Tuesday, January 16, 2007
GIN DOBRE POLSKI
The above title means something close to 'good morning/day Poland' from my memory of visiting there a couple of years ago, anyway, it's near enough, and I say this and welcome to those Polish people who have come to Scotland to live and work. Those who would have us believe that workers from Poland and other countries are damaging us are wrong, some are simply mistaken and others more worryingly are malicious and racist, it gives me no pleasure to say it but we do have a problem in Scotland with racism and of course sectarianism. Some Scots, wrongly try to convince themselves and others that this is not the case, this does Scotland a disservice, they are in denial, the problem needs to be highlighted and tackled. The numbers of Poles and others coming here should be celebrated, they bring skills and enthusiasm and they are stimulating our economy and our communities just like Scots do and have done in the past when they go to live elsewhere these emigrants are a bonus and should be greeted and treated as such, I wish them well. I would urge anyone to visit Poland it's a beautiful country with ancient lovely towns and cities and an incredible history, public buildings, churches and museums are simply stunning and a joy to wander around, my favourite place is the historic city of Krakow I intend to go back some day. I have a memory which which will stay with me, in the winter olympic village of Zakopane in the heart of the Tartra Mountains ( V. I. Lenin stayed there once ) I sat at a pavement cafe while my wife went shopping and had coffee with an old, old man who could just about get by in English, it turned out that among a great many other things he had fought as a sixteen year old at the battle of Stalingrad he showed me the medals, an unforgetable encounter, real living history and very happy memories.