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Lech Walesa vs Immigration: Brits humiliated him at London Heathrow Airport


Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #31
According to UK media, Walesa reckons the whole thing was "a provocation organised by the Polish embassy,".

According to that Polish article, in which Wałęsa is quoted, he says:
"Nie wiem, czy ktoś mi to zrobił specjalnie, czy ambasada nie potrafiła takiej prostej rzeczy załatwić. W każdym razie przy wyjeździe wszystko już było w porządku."

He says he doesn't know whether someone did this to him on purpose or not. Nothing about "a provocation".
Btw, what UK media?

I know that when Warsaw airport seriously increased the charges for using the VIP terminal there, several Warsaw embassies simply stopped using it for anything below head of state level.

What does it have to do with anything?
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #32
According to UK media, Walesa reckons the whole thing was "a provocation organised by the Polish embassy,".

maybe because Walesa refused to meet with Obama during Obama's visit to Poland back in 2011 ?

But, i don`t see any sense in it
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #33
So I don't know what happened - the Polish Embassy didn't inform Wałęsa that he may be subjected to a control at the airport or what?

And this is the strange thing.

Wałęsa is highly regarded in the UK - one of the few foreigners to have an honorary knighthood and Polish/British relations are excellent so we can rule out any sort of diplomatic provocation or deliberate mistreatment.

The key thing I suspect is this. As Paulina mentions "Wałęsa asked the Polish Embassy three times whether they got a VIP pass for him for the British airport and they said they did. Also at a Polish airport Wałęsa asked about this and he was reassured again."

Given that airport procedures are something frequent fliers just have to live with, why did he ask the embassy 3 times if he had a VIP pass? It must have been really important to him.
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #34
people forget that about `Polish Embassy`. Its total nonsense

Walesa nicely said- "They were taking my underwear and socks from my luggage and showing it to everybody....". How could be Polish Embassy responsible for this??? My God, Walesa was almost raped by British customs
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #35
Or just had his bags checked. "showing them to everyone" indeed! Those customs rooms are practically empty. It sounds like he's being a drama queen because the Polish Embassy don't pull strings to get him the red carpet treatment any more.

If his office had faxed the airport VIP centre directly rather than pestering the Polish Embassy three times he'd have been rushed through and given a glass of champagne.
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #36
Those customs rooms are practically empty.

good that you didn`t say ``practically romantic``.
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #37
why did he ask the embassy 3 times if he had a VIP pass? It must have been really important to him.

Or maybe he was asking about it 3 times because at first and second time they were saying sth like "We're working on it".

We don't really know.
As well as we don't know why the Polish Embassy didn't inform Wałęsa that he will be treated as a regular passenger. At least there's nothing about it in the Embassy's statement, as quoted in the article.

My God, Walesa was almost raped by British customs

xD
p3undone 8 | 1,135
15 Oct 2013 #38
Jon357,but why would they show his belongings to everyone.This is not something they customarily do;is it?
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #39
Or maybe he was asking about it 3 times because at first and second time they were saying sth like "We're working on it".

Entirely possible they were fobbing him off. Nothing to be "working on" - they just inform the airport.

P3, as for waving his knickers to the crowds, I'd bet a lot of money that they were doing nothing of the sort. Histrionics is far from rare among Poles, and in his case, the guy is a known drama queen and enough of a showman to do political broadcasts dressed in period costume...
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #40
with good lawyer Walesa can take nice money from stupid British customs.
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #41
No he couldn't. They're entitled (and obliged) to do their duty whereas as a former rather than current politician his special privileges under the law are zero.
Harry
15 Oct 2013 #42
The Daily Telegraph's man in Warsaw quoting Walesa's blog:

Writing in his blog about the incident Mr Walesa suggested that the embassy had set the incident up intentionally, for reasons he refused to elaborate on.
It was "a provocation organised by the Polish embassy," he said.

telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/10377632/Lech-Walesa-will-never-return-to-London-after-being-searched-at-Heathrow.html
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #43
Entirely possible they were fobbing him off.

Could be. Or maybe it was some kind of misunderstanding.

Nothing to be "working on" - they just inform the airport.

I meant with the UK's Foreign Office. Polish Embassy asked them for the VIP pass for Wałęsa and they declined.
Did you guys even read the linked article?

I wonder if you guys are able to provide arguments to prove your point without making jabs at Poles.
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #44
No he couldn't. They're entitled (and obliged) to do their duty whereas as a former rather than current politician his special privileges under the law are zero.

no, its not about it. British customs didn`t demonstrate that they approaching equally to the politicians and to the ordinary people. No, British customs humiliated Walesa as a human being, no mater is he politician or simple man. Duty of British customs isn`t to control people and in the same time to present their belongings to the other people. They didn`t respect his privacy or... maybe they considered him to be suspected for terrorism, for example. Well, even then,... he was just under suspicion
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #45
Yes, he wrote first on his blog that the Polish Embassy "set him up in a lying and provocative way". He probably cooled off later on ;)
Harry
15 Oct 2013 #46
Perhaps his comments about British customs officers were equally accurate.
p3undone 8 | 1,135
15 Oct 2013 #47
Is it customary for them to show everyone your belongings....as if the were on display?
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #48
people,... are you aware that `Walesa case` destroyed British tourism
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #49
Perhaps his comments about British customs officers were equally accurate.

