English MPs have complained that many of them are struggling to find work in the House of Commons in the face of strong competition from Polish and other Eastern European immigrants.
Although elected MPs are supposed to be British citizens, the authorities at the Palace of Westminster have found it easier to pay Polish immigrants to do the actual work than wait around for the elected members to turn up.
‘The Eastern Europeans get here at seven and work really hard,’ said the chair of Labour’s Select Committee on Transport Gwyneth Dunwoody. ‘I said we needed to redraft a road pricing review for a Treasury report which I though would take all week. The Polish guys rolled their sleeves up and had it done by lunchtime.’
Bulgarians, Hungarians and Rumanians have been working long hours responding to constituent enquiries, drafting early day motions, taking part in debates with the result that British Members of Parliament have been returning from long lunches to find there’s nothing for them to do.
Even government ministers are feeling the pinch. At their last meeting, the Cabinet were introduced to ‘Grzegorz’ aged 28, from Gdansk, who it was announced was taking over some of John Prescott’s responsibilities at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. ‘Is easy!’ said Grzegorz ‘Is not proper job. Take me two hours, max!’
The Prime Minister has promised John Prescott other responsibilities as compensation. The Deputy Prime Minister has been asked to monitor policy development, oversee the effective delivery across various departments, as well being given a number of painting and decorating jobs in the suburbs of Warsaw.