Sunday, 31 October 2010

All these Foreigners...

One of our residents, Mike, whom I have written about before, arrived the other day at the office door complete with gormless shuffle and his two hands placed firmly down the front of his tracksuit so as to remind the world that he has testicles and has already used them to pollute the planet with his gene pool. He has recently moved from the Housing Project in to a one bedroom flat provided by the Housing Association. He lives in here at half the cost (which Housing Benefit pay) of what the same flat would cost him in the privately rented sector. Despite living a very comfortable life on the proceeds of others hard work, as well as the income he derives from selling drugs to his peers, Mike still finds a lot of time to come and complain to staff at the project whilst visiting his girlfriend who is still a resident here. As per usual he just walked in to the office uninvited and started demanding what he perceived to be his rights.

“Winston, I need the spare keys to my flat. I’ve lost mine again. I might have left them in there. Give us the spare keys will you?

“No,I won’t give them to you. The last time I gave you the spare keys you lost them as well and we had to get the locks changed at our cost. When the caretaker comes in he can go around with you and let you in and if you want a new set you will have to pay for them to be cut. For God’s sake Mike , that’s the third set you have lost over the past few months. If you can’t even manage keys to a flat how can you manage the flat itself?”

There are several of our residents who as well as being unable to sign on the dole on time without constantly having their benefits cut off are also incapable of having keys without losing them. Before Mike had time to respond to my question the doorbell at the project rang. It was the Pizza delivery man who is about 21, around Mike’s age, and is from Eastern Europe and speaks perfect English. Mike went to answer the door as the Pizza was for him and his pregnant girlfriend. Afterwards, he came back to the office to offer his opinions on EU enlargement and the influx of immigrants that have ensued in to the UK as a result.

“See that Polish Pizza guy it’s the likes of him that’s stealing all the jobs of young British workers like me. I don’t agree with all these foreigners coming over here taking our jobs. It’s just not right. What do you think of it Winston?”

What I really think is that the Eastern European should be allowed to stay and that Mike should be stripped of his rights as a citizen and deported to an uninhabitated rock in the outer Hebrides. However, I don't say this as I have been trained to view Mike as a vulnerable victim who is at risk of becoming homeless.

“First of all Mike that Pizza guy might not be Polish he could be from another one of the Eastern European countries that joined the EU.”

“Well they all sound the same to me,” responded Mike in true Alf Garnettesque ignorance.

“Besides Mike don’t you think that you are being just a little bit hypocritical? After all your Mum emigrated here from Greece back in the sixties as you told me before.”

“Yeah, but my Dad is English and I’m fully British as I was born and raised here and Britain should be for the British, not foreigners.”

“What about your Mum should she be sent home to Greece if her and your Dad decide to return to the UK after working abroad?”

His parents emigrated to the Middle East as his Dad works in the oil industry, but again the irony was lost on him. In fact, although Mike is a member of the underclass his parents are quite well off and he only ended up in supported housing because it was an option available to them when they both wanted to emigrate.

“Don’t be stupid she’s got British kids and she’s been here most of her life so is more or less British.”

“Oh, so you believe in assimilation and integration for some immigrants particularly those related to you, but just not for Eastern European Pizza delivery men.”

“What’s assimilation and integration?”

“In a nutshell it means that immigrants can become a part of British society, the degree to which that occurs differs depending on whether they either integrate or assimilate.”

“I just believe that British people should get jobs before foreigners.”

“OK so why are you not applying for jobs delivering Pizzas or working in the catering or hospitality industry or in care homes with elderly British people like so many Eastern Europeans and Africans of your age? You only go to college part time and you would only lose some of your benefits if you worked part time.”

“It doesn’t pay enough to do those kind of jobs and their crap anyway. If I am going to work I want to make good money.”

Like you do as a cannabis dealer I think to myself. His flat has been raided by the police before but they failed to find anything but we have seen him dealing outside the project a few times. It’s only a matter of time before he gets caught. As he has a string of other convictions for anti-social behaviour and shoplifting hopefully he’ll get a few months behind bars to teach him a lesson. Not to mention that he regularly makes complaints against staff which in one instance led to a colleague being suspended for speaking sternly to him over contravening one of the policies (i.e. a rule but we can’t call them that according to management because it’s viewed as authoritarian and oppressive). She was so de-motivated by this experience that she resigned and Mike openly gloated about it.

