Polish MP’s spell as London migrant puts focus on brain drain


On a noisy pavement next to the Earls Court exhibition centre in London, two Polish-Australian documentary-makers are filming a Russian TV crew filming the Guardian’s photographer as she urges Artur Debski to loosen his crossed arms and smile a bit. A couple of pedestrians glance as they pass but, not spotting a face they recognise, hurry onwards with an impatient tut.

The 45-year-old Polish MP may not be a celebrity, but a fortnight after he landed in the UK he is in so much demand that his two phones buzz continually throughout our meeting. “Journalists,” he says. “I get 100 calls a day. But this is good. This is meant to be a provocation.”

Debski was criticised as a publicity-seeker when reports first emerged that he had come to London to live like a Polish immigrant, with a plan to pick up casual work and survive on £100 a week. The politician, a member of the liberal opposition party Twój Ruch (Your Movement), is happy with that. “In Poland, 70% of young people are thinking about emigration. Last year more people died than were born. This is very dangerous for our country.

Read it at the Guardian

Artur Debski in London. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

Artur Debski in London. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

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