Quotes of the Month: On Fishing and Drink Driving

BBC’s Evan Davis, giving an overview of immigration impact on the British economy:

“If migrants eat 8% of our food, it would be silly to think that in the absence of migrants, the native British would eat 8% more.”

The Guardian’s Andrew Heydon’s review of a dance performance by Lithuanian Lora Juodkaite:

“As far as the British are concerned, Lithuania is virtually interchangeable with Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia – regardless of how offensive, geographically wrong-headed and ignorant that is – right?”

Tim Dowling does more to reveal the common stereotypes of East European migrants than any blog like this could do in years

“Eastern Europeans are sometimes accused of behaving as they would at home on the roads, but Poland has the strictest drink-driving laws in Europe, so perhaps they were just trying to adapt to Scottish custom.”

Tom Hamilton from the Daily Record on what kind of immigrants Scotland needs

“Since the 1950s, more than 800,000 people have left Scotland. With a low birth rate and an ageing population, we desperately need to attract more immigrants to maintain our standards of living.”

Lithuanian migrant worker Tanya Anderson, from Maryport, reveals to Times & Star that:

“The only negative thing was that when I said I was Lithuanian, people thought straight away that I work in the fish factory. We don’t all work in the fish factory.”

Sharp teeth, one leg, lesbian, and Lithuanian; what a picture!

To be honest, I am baffled. I’ve been rummaging through the darkest corners of my memory trying to recall the name of at least one ‘one-legged Lithuanian lesbian’ that would be not only world-famous, but notorious, too. So notorious, in fact, that rumours of such an individual had reached the ears of Mr David Cameron, who was so horrified at the thought that he couldn’t resist using it in what has become the strangest gaffe to make the headlines recently.

Oh dear. And we tried so hard to shake off the international image of being ‘Lithuanians with sharp teeth crawling up the beach with golf clubs to beat your brains out’ (as Mel Gibson famously put it).

However, the “Lithuanian lesbian” slip-up is not just about Lithuanians. It’s a wonderful example of a comment that can upset many more people other than just Lithuanians. What about disabled people? What about the sexual minorities? You don’t have to be Lithuanian to get offended! Continue Reading »