“So who would deliver your Pizzas to you because most young British lads like you refuse to do these kinds of jobs?”

“I just don’t like all these foreigners in my country. I don’t want to talk about this anymore I’m going to my girlfriend’s room to eat this Pizza.”

I was just as glad to leave the conversation there as I’ve had several conversations with Mike along these lines and he simply enjoys reveling in his own ignorance on a variety of issues and it is very difficult to get him to open the limited mind he possesses. Whilst I am not dismissing people’s genuine concerns about the scale and pace of immigration or tensions that can arise with very different cultures living cheek by jowl with no real integration occurring I simply find it mind boggling that people can be opposed to all forms of immigration simply on the grounds that they don’t like foreigners solely because they are from abroad.

This exchange with Mike got me thinking just what does it mean to be a British citizen or indeed a citizen of any country. In that the aforementioned Pizza delivery man is a contributing member of our society through working and paying tax and has learned our language, then if he abides by our laws and respects the rights of his fellow citizens then that to me makes him a more deserving citizen of our country than Mike the drug dealing, benefit dependent, anti-social criminal who believes that he should have a free flat and generous benefits given to him based solely on the fact that he was born in this country. From my perspective there are a lot of immigrants who are more active members of British society than the indigenous underclass who just expect to be handed benefits and housing without doing a damn thing to contribute to the country they are so vociferously patriotic about.

34 comments:

Julia Westing said...

It seems quite a few of the young people you look after are from families who should be able to manage looking after a child, as Mike's parents seem to be.

Why are they not asked to contribute to the costs, even if they won't put in the time?

Sebastian said...

Is it wrong of me to support a massive eugenical campaign across Europe? Something drastic needs to be done...

Hideki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WinstonSmith33 said...

@Julie Westing,

In the case of Mike his parents left the country because of the father's and as Mike was over 16 and could leave home the fact his parents were no longer in the country meant he could access Supported Housing because of his age and sistuation. Personally I think they should have taken him with them or the Mum should have stayed behind in the home. This option should not have been open to them. It should be only available for the truly hard up.

Daedalus said...

Winston,

I have read your blog for some time now, I check a couple of times a day to see if you have updated it, normally disappointed, but when you do!!!

It is the last paragraph in this post that says almost all of it. I say almost, because there are many who come in who do work, who contribute financially, but then go back to their "ghettos". Many indigenous people live in their ghettos of social exclusion, no work and crime. It is how we as a society get full inclusion, with all working for the common good. I suppose as a country we have never managed it other than ""possibly"" the second world war. Multi-what-ever has only forced a wedge between us all. The “under-classes” you and more frequently my wife deal with are a consequence of this socialist experiment that has gone tragically wrong for this country.

Daedalus

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that Mike, his parents, and many others in the same or similar circumstances, present a problem and a burden upon society. And that problem is not being addressed with any degree of seriousness.

The answer, however, is not to import yet another problem. The pizza delivery man way well be hardworking and dilligent. But he also presents a burden on the state. His dependants gain an entitlement to welfare payments whether they are domiciled here or not. So his employer is privatising his profits, and socialising his costs.
Two wrongs don't make a right.

Monty

Benedict White said...

Just a comment... I work in an industrial estate. I see many African faces, dressed in the overalls of the places where they work. Good luck to them.

On the other hand we are paying for people around the corner to sit on their arses. This does not make sense to me.

the fly in the web said...

Try France for discrimination against all or every foreigner.

Billy The Fish said...

Winston, I don't know how you manage to resist the temptation to take a machete into work with you every morning.

The day science finds a way to turn the underclass into a cheap, non-pollutng fuel-source, the happier we'll all be...

RickB said...

@Monty

Employers don't automatically socialise costs, they pay NI, and taxes the same as others in society.

My wife works with a large number of Eastern Europeans, and there are good and bad amongst them all.

However, it's a Brit lad she works with, who still lives at home, who boasts about getting his girlfriend pregnant and how, after the baby is born, he'll stop working and go and live on the social with his girlfriend in a state provided house.

To me that attitude, and way of looking at things is at the heart of what is wrong.

Anonymous said...

My fear would that in 20 years time the Eastern European young man would so assimilated to UK culture that his own offspring would be exhibiting the same behaviour as Mike, and he would be as aghast as we are about it.

Timac said...

I grew up in Spain and it was always amusing to me that a lot of British Expats over there held the same views as Mike. "I had to leave Britain, it was filling up with Pakis" is something I have heard more than once. Oh, the irony. They just don't get it!

