Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You arseholes: too many foreigners

Poll: Number of people drops who believe there are too many foreigners------------------------------------------------------------------------The number of people who believe there are too many foreigners living in the Czech Republic has dropped by 9 percentage points over the past three years, suggests a new poll by the CVVM agency released on Wednesday. While in March 2009, 57 percent of Czechs surveyed said there were too many foreigners in the country, some 48 percent expressed the same opinion three years later. Around 43 percent of those surveyed in the latest poll said the number of foreigners in the country was "appropriate" while 11 percent of Czechs who took part in the poll believe foreigners should not be allowed to gain permanent residence in the Czech Republic at all.
I'm not going to waste my time looking into the credibility of this poll. The last one I looked into had less than a 1,000 respondents. Where from? Who knows.

Some of my best friends are foreigners living in the Czech Republic. Come to think of it, so am I. How many thousands of times have I heard from Czechs, oh why are you living here when I would happily swap to live in your country? Well, my xenophobic friend, my counrty welcomes foreigners and even teaches them English for free when they arrive so that they can feel at home, participate in the community, society and economy. You get permanent residence within a few years. It took me 15 years to get it in the xenophobic Czech Republic. And I've never had a free Czech lesson, not even a good one come to think of it. A few weeks ago, in the space of one week my Czech accent was criticized twice by young adult Czechs who can barely speak English. But don't you just wonder what is behind their criticism? Of all the horrible English I've had to listen to in my decades in this country, I've never really heard native English speakers criticising the Xenophobe's English accent. I wonder why not.


  1. I guess it might be about complexes. Now complexes are very personal things, and I don't believe in "national" ones, but there is an interaction which makes the nationals of one place or another more or less liable to have one complex or another. So if you once had an empire, or your country once perpetrated horrors on others in a terrible war, or it's just simply the most powerful in the world, or your language is for one reason or another THE language in the world, and therefore is successfully learnt by millions, then you're likely to have a different set of complexes to those whose nations have been at the other end of most of the usual scales. Those of the former may gravitate to something like an exaggerated sense of "noblesse oblige", or feeling the need to be REALLY friendly to everyone, etc., while those of the latter may tend, for instance, to the inverted snobbery of pretending your language is the most difficult in the world, or your country's food is the worst in the world, or adopting a Basil Fawlty attitude to customers (and maybe foreigners).

  2. I used to believe in the "very personal", not as an adopted view but it was inherent. As a child, I didn't get how there could be national stereotypes, for example. But when 10 mill people have the same education system that teaches the same things in the same ways, and these 10 mill people read the same books and watch the same films, (eating drinking sporting shopping) etc., I am willing to accept that there is a common core that creates at least the framework of a stereotype.