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TRUTH AND DELUSION ABOUT POLES IN UK


Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
11 Jan 2008 /  #1
I have been travelling in UK for a long while now, talking to my Polish countrymen, local people, and others, making observations about the country, including the media expressions. (By the way, this forum is also a media outlet, of course.) I must admit I was very enthusiastic about UK - mostly England - having come here from Canada - a country where I had never, not even one day, felt good and at ease. Actually, I felt terribly in Canada, due to the prevalent deep-rooted and totally hopeless Polonophobia there (sorry, Shawn, but I must be honest, no matter what). Am I as enthusiastic about UK today? Frankly speaking, no. But still I do not consider it as bad as numerous other places I have seen. (So far, the country I can say the majority of good things about is the Republic of Ireland; Ireland (I don't mean Northern Ireland) appears to be, along with Finland, the least Polonophobic place in Europe.) As regards the situation of the Poles in the UK, I have so far concluded this: the life of Poles in the UK isn't, on the average, rosy. Mostly low-paid jobs, discrimination in terms of pay and treatment, often squalid living conditions. To compound the problem, the UK media have been very hostile towards the Polish guest workers, methodically setting part of the local population against them. It appears to be legal in the UK for the media to spread hate against the Poles. As a result of the media campaign, some people are convinced that the Poles are the main immigration problem in the UK; it is believed they are the most numerous immigration group (the alleged numbers vary; some seem to believe there are as many as 1.5 million Poles in UK!), even though those who believe so aren't able to give any credible source of the information they base their convicton on. Also, Poles are considered the main - if not sole - foreign job grabbers, and at the same time, the main - if not sole - foreign social assistance collectors. So do they actually work or collect the dole? In this thread, I'd like to present both facts on and positive and negative local perceptions of the Poles in the UK, using, among others, some of the information I have collected.

First of all, many Poles have been working in the UK without any contract. As such, they are not entitled to any benefits. They can be - and are - sacked whenever it suits their employers and then find themselves without any social assistance whatsoever. The European Union has been pressing the UK government for making it incumbent on the UK employers to give contracts to employees after 6 months of work, but the UK government has opposed it vigorously and, so far, successfully....
zion 16 | 168  
11 Jan 2008 /  #2
simple tell them to go back to Poland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
11 Jan 2008 /  #3
First of all, many Poles have been working in the UK without any contract. As such, they are not entitled to any benefits. They can be - and are - sacked whenever it suits their employers and then find themselves without any social assistance whatsoever. The European Union has been pressing the UK government for making it incumbent on the UK employers to give contracts to employees after 6 months of work, but the UK government has opposed it vigorously and, so far, successfully....

Puzzy this is a way of life for the average person in the UK, employers see people as expendable - they dont want to have to pay out the basic benefits, its not just Polish people that have to put up with this kind of thing, believe it or not English people do, at least Polish people have the opportunity to go back to Poland.
finT 12 | 167  
11 Jan 2008 /  #4
So far, the country I can say the majority of good things about is the Republic of Ireland;

I believe the Republic of Ireland was the first English speaking place to start reporting the 'backlash' against Poles and the rise of unprovoked attacks on Polish people living there.

Also, if you think Poles are so discriminated against why do so many carry on living in the UK? I'm just back from Edinburgh and part of Leith Walk really is like 'Little Poland'. Loads of Polish Delis, a Polish bar called 'Krakow', a cafe/restaurant called 'Bigos' (must have took them years to think up those names), many shops with just the word 'Fryzjer' painted on the outside and large groups of Poles just loitering about. Obviously people find the UK a viable place to work in and to invest money in businesses that appear to be long term prospects. Rents in Edinburgh are not cheap but it must still make sense. I would assume that Poland is not offering their own people similar opportunities to better themselves so whatever the problems faced by Poles in the UK are, and I agree with you that there are probs, Poland itself does not currently seem ready to offer them anywhere near a similar support system or standard of living. I'm sure Poles who have bothered to officially register in the UK find themselves in a better position than those who don't. Actually I know this to be true as I have personally helped translate for friends at the Jobcentre/DSS in order to clarify their status in UK. Having been present at their interviews I can tell you that they were always treated nicely and in that relaxed Scottish manner, unlike ANY of the 'paperwork sorting' interviews I have had in Poland! OK, it means they get a nat. ins. no. and will have to start paying tax at some point but in the long term it makes sense and their position is clear.

