If Conservative MPs ever deigned to talk to Polish builders they might discover people near-identical to the Norman Tebbit fantasy of the working class. Industrious savers. Family people. Willing to work for nothing. Fans of Thatcher, the Soviet-fighter. Disgusted by trade unionists and completely depoliticised.
Albanian London despises the mafia. Pints are raised to their downfall in Kilburn pubs. These are honest people furious that criminals have tarred their name. These people love Britain more than UKIP ever could. This is because Albanian London is one of refugees. Fathers named daughters born in the UK after sisters tortured by Serbian para-militaries in Kosovo. Children are taught about Tony Blair granting them asylum which saved them from war and poverty.
Poles and Albanians talk about Britain as a "mini-America". But there is no British dream. East Europeans came to London not inspired by a dream of how great things could be, but by the knowledge of how much worse they can be. Talk of Britishness draws a blank face. Immigrants say, "Britain is a land of opportunity." But they do not feel particularly welcome. As if they are living in a spare room.
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