When the first wave of Poles arrived they were generally lauded as good eggs - as most of them are. I struck a note of caution though.
"The fact that these new Brits are polite and hard-working, do not do crack or firearms, nor are they likely to blow up Tube trains, is a function of the culture they have arrived with. It tells us nothing about what their first and second generation descendents will be like after twenty years exposure to the cultural vacuum of the UK."
They seem to be quick learners.
One man was taken to hospital and several others suffered more minor injuries during the mass brawl involving more than 30 men - believed to be mostly from Eastern Europe - outside the Lion And Keys pub in Leyton High Street, east London in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The pub's owner Fred Fetti said: "The English might be happy to go out for a drink and a dance, but the eastern Europeans like a drink, maybe some drugs and a scrap.
If you have Polish customers, you need Polish security. If you have Albanian customers, you need Albanian security and they need to be able to cut the trouble off before it starts.
"If someone is on drugs they think they're superhuman - Hercules. They don't respect anything. You need to give them a clump.
"The police are living in the 1960s, but we're not. They culture has changed and now we're dealing with people from another country. They can stab someone tonight and get a flight home tomorrow for £69.
"Something has to change. I'm not saying we understand what's needed, but we understand more than them. The police and the authorities need to sit down with the publicans and discuss what how to improve the licensing laws.
"They've given us later licenses and they've opened the doors to people from different countries, but they haven't taken account of how that changes the culture."
I was in the wholesale supermarket today - there's a new section devoted to Polish food. Not sure I can see the native Brits hitting sauerkraut the way they took to chicken tikka. And remember the 'they'll work for a few years then go home ?' mantra ? The lovely Anna from Stettin was back on the till today, blooming in her advanced pregnancy. The only place she's going in the near future will be the maternity unit at Gloucester Royal.
Homophones Strike Again...
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