28 Jan 2013

Britain: the streets are not paved with gold

From the drizzle to daytime TV, your suggestions for a negative ad campaign (apparently) being planned by the UK government to deter potential immigrants coming here from Romania and Bulgaria.

Are you Romanian or Bulgarian? Well, don’t come to the UK. It’s rainy, we love reality shows and we’re in the middle of a really quite serious recession. In fact – and this isn’t just us being whinging Poms – it’s generally a bit rubbish here.

That’s the message the UK government has reportedly discussed getting out there, in a bid to prevent an influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants coming to the UK when current rules relax next year.

Reports have suggested ministers are considering screening a negative ad campaign about the UK in Romania and Bulgaria, which they hope could “correct the impression that the streets here are paved with gold”.

However, Prime Minister David Cameron‘s official spokesman declined to comment on the plan.

It’s rainy, we love reality shows and we’re in the middle of a really quite serious recession. It’s just a bit rubbish here.

“As you would expect, the government is considering what options there may be and the process of looking into these and considering them is under way.

“The issue here is around dealing with potential damage to the UK labour market and potential scope for curbing immigration to that end. We are in the process of considering what we may be able to do. Clearly there is a European legal framework within which we have to operate.”

He declined to give an estimate of how many Romanians and Bulgarians could come to the UK after the previous Labour administration significantly under-estimated numbers coming from countries like Poland in the last decade.

It is unclear what the adverts, if they are ever made it to television, could feature – but Channel 4 News readers and viewers have sent in a few options to help the government out, in case they are struggling.

On Facebook, Steven Worthington had plenty of ideas.

“The weather, the food, the ignorant people, the rip off prices, the big brother state, the nanny state, the list is endless…” he wrote.

“Give them a month’s holiday in London,” suggested Steve Lumby.

And Kenneth Marsden wrote: “Air Eastenders in both countries for a month.”

However, others had more serious suggestions.

“All you gotta do is show them the reality of our triple dip recession and the effects of it on real people. Sometimes the truth goes a long way,” wrote Jilly St John on Facebook.

“Britain’s paved with debt and payday loans,” added Matthew McDonnell.

And others questioned the entire logic of putting off people who wanted to be in this country.

“Why try and put people off? The more diverse a country, the better,” wrote Jack Barker.

“I have employed Polish and Latvians who do an excellent job, pay their taxes and live just as we do in British society. Work out who is here to work and welcome them,” added Binita Walia.