals in other EU countries?! I can telly you they do. As a matter of fact, when you get in UK working age immigrants, they are in better health than your retired expats, require less medical attention and pay their taxes ;))) Hence, again UK benefits on immigration rather than loosing.

And I agree with Wojciech, many of these Brits who moan the most are those who have shit education and expect something for nothing. If I was dealing with the benefit system in the UK, I'd not give a penny to an adolescent single mother who would go and piss her money off for clothes and booze! I'd give her money only under condition she gets back to the education system and improves her career prospects. Here, I don't like my tax money being wasted on British families of scroungers who sometimes are like the fourth generation of claimers on the trot!

So yeah, quit moaning and get yourself a good education, It's a pass to living in any country you like, be it UK, USA, Japan, or China, or Poland.

Wojciech said...

Pork Sword,
I agree on what you say... mostly. EU is turning into a mess (or shall I say it already is) and I admire UK government for being able to show them fingers when they are asking for silly things. Nobody else is brave enough. I like UK for being more independent and as you said - for promoting people on their abilities and not qualifications (not quite my case as I hold Ms Degree in Mechanical Engineering so it's both - education and abilities). This is another thing. You miss-judge Polish people. Many of those factory workers do hold higher degree in whatever (usually not relevant to what they do), so you can see that they are quite a competition comparing to people who (sometimes) cannot write. Rather bright for the job they are doing plus the hard work and dedication.
I'm not saying that Polish people are perfect though - don't get me wrong. There are many reasons why I am embarrassed about my "compatriots" as you call them. Some of them I purely hate, and they disgust me to a point that I'm embarrased that we both come from the same country, but you have scum in your country too. By the way - I never said I am a patriot. I'm probably more concerned about UK now than Poland (sad isn't it?) as your country has done more for me in 7-8 years, than Poland did in 25. Only thing I'm grateful for is free educational system, but to be honest, my parents have been paying for it one way or another. Therefore, it's a bit like, we'll give you a peanut and we'll take a full bag, but the bag is not funding your peanut, it is funding someone else’s. Free, but not quite. Anyway. As I said - there are no perfect countries that I know off. I have great memories from Poland as a child (despite the fact we were not rich), but since I grew up and started to realise how people are struggling and always fighting the system, I decided that I don't want to live there if nothing changes by the time I graduate. Guess what - not much changed. I have picked UK as I have attended to an English college back home and England always felt like another home to me, as it was the only country I have been familiar with. When I moved I thought that everyone here is nice, polite, tolerant and there are no poor people, every bloke is a gentleman and every woman is a lady (silly me :)) You know the realities. Bit disappointing, but proving that you are only humans, not that different from us at all.
The bottom line is that your government should stop being so politically correct and stop giving benefits to people who live from our taxes. If you said from day one - nobody from EU will get any benefits until they have been here for 2-5 years, then you wouldn't have a problem. I know it's easy to say as EU would start kicking off, but hey, maybe it's time to show them fingers again?
Regarding the unemployment figures - 7 million - maybe, but probably most of those are plain lazy and not willing to do a job under their qualifications. This is the major thing, we are not embarrassed to work in factory with Ms Degree, but Brits would rather live on benefits until they find something "at their level" That's the truth about your unemployment. Send me someone who hasn't been working for several years because "there are no jobs" and I'll find him a job within a month provided that they are willing to do any job.
Take care mate.

Wojciech said...

