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.