I know you don't have to go to London to understand the value this country gains from migrant workers, Indeed, here in Norfolk large elements of the economy are dependent on workers from the EU. Companies like Bernard Matthews, Kinnerton Chocolates and various others, most notably in food production and agriculture, are utterly dependent on workers from Poland and Portugal. However, I was astonished by the state of dependency on migrant workers in London.
Aside from when we went to the theatre (where all the staff appeared to be British), every bar, coffee shop, restaurant, indeed, even our hotel, was staffed almost exclusively by very well spoken, helpful and polite workers from the European mainland.
I know it must be easy for the "little England" brigades sat in rural Berkshire to moan about the influx of "foreigners", but we need to examine why it is that we now have hundreds of thousands of foreigners in this country doing jobs that British people could do, but why it is that 1.5 million British people would rather accept state benefits rather than go out to work.
The fact is that these migrant workers from the EU are not taking British workers jobs as people like to complain, in fact they do the jobs that too many British people feel are beneath them. What a terrible indictment of what our society has become that we pay people so very much to stay at home and do nothing. Then we seek to criticise those who come over here. uproot themselves from their families and friends, learn a new language and come to the UK to do jobs that British people are "too good for" .
I was reading my wife's magazine on the way home on the train yesterday and there was a story about a woman about 20 years of age. She has two children, gets £17,000 a year in benefits and was moaning that it was not enough.
It does make me wonder whether we need to be asking much more serious questions about how we have, in this country, allowed ourselves to believe that we have rights, but no responsibilities that go with them.
To my mind we should all be concerned about the fact that we can support and provide so much for so many people that care little for society, about their own self respect, and care not one jot about getting a job yet we have soldiers going out to fight for this country, who get wounded, and seem to get left with very little by the government.
Something has broken in this country, indeed in society as a whole, and it is difficult to see how it can be fixed.