Posted by: anglopole | August 18, 2008

Do we need ghost busters in the UK perhaps?

Well, I too have come across the infamous article from The Times \’Two Waves of Immigration, Poles apart\’. It has definitely set the tongues wagging all over Europe. As a follow-up of the careful study of the article the internet forums are hosting heated discussions on whether Poland is anti-semitic or not….

I, personally, do not think that Poland should be the subject of discussions here. After all, the author is a proud citizen of Great Britain and brags about being a descendant of a Pole who never has visited the country of his ancestors ( ‘dozens of us descended from a single Pole who came in 1903 – more than 100 years later. Not one of us has gone gone back. Even to visit.‘). That in itself points to a clear disdain Mr Coren has for Poles and Poland. To be honest, I sympathise with the guy! He must have inherited some poignant sense of being ostriacised as a Jew from his grand father who left Poland because of the anti-semitic movements there. It does look like the notorious ghosts of the things past have come back to haunt some people in Britain and haunt many others through them. We really need some professional ghost busters here! 😉 Common sense is one of the most powerful weapons against those monsters who are long dead and should be kept that way!

This statement by Coren is so contrary to common sense:

We Corens are here, now, because the ancestors of these Poles now going home used to amuse themselves at Easter by locking Jews in the synagogue and setting fire to it.”

Many questions come to mind when reading such ghastly proclamations. Here are some:

  1. How the heck is that connected to me, for example, who lives in the UK and has never had anything to do with anti-semititsm or had relatives who, in large part coming from the Krakow area (the place known for large Jewish community in the past), were in any way hostile towards the Jews?! Since the author of the mentioned article did not point to any specific culprits who wronged his Polish-Jewish ancestors, he was talking to all Poles in the UK and those who’ve gone back to Poland already.
  2. What are we Poles living in the UK to think? That we are not entitled to live here because most of us did not have relatives who fought for London during the II WW or had Jewish ancestors who emigrated to the UK to seek refuge here?
  3. Are we to be held responsible for what some of our passed-away countrymen did to the Jews in the past?
  4. Are we to ask the Corens and the likes for permission to visit or settle down in the UK?
  5. Are we to pretend we do not see or hear such ignorant utterances connected with the history of Poland that obviously was not the subject of study of the authors of such arrogant writings?

 Mr Coren continues giving vent to his long held hostility towards Poles by saying:

 My sympathy for the plight of the modern Polack is thus limited, and if England is not the land of milk and honey it appeared to them three or four years ago, then, frankly, they can clear off out of it”

Hmmm…. did I mention the issue of pride and prejudice before? Ah, yes, I did, didn’t I?! Isn’t it just a perfect example of the strange mental marriage of the two deadly vices?

Oh, I can already hear some voices saying – but he was speaking for himself and not for the whole nation of GB! Someone read his article before publishing and agreed for it to appear in the famous paper…. didn’t they? Oh, I can hear more voices shouting: should there be censorship then?!

Well, let me use a message from the Wise Book to answer this question: do to others as you wish them to treat you! Simple.

Frankly speaking, it’s not even this article that has irritated me as such. I don’t think the author has a great knowledge about Poland and Poles and so I do not treat what he’s saying as a valuable read. It’s other Brtits’ reactions that I’d question. In one internet forum a few Britishmen joined the discussion about the article, but only because at some point one poster was so enraged with the Brits after reading the text that she wrote something pretty insulting about the English (it was indeed insulting, take my word for it and I didn’t find it appropriate). So, these few Brits started insulting her back and making mocking comments about Poles, at the same time expressing surprise that Poles should feel in any way insulted by the Brits (the article and other things)…..

It’s just another example of this one way system displayed by some Englishmen – they can joke about other nations, look down on them, insult them, etc. but are not ready to bear with the same from the the foreigners…. criticism seems to be too much already….

It makes me think of a saying we have in Poland: there are more and less equal among the equals Certainly, people like Giles Coren feel they are the more equal inhabitants of the UK and so they feel they have some strange right to bash all considered by them to be the less equal…..

Poor me, my grandparents did not move to the UK even though they were oppressed in every possible way back in the 1940s….(also for hiding the Jews in their basement)

What am I doing here then? Gosh! Should I stay or should I go? 😉 ?


  1. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – that’s George Orwell, you know. That English guy who wrote “Nineteen Ninety-Four” etc.


  2. *”Nineteen Eighty-Four” of course.


  3. @ nicq: yes, I know that quote from Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (it doesn’t come from “1984”, does it?); Poles have a similar saying, only without any reference to animals;))


  4. Sorry, but that guy is a total weenis. People like him just make me laugh. I don’t feel sorry for him. And you know what? If the free movement of people bothers him THAT much, then he can always pack up and go to Israel. But then again, Israel needs smart Jews, not assnuts like him.


  5. Yeah, I’m so totally with you on this Anna! I’d go even further to say that the ones that agrees to print this article are even more pathetic assnuts, let alone those who see nothing wrong in it…


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