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Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Wisbech: The big migrant job-swap



Wisbech: The Day The Immigrants Left is a documentary that aired on BBC One on Wednesday 24 February at 9pm.

Set in a hypothetical scenario where migrant workers leave the Cambridgeshire town, the show offered their jobs to out-of-work locals.

Are British people unwilling to take on the jobs that migrant workers do?

It's a debate that will rumble on for years to come, but what do you think? Use the form below to have your say and read other people's comments.


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• Samantha Clemson, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire: I thinks this show was all about politics. I admit there are people in this country who do not want to work possibly because they are lazy but probably because they will be worse off. I use to work in a factory packing conpost and fertiliser which, i might add was dirty back breaking work 12 hour days but hey guess what the workforce was british and the work got done. I work in a company now where most of the workforce is British and we are growing in a recession. I think the programme was just a sad excuse to try and justify this government allowing migrant workers to take the jobs. My partner has been made redundant and there is not a single low skilled job advertised anywhere in the food industry, he is not a layabout he is just someone trying to make a living and put British money back in British pockets. I would like to say i have no problem within anyone of any nationality applying for British jobs but please give us Brits a chance and at least advertise the jobs so that we might apply for them too.

• John, March: When I first moved into this area in 1994 a visit to Wisbech Market was like watching paint dry. The market was moribund. Now it is vibrant and full of life, with plenty of people spending money there. A large proportion of the market goers are immigrants so not all their pay packets are going home to Poland! The locals are all benefiting from their spending power. I think people are tilting at the wrong targets. Consider what the going rate was for picking asparagus - then look at how much it is in the supermarket - about five or six times that. Lets discuss the profits made on the backs of whoever works the land and try to improve the wages so this work becomes more attractive to 'home-grown' labour. Secondly, without wishing to denigrate other contributors, the literacy of some comments is very poor. Here we should be looking at our education system which seems to be failing just about everyone - time and time again employers are grumbling about the lack of numeracy and literacy of school leavers - perhaps with a better educated working population there could be a larger number of more satisfying jobs for all. We may then be glad of immigrant labour because we will all be in good jobs.

• Ray Clark, Wisbech: Very interesting programe, I live in Wisbech and have worked on the land many years ago when you picked under a peace work rate, not as it is now. If you only earnt £15 for 8 hours work thats all you got paid, unlike now where your wages are made up to the minimum rate. I wonder if these foreign workers would be so keen on working under these terms. The program put it across that if it were not for foreign workers the work would not get done, well what happened for all the years foreign workers wernt here the work got done then and on a larger scale. Also it was not made clear that the young lady who phoned in with food poisoning was told by the film company not to come into work as it was a food establishment. I think the programe was very one sided against Wisbech people and to put the record straight every area has people who do not wish to work, but most Wisbech people are hard working people who are not in and out of work.

• Mr Stanford, Wisbech: Unbelievable!.I can't believe you spent a year doing this programme and this is what you came up with? Obviously after you advertised for people to take part, these were the 12 you came up with? You basically took 12 people who blame the immigrants for taking there jobs - instead of asking the 99% of local residents who understand the affect that the migrants are having on our town. The majority of the town understand that some foreign workers are needed to do most of the landwork because they are better at the job and willing to take the lower pay as it exceeds the wage they get in there home country.

• AJ, Birmingham: My daughter starts a saturday job today at the age of 15. It has taken enormous parental support to give her the confidence to apply when there are so few jobs available to the under 16's and it is easier to moan about a lack of jobs than persist in finding one. Employers moan about a lack of learning culture but her generation find almost no jobs available while at school, and that is not an idle phrase, for people under 16, and those jobs available to the 16+ are often mentally and physically unskilled jobs which require little to no initiative beyond being there, yet schools now teach young people to make good life choices and persist till they get their 'right' job, something that is usually not possible for your first employment, you need to 'get on with it' and learn that you get paid for working hard.

• Steve, Wisbech: I thought the programme was good, I am sick of hearing locals moaning about foregners, when it is obvious that they contribute a lot to our region. the programme showed that farming would be nearly imposible without them. They are hear to work, they pay taxes which keep a lot of lazy brits on the dole.

• Ellen, Hertford: Firstly, why make a programme like this if not for propaganda purposes, for what other point does the programme make. It was interesting to note Evan Davis begins the with his mind already made up, a sure sign of an agenda. He exhibited a biased attitude right from the start which he obviously expected people to share, with a pseudo sad, resigned and smirky air, his expressions conveyed a nudge nudge, wink wink attitude which preceeded all discussions with the factory and farmer. The BBC have shot themselves in the foot, proving what most people already know, that it is a government propaganda machine and best to be avoided, with the exeption of a few drama/soap series. Factual and unbiased reporting is a thing of the past.

• Ron, Bungay: Enlightening, depressing, but well worth watching. Evan Davies got the tone just right, and demonstrated how many aspects of life in Britain are in decline. It should be a usefull pointer for the next government as to how to stop the rot. Oh yes, what was the name of Namor Ali's restaurant? I'd like to visit it.