On another point, you must admit there is also that element of Poles in the UK who are intent on f*****g things up for others, there own people included and they are the people who give rise to the 'bad press' stories. Unfortunately they are the ones who stand out. Won't dwell on that though as I don't want to raise your hackles so early in the morn'
Frank 23 | 1,183  
11 Jan 2008 /  #5
Not this AGAIN...........................and AGAIN.................and AGAIN.................

Simply put...life is tough in most palces if you aint a native, don't speak the language and aint got enough money.

Anyone who places any crediblity in what they read in the press apart from the title on the top of first page is deluded.

I believe the Republic of Ireland was the first English speaking place to start reporting the 'backlash' against Poles and the rise of unprovoked attacks on Polish people living there.

This is not correct in my view.....it may well have been in N Ireland were Polish (CATHOLICS!!!!!!!!), moved into PROTESTANT working class areas.............ie local catholics wuda gotten the same abuse....!!!

Plus the Ireland is a much smaller country and has take per head of population 10 times what the UK has taken.......so IRELAND has been the true friend of all the East Europens peoples...sure people have been discriminated against....but so are locals!!!

You must remember...migrant workers, only want to earn money.....not integrate, not become part of society and then go home, they ghettoize themselves, and locals get suspicious...sounds familiar?

BUT overall, for the huge numbers that have come here......nearly all achieved what they wanted to acheive......if they want to go to the next step.......they need to try learning more English, integrate more, stay for extended periods....get their qualifications recognised, start out on a career....this would no different if they lived in any other country in the world!!!

Best wishes to all our migrant guests!!!
finT 12 | 167  
11 Jan 2008 /  #6
Not this AGAIN...........................and AGAIN.................and AGAIN.................

and AGAIN?
Maybe there is so little to say about Poles and Poland that the same topics just keep re-appearing! :)
Mufasa 19 | 358  
11 Jan 2008 /  #7
maybe your own life are of so little value to you that the only thing that makes you feel better about yourself is badmouthing and breaking down others? typical behaviour of a school bully! just a thought.
finT 12 | 167  
11 Jan 2008 /  #8
Jeez can you not detect sarcasm? I was just pissed at Franks reply!
Ozi Dan 26 | 569  
11 Jan 2008 /  #9
simple tell them to go back to Poland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, tell them to come to OZ. On balance, it seems clear to me that Polish immigrants arent welcome in the UK. Oz has a real shortage of labour at the moment. If you're a Polish builder, come here and you'll earn a packet. You may get a ribbing from other workers about your surname, but you wont be hated. Plus, here in Australia, the weather's nicer too.

If anyone needs info, let me know what they would like and I'll help. I dont do migration law, but I can point in the right direction.

Curiously, the only negative experiences (3 of them) I've had regarding my Polishness have come at the hands of 3 English people - 2 high school teachers and a work 'colleague'. The detentions and near expulsion were worth it for the bigoted scum calling themselves teachers and the sore knuckle were worth it for the work colleague (back in my younger days, mind you).
Frank 23 | 1,183  
11 Jan 2008 /  #10
it seems clear to me that Polish immigrants arent welcome in the UK.

No its not clear.....

you wont be hated.

Nor are they hated........

This is hyperbolae......based on nothing other than poor media reporting, sensationalism and harbingers of doom!