No need to be angry here about the past as you will be no better than our politicians, who do nothing else :)
The Brits turned their backs on us in WW2 but not only them. It wasn't fair nor honourable, but they had a lot to risk and they have made their decision at the time.
Let's be honest - we weren't best mates in business and not even neighbours. That's why I think all those "mates pacts" between individual countries are only good for wiping our arses. Nobody would like to risk political careers, money, peace for a country several countries away. I hope NATO an UN will prove to be different when push comes to shove, but I still have some doubts.
Unfortunately for us, we are in this shit geographical position. Between the unpredictable on the right and some guys who didn't learn a lesson first time on the left. The decisions were made by the politicians, not ordinary people. Not many folks would say yes if you asked them - Hi, do you want to invade Europe with me? No, as every decent folk would know that this is a huge risk and nobody ever succeeded in long run. It is just impossible to keep so many countries under control for very long. The longest period Poland was off the Europe's maps was 125 years. Nobody here ackwnowledge this. We have always been attacked from either side, but this is all over. I think germans have done the homework this time and realise that nobody has ever managed to erase Poland from the map. We have always fought back with whatever we had. The bottom line is we have always been poorer than other countries as we have always had more to rebuild and we have always lost the most.
There is no point to go there after so many years. Let's focus on today, or even better - on tomorrow. I don’t hate Germans for what they did to us. All those Natzis are dying off now and there are new generations who are very different. I have no reason to hate them for what their grandfathers did to ours. Same way as I wouldn't feel guilty if my grandfather did something wrong. I wasn't even on this world yet and had no influence whatsoever.
So please don't point out and bring out the blames for what happened 65 years ago as it will only cause unnecessary conflicts and arguments.
On this note we all have to agree that Poland has always been slightly behind western countries and it was this way (maybe indirectly) because of decisions of your politicians and other Europe's politicians, so pointing it out now is at least POLITICALLY INCORRECT ;))))))))))
We also need to realise that Europe will never become USA. We have far too much history behind our countries and our countries will always try to stay as much independent as possible.
UK needs to sort out the social help system before the Romanians and Bulgarians take advantage of it (I know, you’ve run out of time pretty much already – again – say thanks to your government, who finally realised that this may be a problem – bit too late :/). You also need to be a bit harder on kids as they need to know that they are NOT untouchable and they can do whatever they like. Then, your educational system, which is the foundation of the problem.
The conclusion is that we need to punish and blame cheeky, lazy people who are milking this system, regardless what is their nationality or skin colour.
Happy New Year everybody! 

perdix said...

In fact there is little actual racism involved. The underlying concern is that the increase in population, largely driven by immigration, is such that we cannot keep up with the demand for our public services and housing. All nations should be permitted to control immigration via their democratic processes.

Rik said...

Eastern Europeans in general can be seen as uneducated for the UK labour market at least. In general at least (as a group). Of course each group has brilliant person in them, but they never make up for the rest if that rest is substantially substandard. They are basically 'imported' to do the jobs at the bottom end of the labourmarket.

It is not only formal education that counts also languageskills, fitting in socially (having the social skills to perform at higher level jobs) that are important. And make the difference here.
Agree with you that the average Pole (or better Norther Eastblocker) is as far as the formal education goes likely equal to the average Brit. But there is simply more than formal education.

Anyway1 Imho there is as well a considerable if not huge difference between people from the North of the former East block and the 'Balkanites'. The latter in general are from an educational perspective at a much lower level.

Anyway2. Next to the educational and economical stuff there is the social one. It is clear that the mass immigration of Poles in particular has put a lot of stress on the social cohesion in the UK and still does. This while Northern Eastblockers are about as good as it gets as non-Western immigrants. Cultures are close, languages are close (plus decent English skillds often), religion very similar, educationlevels, used to an industrialised society etc. But still there was clearly a lot of social friction.
Not even to mention the fact that government services were not really able to cope with the numbers.
This again while 'Balkanites' look much worse than your average Poles. Plus have a few completely undesirable groups within their society that could be the first ones to move over.
Next to the fact that no government can hide itself anymore behind dodgy numbers.

At the end of the day the UK is good served by the average Western immigrant (or Japanese and alike).

So what you miss is that Poles and certainly Balkanites are not similar to Western immigrants. There are 2 groups one desirable from an economic pov and one looking at the bigger picture not (they often generate as much income for themsleves and their dependents as a Western nation's government spend in average per capita. With imho Poles having the potential to catch up in 1 or 2 generations and Balkanites more looking like the people from the 3rd world (for which full integration might take 6 generations or could even happen never, as some mainly Muslim and Black groups have shown in other circumstances).
Anyway even the 1 or 2 generations seem unacceptable for large parts of UK society.