• Glenn: I think makers of this program were not addressing the issues. If Britain is a multicultural country why was such a white area picked. Why not the East Midlands instead of Cambridge. Why even have the program in the format it was in. You could just compare a set of workplaces staffed by British workers and ones staffed by migrants. Is the BBC saying there are no British people in the building trade, food packing and service industries. No British people working in factories and no British low skilled workers of other types. No British Black or Asian unemployed. No immigration failures. No unemployment amongst migrants. It seems all very unlikely to me.

• Tony, Holbeach: I think that some of the candidates chosen for work were people they knew wouldn't turn up. The men who went to the potatoe factory did prove they could do it. John Hayes MP said in Parliament that certainly 85% of unskilled labor in the areas went to foreigners which could be taken up by locals but it was not a case of local people not wanting to do the work but were singled out of jobs and that we don't actually need foreign labor.

• Trevor, Sheffield: I too watched this programme and was totally unsurprised by the pro-Labour bias that it displayed. Just the title "The Day the Immigrants Left" was a giveaway. They aren't leaving! The final proof of the bias of this programme was right at the end, where Davis visited the Wisbech JobCentre. Shown scanning the machines in the Centre, he willingly highlighted a couple of jobs - cleaners and the like - and made sure he mentioned the wage (often poor) and the fact that the job was 'permanent'. The more eagle-eyed viewers may have looked further down the screen where the hours were 12 and 15.5 per week respectively. Still, don't let facts get in the way etc.

• Susan, Brighton: Firstly I believe the broadcast highlighted the complexity of the debate around migrants and particularly from the Eastern European countries. Lets imagine if the migrants had never come. The employers presumably the employers would have had to find a way of harvesting and packing their crops. Those employers would have to raise the wage, the locals signing on would have to apply for the vacancies, according to their JSA conditions, and the level of unskilled unemployment would have gone down, surely?

• Julian, London: It is the benefit system has made these people the way they are. If these people had no money, food or housing unless they worked then they would take on any job and would be very grateful. I found it very hard to believe that most of them were too ill to turn up despite knowing it was only for a few days and that the entire nation would be watching.

• James, Keighley: I find it highly offensive that in this time with high unemployment where there are good skilled workers looking for jobs, that the BBC basically say this is what would happen if there were jobs, English people would be lazy and quit. Im not saying immigrants who work are bad, most of them will be very hard workers, but so are most British people, this program is completely bias. Basically this is a way of making the labour party look a little better for letting this country get over populated and people have to pay the BBC with their TV licence so they can produce pointless shows like this. If anything, the BBC should be replaced by better workers because the produce absolutely nothing that's worth watching.

• Chris, Stroud: First of all I was ashamed to be British. They were all an embarassment,except for the Plasterer. I then began to wonder wether the program was a set up to make interesting viewing. I cannot believe that out of 350 applicants they were the best you could find.

• John, Wisbech: I have woked in the food industry all my life and have seen the changes in the shoop floor workforce from English to Immigrant. The food industry due to seasonality ushally has a core workforce, which is then made up with agency labour, which used to be English. The agency labour consited of people who thought all they had to do was turn up to get paid.(It was insteresting that the two people at Greenvale could not even be bothered to turn up on time)The company I worked for started to use labour from Portugal. What a trasformation these guys want to work and work hard, increased factory output and eager for permanent jobs, which a lot of them were given on merit and more lately Eastern Europeans as well. It has to be said that Carpenter done a good job, and the young lad in the indian resturant may well have been ok if his workmates could have been bothered to turn up, at least he gave it a go. The rest were an embarrassment to the people of Wisbech who want to work and the British worker in general.

• Steve, Wisbech: This documentary was very one sided, it did no justice to the hard working people of this area. Yes it is true that there are a lot of foreign nationals doing the work that most of the british would feel beneath them but there are jobs there,maybe not to everyones liking, but if you need work to pay the bills anything will do to keep your pride intact.My concern is that the money these people earn is not being spent in this country but being sent abroad so the local economy suffers.

• Mrs Harris, Enfield: The people who dropped out due to `sickness` should be asked if they would be willing to give it a go again, then you may find out who wants to work and who doesn`t. As a 17yr old, I spent hours picking potatoes and turning a large wheel to generate power to a sheep shearing tool on a farm that had no electricity. Back breaking and muscle breaking but we didn`t have the benefit of Government Handouts. I cannot see what the future holds for these young people until they get off the settee and do something.

• Graeme, Tilbury: I think the program showed, what a lot of people already know; That there is a segment of English unemployed society that doesn't want to work. I saw the phrases "amused and ashamed" "professional play station player" "slow, incompetent, surly, unmotivated" I live in a tiny town that seems at face value exactly the same as Wisbech. A lot of indolent, unemployed nerks, who moan like drains about the immigrants moving into town "buying houses how dare they", taking jobs yaddah yaddah yaddah. Those that say the program was unfair to Brits, probably need to open their eyes, broaden their perspective etc.

• Richard: I worked in Wisbech on & off between 1968 & 1985.Myself & my collegues always worked hard, often working more than 12 hours a day, five days a week. This was well before any immigrants came to the town. We had plenty of material to work with, a percentage of the local population who would rather steal than work. What did I do -I was a Police Officer. Enough said.