Having said that, they're not the only ones. Spaniards tend to be a lot more tolerant of British immigrants than African or Arab ones even though they rarely contribute to the economy at all. It is because of thier skin colour, no two ways about it.

Ian said...

It could be that his parents were sick of the little scounger and thought a dose of having to look after and provide for himself might sort him out. Maybe the state should try much the same thing.

I'm not avocating letting anyone starve here but it seems that people like Mike have quite comfortable lives, which doesn't give them much motivation to start looking after themselves.

One thing I hear is 'I don't work because the job centre can't find me a good job'. I for one am disguested with the incompetance of the job centers in this regard. Everyone knows employers are crying out for applicatants with no experience or qualifications and pay a premium to get hold of such valuble employees. What happened to starting at the bottom?

jaljen said...

The chap who wrote an approximation of the following words died earlier this week.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country..."

And what can you do for your neighbour, your Mum, the woman over the road?

I don't know what makes a citizen but I do know what makes a decent human being. And they come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

Anonymous said...

Hideki, Re: hands down pants

Chavvy boys at my school seem to do this all of the time. I have down idea why, it's quite possibly the least attractive thing ever.

SadButMadLad said...

@Monty - Is the Pizza guy really a drain? don't forget he's paying taxes on his pay. Mike and his offspring will always be draing the state and never providing anything in return.

Anonymous said...

I object to your proposal to ship lazy racist clients North of the border

Anonymous said...

The Pizza delivery man will be working cash in hand so no, he will not be contributing to society. When/if he has children he will then says he works 16 hours/minumum wage and get maximum tax credits (but not pay any income tax).

Its not just the "underclass" who are a burden on tay payers.

Anonymous said...

SmartButMadLad:

The pizza man shouldn't even be here. There should be no jobs for foreign pizza men, because Mike and his fellow scumbags should not be given a choice about whether to work or not. We should make them take whatever jobs are going. We would probably still have to top up his meagre pay, but we wouldn't have the foreign pizza man and his family on our payroll at all.

Every time a foreign worker takes up a low paid job here, he gains an entitlement to benefits which far outstrip anything he would get at home. We pay for that. And we pay for every home grown layabout who should have been doing that job.

Anonymous said...

RickB:

"However, it's a Brit lad she works with, who still lives at home, who boasts about getting his girlfriend pregnant and how, after the baby is born, he'll stop working and go and live on the social with his girlfriend in a state provided house."

That is, in itself, iniquitous. People who have no means of supporting a baby, get away with using the child as a meal ticket. They shouldn't be able to do that. Babies born to parents who can't support them, should be placed for adoption.

Monty

Julie said...

Re: hands down pants

I see this quite a lot too. It used to be a thing little boys did (I worked as a nanny many years ago), hanging on to their willy like it was a handle or a security blanket. Now you see young lads doing it all the time. I blame elastic waist trousers -and perhaps young lads are just keeping their insecurities into adulthood?

I'm always tempted to say "it's still there" but of course it could be a knife down their pants for all I know, so perhaps better not to antagonise them...

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Anonymous above. How do you know the Pizza delivery guy isnt paying tax and NI? It was a big company he worked for so I would presume he would. Whilst Im sure there are immigrants that do fiddle the system the majority of young eastern Europeans have come here with a very strong work ethic that puts a vast majority of our young people to shame.

Pogo said...

@Timac... Oh, the irony. They just don't get it!

They maybe don't see the contradiction in their becoming immigrants to Spain because they don't like immigrants in the UK, but I doubt that many of these ex-pats are living "on the social" in Spain.

Maturecheese said...

I often read your blog and on the whole I agree with you(my wife is a youth worker). On the issue of immigration however I feel you are belittling the adverse effects that recent mass immigration has had. Instead of a sensible and manageable immigration policy where immigrants could and would be expected to integrate, we have had the exact opposite. And then there's their 'Human Rights' which they are entitled to the minute they step foot on our soil and some then go on to grossly abuse. As you may have gathered I am not a supporter of multiculturalism, and if you take a look at our inner cities you will see why. Also the way some of our Muslim imports behave is downright disgusting. I am just glad that I live nowhere near a city. Yes, clearly Mike is a worthless parasite but to some degree social engineering has produced the likes of him.

Anonymous said...

Good post Winston.

