The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, said that when he took the train from Charing Cross to Grove Park he heard little but foreign tongues and I’d be surprised if most of us haven’t had similar journeys. When a mischievous left leaning radio presenter extracted the comment from Mr. Farage that he wouldn’t be happy to live next door to Romanians, something he has since retracted, I thought he may have attended one of Chief Superintendent Peter Ayling’s meetings because he is always sounding off about the effect of Romanians on his burglary statistics.
I suspect I am more qualified than any of them to say my piece about Romanian neighbours as I have had some for the past four or five years. For the pedants amongst you they live at No.9 and I live at No. 5 so they are not next door but pretty close.
To be honest I was not aware for many months that I had Romanian neighbours because the lady of the house speaks impeccable English without a trace of an accent. If she had not called out to her dog in her native tongue I might never have thought about her nationality. Only then did I notice that her equally fluent husband had a slight accent.
We are not especially close friends but as neighbours one couldn’t ask for better. They have a daughter of nearly three and I would guess her married parents are in their early thirties. I recently asked them what it was like being a Romanian in Bexley and an hour later I found myself deeply ashamed of what I learned about this borough.
The lady came to Britain because she had worked in Tunisia for a well known British company and they asked her to take up a position in their head office accounts department. She is close to fulfilling her ambition of becoming a Chartered Accountant and her husband is in regular employment too. Neither have ever drawn a penny in benefits yet they are often treated as outcasts.
When officialdom from Bexley council or the Health Service takes an interest in the Romanian child’s welfare they assume that the mother cannot speak English properly and therefore cannot be adequately caring for the daughter or preparing her for life in an English speaking country. I would back this Romanian to beat any racist Bexley council jobsworth in an English examination any day.
The police are no better. When a white English drug addict being housed nearby at public expense threatened to kill the Romanians Bexley council did nothing and the police sided with the drug addict. I heard about the threat to kill some time ago because another neighbour witnessed one such event. From memory the drug addict’s TV stopped working and the Romanian man was asked to fix it. He did his best but failed for which death was judged to be a suitable reward.
After such incidents became too common the Romanians started to record encounters with the drug addict and only then did the police behave in a more reasonable non-racist manner. A magistrate dished out a six month prison sentence.
My Romanian friend then expanded on her disenchantment with Bexley although it was only what everyone over the age of 50 already knows. The country has gone to the dogs.
People over aged 50 were, she said, generally polite and considerate but in her opinion a third generation underclass is being brought into the world by their ill educated barely civilised parents.
If her bi-lingual daughter is taken to a local park and makes the ‘mistake’ of speaking to her mother in Romanian as often as not other parents nearby will tell her to f*** off back to where she came from, with the occasional c word thrown in. The daughter is now taken to parks deep into Kent to avoid such encounters.
I was told that when teenagers join the toddlers in local parks knickerless girls could sometimes be seen displaying their wares to ogling boys and neither parents wanted their daughter exposed to that sort of thing. That didn’t come as a complete shock to me as a Sidcup reader told me a while ago that sexual favours have become a form of currency among her daughter’s teenaged peers. When a car owning older teenager gives a school girl a lift they aren’t asked to help with the cost of fuel any more.
The young (usually) women in the park not only tell the Romanian to eff off, they address their own children in the same way and allow them to run around unsupervised with “wet trousers and bogeys hanging from their noses and dirt under their uncut finger nails”. Almost needless to say the mothers are more interested in smoking and the occasional can of lager than their children. As a single man I am not allowed into playgrounds but similar behaviour may be seen at more or less any time in Bexleyheath Broadway.
When on one occasion an 18 month old baby was found screaming in fear and alone at the top of a climbing frame, my Romanian neighbour rescued her and was lucky to get away unscathed. I saw something very like that in the Bexleyheath shopping mall not long ago when a foul mouthed young woman berated an elderly lady who had helped a young child to its feet after falling heavily with no sign of anyone being in charge.
The Romanians are really scared about letting their daughter go to the local school where bad language and behaviour may be observed by anyone who walks by while the children are at play or leaving and have thought of going back to Romania where “the education is so much better”. My neighbours were speaking English by the age of eight, but they say they love the freedoms they find in England, comparing it favourably with several European countries, and are reluctant to give up what they have both worked for.
Politically their views are just as depressing. David Cameron is thoroughly disliked for being “arrogant and untrustworthy, just saying whatever he thinks is popular at the moment” and Miliband is dismissed as an irrelevance, but it is for Nigel Farage that they reserve their hatred.
Apparently he wants to expel all Romanians, thinks women should expect to be raped now and again, is a 21st century Adolph Hitler and a Belgian! Now it is true that I don’t have much time for newspapers and my television watching does not go beyond an occasional quick dip into the rolling news channels, but I am not aware that Nigel Farage has said anything remotely like that or anything to justify the Nazi tag, so I can only assume that the mud freely thrown about on social media by the more extreme, perhaps I should say unintelligent, politicians from all three main parties does have an impact. From my sample of two immigrants I would say it is causing severe racial tensions where none need exist. Personally I blame the mud slinging politicians and journalists as much if not more than the UKIP leader.
After being so forcibly told how some of the natives, council officials, the police and sluts in the park all behave towards immigrants I am pleased I have Romanians for neighbours rather than some of the alternatives but now I am thoroughly depressed by it all from being reminded of what I had begun to accept as the unfortunate norm. Thank goodness I am no longer young and trying to build a respectable family. If I was I would be trying to get away from this place.