Challenge poor behaviour, be forthright........and use your inate Polish pride and intelligence to take your rightful place in any EU country you choose!
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
11 Jan 2008 /  #11
Ozi Dan

Quite strange reading your post, my brothers friends moved to Aus from the UK and their kids want to come home because of the bullying - all because they are English! Like Frank has stated Immigrants of all nationalities get some form of stick!
Buddy 7 | 167  
11 Jan 2008 /  #12
I don't think Poles are "hated" nor hounded in the UK. I don't disagree that the media (specifically the right-wing orientated papers) do seem to focus negatively on Polish immigrants. But they do this generally to most ethnic groups. And the poorer classes of society.
Michal - | 1,865  
11 Jan 2008 /  #13
he life of Poles in the UK isn't, on the average, rosy. Mostly low-paid jobs, discrimination in terms of pay and treatment, often squalid living conditions. To compound the problem, the UK media have been very hostile towards the Polish guest workers, methodically setting part of the local population against them. It appears to be legal in the UK for the media to spread h

Why do you think that the British Establishment is so pro the Polish workers. They are cheap, you can use them and then spit them out and just fill the positions with other 'guest workers'. The English give little away, nor do the Poles, for that matter. I am against all these Poles as it is a back door to allowing in cheap hourly paid workers with almost no legal rights.
anja_rose 3 | 37  
11 Jan 2008 /  #14
my finacee is polish and 3 years ago when i met him he had 2 jobs (both on the books) working 85 hours per week as they were each poorly paid, but people were more positive back then and welcoming, over the years i have experienced more negativity mainly in the building trade, he has a better job now but is a qualified carpenter and cannot find a fairly paid job in this field.

we live in a small village in the west country and despite him lving a quiet life here with me and my family (my family has always lived here) there have been rumors spread in the village that he is a violent man and hits me (?sourced from thin air, it would seem??), he has also had his car keyed all the way around.

i am proud to be english but i have to say ashamed of the people where i live and was born, its so small minded and while i feel that we do indeed have immigration problems in the uk the poles are not the source of these.....oh i could go on and on, but i cannot wait till we can move to poland !!
Mufasa 19 | 358  
11 Jan 2008 /  #15
Maybe there is so little to say about Poles and Poland that the same topics just keep re-appearing! :)

apologies fin - haven't read the whole thread. Since last night the trolls have been on the loose, and when i read this post - on its own - it was kinda the 'last straw' that broke my doggie back. sorry - no excuse - i know, but still only a dog. ;)
superjay - | 47  
11 Jan 2008 /  #16
Took me a long time to realise that the British media are free to demonize other predominantly white European countries at will. The Irish, French, Germans, Spanish have all been victims of this at some time. Once you're caucasian/European the British media feels (wrongly) that a "racial" slur cannot be implied. The Polish are the latest...newbies..fair game in their eyes. The Portugese recently fell foul of the British media when it covered the Madeline McCann disappearance. Elements of the British media wanted only to paint a picture of a lazy, swarthy, red-wine fuelled, unprofessional police force concerned more with taking a siesta than solving anything...it became for a time a sort of - this could never happen in UK - story. Of course it could happen in the UK..even innocent Brazilians can get shot by British police for nothing (a case in point)..but this media approach is neccessary in a sense because, being better than JOHNNY FOREIGNER is part of what makes Britain GREAT...and it sells newspapers!! I personally, believe Norman Davies in the islands when he suggests that Britishness is a flawed/artificial concept. An imperialist excuse for England's subjugation of it's Celtic neighbours..Ireland, Scotland, Wales. Under the banner of Britishness the idea of an Empire could be excused/encouraged/justified. Unfortunately, today..with the Empire gone and with the Scots, Irish & Welsh retaining some semblance of national identity..there is a crisis in the English identity...English people wonder why St.Patrick's/St.David's/St.Andrew's day is a bigger deal in ENGLAND than St. George's day. Why Notting Hill Carnival is so big? The English football team is one of the one last true expressions of Englishness...and it attracts everything from passion/fanaticism to hooliganism. But when drinking heavily in broad daylight prior to running battles with the local (foreign) police these England "fans" - the only fans btw who i've heard from "Britain" ever to sing.."rule Britannia", a lamentable dirge about how great Britain is...never Scots/Welsh

