Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Our Polish friends

Image result for Polish spitfire images

From an interchange following the prime minister's statement to the Commons about the aftermath of the EU referendum:

  • May I thank the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their condemnation of yesterday’s racist attack on the Polish Social and Cultural Association in my constituency, which I visited this morning? The centre was built almost 50 years ago by the same generation of Poles who fought for this country in the battle of Britain, Monte Cassino and the battle of the Atlantic. Will the Prime Minister express his solidarity with the Poles and all our migrant communities, which are, in the wake of last Thursday’s vote, feeling under threat?
I am very happy to do that. As someone who used to live in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency,
I know some of the Polish centres and restaurants quite well. They have made an amazing
contribution to our country. He mentions the battle of Britain. We should always remember
that—I do every time I go past the Polish war memorial—and we should say to those people,
“You make a great contribution to our country. You are welcome and you can stay, and these
attacks are hateful.”

It would be a sad day if, in addition to shutting out young Poles who come to the UK only to work (which would be bad enough), we also drove out the long-standing and well-integrated Polish community in West London. (I can vouch for the restaurants, by the way.) The original generation of Poles are those who escaped the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 to man a whole Spitfire squadron and play a big part in defeating Hitler. It is understandable that at the end of hostilities they preferred to stay than return to a homeland under communist control.

It seems to me that the thugs who want to racially-cleanse Ealing and Hammersmith are the spiritual descendants of those in the 1930s who cheered on Hitler and were prepared to let him have his will on the continent provided he left us alone.

We should be proud of the citizens of Llanelli (Carmarthenshire has an equally long-standing Polish presence) who pinned this picture to the doors of the Welsh Polish Association in the town:

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