Immigration Fears Spark Political Firestorm in UK

NPR, December 27, 2013

They’re portrayed as pickpockets who will steal British jobs. There are predictions they will beg, the unruly young ones will stir up riots, and some will even try to sell babies.

For months, Britain’s tabloids have repeatedly warned of the horrors they believe will ensue after Jan. 1, when work restrictions will be lifted across the European Union for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria—two of the trading bloc’s newest members. Those changes, the papers claim, will unleash a mass exodus of the poor and unemployed from the two eastern European countries to Britain.

“In January, the only thing left will be the goat,” a Daily Mail headline proclaimed, referring to a remote Romanian village where, the paper claimed, everyone was preparing to move to Britain for the higher wages and generous welfare benefits.

“We’re importing a crime wave from Romania and Bulgaria,” another headline declared, quoting a Conservative lawmaker who told Parliament that most pickpockets on British streets hail from Romania.

The alarming stories about a possible Romanian and Bulgarian influx, and a government scramble to tighten welfare rules, are part of the latest chapter in an increasingly bitter debate about Britain’s immigration policies and its uneasy relationship with the EU. Right-wing politicians have won over voters by arguing that foreigners, particularly eastern Europeans, are flooding Britain’s job market with cheap labor and exploiting the country’s benefits system.

The upstart UK Independence Party, known as UKIP, has seized on the anti-immigration mood to undermine support for the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister David Cameron. In response, Cameron has recently stepped up his rhetoric on immigration and rushed to impose curbs on the ability of new migrants to claim state benefits.

He also angered fellow EU leaders when he challenged the established concept that there should be a free movement of workers throughout the economic bloc, arguing that it should be amended to stop mass migrations from poorer to richer member states.


Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 and more than 100,000 migrants from the two countries already work in Britain, albeit under work restrictions that limit their access to jobs and state benefits like health care.

The work restrictions use quotas to limit the number of low-skilled Romanians and Bulgarians who can take jobs in Britain and requires them to obtain a “worker authorization document” before taking a position. Those who work without proper papers, and employers who hire them, face fines and prosecution.

Those restrictions—similar to those in place in several other EU countries—will be lifted Jan. 1, giving Romanians and Bulgarians the same rights as other EU nationals to live and seek work freely across Europe.

Britain is bound by EU regulations to let the migrants work, and is powerless to extend the restrictions. That feeds frustration among those who feel Britain has given too much power to bureaucrats in Brussels. The turbulence comes as Cameron has promised a nationwide referendum on Britain’s continued membership in the EU if his party wins the next general election in 2015.


Nobody knows how many Romanians and Bulgarians will actually come to Britain, and the government has refused to provide an official estimate. But many Britons believe that the migrants will choose Britain over other EU members because it is seen to be a generous welfare state.


Much of the anxiety can be blamed on the British experience in 2004, when Poland and other former communist countries joined the EU. Officials had mistakenly estimated that several thousand would come, but more than 1 million Poles moved to Britain.

Arguments that the influx of Polish workers has helped Britain’s economy have not calmed worries of a second wave of eastern invasion, especially now that the British economy is much weaker than it was a decade ago.


{snip} A favorite topic [for the British media] is the impoverishment of the Roma, or Gypsies, a minority that has endured centuries of discrimination in Europe. Roma are scattered across Europe, with the largest population in Romania.

Tabloid stories have accused the Roma already living in Britain of a wide range of things, from trying to sell babies to eating cats.

Police statistics suggest that Romanians in the U.K. do not constitute a major crime threat, though social tensions have occasionally flared. In June, British police evicted dozens of homeless Romanians who had set up a makeshift camp in a former soccer field in London. That and similar incidents prompted police to travel to Romania, in part to try to discourage locals there from moving to the U.K. without guaranteed work.

UK Independence Party leaders say this tactic will surely fail.

“The only real solution is and has always been to take back control of our borders by leaving the EU,” says UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nutall on the party’s website.


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  • Spartacus

    “Police statistics suggest that Romanians in the U.K. do not constitute a major crime threat…”


    Romanians don’t, gypsies do. Idiots…

    • rightrightright

      It’s policy. Gypsies are Romanians the way Pakistani Moslems are always “Asians”.

