Britain’s largest Polish-language newspaper has backed plans for a nationwide-one day walkout by migrant workers this month.
Fed up of being unfairly cast as “benefit scrounging immigrants”, hard working Polish immigrants are threatening to strike. Upset by anti-migration rhetoric in the United Kingdom, the idea was cooked up in an on-line-forum serving ex-pat-Poles living in the United Kingdom.
“Once in America in the 1980s immigrants didn’t go to work for just one day,” one contributor wrote. “The result? It stopped everything: the metro, communications, cafés. And it stopped the moaning. Maybe now is the time for us.”
Just over half a million predominantly Catholic Poles now work in Britain with Poland now second only to India as the birthplace of most foreign-born UK residents. If concerted strike action arose it could cause widespread disruption to businesses and services across the country, particularly in the construction, food and health care sectors.
Reading the Polish Express coverage of other subjects, however, makes the threat to strike over anti-immigration rhetoric seem amusingly hypocritical. Editor Tomasza Kowalski emphasises that Polish workers in Britain take pride in their work, enjoy it, and are taxpayers, and consequently should be able to expect the respect of their British counterparts. Yet the extensive coverage of the behaviour of Muslim immigrants to Britain suggests the paper doesn’t think the mutual respect should be extended beyond white, Christian Europeans.
Headlines in today’s edition of the Express betray the deeply held European conservative ideals of most Poles. The headline story betrays concern about the sexual morality of young Polish women once they move away from their “strict Catholic homeland”, having sex “four times as often” in Britain, and being “much more likely” to engage in group sex. The stand out topic on the front page, however, is Islam.
Headlines like ‘Mohammed is the most popular British boys name. How long until it is in Poland too?’, ‘Muslims do not want London shops to sell alcohol’, and ‘Refugees from Africa are increasingly aggressive’ dominate. In one article, the paper states Britain “hasn’t had the best experience” with Islamic mass immigration, and that there are “thousands” of Islamist terrorists “lurking” among the Muslim population.
Demanding to know when the Polish government will take action to stop the country going the same way as Britain, the editorial notes that “since the defeat in the 2010 elections, Blair’s party no longer dictates the leftist theory of multiculturalism. British journalists are now able to boldly write about the dark face of Islam”, suggesting even the Poles think the country has turned a corner.
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