Poles come, and Poles go
The number of Polish people in Scotland hit the news twice during the past week.
In the first, Polish was reported as now being the second language in half of Scotland’s school areas. Although totalling less than the number speaking Punjabi and Urdu as their first language, the Polish speakers are distributed across the country, while the others are concentrated in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
In the second, it was reported that many Polish workers that had come to Scotland were now deserting the country as their homeland was returning to prosperity. At the moment, the Polish economy is growing significantly faster than Scotland’s, and those who have returned are able to double and even treble their salaries.
Interestingly, some don’t even bother to speak English (and this is not a blatant generalisation – only recounting two recorded incidents).
In the first (dating from a year or two ago), your scribe was accosted at his front door by shabbily dressed individual carrying rolled up canvases (oil painting) in bag and an almost illegible handwritten note on a scrap of paper, along the lines of “I am Polish and cannot speak any English. I have no money and am trying to sell these paintings I have made. Please help me.” Worth noting that he began to learn English quite rapidly after I declined to buy anything.
In the second, reported only a few days ago, an elderly female resident of one of the Clyde’s islands reported that a group of Polish immigrants had knocked at her door and were carrying a sign asking for money.
Consulting the police, these incidents were described as law breaking, and that there had been a number of arrests made in similar circumstances, as anyone wishing to call at doors requires to hold a valid Street Trader’s Licence.