• John, Cambridge: Surely, this programme should have started with 'This is a party policial broadcast by the Labour Party'. 1. Very selective with their English candidates. I'm sure there were / are plenty of others who would have put more effort in, but that wouldn't have been such good television. 2. The Indian owner was very bias towards who he wanted working in his restaurant. He should have provided more assistance to the new employee on his first day instead of just throwing him in the deep end unless, of course, he wanted him to fail... 3. The other new English employees should have been trained up with other new labour workers who started at the same time. This would ensure a fairer comparison. Bear in mind that it was in the interests of all the companies shown (and the BBC for better viewing) to ensure that the English were seen in a bad light.

• Graham, Epsom: This programme reinforced my belief that people who remain unemployed after a certain period (say 3 months) should have to do work in the community to earn any benefit they receive. This might go some way to address the lack of confidence and the apparent lack of work ethic in many of the 'locals' featured in the programme.

• Jayne, London: The point that most seasonal agricultural employment offers free or low cost accomodation, usually on-site, to migrant workers as part of the employment package was entirely unaddressed. These migrant workers can afford to work at minimum(or less than)wage because they do not have the housing, transport and other associated overheads of local English workers so any comparison of what is a feasible living wage is invalid. This was a significant omission in what should have been a balanced programme.

• John, Wisbech: I was distraught by the way these so-called fat cats earning there 50k+ per year jobs putting the rest of the people who are out of work down. i have lived in wisbech for 13 1/2 years. yes i agree there are people like me who are struggling to find work - permanent work not temporary - and still are getting pushed to the back of the line even if you are over skilled for a job. people in this country are trying to make ends meet but how can we when people from other places in the world are taking our job. fair play to the people who are here working because there is also people who just dont want to get off there backsides and get a job. there was few people i know from that show 1 of them tried the other would rather sit down play on his xbox instead of trying to complete something in his life like get a job so he can do other things without worrying about the next bill that comes in. The lazy people in this town is giving people like me a bad name i got made redundant from my last job after 5years of hard, solid work any hours they wanted me in i done it. now 8months later i have applied for 83jobs and had 2 interviews why have so many people in this country out of work who live here legally but know these so-called fat cats with there big paid jobs would rather save money and employ people on a far less wage from another country than employ people who may do a better job than others would. i bet anything you like these fat cats didn't even get to go for a job in a factory or on the field even stacking shelves in there local supermarket cause daddy probably paid there way through university. The British way of life has changed so much in these last 13-14years. Wisbech is like mini-europe now compared to old days where you could put your notice in 1 job 1 day then walk into another 1 the next day government, fat cats and all these other so-called British money grabbers SHAME ON YOU.

• As a British Irish, life-long living Londoner married to a Pole, I believe that I'm well placed to comment. Mass uncontrolled immigration does not work. In the Wisbech case it was a totally inaccurate "comparison". Wisbech is typical of an area which never received many immigrants from the 1950s-70s, so their grand/parents have never geared them upto the fact that getting jobs which require litle coversation could be taken by "foreigners" and so have let their little Johnny or Mary go through school never pushing them to achieve, have pride in their work or any backbone because they all walked into work when they left school. These parents are the Postman and Milkmen whom bought 3-bed semis, had 3 kids, a nice car and took 1-2 decent holidays a year. They're unskilled jobs which didn't need alot of graft to do. Because they weren't pushed they've not pushed their kids and this is the result. This country needs a "regime change" to kick us all up the backside after 13 years of being patted on the head and being sheltered from the fact that our share of the world's "economic pie" will only ever get smaller; half the world speaks English and that a government willing to seemingly let that half in have gone against the populus. East Anglia not being a union stronghold means that these are potential "votes" that Labour would never get and so aren't willing to train people there in order to make them competitive. The real scandal isn't the million East Europeans whom mostly work hard and behave - its the million non-EU people whom have been given citizenship. We pay plenty for our EU membership so why do we need another million coming in from elsewhere? Oh yeah, that'll be the social engineering "Thanks for letting us in, we'll now vote Labour" - shameful politics which we'll kick the Government in the teeth come May!

• Vicky, Berkshire: I watched the program ' The day the Immigrants Left' and found it fasinating. I am English and have worked ever since i was old enough to do so. My partner is Czech and has lived in this country for over 6 years now. When he 1st came he, like others worked in the potato fields and factory in Scotland. He was paid to do a job that many would not do, and he paid his taxes to this country while doing so. People like those on the show last night are quick to blame foreigners for stealing the work from the british but many are too lazy to put the effort in or do not want to do a manual job. I agree with the farmer that if it was not for foreign workers he would not be here. Many foreigners will come over and do a manual unskilled job regardless of whether they are skilled or not. It is a shame that most of our jobless society are two lazy and 2 quick to blame the foreigners for stealing the work. I think today's society needs to wake up and realise that blaming other people is not the answer! Take a long look at yourselve and prove to British Employers that you too can make the effort to do a manual job that the foreign employees make & then maybe... just maybe employers will start to look at unskilled british people to fill their job roles.

