Poland is the problem

Baroness Deech

In general our press and politicians are very quick to discern and condemn conflicts of interest that might affect decision making, especially financial – Sebastian Coe and Nike being a recent example.  It is the perception of conflict that matters, not the actuality. Yet Poland, whose former PM Donald Tusk is now President of the European Council, has escaped disqualification, which should seriously be considered while the UK tries to renegotiate its relations with the EU, and most especially in relation to the restriction on migrants’ benefits which is under discussion.

As soon as they were free to do so, millions of young Poles left their country to take up employment and better lives in W Europe. The UK gave immigrant Polish workers immediate rights here. There are at least 700,000 Poles in the UK. They are entitled where appropriate to jobseekers’ allowance (although there are not very many claimants), while almost no British expats make similar claims in Poland. Child benefits may be sent back to children in Poland who have not come to the UK and there are reportedly 13,174 such cases. In these arrangements Poland is no different from any other EU country whose citizens come here and look for work. The significance lies in the imbalance and the attitude Poland is taking to Cameron’s attempts to change the situation. No, said Poland, to his proposals to deter migrants, that would be “discriminatory” – until that country saw an opportunity to squeeze concessions out of the EU reform attempt. Give us NATO bases, and we will forget what we said about principles. Not only that, but Poland will not play ball over European plans to distribute migrants: we are a Christian country, they say, Muslim migrants not welcome.

The new Polish government has cracked down to such an extent on its judiciary and the media that the European Commission has launched an unprecedented inquiry into the rule of law in Poland. And of course there remains the 70-year old disgrace of Poland refusing to legislate to settle the restitution claims of the millions of victims of Nazism and Communism whose homes and businesses were stolen from them. Hundreds of thousands of property titles in Poland are tainted by this failure. It was to have been a condition of Poland’s entry to the EU that she make provision for restitution, but at the last minute the state claimed poverty, and got away with it.

The least that Poland could do is to accept its legal and moral obligations within the Union, as well as the advantages. And the Polish president of the European Council should not be the man to block negotiations, given this history and context.

It was the German invasion of Poland in 1939 that took us into the war. Polish forces fought together with us. Time to remember those historic alliances.

3 comments for “Poland is the problem

  1. 24/01/2016 at 8:43 am

    Your last sentence sums up the position. At the end of the Second World War in which so many brave Poles (and Czechs) came to fight alongside us on land and in the air, we allowed their countries to be taken over by the Soviet Union. After that betrayal we have no cause for complaint if Poland wants, like us, to negotiate the best possible deal for itself from the EU.

  2. maude elwes
    25/01/2016 at 10:07 pm

    The single answer and only ‘right’ requirement for ‘EU’ citizens, whether we remain in or not, is to have all countries equal in rights and benefits for all.

    For example, if Poland, Hungary and all the States in the union had the same highest level of housing and benefits, equal to the UK, Sweden and so on, there would be no mass move to these areas that provide a sustainable lifestyle when the going is tough. It is paid for by us all and we are therefore all entitled to the provisions it offers.

    A united Europe cannot work with mass differences presently on offer in quality of life, that is ludicrous to have expected in the first place. This means the cost for this move has to be spread to the countries with the highest financial ability, working toward a spread of employment opportunities and progressive economy more equally to all states. After all how can you claim you are for equality when quite obviously nothing comes close to equal within Europe.

    Add to that, all migrants from ‘outside’ Europe must be returned to their places of origin, where they can be cared for and be in tune culturally with their historical foundations. Rather than seeing them having to struglle to accept what to them is seen as the unacceptable lifestyle of the West. This will reduce a need for mass housing on the scale we are facing and cannot fulfil ever, immense growth in NHS requirements, education and infrastructure. We, the tax payer simply cannot afford this lunatic influx and how it was ever thought possible must be the thinking of madmen. Additionally why should such a burden be placed on us at all? It was casued by politicians, without a vote from the citizens, on any level.

    Taxes are grossly misused which forces the citizens of Europe to endure an invasion sanctioned by our collective politicians which is unacceptable in principle. Which can only continue to lower the living standards and quality of life as a civilised society.

    Poland has every right to squeal, and loudly, as do the populations of all EU states. Those at the very top, the so called elite, must accept enormous cuts in their expectations as it is they who decided on the path we now face. Therefore it is their responsibility to correct it and at once. The sacrifice is theirs to make. And political tax evasion sweetheart deals is not the way to go.

  3. MilesJSD
    06/02/2016 at 6:54 am

    You’ve ‘suppressed’ my previous submission ?

    Poland is not “the problem”.
    The deep foreign-body Problem, being perpetuated by the UK too, is

    Governancially and Educationally

    {thereby downwards-one-way-de-facto-dictatorially containing “our peoples”}

    total failure to constitute, legislate, and grass-roots-implement
    the No-Lose Method III
    of Participatively-Cooperative Problem Solving
    and of Needs-&-Hows Recognition and Sustainworthily-Best-Possible-Meeting publicising.

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