Next I post a motion to Liverpool City Council that I wrote in April 2006, encouraging the city authorities to welcome new Polish residents.
I am disappointed that, when I was a city councillor, Liverpool did little or nothing official to welcome new residents from the new EU members states of Eastern Europe, it didn’t even mark this occasion, unlike much smaller Caernarfon Council in its waterfront regeneration. At that time, and in the ten years since, Liverpool has also done nothing or very little to celebrate its links with twin and friendship cities and encourage residents to do so. When I visit other countries in Europe (and some other cities in the UK – usually smaller ones) they do much more. Liverpool is an international city, a famous World city, but it should still make an effort to encourage these links. In the interests of broadening horizons, history, peace, cultural exchange and education. I’ve made repeated efforts to encourage this though welcome any ideas for how to practically help.
I post the Polish motion from 2006 partly in response to the hostile and unfriendly atmosphere that has prevailed in England and Wales since the deceitful tragic referendum vote by a minority of the voters to leave the European Union. Recently I was heartened that a former student from Vietnam visiting with his family encountered friendly helpful people across England – as since the Referendum I’ve heard many direct stories of talented students, graduates and their families being abused. These are usually Asian students (abused as ‘Muslims’ whether they are or not). They still love Britain but they can’t understand why the country they and their parents or grandparents loved is leaving the EU and they are bemused at hostility by ignorant people. Foreign students are usually temporary residents, not migrants. There are pros and cons to migration itself, including from Eastern Europe (and non EU middle east and refugee countries), but I urge people to reflect on who is doing the jobs that provide their cheap goods and services and to remember just how poor much customer service was in England before Eastern Europeans (especially Romanians) and other immigrants (Turks / Kurds / Albanians / Arabs / Afghans even, South Americans, many Africans in London to add to the longstanding Irish, New Zealand, Australian) started doing those jobs much better.