• Simion, Tewkesbury: Nice idea and Evan presented well, however, the content was badly flawed, in part a sad deception because the BBC did not compare like with like. Inexperienced workers were set aginst highly fit long experienced workers and then conclusions drawn, shame on you BBC, you should know better. It's not hard to conclude yoy set out to show the answer you wanted. Please play fair next time.

• Sean, Walsall: This documentary disproves the myth about foreign workers stealing jobs. If not for these people, these jobs wouldn't even exist. They give much more to the economy than they take from it. And there is a dole culture existing in Britain full of people who are simply bone idle. However, there is a chronic skills shortage in Britain and that does need urgently to be addressed.

• June, Liverpool: Don't know where you got those British "workers" from but you must have trawled the town for the worst. Lazy with big chips on their shoulders. The young lad on the play station - his parents should have kicked his butt and put a hammer through the play station. They all thought that the world owed them a living. I thought when I seen the title of the programme that it would come down on the side of the immigrants so as not to cause problems. No wonder this country is going to the dogs by "paying" these lazy slobs to do nothing all day. I feel sorry for the genuine people who are out of work of which there are many but the British people this programme wanted to project was not a true example of genuine job seekers. Shame on the BBC for their lack of understanding on the real problems of not being able to get work.

• Mark, Stockton: has it occurred to any of us that maybe foreign workers work better because they are used to sweat shop conditions where they are too scared to stand up for themselves through fear of losing their jobs. the influx of foreign workers allows unscrupulous british companies to adopt sweat shop type conditions. this programme did nothing to disprove this view. 38p a kilo? i bet the farmer earns alot more than that per kilo he sells. some say we need these foreign workers. if that is the case then how did we manage before they started to come here? the truth is that it is greed at work here. foreign workers can be paid less, driven harder and generally not treated as well and therefore it means more profit. if there are incompetence issues within the british workforce then that needs to be dealt with. the answer isnt to just bring in people from elsewhere because in the long term that will do more harm than good.

• Brian, Hull: The programme was a propaganda exercise and makes it hard to respect the BBC.

• Alex, Wisbech/Downham Market: Firstly and sadly it was of no surprise to see how badly the local unemployed people fared compared to the overseas labour in the film. Despite expressing an apparent eagerness, bordering on desparation, to find employment, half did not even turn up for their 1st day at work whilst those who did turn up were either late or sullenly disinterested in working. All harboured a distrust and distain to their foreign counterparts when in reality these so called foreigners showed higher motivation and intelligence throughout. Where is the blame? A good proportion of the unemployed people filmed were either physically unfit or mentally not prepared to allow a job to inconvienience their current daily routine. The benefit system has encouraged people not to work in that if you are fully capable of employment but do not find a job your benefits are maintained, this is a self-perpetuating problem.

• Megan, Oxford: Absolutly disgusting documentary! I've been working since i was 15. For the past year i've been a student in one of the worst areas for unemployement and have been looking for part time work but so far no good. Can i ask exactly what the BBC was trying to prove by taking 12 people who were most likely chosen because of their lack of work ethic and then making it seem like all unemployed people were like them? I would kill for a job right now and i know many others would too but the fact is they're are too many people and not enough jobs!

• Martin, Buxton: A thought provoking programme sadly not enough time allowed to develop the point that immigrant labour is actually raising tax revenue and creating other employment via services to the first line employers employing them, i.e machinery supply, accountants etc. Well worth a follow up programme on politicians responses to it (remember Gordon Brown's "british jobs for british workers"?

• Bob, Kirkcaldy: The situation was reminiscent of the 1950's and 60's when we had an iflux from the Carribean. They did the jobs thet the Brits would not do e.g bus conductor, hospital cleaner etc. The locals cannot complain then if these jobs got to immigrants. Could you imagine any of the Brits last night doing these jobs on a permanent basis? I could not. They might miss Eastenders or Coronation Street or a night at the pub or the footbball because they had to work shifts or weekends. Written by the son of a Polish immigrant who came here many years ago, worked 7 days a week and managed to intigrate into the local community.

• Rachel, York: I watched the programme last night with dismay at the attitudes shown by some of the english workers. Some were great, took this as an opportunity to do something constructive (the girl picking asparagus) and got on with it. Some were embarrassing to watch. You simply do not turn up late to your first day at work, no matter what has happened at home, you keep your mouth shut, your head down and you WORK! Why do some people find this so hard to understand? I'm sure everyone reading this has done some pretty low-end jobs (myself included) but you just get on with it and see it as an opportunity to haul yourself out of the stupor of unemployment.

• Lucy, Ipswich: British workers have the freedom and knowledge to assert their employment rights - which makes them a pain in the neck to employ.

• Carol, Peterborough: The program.. showed the british workers to be slow,incompetent,surly,unmotivated.who is going to want to employ this bunch? the Polish workers were reliable,hard working,polite. it's about time you made young people get off their rearends and do something,even if it's tidying up their neighbourhoods,or weeding.they are lazy and want to spend their time indoors watching tv and on their computers. when my 2 boys were young i went down the fen to do some potato picking it was great.i then got a job as the village post lady,and had to be up at 5am i loved my job,and brought my 2 boys up alone,with no help from anyone.i didn't rely on the gov to give me anything,and it gives you a feeling of pride.