And there is nothing wrong with the attitude towards work from the Poles and Co at the moment (unlike from a large part of the bottom part UK locals). At the bottomend of the labourmarket if I was an UK employer I would take a Pole every day over a local. The problem however being that this dysfunctional bottom part are very expensive non-paying passengers. And purely from an economic pov the UK would be best served if they could get rid of them. This is however not a realistic alternative. But re new immigrants it is.
Re other low-income immigrants. Recent history shows that after a while these start to behave like the social class they are in in the society they have joined. Which is hardly a positive as this class is simply for a large part dysfunctional in the UK (it is a passenger class). This is the issue that the UK imho should be most afraid of re immigration of Poles&Co. However it will be extremely difficult to reverse immigration that already has taken place. Imho a waste of time.

Stopping immigration you do at the border, when they have gotten in it becomes nearly impossible to get them out again. So imho if the Rumenians&Co are not stopped at the border you will almost certainly get stuck with them for ever (and have to cough up their welfarespending if necessary).

Denis Cooper said...

"Denis Cooper, as a matter of fact it was Churchill with Roosevelt who gave up on Poland and Let Soviet Union control Poland for many years so I'm hardly thankful to UK for such a betrayal! Similarly, Polish fellows like Lech Walensa stood up to Soviet Union so you know ... I'd say you may exaggerate British role in the collapse of communism in Europe ;-)"

So what the hell do you think, we the western allies, should have done in May 1945?

With the UK more or less bankrupted after six years of war, and the war against Japan still being fought, you think we should have continued it by going straight on to attack the Red Army and attempt to liberate eastern Europe?

You use the word "betrayal" - well, **** you.

This is just what I mean about the lack of gratitude, and sometimes even displays of arrogance, shown by people from countries which had the misfortune to be forced into the Warsaw Pact and so were on the WRONG SIDE in the Cold War.

What finally brought down the Soviet Union was not the activities of Lech Walensa and others like him, commendable though they were, but the grinding pressure of an arms race which increasingly consumed too much of Soviet GDP, and while the US shouldered most of the burden in the west the UK was the most indispensable of its allies.

If it hadn't been for the US, and its principal ally the UK, the Poles might still be under the heel of the Soviet Union to this very day; and - do you know what? - when I read some of the Polish whinges half of me says that I wouldn't care too much if they were.

At least they wouldn't be swanning around in my country as if they bloody well owned it.

RikI said...

To OE.

It looks imho that you are missing a point. Probably caused by being too business focused.

Cameron and the UK need the public pressure to get a realistic chance in a reneg. The public pressure (via polls and referenda) is what it makes from a nearly lost case to something that is difficult to screw up.

For that public pressure he simply needs the non-business issues like immigration and funny court rulings on prisoners and not being able to throw religious fanatics out of your country (while taxpayer paid legal bills run into millions).
Basically it is 60/40 (looks rather stable btw behind the recent confusion), in favour of a reneg and staying in if there is a substantial reneg. Hard to see that this will not drop below 50% if immigration is not properly adressed and you keep ending up with people in your country that are completely undesirable (on BBC and alikes). Or you would get a massive inflow from Roma for instance.
This is a point you are not paying enough attention too imho, not even close.

If Cameron cannot get immigration under control you can have all the business reneg that you want, but a third generation of evermore undesirable and primitive people from the East looks completely unacceptable. And mess the whole thing up national politics, but also EU membershipwise. And likely the EU as a whole as well as there are other countries where this is an important issue.

From there Cameron simply has to bring it up.
The fact that Blair is the one who screwed it up (for local electoral reasons).
But also that the UK population has huge problems with the rules how they are now. And that is the reason why a lot are EU-negative.
Immigration is simply in the swinging votes (mainly right of Cameron) an issue on which the questions: go voting or not and for whom, will be decided. Swinging votes in general elections as well as in a referendum btw.

