Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Proud of Daniel.

I know Daniel Kawczynski very well. He is Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury, which is our main town, and where I played most of my sport. Daniel has really made a name for himself today, by taking on the might of the BBC. I've just watched Daniel on Newsnight, and I thought he did rather well. I feel a sense of paternalism whenever I see him, and tonight I was rather proud of his courage and his control.

Daniel is very proud of his Polish roots. I've known other politicians with very difficult to pronounce foreign names who have changed them for political convenience - but not Daniel Kawczynski. I like people to be proud of what there are. The basis of his charge against the BBC, which has ruffled their carefully preened feathers is that the BBC have used the Polish people to discuss immigration because its afraid of being subject to charges of racism if it discusses other non European immigration. He also suggested that this might have something to do with the increasing level of attacks on Polish people that are currently taking place. The BBC denies this - but Daniel successfully made his point.

There certainly used to be a lot of concern in Welshpool, the small market town near to where I live. Two to three years ago, I was being approached by many concerned locals about the level of Polish immigrants. It was all very new to Welshpool. But it seems to have settled down. Generally, they are thought to be family orientated and hard working. And the Catholic congregations have grown hugely. It doesn't seem to be a problem now.

In any case, more Poles are emigrating now than are coming into Britain. Increasingly I'm reading articles about problems arising because Poles are going home. There's a big article in today's Telegraph about Polish builders going home to build in Poland. And I know there's a lot of concern about whether there will be enough immigrant workers to pick fruit this year. Personally, I reckon there would never have been any antipathy towards the Poles if all of our children were taught modern history, and understood the terrible sacrifice made, and incredible bravery shown by the Polish people in the battle to defend all of our freedoms in the Second World War.

8 comments:

Ordovicius said...

I remember pointing out in the run-up to last year's assembly elections that the Poles wouldn't be sticking around for long, and therefore would show little interest in voting.

My grandfather, who celebrated his 88th birthday on May 1st, fought in the Polish Brigade, and I can remember there being a lot of respect for Poles of his generation. Anti-Polish campaign by the BNP is an insult to those who lost their lives defending this country, and deeply offensive to their descendents.

Personally, I reckon there would never have been any antipathy towards the Poles if all of our children were taught modern history, and understood the terrible sacrifice made, and incredible bravery shown by the Polish people in the battle to defend all of our freedoms in the Second World War.

You're absolutely right, and the BBC could have done a lot more to remind people of those sacrifices.

Glyn Davies said...

Sanddef - Whats happening to us? We have found a point of agreement! I too blogged on Polish immigrantion during the Assembly elections. I do think that the scale of change three years ago was disruptive, and needed to be sensitively handled by large employers, police, politicians etc. - and where I live it was.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

The Poles are fantastic people. Repeat: FANTASTIC people.

I met a few in the UK and many more in Chicago where many Poles settled. They are very hard working family orientated people. I can't over complement them. They are decent people.

Taking on the might of the BBC is a good thing. There's a letter about the BBC in todays Western Mail newspaper. I can't say that my good feelings for Poles extends to the BBC.

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/western-mail-letters/2008/06/05/thursday-5-june-2008-91466-21025571/

The BBC was a fantastic organization but alas no longer. Put simply, the BBC is lost.

Jonathan M. Scott said...

Hear hear.

It is notable that Poles have integrated into society, whereas many other immigrant groups are simply not prepared to do so.

Anonymous said...

.....and of course, they are white and Christian, which makes all the difference in Tory minds.

Mr. Kawczynski points out that 90% of immigrant crime is carried out by, shall we say, darker people. What significance does this have? Surely Polish immigrants are as likely to be criminals as any other immigrants.

His moaning about the Beeb castigating Polish immigrants is just another atttempt at victimhood.

The sacrifices made by the Poles during WWII are gratefully acknowledged by Britain but are no less than the sacrifices made by many people of all creeds and colours for our mutual benefit.

Let's not start another row about the varying qualities of our immigrant population. We welcome all who are prepared to work hard and pay their taxes.

Glyn says....

"Generally, they are thought to be family orientated and hard working. And the Catholic congregations have grown hugely. It doesn't seem to be a problem now."

I wonder what your comment would be if you had substituted the word Muslim or Sikh or even Rastafarian for the word Catholic? Would that be "a problem now"?

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - If she's lost we have to find her again. I'm working for her tomorrow.

jonathon - my experiences are all positive.

anon - I thought Daniel made a very good point. As far as I understood what he was saying, he was asking for an end to discrimination, not a transfer of it.

I'm not sure why you choose to ask your question of me. I would make the same comment about any immigrant group, in similar circumstances. I don't think you'll find anything on my blog that justifies your question. Of course we should treat all who 'work hard and pay their taxes' in the same way - that is the point that Daniel was making.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer Glyn, I'm glad to hear it.

welsh lobbyist said...

so large number of skilled workers are leaving the UK after what for most of them was a gap year, what do you expect when the political consensus to the skills shortage in the mid 1990's was to important the skills from abroad rather than train the UK workforce because it was cheaper and easier for the government.

Worse still is that we will see it happening all over again over the next few years because governments of both colours are unable to get to grip with estimating jobs and training places needed.