In 1897 Irish author Bram Stoker wrote the famous novel Dracula which tells the story of vampire Count Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania in Romania to England.
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania which was once controlled by the Romans, hence the name Romania, and is one of the areas from which many of the modern day Romanian immigrants will leave to seek a better life in the UK following the relaxation of immigration controls in Britain which further open up the possibility of finding legitimate work for the many thousands of immigrants who will come here.
I understand the concern of many people in the UK who feel that immigration is generally bad, and that a flood of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants will affect their job prospects, or those of their offspring, but personally I think moderate immigration is a good thing.
We must remember that most Romanians are not Roma just as most British people are not Gypsies. Many are doctors, dentists and lawyers, although I accept that quite a few will be seeking more menial jobs.
I can only speak as I find and I use a Romanian car wash occasionally and every single person there works their socks off, often in freezing conditions.
There is absolutely nothing stopping British born entrepreneurs setting up these car washes so why don't they do it?
I have been all over the World and generally I find that there is good and bad in every society. Generalising can be dangerous, especially when put forward for political gain or as a way of promoting racism.
During the very cold winter of 2012 I visited Cribbs Causeway shopping mall just outside Bristol with my son Leon. We were on our way back from Nottingham where we had driven for a meeting, going there and back on the same day in a four wheel drive vehicle through heavy snow. We were desperate for a hot coffee and something to eat so we parked the car and walked in through John Lewis's entrance on the ground floor. The shop was deserted, but at least it was open! Good old John Lewis. Open regardless of weather conditions, even if it was with a skeleton workforce.
As we entered the main section of the shopping centre we saw that most shops were closed but continued to the food hall anyway where we found everywhere shut except KFC right at the end. Ah! at least we can get some food we thought! so proceeded to order. While we were waiting we got chatting to the girl serving us who displayed a foreign accent. I asked her where she was from and she told me she was Latvian.
"How did you get to work?" I asked.
"I walked," she told me.
"Do you live locally?" I replied.
"No, not really," she said, "I live in Bedminster which is about six miles away."
She went on to tell us that she had come to Britain to work, not scrounge off our welfare system, so felt obligated to get to work whatever the weather.
"Why should British people keep me?" she continued.
I know that many people will say this is an exception, but I don't think so. Immigrants are generally people who travel great distances to better their life and living on benefits doesn't really fit that profile.
Lets face it, if a Polish family can drive, or in many cases walk, and hitch lifts, right across Europe in the hope of finding work they are just the sort of people we want in our society where claiming benefits is often seen as a career choice.
Welfare benefits should be reserved for the most needy among our society who would be able to see an increase in their allowance if only a proper system of weeding out the people who see easy receipt of benefits as a way of not working.
I certainly do not believe that Romanian, Bulgarian or any other economic immigrant should automatically be able to claim benefits from taxes which have been paid by honest British people and we do need a proper system to prevent this abuse, but I have no issue whatsoever with the majority of immigrants who come here to work and better their lives.
My father taught me that there is no shame in any job, however menial, but there is shame in choosing to live off benefits when you are fit to work and a job is offered. in my opinion this applies equally whether you are born in Britain, Romania, Poland or Bulgaria and regardless of race, colour or religion.