Re the EU it means that it has to be made clear that the current legal rules are a) not working and b) not acceptable for large parts of the UK (and alot of others as well btw, all payers) population and c) (not unimportant for the democrats that they are), there will be consequences on EU level if not adressed.

In that process countries like Poland always will not be very pleased. Simply collateral damage but I donot see how that can be avoided.
Of course as little as necessary damage should be done. But again I donot see how except of on the edges this could be avoided.

Rik said...

To OE Part2

Eastern Europe will not be pleased by immigration reform. The North for their present immigrants the Balkan because they want to be equal members and have the moneytransfers from abroad. All very human, but at the same time in a huge conflict of interest with the UK. This is not a game with an outcome everybody will be happy with. For most at the other side of the table it will be least worse alternative stuff.

From a local perspective (which is at the end of the day more important certainly at this stage). Cameron desperately needs an increase in credibility especially on this issue. As well as a relatively calm and managable homefront.
Credibility for getting reelected mainly. And a manageable homefront as it looks a bit of a mess now.
That manageable homefront as well will increase his chances of success considerably. As that is the thing that puts pressure on the EU-side (via the referendum).
He needs pressure on him that can be dumped with the EU side of a reneg and transformed into pressure on those.

In other words he needs stable polls on referenda that say 60/40 out/in as things go now and 40/60 out/in after a substantial reneg. Next to MPs doing the same thing and donot want unrealistic stuff at every possible occasion to try to scare of UKIP.
Anyway Cameron needs clear statements on that as well just to keep his voterbase and MPs happy.

So to come back to the main issue. Only getting a business oriented EU reform as OE is focusingon, will unlikely work.
It is the Full Monty or nothing.
A large part of the pro-reneg majority will not transform into Ins if the reneg doesnot show any results on the immigration and partly the legal front.
Immigration has to be brought up it is as simple as that. And yes it complicates things and yes people will get emotional about it. But imho that is a given if you want a reneg that will work.
No way this is going to end with all happy faces.
And on the emotional part as better sooner than later. So people on the other side have time to process it rationally and logically.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone
My name is Marcin and I'm 27yo civil engineer from Poland. I work in my country and i dont want to emigrate but I worked just once in th UK, during summer time after my first year at the University. Firs of all i want to describe english people who visit Poland. When I see you most of all drunk and shouting in the night time in the streets of Cracow, Wroclaw Warsaw Gdańsk etc. I want to kick your asses. In the battle of England Polish pilots gave their lifes for your county,Churchill sold Poland to Stalin a thats why wy had comunism till 1989. If we had free economy after the war we would have the same economy like other western countries. When i was in London i saw that your real problem are muslim and black people, i was felling very unsafe. Cameron is afraid of telling anti imigration policy against muslims and blacks. Poles assimilate, they dont. Polish people work hard in your country and you should understand and accept this if you dont then all Poles should leave UK and you will see that most of you will not take the jobs like we took.

Anonymous said...

Denis Cooper, people like yourself discourage me to be in any way graceful to the UK. I owe you nothing, let's be clear. I worked my way through life and all I have got I owe to my own efforts. You've done nothing for me, so do not ever lecture me about gratitude, ok!? I've lived in the UK over 9 years and it sickens me that the media and politicians just keep blaming on the immigration or EU instead of focusing on building the economy every time they feel like going red herring on their own blunders. Guess what? Immigrants do understand how vitriolic are petty grievances of folks like yourself at times and won't feel massively grateful for this constant mental bullying!

Allays could have said no and try negotiating further. They said yes, and yes, do not forget Poles were fighting for UK and its freedom too.

Yes, and the arm race was mainly between your big brother US and Russia rather than UK itself. So ...

BTW, when I read some British grumblers, I'm left with no option but to wish you even more bank affairs ... Coz gratitude and respect work both ways. You show it to a hard working immigrant and the immigrant will appreciate their new home too.

