Tuesday, January 16, 2007


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.


RfS said...

I for one do not mind too much people coming here if they want to work. Anyone with a work ethic should be able to anywhere in the world to seek their fortune. What a lot of people are concerned about is the idea that there is a band of people coming to this country for our welfare benefits only. Recent figures show that the latter is cancelling out the contribution of the former and that has to be tackled.

Intertwined with the latter problem element is the idea often promoted that immigrant workers are doing "the jobs brits/scots/americans" won't do. You have to ask why the indigenous workforce is refusing to do certain jobs, especially when people with fantastic work ethics are more than happy to fill the gap.

And your old man? 16 years old at Stalingrad? I take it he was in the Red Army and must have remained in Poland after the war? Kind of humbling that at 16 he left his native land (I assume) settled in another country and STILL has enough English to hold a conversation. Again I suppose that is a work ethic of sorts.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - I don't agree that there is a problem of migrants claiming benefits and cancelling out their positive contribution. Only 6% claim child benefit for instance, this myth has been pedalled by the right wing gutter press for years, these migrants head for places where there is work not where there is unemployment. Look at the north of Scotland and the hospitality industry, it's buzzing with emmigrants who have regenerated whole areas where the local people have moved on to better jobs that's success - The old man went round the world several times as a seaman among other things too numerous to mention.

Anonymous said...

not gin but dzien (with an acute accent over the n). Despite the alleged translation, I'm still not sure what you were trying to say. There's a Polish dictionary at www.dict.pl, though perhaps you'd better take a look at the grammar too.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Bob - I thought I was saying Good day in Polish, is that what you are asking ? I've said this many times to Polish visitors, none of whom have had any problem understanding me. The rest of my piece doesn't seem difficult to understand, have I missed something ?