    • Anna Tree

      I think the gypsies are a smoke-screen, a red herring: the bottom line is the
      affirmative action of the immigration: non-whites, criminals and
      terrorists included, can get in but not the poorer Romanian and Bulgarian whites!

      said, Britain to the British, I get that the British workers/tax payers
      don’t want more competition, lower wages and more welfare recipients,
      immigration from poorer white country is a problem but a bigger and more
      dangerous problem is non-white immigration, especially
      muslim and black.

  • borogirl54

    The gypsies use their children to beg and steal from unsuspecting Britons and the money goes back to Romania, where they build mansions. The gypsies live in filthy, disease ridden conditions in camps in the UK and throughout Europe.

  • Ella

    Just ask Austria, Portugal, Italy and Czech about their gypsy problems. They’ll tell you the direct truth.

    • Allan477

      So will real Romanians!

  • LeGrandDerangement

    “Police statistics suggest…” Peter Hitchens on the Daily Mail Online blog writes scathingly of police manipulation of statistics to indicate dropping crime rates.

  • MikeofAges

    Why are people’s concerns about immigration always called “fears”? “Fears” are things that don’t materialize. What the media calls “fears” are reasons for opposition to immigration because of its actual consequences. Increased crime and no-go areas. Anti-white or anti-native quotas and preferences. Loss of control of the political and legal system. Rapid population growth among the alien “type”. The eventual extinction of one’s own culture, language and “type”.

    • JackKrak

      Calling such legitimate concerns “fears”, etc. is liberal code for “This is what racist Nazi Jim Crow KKK Jesus Freak toothless backwoods inbred people who hate baby seals think”.

    • Anna Tree

      They say first fears and then they say phobia. Just trying to make us look irrational when our judgements and reactions are completely reasonable and realist. We are accused of noticing being attacked!

  • Eddie Lutz

    Rape-gang jihadists from Crapistan are okay, but Gypsies are unacceptable? Someone enlighten me.

    • Sick of it

      They haven’t made Gypsies Lords and Ladies yet…

  • bigone4u

    Gypsies do steal and sell babies. They steal anything. Eating cats? Dogs? I would bring Tabby and Spot inside, along with everything else not nailed down. That’s not discrimination, as the article suggests. That’s truth motivating rational defense measures.

    • William_JD

      Sorry, that’s exactly what discrimination is. But there’s nothing wrong with it — there’s never anything wrong with discrimination.

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        You’re right, discrimination is a positive thing. We still see the word used this way in phrases like “discriminating taste.” A person with discriminating taste knows good products from bad ones.

        Discrimination is simply what happens when people notice patterns and act on them. Every race does it and it is perfectly reasonable to do it.

  • bilderbuster

    Many Europeans moan about how Germany did this & that during WW2 but after the war did any country ever complain & say ” We want our Gypsies back”?

    • niggardly

      Also we never hear Romania saying don’t go. Stay, we need you.

  • Extropico

    The Daily Mail has another article up discussing how England is now the most densely populated country in the entire EU, after surpassing Holland, save for the island of Malta. It is now much more densely populated than Germany, France or Scotland; but the DM doesn’t fail to spuriously opine that race is irrelevant.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    Gypsies should be deported to India. That is their homeland. There’s no reason for them to even be in Europe at all, much less in Britain.

    Barring that, they should be corralled somewhere, probably in Eastern Europe, away from all the actual Europeans. They already voluntarily live in squalid squatter tents and caravans; the only difference from their current lifestyle would be that they wouldn’t be allowed to roam ceaselessly, begging from and stealing from white people.

    • niggardly

      “…begging from and stealing from white people.” Unsuspecting White people. Many are mugs.

    • bilderbuster

      The Germans housed them & put them to work.
      No one else has ever shown any interest in keeping them honest.

    • David Ashton

      I thought removal back to India would be a tota non-starter until I read that the Indian government itself had helped to fund Gypsy activities outside India.

      • Sloppo

        If they like gypsies that much, we should probably send all our gypsies to India.