It's possible that he was agitated and he exaggerated (after all, it's Wałęsa - he kind of speaks before he thinks lol), I wouldn't know - I wasn't there.

I doubt that he'll never go to London again, but who knows, it's Wałęsa, after all, so everything is possible :)
I do wonder, however, why he wasn't informed that he won't get a VIP pass.
p3undone 8 | 1,135
15 Oct 2013 #50
Crow,do you really believe that? LOL :)
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #51
I meant with the UK's Foreign Office. Polish Embassy asked them for the VIP pass for Wałęsa and they declined.

I wonder what you mean by VIP pass? Normally they just call the airport and in any case, no sort of 'pass' except diplomatic accreditation exempts people from customs.

As I say, histrionics on Wałęsa's part and rather a bore that he put it online.
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #52
I wonder what you mean by VIP pass?

"Mr Walesa said the embassy had assured him that he would receive a VIP pass when he landed in the UK but instead of being ushered through without let or hindrance he got a very different reception."

- Before departure to London I asked the embassy three times if I - Before departure to London I asked the embassy three times, if I was provided with VIP pass at the airport and I was assured that yes, I am - tells us Lech Walesa.

Quote from: trojmiasto.gazeta.pl/trojmiasto/1,49422,14773455.html#ixzz2hhil3vka
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #53
Paulina, 'przejście VIP-owskie' isn't any kind of 'pass' (przepustka). I'm surprised you didn't pick up on the translation mistake.

All it means is that they meet & greet, let him in one of the better lounges regardless of his ticket class and that he goes into the fast track (at big airports, not always that fast) for the queue. It doesn't give him customs privileges.

I think though we can agree that Wałęsa has once again behaved like a tit.
TheStranger - | 34
15 Oct 2013 #54
Lech Walesa says Brits humiliated him at Heathrow Airport and he will never go to London again.

OHHHHHH, Pooooor Wałesa!!!

The Brits didn't appreciate his coming to United Kingdom! HIM, who destroyed Communism (yes, him only!!)
I would gladly see his face, after the Airport-employee made his holy underware public!! :-P

This will cause diplomatic tensions between Poland and UK, of course! Eh, well NOT!!!

Because he was probably "checked" by a Pole!! :-D

Is there a video on youtube, or elsewhere!! :D

I really want to see this!
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #55
Paulina, 'przejście VIP-owskie' isn't any kind of 'pass' (prepustka). I'm surprised you didn't pick up the translation mistake.

Jon357, what kind of translation mistake? "The Telegraph" wrote "a VIP pass". That's the expression I'm using in this thread. I guess it must be correct if a British newspaper used it too? It isn't?

I think though we can agree that Wałęsa has once again behaved like a tit.

Well, I think I wouldn't be making such a big deal out of this in his place, he is known in Poland as being quite a buffoon at times, but, as I wrote already, I don't understand why Wałęsa wasn't informed that he would be treated as other passengers and he might be subjected to a baggage control.
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #56
what kind of translation mistake?

The one I pointed out above - seems obvious enough,

Basically, it looks like he enjoys comfortable travelling and yells if he doesn't get the free treatment. On a similar note, I notice that Hilary Clinton's limo got a parking fine in London today. I wonder if she'll pay it...
Paulina 13 | 3,580
15 Oct 2013 #57
The one I pointed out above - seems obvious enough

Not to me. Could you explain what you mean?
Is the expression "VIP pass" correct or not?
jon357 71 | 20,418
15 Oct 2013 #58
You should probably read the post carefully before asking for clarification however since it looks like you don't want to, I'm happy to clarify: it's a bad translation. przejście is not a przepustka.

A better translation would be special treatment, or. VIP treatment, something nobody is entitled to get, but as a Nobel winning ex-President, he'd certainly be given if his office informed LHR of his travel plans. It wouldn't have exempted him from the security check though.
Crow 157 | 10,890
15 Oct 2013 #59
Crow,do you really believe that? LOL :)

well, if its not about British tourism then Poland`s loyalty to NATO has been compromised.

actually, from some time already.

Seams that Samuel Huntington failed. i clearly see that
szczecinianin 4 | 345
15 Oct 2013 #60
well, if its not about British tourism then Poland`s loyalty to NATO has been compromised.

It's the most significant event in 21st century history. We can soon expect an announcement that Poland will leave the EU, join the CIS and help Serbia to retake Kosovo. And all because of a customs official.


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