That’s the headline in today’s Gazeta Wyborcza. They led with the same story yesterday, the one about British workers demanding jobs for British people. Yesterday’s front page article was surprising in that I was able to read it through without flinging the paper on the floor – and it was written by Jacek Pawlicki. Sure, he didn’t get to the heart of the story: are these foreign workers really undercutting local workers? Are they being paid less than locals doing the same work? Is a collectively bargained pay scale agreement being broken? How much do the workers earn in pounds and pence? But journalists rarely ever have the wherewithal to find out how much people earn when it comes to covering such disputes. It’s much easier to call the working class racist than to do the maths. (Even the Guardian, somewhat closer to the source, seems to have little or nothing about the money.) Also, Pawlicki, despite nearly twenty years of Polish experience with parliamentary democracy, still finds it strange that British workers do not share the views of their rulers:
The protests are all the more curious given that Great Britain has always been a bastion in the EU of the free market and a liberal approach to economics – in 2004 as it was one of the first countries to open its labour market to citizens of the new EU member states.
Still, it could have been worse. Today’s coverage, though, is a little harder to stomach. It’s accompanied by some comment on page 2 from Konrad Niklewicz. He points out the gigantic economic benefits of cheap labour, apparently unaware of the unreasonable desire of Neanderthal trade union types that some of those benefits accrue to workers. Niklewicz, then, openly supports the paying of Polish workers in Britain less than British workers in Britain and yet somehow it is the trade unions that are (see headline) the bigots.
It’s all quite depressing. No doubt some violence will befall emigrant workers, drawing condemnation from absolutely everyone – even God will break His silence – and the employers will laugh all the way to the bank on the moral high ground, as the exploited are again divided against each other.