Government Figures put the number of Polish Plumbers in the UK at 95!
I feel humbled to have temporarily had at my service one of this country's 95 Polish plumbers. The man in question came recommended by a client of mine who, in turn, had employed the fellow, courtesy of a neighbour. Both reported that the gentleman had done the job well.
In today's Britain, the middle-class householder has a siege mentality.
Crime against the homeowner is routine. Cars are vandalised and homes broken into with such casualness that it elicits little more than a shrug when mentioned by friends over supper.
Insurance companies are not far short of accomplices in this cycle. It is virtually impossible to make a successful claim without having to undergo a humiliating examination of your motives which makes one feel a participant in the criminal act.
One of these insurance companies is now using recognisable actors to put forward the idea that their services somehow 'Make Me Happy'. Make me laugh more like.
The relationship between the criminal, the police - who never recover stolen goods - and those who assure one of reimbursement, is now a cynical cartel.
Owning a home is now considered almost a crime by this Government.
The government is raking in unjustifiable amounts from the sale of property through stamp duty. Even as we depart for that great second home in the sky the chancellor claims inheritance tax from ones estate.
Some time ago we learned the Government was contemplating extortionate council tax rises for those of you living south of Solihull.
There were also some questionable figures about Polish plumbers.
In Britain today, the Polish plumber is seen by mortgage payers as something of a hero.
He - I have yet to come across a she - is like a resistance fighter, parachuted into occupied France during the Second World War, nurtured and passed from safe house to safe house.
He is watered, and fed on McVitie's plain digestives before being furnished with local currency well out of sight of the authorities.
The Polish plumber I worked with was quick and efficient. He always turned up early with a positive work attitude and was a delight to work with and not once did I catch sight of any butt crack!
He was cheap and did not make me feel that he was doing me a favour by just turning up at the promised time.
He left a card which gave a first name and a mobile telephone number. I would not hesitate to use him again or pass him on to the next victim of blocked drains or plumbing breakdown.
But, if figures released by the Home Office are to be believed, then I suspect that he, and his fellow Polish plumbers, are not short of work.
I seem to recall a certain Tony McNulty once stood up in the Commons to reveal the Government line on Polish plumbers.
At the time McNulty was the Minister responsible for immigration. As such, Polish plumbers fall in his parish and he revealed that they were not that thick on the ground.
Since the expansion of the European Union we have been operating a thing called the Workers' Registration Scheme. Everyone coming here and who wants to work has to clock in with this body. And of course Polish plumbers being the god fearing folk that they are rush to do so!
Apparently only 95 Polish plumbers have done so.
This is, if true, slightly worrying. If only 95 Polish plumbers are now servicing the entire country they must be working extraordinarily long hours.
I am not much for Health and Safety but there are limits.
Polish plumbers are now acknowledged by hard-working homeowners as beacons of decent workmanship and fair pricing. If they are in such demand then surely they will push up their rates which is also worrying.
The government misister, of course, was talking pure hokum by suggesting that plumbers from Poland number no more than 95.
He went on to deny that the statistics mean that thousands more Polish plumbers were out and about working in the black economy. tut, tut.
He had to do this, of course, to defend the Government's inability to control what newcomers get up to when they arrive in this country.
He had to say this very publicly in order to reassure English plumbers, who up to the time of the Polish invasion, had terrorised middle England with extravagant displays of beer guts, butt cracks, course jokes, fag behind ear conversations and mortgage type prices for the simplest of jobs, many of which failed to last longer than the time it took for them to reach their vans.
To tell the truth would be to admit to the public that he is being robbed of large amounts of dosh in VAT because an army of industrious Polish people are giving the most taxed and hardest-working sector of the nation roughly what they want at a price they like. It is certainly a novelty.
Long may it continue.........
Regretfully, with the upsurge of the Polish economy, no doubt helped by the vast sums that were being sent home by Polish plumbers, many Polish tradesmen have returned home to enjoy a better standard of living and a better education for their children which was not possible whilst in Britain!