  • Elena Andbasket

    There are perhaps a few hundred thousand gypsies who would go to the UK given half a chance. I’m not saying that would be a good thing. However, there are 1.6 BILLION muslims in the world, MILLIONS of them have flooded into the UK, already swamping various British towns and cities. They have done this from being effectively a non-existent population in just a few short decades. Their ongoing enthusiasm to colonize European countries shows no sign of diminishing. There is a population explosion in black Africa, with the unsustainable population rapidly approaching 1 BILLION. Many millions of these Africans have already swarmed into Europe and are continuing to do so by any and every means. Meanwhile the mainstream media just whines about a few thousand gypsies and assorted eastern Europeans, ignoring, even encouraging the catastrophic third world inundation.

    • Guest

      The gypsies are a smoke-screen, a red herring: the bottom line is the affirmative action of the immigration: non-whites, criminals and terrorists included, can get in but not the poorer Romanian and Bulgarian whites!

      That said, Britain to the British, I get that the British workers/tax payers don’t want more competition, lower wages and more welfare recipients, immigration from poorer white country is a problem but a bigger and more dangerous problem as you wrote is non-white immigration, especially muslim and black.

  • And it pains us to see what Alan Shatter is doing to Ireland. No matter what has gone on before between our nations, we are now in grave danger of collectively being wiped out.

  • There is something fishy about all this. Perhaps I am over thinking it, but it would not surprise me if they are building up all this rhetoric on purpose, with the intent on later being able to knock it down as ‘just fear mongering’ and how we ought to be ashamed of ourselves as “only” {insert figure} have been calculated to come.

    (Which will be a wrong figure, an underestimated figure they are manipulating)

    Roma Gypsies – which are people’s gravest concern from the new member states, not genuine Romanians and Bulgarians – are indeed a nightmare. People are RIGHT to be up in arms and angry about the toilet they are turning this country into. It is absolutely shocking and a disgrace that it can be allowed to continue. But continue it does.

    This is because “call me Dave” Cameron and his liberal bedfellows Clegg and Cable do not want to sort out immigration. By law, by the thumb they are under with the EU, they cannot do a DAMNED THING to stop them coming.

    This is why Dave’s “measures” are completely and utterly pathetic. He wants to block them receiving benefits for three months – but that is of course AFTER they have all arrived here, however many that will be. Therefore, it is TOO LATE, three months off welfare or not!

    That the EU complains about such weak measures is equally absurd, but not surprising considering the ones doing the wailing are originally members of far-left organisations and parties.

    Besides, as far as I recall, the original status for ANY new country to join the EU “club” was that they were on par with their neighbours when it comes to wages, jobs, economies etc. This safeguard was in place precisely so that there would not be these mass exodus situations from countries where the pay was four to five times, or even ten times, less than another member state.

    However, I think they first abandoned that with the joining of Poland. In theory, they should not have been able to join, but they did, and guess what, they had a mass exodus. It is a “no brainer” as people say, when you can earn in a week what you would have previously accrued in a fortnight.

    But that is how the global elites and EU like it, they rely on “cheap labour” floods, they desire to “mix up” the European Union states, they desire for the vacuum in Poland to be filled with Pakistanis and Indians who will come and work there for less. They love it. Ask Peter Sutherland, who blatantly said that they are working to smash homogeneous European states.

    As others have said, people wail and moan (often rightly!) about the “Romanians” (in reality, Roma Gypsies) and “EU immigration” – whilst under Labour and the Conservatives, the Muslims, the Africans, the Indians, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, etc are piling in like there is no tomorrow.

    It’s a madhouse.

  • niggardly

    When Poland entered the EU, we in the UK were told by the Labour government that they expected 13 000 Poles to come to Britain. We didn’t believe them. The lefties did.

    In two years 800 000 came.

    We were right.

  • Yes, there are many “Dutch Somalians” for example in Britain. I have a newspaper report from 2004 which explained that many were heading to Britain for a better life as in the Netherlands they were splitting them up more than here and making it hard for them to live their own ways.

    Hence they were coming here to the multi-culti paradise. The report indicated that officially something like 20,000 Somalians were in the UK at the time, but that academics and other studies pointed to there being 100,000 here in 2004. Of course, that is nearly 10 years ago.

    I also have a clip from a BBC documentary somewhere, where the presenter is saying there has been an influx of European immigration into somewhere like Slough…..only they were not European, they were the said Dutch Somalians all cramped up in some makeshift centre.

