Next year, the temporary ban on the free movement of labor imposed upon the two newest members of the European Union, Romania and Bulgaria, expires. Terrified of an influx of immigrants from these two member states, the British Government is considering running a negative advertising campaign in Romania and Bulgaria to demonstrate just how shit the UK really is. Seriously. There’s too much humor value here to let it slide.
The Guardian has a slide show of 18 proposed posters submitted by their readers here. I chose the example above as Plymouth is particularly gruesome when it comes to trash bags on the street (the very large seagull population has a strong incentive to hang out here) and random litter. A few months ago, on a ten minute walk home from a park with my daughter, I took over 30 pictures of the litter we encountered just for the hell of it, sort of an attempt to rigorously document my anecdotal impressions of the place having lived here for nine years. It wasn’t an uplifting exercise (but the daughter got a kick out of it).
In addition to the sublime negative marketing campaign, “Other reported options include making it tougher for EU migrants to access public services. Another is to deport those who move to Britain but do not find work within three months.” Unless Romania and Bulgaria have additional limitations imposed upon them as part of their accession to the EU, I doubt either are legal. (UPDATE: according to commenter Lurker, the economically viable unemployed can be deported). Of course, there’s also the arrogance of it all. Why Britain and not, say, Germany? The Netherlands? France? Or just about anywhere in the EU that’s affordable, with a functioning public transport system, good food, and weather that’s not completely shit?