Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Poles come, and Poles go


Polish flag

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.


March 16, 2008 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,


  1. hey,

    well, ignorantia iuris nocet:) i’m very pleased there was this relocation wave – now all those chavs are gone from the streets of my town and in the UK:) I can only hope they’ll stay there;))

    And I just wanted to say that the flag you post is wrong: this is the flag for Polish ships (so they don’t get confused with Monaco or Indonesia), normal Polish flag doesn’t contain the coat of arms within – it is just white and red. See Wikipedia’s entry for Poland.


    Comment by Pawel | March 17, 2008

  2. Not quite up to speed on the fist para, guess I’m too slow (it must be my Polish ancestry!)

    As regards the flag, since I’m writing in Scotland (which is probably abroad – compared to Poland), the flag appears to be correct, according to Wikipedia, as it would be used officially:

    A variant of the flag with the national coat of arms in the middle of the white stripe is legally reserved for official use abroad and at sea.


    Comment by Apollo | March 18, 2008

  3. […] it was interesting to note that one of them featured an item that related directly to a local News Item that had featured here a few weeks […]


    Pingback by Polish coincidence « Secret Scotland | April 1, 2008

  4. It means it is to be used by embassies etc. Not to refer to Poland:)


    Comment by Pawel | April 1, 2008

  5. As I understand you’re of Polish origin, therefore you will have no problem with polish here:
    Artice 8,


    Comment by Pawel | April 4, 2008

  6. […] Tale of an elderly lady of the Clyde’s islands and the Polish beggar Secret Scotland (which is a bit of an oxymoron assuming it’s a blog) in one post managed to create a special […]


    Pingback by Scotland. Tale of an elderly lady of the Clyde’s islands and the Polish beggar « Happy Fieldhand | April 10, 2008

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