In the same week that Arizona's new immigration law has been challenged in court by an Arizona policeman the British Prime Minister has had a tough week on the election campaign trail after speaking to a pensioner on the streets. It was all going as well as expected until she asked the question. “All these eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?” He intially handled the situation well by answering and then deflecting the question to another topic but forgot when he got into the relative saftey of the car about the mic attached to his suit where he said to his aides “That was a disaster. Should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? She's just a sort of bigoted woman." Which inevitably lead to a pr disaster and grovelling apology over the following days.
But why? He was wrong to call the woman a 'sort of bigot' but I don't think he should have apologised for it. Instead he should have pointed out the fact that the vast majority of Eastern Europeans who come in the United Kingdom have done so legally as they come from countries that are part of the European Union and as a result have the right to live and work in any country in the EU including the UK and they have chosen to take up that option and we should for grateful for it.
I'm not entirely sure that the woman who posed the question is a bigot I just think she's ignorant of the facts and that she comes from a generation of hard working British people and all of a sudden over the past few years she sees a lot of foreigners in her neighboorhood. Having worked with Scottish and English people of my own generation I know that there are some hard workers out there, I also know there are too many that are willing to clock in and clock out at work doing the bare minimum to get by. I also know there are far too many Brits of my generation that don't want to work at all, especially not for the minimum wage conditions that Eastern Europeans are willing to work for. Having worked with both I would choose employing an eastern European worker over a Scottish one probably 8 times out of 10. Back home I had my own business and occasionally I looked into taking on some employees to help myself with the workload (this was before Poland became part of the EU). The first person I gave the job to didn't turn up for his first day, the second was a waste of space anytime I gave him something to do do the task I had set him unless I was watching over him and the third I couldn't get to stop using his phone when he was supposed to be helping me. I ended up deciding that I might as well continue working by myself. And I did so until I injured my back, and I stubbornly continued working until I did it some permanent damage partly because I come from a family that is hard working, my mother is a hard worker, and my grandfather worked into is 70s until 3 days before he died in his bed of pneumonia. Even today I still get a sore back if I am working on a repetitive action but I continue to work anyway, sadly that work ethic does not exist for every British person today.
After the European Union borders opened up allowing workers to work anywhere in the European Union I had the pleasure of working with some Polish people. I say pleasure because it was. They worked just as hard as me, they worked just as hard as my mother would. They came to work on time, worked hard throughout the day and were conscientious about everything they did. They worked jobs that few British people would want to do on crap wages, without any benefits, and they would pay their taxes and their national insurance and go home at night to a house usually shared with 5 or 6 oher Polish guys. Any spare money they had they would send home to Poland as quite often they would have left a wife and some children behind. A sacrifice I don't think I could make. Thats a work ethic and a scarifice that a pensioner who grew up in 40s or 50s Britain should be able to understand though. That's the kind of thing the Prime Minister should have talked about.
I am fed up reading about immigration as a bad thing whether its here in the States or in the news back home. Immigration built the United States. And Britain exported people and ideas all around the world its about time it tooks its fair share of immigrants in. Immigration should not be topic only voiced by the scared and the ignorant. When people move countries they aren't looking for handouts or benefits they want the chance to improve their lives. They want the opportunity to make something of their lives themselves. And by empowering them to do so they pay taxes just like any other worker and so they improve the country that they move to.
There has supposedly been an influx of around 3 million Polish workers in the UK over the last few years, that equals a lot of tax revenue. Where would the country be without that revenue right now, especially when you bear in mind the banking crisis of the last of the last 18 months? Personally I think the country would be right royally fucked! Excuse my language. Those European workers have done Britain a favour by choosing to come to the work in the country.
Same goes for all the latinos in Arizona, Utah or California or anywhere in the United States.
I don't buy the argument that Mexicans take jobs from hard working Americans. If a Mexican with poor English skills gets a job ahead of an American, there is either something wrong with the job or something wrong with the American's work ethic. And its about time people realised that. And its about time the people who write about immigration issues do so in a way that educates the ignorant. Not everyone who is ignorant is racist or a bigot, some just don't have the experience or the facts and just read the wrong articles, its about time journalists did their homework. They need to stop being on the side of the scared and actually think about the waitresses that serve them coffee in the morning or the nurse's assistant who cares for them after a sports injury or the builder that built their extension because that is the real story of immigration - hard working people who want to do right by themselves and the people they come into contact with.