Wojciech said...

Guys, You really need to do something about it as the Romanians and Bulgarians will come in BIG numbers. I won't argue about WW2 any more as it was much more complex than betrayal, although many Poles might have felt that way. There was method in your madness whether we liked it or not. Don;t blame you. It was a fault of Germans and Russians, who always fancied Polish land.
Everybody else got involved whether they liked it or not, and tried to loose as little as possible.
You need to quickly address the immigration control issues. I wouldn't want Romanians flooding my country and I don't wish it for you either. You should have done the same with Poles. Pick the best ones, not let everybody in. Like I said before, there is a lot of "chavs"/criminals from Poland here who I'm not proud of and the cultural friction you have mentioned applies to them as much as to your chavs and other "passangers" as you call them. You are probably not very proud of your lot either, but the difference is that you can't kick them out or officially pick on as they are not immigrants.
Someone has wrightly pointed out that Polish people are picked on the most as we are white and nobody could say that it's racist.
We didn't kick off too much either yet, so we are a very easy target. On top of that, all the guys from latvia, Lithuenia, Bialarus and Ukraine are also seen as Poles, because we sound similar to you. Enything wrong they do, we get blamed for. That is not fair. The truth is, that the further East you go, the worst it gets. I never considered Poland as East Europe as if you look at the map of the whole Europe then Poland is pretty much in the middle. Problem is that western Europe has never considered Russia as being Europe. So please don't throw us in the same bag. The closer to Russia you go, the more like russians they are. They have some decent people there of course, but most of them are acting like animals.
As my great grandma used to say, when Germans came, we were hiding our heads, when Russians came, we were hiding our arses. They have been ploundring, raping and burning down our country without asking any questions. Russian soldier ripped out a water tap at my grandad's house as he thought it was a miraculous invention and he'll just carry it in his pocket and get unlimited supply of fresh water :). I'm not making it up. It's true. They have no respect to anything and anybody. They have even stolen railway tracks on their way back in 1945 in my region. Totally unpredictable bunch. The bigger their influenece on neighbouring contries, the wilder the countries get. Can't blame them really, but it's the communist system which made them like this. Poland is also still recovering since 80's. This generation will have to die to change the nations mindset. not long to go, but it has been a looong journey.

Anonymous said...

To Wojciech 1/3. Yeah, there is no point getting overly angry over such matters. It's just a very few people realise that the current situation has its origin in decisions made immediately after WWII. I will never stop wondering what difference it'd have made to Poland if WWII and communism never took place. Also,, EU was supposed to tackle the poverty inflicted by WWII and channel our energy and will into economic advancements. Alas, it was easy to forget to some that Poland was the main shield significantly delaying spread of Hitler's military machine.

Anyhoo ... the good news is that I had a chance to catch up with a few mates of mine over Christmas in Poland and they managed to not only grow their own businesses to medium size but they also spread new branches to Germany and UK. So, all in all, success is well possible if one feels entrepreneurial and determined.

Yeah, nowadays, Germany is a different country and most of my German mates are really decent and very friendly folks. Still, they look after their own business properly by creating tangible specialised hi-tech goods everybody needs including China. What happened over 65 years ago though has a direct consequence on our current political and economic landscape. Anyhoo, I mainly brought it up exactly to upset some folks here as they are not the only ones entitled to their political incorrectness ;))) I'm simply giving them the taste of their own medicine - the blame culture, right? :))) On the other note, though, I wonder how you keep calm when the British media and UK politicians have had not even a month without having a go on Easter Europeans or Polish community in the UK. The best bit is, the statistics point out we're rather a financial success here. Still, easy to capitalise on these fears towards Poles and other immigrants and advance their own petty goals, right? And lastly, I don't even consider there are that many Poles in the UK these days. Who'd enjoy this never ending recession or UK's politicians constantly sending their 'clear messages' to immigrants like they had nothing else to do? It's gimmick coz folks like Cameron let themselves become political hostages of these less fortunate or perhaps less able or less hard working who think that rolling back time by 10 years would solve their problems. Well, it's a global economy now and the financial problems of UK are due to completely different factors like new super economies growing in strength.