• Jenna, London: This show was a farce. Migrant workers are exploited by their fat cat bosses, but they don't care. Mass immigration is a disaster for this country the strain on our health service and schools is immense. It's time to get rid of New Labour before we turn into a third world country with third world standards. What sort of country put's foreign workers before it's own people.

• Veronica, London: THE REAL REASON WHY I CANNOT FIND WORK, IS BECAUSE OF MY NAME. Yesterday I watch "The day the immigrants left. I live here all my life, I never had any problems getting work, these are the jobs I did when I life school. Work in a factor making orange and lemon juice, work with children, work in catering, work in a hotel as a chambermaid. I decided to go to college and studied Microsoft office, as feel it was time for a change, plus I need to earn more money. These are the jobs I did so far, I work in six call centres, booking mobile, booking insurance, monitoring calls. I now am looking to work receptionist or administrator. Now I can see why I don't get work, I never had this problem before the immigrants came into London. When the employers see my name they just don't want to know, simply because am NOT an immigrant.

• John, Colchester: They didn't mention in the programme that many of the low skilled jobs, apparently being done by migrants these days, are `As and when required` through employment agencies. It may be okay for a migrant worker to live like this, they have comparatively little commitments, most have no long-term ambition here. The unemployed British really need secure regular employment, instead they end up waiting for a phone call offering a weeks work at the potato factory or a days asparagus picking, worrying about where the moneys going to come from to pay the Council Tax. At the end of the day for many it's a better option to say on jobseekers allowance.

• Ian, Oxford: Migrant workers are generally young, fit and highly motivated to work, it's why they came here. This fact slightly distorts the comparison with the English unemployed, who have the benefit culture and a sense of entitlement to overcome. There are lazy people in the accession states too, but that doesn't excuse some of the attitudes displayed on the programme, and it's obvious that at least turning up for the job will be a good start.

• Sharon, Bath: Every one of the British unemployed in the programme expressed a desire to work - and I felt that their intentions were genuine. However for the long-term unemployed this means a huge turn-about in lifestyle - particularly highlighted by the two young men who had never had a job since school and received support from their parents as well as the state. A couple of them didn't even turn up for the first day. The majority found the speed of work difficult to catch-up with - but most of them made a good effort to try. We can all scorn them for being slackers (with the exception of the Carpenter and female asparagus picker who didn't fit into that category), but what remains is that we have a whole raft of people remaining on the workshy scrap-heap and the challenges of their re-entry into future employment must be addressed if we want this to change.

• Masoud, Wakefield: I watched the programme and it was well presented. It shows fair picture of what is real happen and in aprticlar the needs of UK industerries to hard working people. The facts that young people are notr prepared to do any work and face the challenges at real jobs well presented, + lack of training for those middle age people who become unemployed. Also it showed how immigrant are working hard in those places where no locl people work.

• D, Cardiff: Unfortunately it says it all about attitudes when the brits in the programme couldnt be bothered/motivated enough out of a sense of duty, pride in being british or just to make a point about the immigrant workers they were complaining about, to turn up for work for a couple of days while being filmed even if they had no intention of ever working again.

• Anna, York: I'm polish myself.I know polish people who came here with childern, work for minimum wage, live in privately rented houses and only benefit they claim is child benefit. What's wrong with that, if they live, work and pay taxes here, why they shouldn't get it? It annoyes me when I hear: "Poles work for little, because they send money home". It's not a case, not the only case anyway. Costs of living in Poland are not a lot cheaper anymore. My parents two-bedroom flat is worth about £80000, not a lot cheaper that similar one in York. High street dress: 200zl, about £45. Ham, 1kg: £9. It's not true that all polish workers will work for pennies , because they send money to Poland. Many of us have settled here and they use they same money that British people do. They want to work and they are not fussy, though many of them are highly educated.

• Usman, Bradford: I am a british born asian. The recent show illustrates the missconseption and concerns of the native English population.It has highlighted the fact that there are a significant nimber of able people who are simply not willing to make the effort and become a working member of the British community. Young people of the show failed to turn into work with a poor excuses. More mature people did attempt to make a effort. However fail to meet the expectation of the minimum stanadard.

I felt that the conduct of the asian curry house staff where exemplarly. Certainly when the two out of the three selected candidated did not turn up for employment. The Curry house staff assisted the candidate tie his own tie. This was followed by him having breaks when no other member of staff shared the privilage. His attitude left alot to be desired. He then left after a show few hours. Even then the Curry house staff provided a meal and a welcoming offer to return if he changed his mind.

This wonderful documentary show how compliant all these employers where, however the candidates as a whole seemed to feel these oppertunies where not good enough for them.

It is diappointing that this was the case.

• Jo, Hertfordshire: I am a foreigner! I'm sick and tired of the Brisish public trying to blame foreigners for all the problems in this country. Well done Evan for being brave enough to make this programme. It's time the truth about the benefits of immigration was told.

• John, March, Cambs: I thought the program perfectly demonstrated the reason why employers prefered migrant workers. The " highly educated gentleman " in the asparagus field who spoke of offering violence to a superior must really have set the locals back a decade. By the way i am English and not proud of the way these people came accross.