Summarizing, it's my belief, that the English alone bought into Britishness...the Welsh & Scottish are joined by land to an historically aggressive neighbour...and always, whilst massively outnumbered (must be 55million-ish in England (?) to 10 million Scots/Welsh - don't know the figures (sorry, i'm Irish/Polish...not from UK??) & overpowered, somehow held higher their own sense of nationhood than their place in the British family of nations. The Irish lived on a seperate island but it's continued Britishness was assured by taking lands/rights from the Irish and giving it to the "British" royalists/loyalists. DIVIDE AND CONQUER!!

Anyway, the newspapers/media to which puzzler alludes sell very well because they promote/prolong the idea of "us" & "them". The idea..often repeated by IDIOTS on this forum, that Britain holds a sacred place among nations...this is the lie the English people have been told & earnestly repeat to the Scots/Welsh..worse still, the message itself goes back to a time when rich people in England needed to give poor people in England a reason to serve them, a greater good so to speak...English people i must add are NOT intrinsically anti-foreign at all, there are plenty on this forum who prove this time and again. It's just that a lot of blood has been spilt by ordinary English people for supposedly high ideals & concepts, so... some young English guy goes to visit his Grandad in his council flat, they talk about the war, the local people that died, the sacrifice etc..and he comes away thinking.. my grandad didn't fight so a Ghanain family could move next door, he didn't fight so there would be a SUPERSAM at the end of the street, no, it was for the glory and the blah blah..English people have done their share for the good of the world as much as anyone else..now they look around.. for the world their forefathers spoke of... guess what...just when it was looking promising (according to the press) Millions(?) of Polish workers turned up...oh, my God, call the press, something must be done...blah blah blah. This is the reality of life in Britain...beware Polish people...you are new and therfore fair game...sadly, young open minded Brits love you for the differences that you bring & welcome you heartily.

In Ireland I have no recollection of my mum receiving anti-polish sentiments from Irish people..she came here in 1969...& though my parents met in England in 1953, my dad being Irish was a far bigger social problem in the UK (of course i mean England..and the south of England at that, where the newspapers are written) at that time, anyway as a family we've been in Ireland since 1969 & I remember from 1974 (5yrs old) to now..and i've yet to hear a genuinely bad word from the Irish re: Polish people..JPII visited Ireland and raised the Irish perception of Poland, so Martial law & Lech Walesa were watched with a brotherly/sisterly eye from Ireland & throughout the average Irish person's lifetime there are, at the very least stories of needing to emigrate for work, stories of being subjugated politically/ecomomically by more powerful neighbours..as a result Ireland receives somewhere between 7-10 times (per capita) the amount of Polish people the UK has received..with 7-10 times less crying/whingeing (per capita) about it.
shamrockdesert - | 3  
11 Jan 2008 /  #17
I really don't see what's the point of Poland and some other Eastern Europe countries joining the E.U? Why is that most Polish people left their country? I don't think it's just because there are no jobs there. How did they use to live there before?
Polson 5 | 1,771  
11 Jan 2008 /  #18
I really don't see what's the point of Poland and some other Eastern Europe countries joining the E.U?

Why not ? Why should Italy or Austria belong to the EU and not Poland ?...

Why is that most Polish people left their country?

Because salaries are often higher in some countries + they are, for many of them, offered a job. Don't think that Poles "flee" their country ;)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
11 Jan 2008 /  #19
Why is that most Polish people left their country?

