Spit and Polish

Stereotyping and ignorance about Poles remains commonplace in the UK

Polish is now Britain’s second language, with 550,000 speakers, according to newly released census figures (which probably underestimate the real total). This delights me, and not only because it means I can buy chocolate-covered plums and practise my Polish. A strong Polish diaspora in Britain and other countries helps heal a miserable chapter of division and betrayal in Europe that began in 1938. (Disclosure: my own family is Anglo-Polish, but the other way round: my brother and his children live in Krakow.)

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