• Michelle, Shenley: I thought this was a fantastic insight into the problem we are facing due to a section of the Briish public perception on immigration. I have to say I was thoroughly embarassed by some of these British people's attitudes to work and there rudeness about hard working immigrants in this country. Yes it is a double edged sword - jobs are being given to them but many unemployed Brits do not wish to do this work (despite what they may have said on the programme) and would rather claim benefits from us educated and employed.

Well done to Evan and the BBC for such a thought provoking programme!

• Bob, Wisbech: Being a social worker in Wisbech I wish they would of spoke to us in regards to migrants and the extra resources it is using up. Interpreting services alone is costing us thousands of pounds.

• Khaled, London: I watched the show last night, very interesting experiment. It seemed very unfair. at the potato factory and the asparagus farm the british new british workers were being compared to experienced labourers. they should have done the experiment using foreign labourers who have just started and it would have been a fair trial. as for the young man in the indian restaurant. Im appalled by the way he was thrown in the deep end and not supported enough by his employer. Why was he expected to do such tasks so soon. its sucha shame he had bags of enthusiasm. instead his confidence and esteem was knocked by being humiliated by his peers. you cant expect anyone to pick up a job like that within four days. go back to the drawing board and do it again.

• Anonymous: I cant believe what I'm reading on most of these comments, it was fix, it was biased. The fact is most of those given the opportunity were all enthusiastic, until it came to turning up or showing some commitment... most of them were pathetic and typical of whats wrong with the country. Its too easy to sit at home, and before you all you Do Gooders, start moaning, my wife is told "daily" "why should I work av got money for beer n fags" !

• Sarah, Widnes: A superb programme giving an insight into the other side of immigrant workers. The message is one which I have been trying to give to pupils in my school as a teacher of geography and citizenship studies as an alternative to their own opinions. Pupils often simply quote comments from the media and parents without often having come into any contact with immigrant workers or the facts. I shall certainly be using the programme as a resource within lessons. Thank you BBC.

• Mrs James, Huntingdon: My husband is in his late 60s so ami,and we both work very hard,it was so embarrising to watch that young man,in the field,he had no go in him,I could do that work even at my age,its to easy for them to get moneys from the goverment,if we did not work we could not have a nice way of life,so stop this easy money,pay-outs by the goverment

• Jane, Exmouth: My polish partner and me an english woman watched the programme,he saw much to be amused about I saw much to be worried about.Why did the young man accept a meal after failing so dismally? The problem is the wrong attitude and a failure in parental care and education.

• Trudi, Colchester: At the beginning of the program I was convinced that the English people had a valid point that migrant workers are taking our jobs. Oh dear, having watched the program, it was clear to me that they don't want to work, they just want to get paid. It made me cringe to see them posturing and 'fuming' at every excuse, late for work and constantly arguing with their bosses. How hilarious that they thought the production line had been speeded up on purpose to make them look bad! The only one who came out with any credit was the carpenter and even he had a hissy fit at the start. Well done everyone, you succeeded in proving the absolute antithesis of your point to millions of viewers!

• Paul, London: Can we import some immigrant television journalists please?

• J Childe: May I congratulate the BBC on this programme. May I also congratulate Evan Davis & the producers for trying hard to give a balanced view, despite the obvious shortcomings the programme illuminated. As a British worker, a tax payer, who was not born with a silver spoon but worked hard to achieve a decent education, a good job etc and who has worked in recruitment & seen how hard it can be for people, especially the long term unemployed, to get work, I found the programme fascinating. I also found that it reinforced my own observations over many years. The English workers (I use the word 'workers' loosely) were utterly & completely embarassing to watch. I could barely believe it, when the scene in which one English bod in Potato Packing quibbled about the name 'Uri'. I thought the supervisor behaved admirably - I have decked him!!

• Adri: Visiting your country, I watched the program yesterday evening, and I saw a big similarity with the situation in the Netherlands. The jobs that are filled in by migrant workers over there are predominantly in the agricultural industry. Jobs that unemployed Dutch people wouldn't get out of bed for. Being on the dole is preferred to getting their hands dirty. I found it strange though that workers in the field were on a 'per kilo' wage but in the end the employer had to make up the difference between a 'per kilo' wage and the minimum wage. Then I can understand that as an employer you don't want to employ people that cut enough to meet the minimum wage. Finally, the guys in the potato processing factory that actually got the hang of it did deserve better than being turned down by that same factory.

• Tony, Essex: I watched the programme with a mixture of despair and embarrassment. Most of the 'Brits' shown couldn't or wouldn't do a proper days work and the obvious ignorance of them is an indictment of the education system. Grown men unable to count to twelve and therefore put the wrong amount of potatoes in the baskets. As for the 'professional Playstation player' who was too ill to turn up for just two days employment - what a joke to himself and the stupid benefits system that pays someone £60 per week for doing nothing, plus encouraging the same behaviour! The field workers needed a 'kick up the backside' especially the 'mummy's boy' - but why should they put themselves out - the system ensures that they don't have to. If I was one of the employers shown I wouldn't have employed 90% of the Brits featured - shame on them!!

