LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
2 February 2013
The Poles Have It

"Dzień dobry", but never "do widzenia". The Polish wave of EU immigration
arrived and settled; 546,000. Polish is now the second language in England and
Wales according to the 2011 Census.

In London 100 languages can be heard. 22 million have English as a second
language. 138,000 speak no English at all. "Rety!" Personally I mainly hear
French... "Mais oui" and a bit of Italian from tourists..."Andiamo!"

The tabloids were outraged, naturally. In two years time they will spew vitriol
over the threatened massive influx of Romanians and Bulgarians. The new
Citizen's Test requires hours of telly watching. So. Who killed Den in the pub
with the statue? Who are the two women on EastEnders who aren't weighed
down with hair extensions? Hint: Dot's one.

All those 'nasty' non-British Poles took jobs from real Brits. Well, thank god they
did. Clearly none of the editors have needed a doctor, midwife, plumber,
electrician, painter and decorator, cleaner, mover in the last decade. They do
go on and on about 'foreigners' taking over the island - like the Celts, the
Romans, Vikings, French, Germans?

A British historian descended from a Polish noble family, Adam Zamoyski,  
says Poles are: “Brilliant workers. When they’re abroad, they put their best foot
forward and act as ambassadors for their country. They have a better
experience in England than they do in Germany or France. They’re treated as
menial in other countries; in England, they’re treated with kindness.” Clearly he
doesn't read the Daily Mail.

Road signs, churches, cultural centres, clubs, pubs, newspapers. With 20,495
babies born to Polish mothers in 2011 indisputably the Poles are here to stay.
Get used to it.

For opening the immigration gates and then holding them open, Tony (Blair)
was a no-show for his special award from Polish Business Leaders.
"Dziękujemy, Tony."

Oh dear. It is a complicated language and that's only visually. I'll stop at
sauerkraut - sold at Tesco, Morrison's, Waitrose, Sainsbury's....

It has been predicted that Chinese may surpass Polish, if Theresa May ever
lets them in.


Focus

Professional athletes have better cognitive skills than undergraduates and even
PhD students. Really?

A Canadian academic, Jocelyn Faubert, has discovered that those over-paid,
hedonistic, monosyllabic, solipsistic sports stars have different brains from the
rest of us. They use 'hyper-focus' to develop superior cognitive skills. Really?

Wayne Rooney? Really?

French, American, Canadian, British professional rugby players, ice hockey
players, footballers, amateurs and students volunteered the use of their brains.

Faubert: "It would appear that athletes are able to hyper-focus their attention to
enhance learning, which is key to their abilities. You're not going to ask a
footballer to explain the theory of relativity. They might not be able to express
themselves verbally or be good with numbers, but intelligence comes in many
varieties." Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea...?

The Neurotracker, a machine that sets complex visual challenges, revealed the
athletes were able to learn how to track fast-moving 3D objects much more
quickly than the other groups.

Man United have adopted the tests as brain-training to accelerate their players'
reflexes. Ex-Man United, David Beckham clearly is an example.

The richest, most popular footballer will play for the richest club. Aka 'Le Spice
Boy' will raise the profile of Qatar, the club's owners since 2011 who will host
the World Cup in 2022.

Brilliant PR with his 4 million euros donated to a local children's charity, T-shirts
selling fast at 110 euros, 75% French tax avoidance  when he joins  Paris Saint-
Germain on a five-month contract where he'll play 15 games or less. Clever use
of hyper-focus.

Cynics have pounced on him as only "a cheerleader rather than actually play
football". Hmmm. Even if true, cheerleader - footballer... do we actually care?
Obviously gifted, good-looking, charismatic, clever, the list is considerable; it's
not just his brain. I want a T-shirt.
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