Anonymous said...


As to Europe, this is a big shame, because on the global arena we'd have better chance as a whole. China, India, USA, Brazil, all big emerging economies. And then we have these daft European countries that are so culturally similar (including UK), yet they struggle to see through this. UK smarming their way to make business with China like they'd not understand it's better to have this business sometimes done in EU. Anyhoo, EU ain't perfect, though, its a two way motorway and UK would just like it to have it one way. I agree they were not prepared for a large influx of immigrants, though, that's what their councils are for ... to react and respond. Also, I agree UK are way to soft on their kids, still average Brit can't be bothered to gain anything beyond BSc, high tuition fees are a grim joke, and even fewer Brits even consider PhD. How can the industry keep rolling then? Agree, idlers deserve a kick in their arses to realise there will be nothing for something and it's got nothing to do with their nationality. Though, does Cameron have to pretend it has to do with immigrants. Most are the Brits themselves abusing the system as they are the majority in the UK. It's as simple as this.

Rik, to be honest, I sense your analysis of ethnic groups reeks of some funkey bizarre racial segregation. All I can tell you is that an average Pole has got an MSc, got to uni. by passing entry exams not by paying extortionate tuition fees, speaks at least one or two foreign tongues too, cares for their finances, future, savings, and elderly. Younger generation have also a pretty good grasp of democracy and their freedoms/responsibilities, entrepreneurial abilities. Folks like myself are educated beyond MSc having happy international careers that are not limited to UK in any way thankfully. Also, your analysis of what outweights what is not based on facts. Please support it with statistics. Facts and your personal believes are not quite the same thing. Still, bad apples happen amongst all too.

All in all, an average Brit speaks no other language than English despite taking often a gap year to travel and ceases typically on BSc. The only bit I agree is about what Wojciech pointed out: Polish political system and democratic culture have a way to go with catching up and making Poland an economic success. Still, I'm very proud that Poland has avoided so far the financial crisis mainly thanks to refusing the rosy analysis of the financial market as perceived by UK and US banks at that time. Also, your argument that Eastern Europeans may not fit socially to the UK seems daft. We all grew up watching American and British films, reading Western books, discussing democratic values, and so forth. You don't realise that many European countries are culturally closer to UK than USA or Australia. Who cares that French may enjoy eating snails!? Try it, they are tasty just as much as bigos is.

As to EU and renegotiations, UK should not expect changes such as stopping the free labour movement. If this is your main concern, perhaps best for all is that UK leaves and learns the outcome of this misinformed experiment. I'd say tackling the bureaucracy is far more important matter as far as EU goes.

Happy New Year!

Rik said...


It was just my friendly way of saying society is like that.
If you are thinking that these things donot play an important role here you are completely mistaken.
As a group Poles&Co are simply seen by many and also treated as such as second class EU citizens.
And a lot of UK citizens feel uncomfortable with the huge inflow of them. Might be hard but that is the way it is.

Rumenians&Co are or probably after their inflow will be seen by alot of people as third class.
Just look btw at the image of Balkanites in Northern former east block countries like your own (even pre-89).

Imho Poles, Czechs, Baltics as a group are probably as good as it gets at the bottom of the labour market. Often better educated than locals. As I always say give them a nice suit and learn them to speak with two words and eat with knife and fork and the problem is likely solved.
Basically when their English skils are in order and they have become accustomed to the Britishers funny ways of doing things they likely will be integrated. Like a lot of French, Dutch, Nordics, Ozzies, Kiwis Seppos do now more or less directly.
Poles really still have to work on that as a group but it looks clearly achievable. As you or somebody else mentioned a lot have Masters (and masters are at the same level as in Western Europe), So there is a lot of growth potential unlike the present 1/4-1/3 of the UKs society.

