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Polish Migration to the UK - A moderate speaks!

Idea_logical 1 | 1
15 May 2011 #1

I'm British. I live in Bognor Regis. A town that has become very popular with Eastern Europeans. Especially Poles.
When I first moved the town a few years ago people were very critical of the EU migrants that were coming to the town.
My response would always be along the lines of, "yes but they're here to work, often doing jobs British people don't want and lots of Brits go and retire to Spain etc so we can't have it both ways."

However the popularity of this town with migrants has had a detrimental effect after several years.
Many migrants are living in cramped accommodation and as a result they have little personal space so prefer to be outside in town, in groups often drinking cheap lager and not causing trouble as such but just presenting quite a depressing and intimidating presence all around the town of an evening. Including very drunk men who got in the habit of sitting on my neighbour's wall and leaving cans in her garden, which I managed to rationally and calmly discourage!

Also many of our shops have closed, speaking to shop owners the demographic has changed to one that prefer cheaper shops, pound shops etc and the Polish shops that have opened in town. The economy has a big part in this but the high street now has a litany of cheap shops and several Polish shops and many empty shops.

Students are suffering also, because housing they rented is becoming very scarce due to the mass influx of migrants seeking cheap rent.

With such a large Polish population it has become much easier to live and work in Bognor without speaking any English at all. It's so sad to be in a shop and the cashier says, "hello" to be greeted by complete silence because the person buying the goods doesn't understand or lacks confidence to respond in kind.

I feel like a guest in my own town and it's not uncommon to not hear an English voice on my street all day.

With the mini depression, the gangs of people drinking away their evening on benches Bognor feels more run down than it should! It's been an archaic and out moded seaside town for many years but this is exacerbated by the thousands of migrants in the town. There seems, correct me if I'm wrong to be a real reluctance to integrate with the British community at all.

So why am I writing? Well because there is a lot of inarticulate bile filled nonsense on these forums, I wanted to put forward an opinion from someone who considers themselves a liberal, but who is finding it increasingly hard to hold that viewpoint in a town that has to some extent been ruined by the vast number of migrants crowded into the town.

Also, because I'd be interested to hear from Poles in Bognor, do the British seem cold or hostile? Perhaps we each believe the other doesn't wish to mix! Maybe there is scope to improve on this.

Or do you live in another town with a similar situation where integration has worked better and the local council have managed things better with some innovative initiatives?

Mainly to put down in words some feelings I am uncomfortable with! I can't believe I find myself agreeing with David Cameron on capping immigration and the failure of multiculturalism! Anyway.... thats my piece. Peace!

wildrover 98 | 4,451
15 May 2011 #2
You put forward some good rational points...

It would be great to hear from any Poles that live in the town , or similar towns in the UK...
Mister H 11 | 761
17 Jul 2011 #3
I'm British. I live in Bognor Regis.

I live just along the coast to you in Brighton.

It is a similar story here in that there are a lot of Eastern Europeans here (not too sure where from as I'm not all that good with accents, but Poland, Hungary and Lithuania would make sense).

There are a lot of foreigners here in general.

On the one hand it's nice to mix things up a bit, but on the other hand you can have too much of a good thing.

We simply do not have enough room for so many people.

I feel like a guest in my own town and it's not uncommon to not hear an English voice on my street all day.

When I go shopping, say for example in the local Tesco, I often feel I am the only one speaking English.

That's not to say I hear Polish spoken all over the place, it's pretty much every language under the sun.

I also feel like a guest at times.

I can't believe I find myself agreeing with David Cameron on capping immigration and the failure of multiculturalism!

You may agree with him (and I do as well), but what is he really doing to follow through on his election promises ?

More to the point, what can he do ?

Anything he wanted to introduce only includes immigration from outside the EU anyway.
23 Oct 2011 #4
It's good to hear a well articulated commentary on this forum.

I have recently bought a house in Bognor, I like Bognor and have moved down from the Midlands. West Sussex is a beautiful County and it's good that so many foreigners find Bognor a more attractive proposition than Croydon, Birmingham, Wolverhampton etc., (it's not hard to understand why!)

The future is better here than in the Devon and Cornish resorts where there are way too many old people that clog the hospitals, here there is a good balance.

Good for Bognor, although I do agree that the beer can drinkers can be a bit off putting, lonely and depressed, but not violent just drinking themselves into oblivion.

