What do most British people think of Poles? Do not be fooled by the propaganda - read a touching letter from Simon Crow - an ordinary citizen who's in love with polish decency, diligence, honesty and conscientiousness.
Dear Polish Express,
I have been appalled to hear that some Poles in the UK have experienced criticism and hostility. People are usually far more ready to complain than to express positive reactions, but in the circumstances I feel impelled to tell you that there are a very great many British people who are absolutely delighted to welcome Poles in the UK. I am one, and I know very many others; I have never met any British person who is in any way hostile.
I live in a part of West London where the Polish presence is very large and visible, and I have a great many dealings with Polish people in all kinds of contexts. In my considerable experience the Polish people who have come to this country are, overwhelmingly, thoroughly and outstandingly decent, hard working, honest, straightforward, and conscientious, and they - you - make huge, immeasurable contributions to the society, the economy, and the community in which you have come to take part. Every UK citizen I know feels the same. Perhaps there is the odd bad apple amongst you, but to be perfectly honest I have not met one yet. I cannot say the same about my own people, your host community.
I am old enough to remember the Cold War, when Poland was sealed off on the other side of the Iron Curtain, and the heroic struggles of the Polish people to free themselves from Soviet domination. Through my parents I also met some of an older generation of Polish exiles in the UK who had played their parts in the heroic and heart-breaking history of Poland in the 20th century. For me, to see young Poles in the streets of London, to buy Polish sausage in the local Polish shops, and see groups of Polish workers sharing a joke over a beer after work, are small heart-warming signs of the miracle of recent European history: some things have got much, much better in my lifetime. Sometimes I, and some of my friends, jump on a cheap flight to visit British and Polish friends in Poland. Remembering how things were so recently, I celebrate this precious freedom. Long may you remain here, and long may we remain in the EU that allows this openness and free exchange.
Please understand that in the hearts of many, many British people, you are very welcome, even if, in true British style, we sometimes have difficulty expressing this.