However what we have now is:
-even with Poles, large parts of the UK population are highly uncomfortable with the large inflow;
-it leaves the UK problems (with mainly the bottom part of their own society unsolved, consisting of locals and several earlier immigrant groups;
-it put according to some to much pressure on things like schools, healthcare.

With Rumenians and Bulgarions (and likely even more with Albanians, Kosovars and Moldovans) it is simply much worse. They are much closer to 3rd world immigration that the UK already has seen and that is hardly successful.
Not even to mention they have in their middle groups that have been completely dysfunctional in their homecountries for centuries.
I spoke a few days ago somebody who has a holidayhouse in local Rumenia and he told me that in his original hometown there are hardly Roma left. So it is not unrealistic that these groups will be at the forefront of a new immigration wave.

Hard to see how the UK will benefit from that (as well as another inflow of people doing besically often unskilled labour)and even harder to see that that will not give rise to a lot of social tensions in that country (and other Western European ones).

Rik said...


Nobody is saying that Poles should be sent back at the moment. That is a thing that very likely is extremely hard to do. But lessons have to be learnt. And when the EU accepted countries with much lower standards of living it should have changed the rules in that respect. And as that hasnot been done before the next wave comes they should be changed.

From your perspective. Imho in several ways you benefit from a change of rules as well.
As said earlier you will now not be kicked out. However if the EU keeps on pissing over UK shoes a referendum might actually turn into a walk in the park for IPers. Which could mean you are not protected by EU law anymore.
On the social issue. People put other relatively unknown people in groups and generalise. And likely a lot of people will put you and say Roma in the same larger group (Eastblockers). Until they get to know you better personally of course. If that happens you are considerably pushed back in your efforts to move from a member of a second class group into a first class one.

So I can understand you feel uncomfortable with it (judged by your English you personally have probably already made the step btw) but this is also for the benefit of yourself.
The economic one as a UK taxpayer (I assume), you donot want potential basketcases overflooding the country you pay taxes in, as they likely will rise because of that.
As well as for your own social acceptance as well as that of the group you come from. It simply will become much more difficult to get accepted as a full member of the UK society if the image is ruined by members of the group they think you belong to.

From there I donot see how Cameron can bring this up and start changing the rules (in the usual complicated EU way) without bringing the issue up. And part of that process is unfortunately stepping on Polish feet. As that largely made the unwritten rules that the EU should continue as when it considered out of countries with relatively similar standards of living as the UK.

The UK (and a lot of other Western countries) should simply be able to look at immigrants from de fact close to 3rd world status countries, in an individual way. Letting groups from those countries, without screening at the border or before that, in simply would write another chapter in the unsuccessful tale of non-developed country immigration.

Anonymous said...

If the Polish don't like UK wages, benefits, housing and the rest of it, the they can go back to Poland.

I'm sick of living in a Britain whose government is answerable to everyone except its voters.

Anonymous said...

Quote "If the Polish don't like UK wages".

No mate, Polish do like all the decent conditions except of these petty grievances and comments like yours. Would you like if I talked you down the same way?

Anonymous said...

There is no reason why we shouldn't send the unemployed from the eussr nations home, legally we are entitled to do this but as our government won't implement it we are stuck with people who should be getting benefits who have paid in all their lives being denied help whilst foreigners walk in to cheap housing and benefits.

Piotr Koniusz said...

Quote "the eussr nations". What the heck is an eussr nation? Who did teach you geography, huh? They did a pretty bad job at it then ;-)

Pan Paweł said...


"As I always say give them a nice suit and learn them to speak with two words and eat with knife and fork and the problem is likely solved" - wow, quite an attitude. You certainly feel good about yourself, mate. And you certainly don't realize that this is the very attitude that brought you to this very moment in history, and all you are concerned about is masking the symptoms instead of making a change. I wish you UK people all the best, personally I'm a big fan of your culture, sense of humour, your funny little ways and so on. But if you don't get that there is something missing you will be a thing of history and nobody will be able to save you from that.