Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Welcome Migrants from Romania and Bulgaria

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 26th January, 2014

migrant workers 1I guess many people go into politics out of a sense of frustration; I know that’s true in my case, in particular frustration that the debate about Europe in the UK is so skewed by the ignorant and at times malicious content of rags such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express and, more recently, the unrestrained rants of UKIP and the Tory right. That sense of frustration has been heightened further recently by the disgraceful prejudice that has been whipped up in this country against EU migrants from Romania and Bulgaria by those same culprits. Nigel Farage — who is a  dangerous political menace behind his jolly man-in-the-pub facade — famously warned that 29 million such migrants were eligible to come to Britain (and other EU member states, of course) from 1 January. In fact, according to statistics provided by the Romanian Embassy, in consultation with the UK Border Agency, precisely 24 Romanians have arrived in the UK this month to date. Not a flood, not even a trickle. Moreover, the stigmatisation of Romanians in particular in the popular right-wing Press, as if all are those minority of Roma who beg and sleep out at Marble Arch, has helped lead to unpleasant acts of discrimination and voiced hostility to Romanians working here, the vast majority of whom contribute to British society, and I don’t mean just by paying their taxes. They work in a whole range of jobs from dentists to nurses, fruit pickers to waiters, in some cases doing jobs that indigenous Brits don;t want to do. So the next time you meet a migrant worker from Romania — or from Bulgaria — remember that it is highly likely that they have borne the brunt of prejudice that has been orchestrated against them, so please smile and make them feel welcome.

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3 Responses to “Welcome Migrants from Romania and Bulgaria”

  1. johnTilley said

    Well said. The abuse of power by the UK gutter press is appalling. They should all be in court, not just the Murdoch couple.
    Thank you for putting the sane alternative.

  2. Jakar said

    ” In fact, according to statistics provided by the Romanian Embassy, in consultation with the UK Border Agency, precisely 24 Romanians have arrived in the UK this month to date. ” this is just the sort of statement that fuels the attitude to migrant workers as it is so very clearly a nonsense. As a journalist do you accept that sort of bullshit from Government agencies?

  3. jonathanfryer said

    The “nonsense”, Jakar, was the irresponsible scaremongering by UKIP and others — dangerous nonsense, too.

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