• Teresa, London: At the packing plant two new English workers were introduced by a supervisor to a Lithuanian with whom they'd be working in a team of three. "This is Yuri" 'Well there's a problem for a start' "His name's Yuri" 'I'll call him Bill' "I think he'd rather be called Yuri" What was that all about?

• Alison, Germany: If we incentivise British workers to do these hard, labour intensive jobs by paying a higher wage, we will pay for it at the supermarket till. The companies are not going to swallow the extra cost. They will pass it on to the consumer. A similar problem exists in the US where migrant Mexican workers pick the crops but face extreme prejudice. The companies which make huge profits on the backs of cheap labour should be putting back into communities like Wisbech through high, corporate and personal income taxes and thereby offset the extra costs of healthcare and education.

• Sandi, Blaydon-on-Tyne: The seasonal work was a very poor example to use as a measure of British workers' attitufes towards work as was later pointed out on Newsnight. As such the experiment is weak. Moreover it proves that the BBC's primary aim is to grab an audiance. Come on BBC, you can do better!

• Daniel, Wisbech: Hi there. I disagree with some of the comments because the fact is that who ever is looking for job will find soon or later regardless where is come from. When I come to England 5 yers ago I worked for the farmers we talking about 12 hr a day for les than 150£ a week. My present job is to manage people my point is that no one give me this job just like that I had to fight for it and improving my skills to be on the position that I am now.

• Greg, Bristol: Having just watched this evenings 'The Day the Immigrants Left' programme, I was left feeling very frustrated to the point of even trembling with anger, to what I had just witnessed! I saw a British produced (BBC) progamme almost taking the mikey out of our present British (OK unskilled and currently unemployed) potential workforce! Yes, they couldn't keep up with the foreign immigrants who had evidently been working these jobs, weeks if not months before the Brits turned up, and tried on their very first day to keep up with their pace. What really annoyed me was the total disregard of the current situation that our country finds itself in, and that is that the blatant incentive that the foreigners have over our British unskilled workforce, that being that they have come from surrounding countries in which our current minimum waged jobs are 3 to 5 times more lucrative to them, than what they expect from their country .................. of course they are going to be really keen and up for the backbreaking work that exists at this bottom rung of employment!

• Michael, Smethwick: I watched the programme and looked at some of the comments which seem to say the British are lazy and immigrants are not. Although some British may well be lazy, so are some Polish, Indian, Chinese and others. Many British work very hard and long hours - sometimes people work too longer hours and have a poor work/life balance. Most of these immigrants come from poorer countries and need more for their families back in their own countries. Secondly most of the immigrants are purely here for financial reasons. They have not cultural, historical and family ties to Britain. Many British are not driven simply by finances and have strong cultural, heritage and family ties here.

• Sam, London: British people are lazy, immigrants are hard working. This programme was a disgusting display of racist sterotyping. If I were to say that immigrants were all criminals then I would be rightly lambasted. But the BBC seems to think it is OK to sterotype as long as it fits in with their left wing poltically correct view

• Antony, March, Cambs: Evan Davies and the producers of this programme would have done better to explore why the government did not limit migration from countries joining the EU, when it had only recently turned its attention to dealing with the issue of long term unemployment through an expensive restructuring of job centres, the introduction of Employment Support Allowance and the awarding of contracts to outside agencies, such as Reed Emploment, to provide compulsory job focused appointments. The danger is that without vacant low skilled jobs to be directed towards that the local long-term unemployed will be churned through endless 'back to work' type courses that add no value to the person's employability, self esteem or the economy. At best this demonstrates a lack of joined up thinking in government and at worst absolute incompetence.

• Anonymous: I felt like Evan gently took me by the hand and led me on a journey that showed me what I should really be thinking about immigration. The impartial picking of what was clearly a fair representation of the British working class in that town and then giving them tasks that they inevitably failed at really hammered the lesson home. We really can't do anything for ourselves these days and should be grateful that hundreds of thousands of immigrants are willing to dedicate their lives to helping us. Also, I was pleased that the programme did not unfairly blame the welfare state as this might have undermined the subtle message that immigration is good by confusing people into thinking that a cut in benefits might give the unemployed Brits some encouragement to get working and solve the problem.

• Nia, Llandudno: It seems to me that the English are going through what the Welsh people have been going through for the past few years where our language, culture and traditions have been under threat due to English immigrants. We have been fortunate enough to hold onto our language, culture and traditions so far, although unfortunately, not without conflict and protest. I welcome immigrants (English or other nationals) who embrace and learn our language, culture and traditions but it infuriates me when immigrants look down at us for speaking our own language.

• Dave, Bristol: As a Manager who employs numerous people it was refreshing to see the true work ethos of the foreign workers. My experience of the majority of British lower skilled workers is one of excuses, sickness and justification for poor productivity. This is I believe a result of the union based victim culture so evident in schools and industry in general.

• Felipe, Wisbech: Thank you for this show.I work in a factory and I am often abused about being work in here! I can tell you very honest that I work more than 3 english local workers together! I dont agree in having all the skill work being left to the english people,what is the point of working hard when you can`t moving on the ladder? I know that the jobs jobs should be left primarily to the english but if they are lazy and dont come in to work what is the point? Recession? dont forget I am paying for you to live on the dool.