Yawn...
osiol 55 | 3,922  
11 Jan 2008 /  #20
I wonder how many 'Poles' in the UK are actually Slovakian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Czech, and so on. Poland is bigger and has a bigger total population than the others I have listed, so the idiots often use the words Pole or Polish out of ignorance.
finT 12 | 167  
12 Jan 2008 /  #21
apologies fin

Apologies graciously accepted! Have a nice weekend!
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
12 Jan 2008 /  #23
Yawn...

for once I agree with you :)

the life of Poles in the UK isn't, on the average, rosy.

swap Pole for any nationality,including British....

To compound the problem, the UK media have been very hostile towards the Polish guest workers, methodically setting part of the local population against them.

As some one else said,the right wing press have,as they always have done,you are just the latest,a few years before you it was "kosovans" are stealing our houses and fiddling with our kids,before that "Bosnians" are stealing our houses and sleeping with our women,before that "kurds" are stealing our......you get the picture,go back far enough those same papers were probably saying those bloodye normans are stealing oure olde housese....

it is believed they are the most numerous immigration group (the alleged numbers vary; some seem to believe there are as many as 1.5 million Poles in UK!),

Yes,the sources for this figure come direct from Polish organisations here in the UK...(but as always I suppose you will just brand them self loathing polonophobes......)

I was going to respond to more but cant be arrsed......people have taken their stands and dont seem to budge...
OP Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
17 Jan 2008 /  #24
According to the Institute for Public Research (a UK body), Poles are the lowest paid workforce in the UK. They make, on the average, £ 7.3 /hour. By comparison, the Somalis make £ 8.3, Bangladeshis £ 9.3, and Ugandans £ 13.4.

See: wiadomosci.onet.pl/1675091,28350,wiadomosceu.html

And we've been praised in the UK for being exceptionally good dependable workers. But when it comes to paying for our toil, others get the real money, whereas we get crap. I wonder why? Is that the notorious British justice at work?

the life of Poles in the UK isn't, on the average, rosy.

- This swapping would result in a lie. - The fact alone (one of the scores of similar facts) that we're the lowest paid workforce in the UK seems to prove that our life in UK is less rosy compared not just to the locals, but all the other foreign nationalities there.

Yes,the sources for this figure come direct from Polish organisations here in the UK..

- Please give this alleged source of yours.

but as always I suppose you will just brand them self loathing polonophobes......)

- So you always tend to suppose I will brand 'them' (whomever they are) 'self loathing polonophobes' (sic)? Why would you tend to suppose so?
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
17 Jan 2008 /  #25
probably time to come clean lads, looks as tho puzzie has rumbled us and our plan to stitch the polish... again...
OP Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
17 Jan 2008 /  #26
I really don't see what's the point of Poland and some other Eastern Europe countries joining the E.U?

- Shouldn't they join? Why not?

Why is that most Polish people left their country?

- Well, it's a good question, but the one even better is: why did you leave Africa and 'join' the EU?
:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
17 Jan 2008 /  #27
Poland is richer in the EU. As most countries seem to value GDP and wealth, Poland seems to have made a sensibly motivated decision. It was staggering to see that Poles make not much over half what a Ugandan makes in the UK. No offence intended, but a UGANDAN? It just goes to show that Poles are prepared to accept these jobs on the lowest rungs. The average is not much above minimum wage according to Puzzler's report. However, they do save money on housing by living together in large numbers and live cheaply
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
17 Jan 2008 /  #28
Poles are prepared to accept these jobs on the lowest rungs.

this is appears true - i did a quick google from puzzies linked post to see what i could find myself - it does seem that they are taking bottom end jobs in many instances - it also seems they are doing a lot of uncontracted temp work which is having an impact on their earning potential, job security and minimum wage issues in the uk
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
17 Jan 2008 /  #29
Temp work is a trap, sth 4 skivvies. Scotland had many such jobs when I was there. I chose 2 c 4 myself just how ludicrous the position was. Many contracts are only for 3 months. 6 months renewable contracts would suit Poles down to the ground. There is some potential for skills acquisition.
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
17 Jan 2008 /  #30
UGANDAN?

Probably a Doctor ,so not surprising that the wage would be higher than a factory worker.

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