I'm happy for the future, but getting out of the European Union would make me even happier!!!!
margerytka - | 8
23 Oct 2011 #5
I got your point and won't go to Bognor :) However, you're about to lose a real treat: I don't drink:)
Wroclaw Boy
23 Oct 2011 #6
At least Butlins will have plenty of staff. I was in Bognor recently just passing through and cant say i noticed evidence of many Poles, having said that they are everywhere. Especially throughout the South Coast.
margerytka - | 8
23 Oct 2011 #7
I've been living in UK since December 2009. Cheltenham is a posh and bit expensive place but still it has a big Polish community. Near Gloucester has got even more Polish people.

When I went to Italy, at the beginning I didn't feel like to stay there permanently. I missed Poland so much and threatened my Italian friends to leave their country despite their efforts to make me appreciate the value of life in Italy. I wasn't a child but I acted like a little spoiled brat. I was so selfish. But I had grown to love what I was offered. It was a long and hard process but I came through. I met people whom I owe my life. They show me love and hope and give me the strenght.

It hurts me the way Polish people think of their place and future in English community. Out there is a whole and strong group of Poles, who feel UK their second home. There are others who dislike UK and stay here temporary.

Anyway, in my opinion some people never change wherever they go and those are simply hopeless cause. Many others should first experienced sth hard and no economical or working friendly as a UK and then might learn better about being respectful towards their host and open-minded. However, other minorities should be told to apply the same rule.

Of course we all know that life in Poland is not easy for many reasons. And because of this so many Polish people keep coming into UK. Okay, myself went abroad in part for earning some money. Well, my past bad economical situation was my fault, triggered by depression due to death of my brother. Friends of mine pushed me in trying to make a fresh start and overcome depression. It was so hard experience to me and now I don't feel to provide excuses for other Polish people, for their lack of kindness or their ignorance. We're free to move wherever we want to but this should imply willingness to learn and comprehend. I am reading Jonathan Sacks " To Heal a Fractured World. The Ethics of Responsibility" and all I can say so far : this book is must-to read.
peterweg 37 | 2,319
24 Oct 2011 #8
If it wasn't immigrants it would be the unemployed, becuase the seaside towns are magnets for them.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
24 Oct 2011 #9
Not "their" fault most of the time though, especially on the south coast Ive heard its down to the local authorities in the cities selling off housing or upping rents and then dispersing the people to B and B land. Where they get trapped in a circle of unemployment as anyone who has lived in a resort knows there are never enough year round jobs for just the locals anyway.
RevokeNice 15 | 1,859
24 Oct 2011 #10
The term you are looking for is population displacement. Or, as I refer to it as, ethnic cleansing.
Lodz Tygrs
25 Jul 2013 #11
This thread is a typical, classic leftwing British example of "Blame the poles but never mention the asians". One can only laugh.
25 Jul 2013 #12
Lodz Tygers

It used to be like that for the Asians as well. Much time has passed and the Asians have been more or less accepted. The same will happen to the recent immigrants and then all will be saluting the positive impact of the arrival of the Central and Eastern Europeans.

I should know, I am (Indian) an Asian now living in Warsaw
RevokeNice 15 | 1,859
25 Jul 2013 #13
Asians are accepted are they? Read the recent study conducted on the native Dutch vs islam, the rise of the right throughout Europe (GD, FN, Geert etc).

You are presently being tolerated. Far from accepted. And that tolerance is on the wane.
26 Jul 2013 #14
It used to be like that for the Asians as well. Much time has passed and the Asians have been more or less accepted.

Asians are less and less accepted and are welcome to pack and leave to their respective countries of origin, the sooner, the better, before a war starts.
Right to Left
11 Aug 2013 #15
Why should only asian people leave for? Many have been here since the 60s and many are British born. Just because their colour of skin is different and on this basic they should leave? Lets not forget many eastern europeans are here thanks to the European Union and its generous Freedom of Movement law. Nine years later, suddenly polish is the second-largest language now spoken in the UK. Lets hope the government will back their promise of an referendum and we will be out of this bin called 'Europe Union'
26 May 2014 #16
I am Polish and I live in Bognor for 7 years. Personally I don't really like this place, especially city center where are loads of polish and other Eastern European people

They simply prefer to live on the same level, they don't wish to learn English, they often escape from Poland from police or from their poor life. They often complain how bad their life is and they only moan about everything.

