“Spain is full of drunks and drug addicts who don’t want to work”

I was talking last night to a Bangladeshi who worked for a few years as an illegal in London, was deported, came to Spain and used forged papers to obtain residency during the big legalisation programme, and is now waiting out the statutory period to get back to London and restart work there with full status. I asked him why he didn’t want to stay in Barcelona, and he said that Spain is a B-list migrant destination, a country full of lazy people who sit around drinking and taking drugs, and who complain instead of working to buy houses. He’ll find out how wrong he is when he gets on the plane: my best guess is that around 10,000 smart and entrenpreneurial young Spanish are leaving permanently for London on an annual basis, in search of greater risks and rewards than are available in over-regulated, over-taxed Spain. I doubt that many autochthonous British know the name of any foreign secretary, past or present, but this gent was full of Robin Cook and his chicken tikka masala (background). I don’t give a fig for flags, but I was reminded of his civic patriotism–against the odds–by this piece in this morning’s NYT:

“We are here to support American values,” said Juan Gomez, 40, who arrived in Dallas from Peru 10 years ago and is vice president of United Voices for Immigrants and a teacher of English to immigrant adults. “America was built with immigrants.”

Fortunate the countries able to foster similar sentiments.

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