I want to break free…

It seems all but a few niche parties are currently outdoing themselves at more or less cleverly demonizing the so-called “uncontrolled, open-door immigration” into the “over-crowded and pushed for resources” United Kingdom.

If only those pesky immigrants would stop coming…. oh how I want to be free, oh how I want to break free.

I don’t want to waste my time on talking about the likes of BNP or UKIP. One openly racist and nasty, another rather mellow with a comically intoxicated, one-man-show soon-to-be-sir Nigel Farage. All I’ve got to say about the Super-Tories is that they seem to have no moral backbone when EU funding is concerned because they’re willing to enter into a coalition with openly women and gay bashing, racist and holocaust denying Congress of New Right from Poland, whose lord and savior one Janusz Korwin-Mikke, while ten times more intelligent and witty than Nige is a crackpot and a crackpot-magnet who was elected by disillusioned polish youth.  During the EU campaign people would say that during Korwin speeches all school buses were parked just around the corner.

Some of Korwin’s quotes include: If a wife misbehaves you might want to rape her, it’s what they want. Nobody has proof of the mass extermination of Jews, they wouldn’t be able to burn them so fast anyway. And many many more. All his female candidates in the EU elections were as he said it himself – “mothers, wives and lovers of the male party members” who did not want to be politicians but had to be there because of the EU Law governing Electoral Equality. The Polish New Right hasn’t got a single woman official, as according to Korwin women are best seen cooking, breast-feeding or on their knees.

Now let’s go back to the Blues and Reds who while pretending to be different sound exactly the same to me on the immigration issues.

Issue 1: Too many Eastern Europeans came to the UK when the borders opened in 2004.

We didn’t open the borders. You did. You could have kept them closed for 8 years like the rest of the EU. It’s a no brainer. Poor country joins, all other countries are not obtainable, where will they go? To the two countries which have told them to come.

I actually remember both British PM and Irish President giving a speech in 2003 actively encouraging people to pack their stuff and come to Blighty and/or EIRE. And oh boy, come they did.

Still, having said that – Britain/Ireland  really needed workers, fruit pickers, builders but also I accountants, bloody bankers, admin staff – especially in the south. And it got it.

I know people who have been here since 2004, have never claimed a single penny in Benefits, hardly used the NHS.  They feel unwelcome by what’s been happening. You can’t tell people to come and then kick them out or nudge them to bugger off.

Anyone who dares to suggest they’re a drain and should consider going back has not only got no business acumen but more importantly is guilty of dehumanization.

Issue 2: Benefits all these Eastern Europeans are claiming.

First of all, no Polish person was able to claim any benefits until May 2012 unless they’ve work for 12 months and have registered with a Worker Registration Scheme, which cost 100 pound you had to pay every time you changed your employers. (This applies to all 2004 EU entrants)

Furthermore, most people did not register with the WR Scheme, which meant even if they had worked for 4 years they were not entitled to any benefits, JSA, Housing Benefits, Tax Credits or Child Benefits.

My friend Kate, who works as an accountant for an Academy in London, came here in 2001, picked strawberries for less than 2 pounds an hour, got a break in 2007 when she started working for a City based business but unfortunately was laid off in 2008 during the crash. Now, she like most of my friends never paid the 100 pounds for the Worker Registration Scheme, but has been paying her taxed for over 7 years, yet she was refused any state help.

Had she been born in the UK and never worked a day in her life she could happily go on a claim  the JSA.

It is true that since 2012 all 2004 entrants can theoretically come to the UK, live here for 3 months and sign-on to claim the whooping 70 something pounds in JSA plus around 40 pounds a week in Housing Benefit (in Northern Ireland) but this conjecture assumes that this country is so special, someone would be willing to leave their family to come here as half starve on 5 pounds a day.  70 + 40 = 110 minus  60 in rent minus 15 in gas and electricity.

While people do make physically less,  6 pounds in UK compared to 3 pounds in Poland, the cost of rent, gas, water and especially good food is incredibly low. Anyone who’s been on a drunken hen or stag do in Cracow will be happy to confirm I’m afraid.

Regarding the Child Benefit. Nobody disputes the fact that someone whose children don’t live in the same country or maybe even home as the parent/s should be entitled to claim it.

What is disgusting is only IMMIGRANTS claiming the CHILD BENEFIT are every discussed. Why not make it universal and apply to everyone? To Alejandro Rivera from Spain but also to Mickey O’Flannigan or Michael Williams from Larne.

I’ve never heard any politician say – we will stop paying child benefits to anyone whose children don’t reside in the UK.

To be continued…

Feel free to give your support or criticize opinions expressed in this post @poleinbelfast.

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