Sometimes it's a 'dog-eat-dog' culture.....if you are successful they try to destroy it....

On the other side they are very ambitious and enterprising, we have some polish shops, companies, small businesses, restaurants etc.

Many who have good jobs and can afford leaving elsewhere prefer to move to outskirts or to Chichester

I never liked and I still don't like Bognor from the way it looks, it's quite boring for me. Pubs are being closed to early, everything is old and council estate looks dirty and appalling

Only recent new development sites gave some good spirit and a little bit of modern feeling.
Englishman 2 | 278
27 May 2014 #17
I got your point and won't go to Bognor :) However, you're about to lose a real treat: I don't drink:)

Please don't let the OP put you off; I'm sure you'd be very welcome in Bognor, and would enhance the place considerably.

I disagree with what he wrote, if Bognor is a toilet (and it is!) it was that way long before Polish people arrived in any numbers, largely because it is inhabited by a combination of poor pensioners and British chavs. It's like taking a trip back into Britain in the 1980s, but with in-breeding. Widening the gene pool by encouraging Polish and other migrants to settle there is the only chance of improving it.
28 May 2014 #18
Yes, too many foreigners in the country , spreading like rats.
28 Sep 2014 #19
I agree theres just too many now. I live in bognor i hear other languages rather than english i feel like a foreigner in my own countrys
28 Sep 2014 #20
englishbird, you might want to try mastering your own language! Your written English is appalling.

But have you ever been to Poland? There's English written and spoken everywhere. It's called globalisation, and it's what makes the UK relatively wealthy.
29 Sep 2014 #21
The UK is in debt it is not wealthy.
29 Sep 2014 #22
The UK has the 6th largest GDP in the World. Poland is 22nd. As a UK citizen, englishbird is more than five times more wealthy than a citizen of Poland. They are also more wealthy than the citizens or about 185 other countries. Only 5 other countries are more wealthy than the UK. As a percentage of global net worth, a citrizen of the UK is about 10 times more wealthy than a citizen of Poland.

So the UK is indeed very, very wealthy.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,844
29 Sep 2014 #23
The UK is in debt it is not wealthy

of course it is 'wealthy' London is the richest city in Europe
29 Sep 2014 #24
I repeat, the UK has a deficit of 1.6 Trillion or actually close to 500% GDP. Any country can get rich or seem rich on debt. Poland has no where near the debt of the UK It actually get lots of support from the EU a stupid comparison really.

This thread is starting to drift. The topic is Polish migration to the UK so can all posters stick to this please.


Please read the above comment.
Ant63 13 | 410
29 Sep 2014 #25
There's English written and spoken everywhere.

Who you trying to kid LOL

Poland has no where near the debt

Give four or five years it will be back to the torn up newspaper.

i feel like a foreigner in my own countrys

Sadly thats the scenario in many a small town. Particularly those that have seen large inward investment to provide employment for the locals. Then came the rise of the employment agency. Then the reasonably paid jobs that paid a mortgage turned to minimum wage unreliable incomes that couldn't support a family. These places are now blighted. Property prices are stagnant or decreasing slowly. Repossessions are at high as there is no real chance of recovery in the foreseeable future. A tragedy for all. The locals feel like foreigners, the majority of the aliens have nothing to return too and no prospect of acheiving more than the minimum, and those that have bought property in the last 4 or five years, especially those enticed by 95% mortgages are trapped for ever more with no prospect of achieving greater than the first rung of the economic ladder and the prospect of waiting ten years for the home to make the price they paid for it if ever.
29 Sep 2014 #26
Sadly thats the scenario i

I suppose it is all the fault of the johnny foreigner.
I hope you are a holder of the financial or economical degree and can provide research and analyses of the issue supporting your claim..
Failing that you are the owner of a middle sized company with a good record and ample experience.
If not I'm must inform you that you are yet another in the long line of bigots with a big chip on the shoulder and the understanding of modern economy and economical trends akin to that of a monkey.