    I suspect a fair bit of “European immigration” will be non-white in reality. I am not saying it is widespread, but it something that people do not really take into account when people say “European immigration”.

    I think it was Sweden which invited recent refugees of the Arab Spring to their country. That is bad enough for the Swedish, or whichever nation it was, but people seem to forget there is ‘free movement of people’ accross many member states. Sweden’s “generosity” therefore lumbers us all with problems.

    • Ella

      Oddly, I meet people from Turkey, India, Arabia, Lebanon, Philippines and wherever that claimed to have lived in Great Britain, Germany or France BEFORE they emigrated into the USA. They were there for 5-10 years and obtained a visa for the States. This makes my skin crawl. These legal residents or illegals get around the globe with no problems using citizen’s tax monies.

    • David Ashton

      And now Nigel Farrago wants Syrians in England…!
      Nearly three years ago I was in Norwich city hospital where the best nurse in every sense was a RomaNIAN, but just previously in seaside Sheringham my wallet was stolen by a RRoma gang. All the same, on the whole I believe each to his own: Britain for the British, Romania for the Romanians, and all Europe for Europeans.

  • john ellis

    As we face the abyss, can’t Irish and British bury the hatchet ?

    • saxonsun

      Most have–I have Irish students who love the English. We must stick together.

  • David Ashton

    Multi-cultural – their culture is to take, and our culture is to give, simples! From each according to his inability, to each according to his greed (the new marxism).

  • David Ashton

    The “liberal establishment” in Britain has a simple and unanswerable argument for open-door immigration: either the immigrants have skills we need to help us, or they have needs for which we have the skills to help them! So not only all gypsies but millions of all races, religions, languages and living-standards, disease or delinquency, are entitled to come here from the outside world, and only “racists” could possibly object. That is what “equality and diversity” really entails.

    “A global traffic station is not what most people mean by a country,” protests “racist” and “xenophobic” maverick Labour MP Frank Field. But then neither short-sighted capitalists nor longer-view communists believe in “countries” any more than John Engelman of AmRen.

    • Ella

      The concept of countries are much like private country or ethnic clubs. People pay their taxes for certain qualified benefits. The rest don’t earn it or deserve it if they do not contribute their labors and goodness within the communities.

      • David Ashton

        Communists historically opposed private, ethnic or bourgeois family associations with exclusive membership; “the workers have no country”.

        Capitalists? Retail magnate Sir Stuart [net worth $51 million] Rose, of Russian-Greek ancestry and Quaker upbringing, has no problem with foreign workers coming in and competing for the lowest wage, and thinks it is a strange period today when people don’t want to move very far from home or leave their families. “We should encourage people to find a way” to “move about” (Sunday Telegraph, Business, December 29, 2013)

        “An economy is not a country” – George Walden.

  • Magician

    Mildly funny

  • Magician

    Why did he hate France?

    • Katherine McChesney

      Waiting for an answer. But, I’d imagine it’s because of the Muslim overflow.
      I’ve met people from France who had snobbish attitude about Americans. One of them was Joanna Harcourt-Smith who stalked Timothy Leary while acting as a FBI informant against their fellow druggie friends. Everywhere Joanna went, trouble followed. Joanna hated Americans with a passion. She was a world-class manipulator and user. She’s like the Chinese…stealing the work of other people and turning them into her own. Leary dumped her for a new wife and took all references to her out of his books.
      Every Frenchman or Frenchwoman I knew was hygienically challenged.

      • FelixKrull

        I’ve met people from France who had snobbish attitude about Americans.

        In my experience, it’s mostly the other way around. The French don’t like the British much, but they feel a kinship to America through a common revolutionary and republican history. You’ll find more anti-Americanism in Germany, Britain and the Scandinavian countries.

  • Katherine McChesney

    I used to watch gypsies stalk their prey in Santa Monica on Friday and Saturday nights. I stared one of them down while she waiting to pounce on an old man I knew. She walked away hurriedly as I was defiant and would have yelled for the police.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Four years ago I met a group of young women in Santa Monica who were visiting from England. One of them was a Muslima who spoke “Liverpudlian”. That was very interesting to witness. All of them expressed their desire to move to the U.S. for “a better lifestyle”.