Saturday, 17 November 2007

What will we do?

Just as the frenzy of xenophobia reaches a peak it seems that the number of migrant workers from Eastern Europe is likely to fall dramatically over the next period. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has just released a report which provides a snapshot of what’s happening in the EU transition states, from the Black Sea to the Baltic. It predicts that they will now enjoy record economic growth following their recent entry into the EU.

Poland in particular is expected to grow by 6.5% - double the growth of the UK economy – and unemployment has dropped from 20% five years ago to 12.3% today (and it’s still falling). Wages for skilled workers are also rising, partly because many have gone aboard, often to the UK. So things are now expected to change, as Poles return home as their economy improves. Erik Bergloef, Chief Economist for the EBRD, said “Poles (want) to work in Poland, not Britain…In the long term we will see emigration (from Britain). Many Poles would prefer to work in Poland. There is a strong force of gravitation”.

In last months election Poles also threw out their reactionary, neo-fascist, Prime Minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the new government is not only much more liberal, but is also likely to be good news for the Polish economy.

If this happens what will happen to the British economy, dependent as it is on such migrant workers to do all the shit work, on shit wages? Who will fill the labour shortages that the British economy has failed to address over the years? I am sure all those patriotic British émigrés will pack up their bags in Spain and Portugal (and other parts of the world) and rush home to support their motherland in its time of need – now that all the foreigners have returned home. I think not!

All this was pretty predictable really. During the 1960s and 70s thousands of migrant workers flowed from all parts of the EU, especially Spain and Italy (but some others like me!) to the booming economy of West Germany – only to return home a few years later when the economies of Spain and Italy took off. I also returned home as well - and brought another "bloody foreigner" here - sorry!

The moral of this story: if you don’t want people to migrate, or become immigrants or refugees/asylum-seeker you can do the following:

  • Have a poor and depress economy (no one wants to go there!)
  • Encourage and support development in poorer countries which people leave to find a better life (no one really wants to leave their own country unless they have to – so why not help them develop rather than holding them in debt?)
  • Stop wars and international human rights abuses across the world (especially wars that we start and participate in, or dictators that we suck up to)
  • Stop people falling in love with people from other other countries (simple really!)

Personally I like people coming to settle in the UK – as they have always done throughout history. This is what makes Britain what it is today – not all the false pomp and stupid stereotypes that the media and others associate with being “British” or “English”. Its our diversity that has made us British, stupid!

I also quite like it when “true English” racists and xenophobes (who don’t like foreigners coming to Britain) go and live abroad! In reality they are unintentionally of course contributing to the diversity of these countries. I just hope these countries are as tolerant of them as they have been!

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