Seems like Britain has inexhaustible supply of those.
The honest thing to do, would be to came clean and say you don't want any foreigners in your county and no more in your country. Fair enough. Instead of beating around the bush and inventing excuses for your attitude or even worse believing in that xenophobic crap.
23 Nov 2014 #27
No 'moderate' moans about "too many Poles". Bognor Regis has an imbalance of incomers, yes, The elderly, those who have been able to amass enough savings etc to retire here, to 'Sunny Bognor', balmy climate, the "magic blue circle" in the sky when it's peeing down on Arundel and Chichester and Brighton and Littlehampton and ... Who blames them? So, if younger migrants from anywhere, including Poland, are willing and able to travel here to work, to provide services, for example, that such people will need, and if they also "bring a bit of home" with them such as language and shops etc, who the hell has the cheek to tell them they can't? The British abroad? Talk about 'taking it with them' ....

Now, what can we say about the Poles here? Well, pretty much what you can say about the 'native' Brits - some shirk, some drink, many work damn hard, they want their kids to do well. Just listen to their kids. When in school and with 'native mateys', they speak (good) English, at home and with folks they may well speak Polish. Let me see, I have friends living in France, in the Loire valley, quite a lot of English around there, and they make far less effort, in the main, to speak French than the Poles here do re English.

In a town in Spain, there are so many Brits, mostly retired, they have a majority on the local council and there has been a English Mayor. Imagine that, Bognor Town Council with a majority of Poles on it.... Can you imagine the witterings (no not down the Selsey Peninsular) in our little Town? Yes because of the EU, if we live in Spain, we can vote in their local elections, and it has to go BOTH WAYS. The idea is that if you live locally, you can help make the place run through voting, it doesn't apply in national elections. And we have had a Mayor who is British but half-Polish and bloody proud of both heritages. He "got" to Britain in 1945 (in his Britsih mum's womb), doesn't speak a word of Polish or French but a lot of English, yes a lot. He'll say to the moaners, never mind who's British or Polish or Martian, are they Good Citizens of Our Town who Pull their Weight? Stop moaning and get a life.

As for France, I was in a bar and a jovial encounter with a French gent. "Y'know, monsieur, the French conquered England with just 40,000 men". "Hmmn, do you know, mon ami, how many English people are living in France now?" "Non" "Six hundred thousand ...." "Eh Jacques, he's got you there, well done monsieur, 'ow you say, the banter". "Quite."
23 Nov 2014 #28
Wow!, such anglophobic bitterness in your saga Jan.
2 Jan 2015 #29

I love Britain, I love our traditions - openness, fairness, decency. There's no anglophobic bitterness, where on earth can you justify such an analysis? Not one shred of evidence in what I said. You have a very strange mind, that's all I can deduce. Seeing plots and issues where there are none. Paranonia. Again. I came as a son of an asylum seeker and of a British Mum, how inconvenient that won't quite fit into your small world/narrow horizons. My dad, a true hero, served his country - and Britain. I'll never match that .... but, I try to put my best effort forward for my country. Instead of moaning and imagining, just get on and DO something useful. This ain't it.
Thurneman 1 | 13
3 Jan 2015 #30
I am a Scandinavian who visited north of England not long ago, I was in Derby, Nottingham and places around there. I was in a couple of towns with a high volume of immigrants and I remember a specific one.

I took the bus to this town and had some problems finding my destination street. I kept walking, noticing that I rarely met any white people, mostly pakistanis and black people. And the majority of males between 15 and 50 were staring at me, not happy faces. After 30 minutes of walking around, not finding my street, I started asking people. I asked around 8-9 different people where this street was and NONE of them spoke english. I asked a muslim, a sikh, a young girl, some man with a dog, some older men and a woman. They just looked at me and then said "no english" or didnt say anything at all.

And I thought I was the immigrant...

Finally I got help from an english man and woman with no teeth and could find my street. When it was time to go home I went to the bus. At the bus stop it was one big, arab male around 40 who spoke in his phone really loudly on the other side of the road. Then I hear him shouting "****" and something about fight, I turn around and see that he is screaming it to me, haha! I just looked at him and then he continued talking on the phone while circulating the street (which only me and him stood at) until my bus came.

Anyway, during my trip I was in towns with both a lot of poles and a lot of pakistanis and black people. I can easily say that the polish areas were no problem at all. I didnt feel threatened anywhere, they seem to have better english skills and their areas felt more clean and civilized. Lots of drinking, yes, but that was about it.. The areas with pakistanis/africans were different though and I wouldnt like to live there - and I have visited more areas than the one above and obviously more things happened. It didnt even feel like I was in England when I was in those areas, both when I saw the people and how they have treated their enviroment.

Just an objective anecdote.

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