Although my wife is Colombian and she works. However some of her friends are basically latin "Mikes".
One has been here 15 years - living off benefits cos she is a pro single mum.
She thinks Colombia is much better than here -but sadly for her they don't give free housing to pro single mums. In fact there being a single mum is not a career which is why this parasite came here.

LeeH said...

Hey Winston, love the blog. Don't worry mate, when Mike comes to the full attention of the Criminal Justice System and gets sent to a YOI he'll cease being your direct problem and probably become mine. Nice to know he's already got the 'hands down the front of the tracksuit' waddle and the tabloid xenophobia sorted. Sounds like he'll fit right in. Can't wait ...

Anonymous said...

Winston you have opened so many people's eyes as to what really goes on so please consider updating this blog more often. :)

Kimpatsu said...

"Mind blogging", Winston? Is this a neologism coined by jamming together "blowing" and "boggling"? Or is it a Freudian slip with regard to your second vocation as the Orwellian distributor of news to the masses?

Anonymous said...

This sounds so much like an immigration discussion in the United States that there seems to be no significant differences.
If government welfare programs can't distinguish between the the deserving and the undeserving, perhaps they shouldn't be offering said welfare. Leave it to private charities to make this important distinction.
As for immigrants integrating and assimilating, what does that mean? Will immigrants be openly welcome at the local church and bridge club, or are there willful barriers to integration that make it harder for them? After all, it's not just a problem of immigrants dealing with the locals, but also how the locals deal with the immigrants. There's action and reaction.
Ultimately, those who are responsible, hard-working individuals deserve to reap the benefits of their efforts, regardless of their origin or nationality, while the irresponsible do not deserve the benefits of other peoples' efforts. Encourage responsibility and more people will be responsible. Encourage irresponsibility and you'll just have more problems.

Anonymous said...

Mike really does have no idea how much we all despise him. Please feel free to pass this message to him. He is a waste of space and skin!!

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Kimpatsu,

Oops not a neologism just a typo on my part.

Jukechst said...

@ WinstonSmith33

I once instructed a young man who presented himself in that innate 'hands down pants' posturing too keep his hands down there, he may find it, hehehe.

Anyway, comedy aside, would like to say what a great post as usual, you have highlighted some important issues.

However Winston, you really do know how to be snotty sometimes, I know it can be hard not to be with the underclass but do you really think using words such as ' integrate or assimilate' is suitable communication with Mike? By his vary nature he is ignorant, due to the selfishness of his parents, he has know incentive to educate himself!

I really do feel you'd do benefit to be more understanding of the people you work with. For instance, we all know the Immigration debate can turn in to the embodiment of ignorance, in this situation I would have challenged his attitude by saying something along this lines off..'well think of it this way Mike, the Eastern European delivery man is not as fortunate as ourselves to have lived in a wealthy country like Britain, so given the chance, wouldn't you take up a demeaning service job in another country to make more money?'. Its important to challenge these attitudes.

Speak soon

xxx

carr30 said...

Yet another story of an unhappy soul, unfulfilled in his work, constantly banging against authority and seemingly powerless to change his life.

The other character is Mike the xenophobe.

What would Mike and Winston do if they didn't have one another to lean on? Maybe they would both have to find proper jobs.

Anonymous said...

Mike sounds like he's not all there in the head.

Maybe that's because of the drugs he smokes, or maybe he has some learning disability, but when it comes down to it, he's in say the bottom 10% of people for being able to think.

A fifty years ago, that might not have been important. There was a lot of work around that involved a little brawn and no brain at all. It was a living, and people who did it didn't expect to be doing anything else, regardless of their capacities.

In london, where unemployment for under 25's is at around 22%, most of the remaining 'doing jobs' are indeed done by recent immigrants. These are bright, motivated people, and far preferable to that unemployed bottom quarter of British under 25s of all colours. Why would you hire a guy like Mike, if you could hire a 30 year old Australian who appears to have his head screwed on?

Mike knows this. I'm sure that being long term unemployed and looked after by kindly but patronising souls such as yourself does little for his self esteem. He wants a job, an identity that doesn't paint him as a loser.

There is no real way out for people like Mike right now. A simple, steady job in a structured community of people in similar situations, living with his parents until marriage might have suited him, but it's not 1920. It's 2011, an era of few manual jobs and less community structure.

Don't hate on him too much, his anger is misdirected, but is a reaction to a real problem.