Thursday 7 February 2013

Romanians make good immigrants


Admitting a million Poles, even though in good manners, industry, church attendance and many other ways they put the English to shame, was certainly a mistake on the part of the UK. We know this because ministers said they expected tens of thousands to come. Still, if Britain and other Western European countries have decided that they need immigrants, and they have, they should be very grateful that the EU has a supply on hand of Eastern European would-be immigrants. Yet while the British press worry about an influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants after January 1 2014, David Cameron announces that 

‘There is no limit on the number of  students who can come from India to study at British universities, no limit at all. All you need is a basic English qualification and a place at a  British university. What’s more, after you’ve left a British university, if you can get a graduate-level job there is no limit to the amount of people who can stay and work, or the time that they can stay at work.’

Romanians, like other people from the former Eastern Bloc,  are highly-educated, conservative, Christian and European. Romanians come from a Near Eastern culture, unlike the Poles, who are Catholics and Central Europeans, but they bring with them so many qualities that the British seem to produce less often than in the past. Romanian women are womanly (and very often beautiful), Romanian men are virile even if they seem very effete at first sight. Romanians are family minded, esteem education and usually believe in God. Best of all, they come from a part of the world where the 1960s never happened.

Romanians were disappointed but not in the least surprised by the noisy British reluctance to let them settle in the UK. As far as Romanians are concerned, they blame this reluctance on confusion abroad between Romanians and Roma. (Roma is the modish, EU-approved term for gypsies.) It is no use saying to Romanians that Romanian gypsies are both Romanian and Roma. ‘Romanian’ is understood here as an ethnicity not a citizenship. A Romanian man I know, for example, always says that he is Greek not Romanian, even though his family came to Romania in the t860s. Similarly, few ethnic Romanians think Romania’s Hungarians, German or Jewish minorities are Romanian. Children of mixed marriages do though.

Romanians usually have a very high opinion of England, based partly on books and films. I would expect Romanians to be disappointed by the reality of violent crime, binge drinking, feminism and innumerable rules. Romania, where people smoke in bars and say whatever they like about most things, is a much freer country these days. But no, Romanians usually love England and so they should. Things work in England and people are kind and honest, though the trusting nature of the English provokes wonder and seems naive. Britain is still a wonderful country and London is the only big city in Europe which is not a museum. The small minority of Romanians I spoke to who did not like England gave as their reason the number of non-white people there.


  1. The hate campaign against Romanians is giving results: two Romanians were beaten up In Brighton for admitting they were Romanians.
    I was a first-hand witness of the persecutions of Romanians in Italy in 2007. At that time I thought that such a thing cannot happen in Britain as the country is far more civilised than Italy. Well, I was utterly wrong. They are as uncivilised and racist as the Italians. I publicly apologize for thinking Britons were better than Italians. Now I know better..

    1. Go and live among them then, they are the lowest form of life on this planet

  2. "Romanian come from a Near Eastern culture" - define Near East please?! You won't tell me that to the insulars, everything that is not catholic or protestant is already near east?! THIS IS Southeastern Europe! Near East is Lebanon, Syria, maybe even Iraq, it is outside Europe! God in Heavens!

  3. I like the post, as a Romanian and as a former journalist. It idealizes us a bit, saying only the good things, but hey, it's attitude, not some social research. I especially liked that you picked up the thing I enjoy the most in the Eastern cultures - the freedom and candor of saying what you think, the fact that the government doesn't feel the need to "take care of me" to the deepest detail, and let instead the society do it (you will feel this in China, which at street level is freer than US).

    As for UK, it upsets me that you guys accept all kind of people who are different from you and want to keep being different (Muslims), and you reject Romanians, who only want to be like you. As you emphasized in your post, we make good immigrants because we are hard workers and we integrate fast. Not the Roma of course, they don't integrate (excellent that you pointed out the difference Roma - Romanian! )

    Very interesting quote on the Indians. I met more than 100 in my life - I mean, although I stay away from generalizations, i would make one in their case: they all shared some characteristics that I did not appreciate. So your leaders are ready to accept in your island hundreds of million of those, that's interesting.

    I am not at all an adept of conspiracy theories, but what happens now with Romanians in Europe seems very much similar to what happened in the 30's with Jewish. Even calling gypsies "Roma" seems to not be a coincidence. Anyway - everybody seems to hate and despise us, I experienced that in many situations, that is I stay away from Western Europe (in 2008 I was offered a teaching job in Sweden but I said no; I am happier here in China).

  4. My wife (a Thai nurse doing Master at Bedfordshire Univ) just came to spend Christmas with me. She says that the teacher of Clinical Assessment spent half hour discussing with them how terrible is that Romanians and Bulgarians will invade from 2014. In her class there are 20+ Indians, 2 Nepalese, one Chinese and her...

    It really looks like a brainwash to me, something to make simple people worry about, so to not see the real problems of the British society.

  5. Arabella McIntyre-Brown16 December 2013 at 15:42

    The scaremongering media (esp Mail and Express newspapers) have succeeded beyondtheir wildest dreams in demonising 'immigrants', and now the Romanians are in the dock. Little do Little Britons realise that there are lots and lots of Romanians living and working in Britain as part of British society (I am English but live in rural Romania), socially integrated and paying tax on earnings as well-educated professionals (mostly). And have been for years, decades. given your description of them, Paul, you should alert the conservative press to the conservative, modest, hard-working, family-minded nature of the Romanians who want to become assets to the UK. They could be the answer to Middle England's prayers.

    1. Demonising immigrants? (Why the inverted commas around 'immigrants'?) The papers did not demonise them effectively enough to prevent huge numbers settling in the UK. A million people settled in the UK in 2011 and 2012.