• Phil, Penzance: An appalling,badly researched programme with many questions never posed,and no detail added.Where did the Farms,Factories and other businesses get their immigrant labour from? do the employers employ every immigrant who goes to them for work,or is the failure rate equally as high.How long does it take to re-obtain benefits if a person signs off but fails to gain permanent employment?Does this deter people from even trying to get work?Do any of the Farms house the immigrant workers in properties they own and thereby charge rent out of the money they have paid out in wages?Do they still charge the workers to transport them to and from the fields as they have done in the past?I doubt if you even understand any of these questions,and even now i am watching Newsnight and some idiot Politicians who are as clueless as your reporter.

• John, UK: Totally biased. 1-2 days at a job and they let UK people say 'those immigrants are 10/10, I am only 4/10. Who's 10/10 in any job on the first day? Then you have the fact they are not real jobs. That must surely have an impact? If they had given them 4 weeks on the job and followed them for those 4 weeks, that would have been one thing, but this was a typical 'red top' BBC news programme. Also, 100's of replies and the BBC chooses half a dozen. What was BBC's criteria, and why was that not told to us as part of the program? This was a stitch up job and once again shows the BBC on the side of business and not the workers. Who pays your license BBC? Business or workers?!

• Mikaela, Birmingham: I am a Slovakian who has lived in Birmingham for 5 years. I have been employed all that time and earned about £80,000 which means I paid about £25,000 in tax and NI contributions. I dont claim any benefits. I go to the dentist in Slovakia as I think the quality of service is better. Have taken a total of 2 days off sick during the 5 years. My 35-year old neighbour hasn't worked for the past 7 years, claims child benefit, tax benefit, so does his partner, who pretends she is a "single" mother, they have their bills paid, including council tax. It's time for people like me to say something. I'm not going to hear on BBC that I come from a 3rd world country and came here to use the social system and not contribute to anything!

• Simon, London: I thought this was a totally dishonest program. If we had let in 10 million more immigrants than we have, of course it would leave chaos if they all suddenly left. Does that mean that we should have let in 10 million more than we did? The program was an exercise in humiliation for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and I was disgusted by it. Beauty-contests (which is what in effect they were) between unemployed British and immigrants just insult everyone. The message of the program seemed to be: you lot (the native unemployed) are useless, you have nothing to offer, and we need to bring in immigrants to support you on welfare. At the end, Evan Davies finally said a few hypocritical words about not giving up on our unemployed. This program did much worse than that. It humiliated them. Before this program I used to think that Evan Davies was one of the few decent people in the BBC. I'm very disappointed in him.

• John, Birmingham: I think the farmer was paying for piece work. I had thought the law had stopped this. I thought also that many migrant workers cant make the claims for benefits as many of the Uk workers would have had to in order to make ends meet. Not so inviting to work when you dont have a set rate of pay. If you are in the position where your family depend on you to be the bread winner abroad and send what you make back home to give a better life. Whats more is that money is possibly double or even trebble the amount. It says it all when many UK companies are leaving the UK to find cheap employment abroad to avoid the taxes we have to pay here. I would not judge the individuals unfavourably on what this program has shown.

• Mark: The point the documentary completely missed was the fat gutted farmer exploiting locals and immigrants alike. Of course, no mention of the fact that he is probably blagging more in subsidies from Brussels than a whole estate of unemployed benefit claimants. When are we going to have a documentary devoted to Fred Goodwin picking potatoes for his 30 grand a month paid with taxpayer money.

• Robert, Tadworth: Cogratulations on a fantastic piece of journalism. My wife and I were both spellbound and completely open mouthed at the material presented during the programme 'The Day The Migrants Left'. You have blown away a myth about the British workers versus immigrant workers and also highlighted the plight of our long term unemployed who are in desperate need of training and also in need of a change in attitude to work. Brilliant, educational, disturbing even, a wake up call. Thank you, true entertainment.

• Shaun, Rochester: You will always get those individuals who don't turn up for a job or are not suited for a job.What about the carpenter and his mate or the two men who worked in the warehouse.They performed to the same level as the immigrant but were not employed,why...because an immigrant was filling the place.

• Toby, Spalding: Well there we have it, 'Broken Britain' We've all heard David Cameron go on about it time and time again, but this programme proved Brtain is 'Broken' beyond even the boundaries of Davids worst nightmare. After what we've just witnessed, i find it hard to see how anyone can blame local employers for opting for the 'imported option' I, myself have work in places not to disimilar to those feautured tonight, and one thing that strikes you right away is just how hard these eastern europeans work. I fondly remember one young Polish girl, spoke better English than the english workers and arguably worked twice as hard. It's now glaringly clear, the Welfare State needs ripping up, we need to tear it down, burn it, start again. The 'Something For Nout' culture must stop. Full stop.

• Gerald, Cambridge: The programme didn't ask what the education of the typical foreign worker has. I got the impression that some have well above basic education. I have been served by English waiters in Chinese and Indian restaurants. They had been trained and systems where in place for them to communicate with the staff preparing the food who do not read and write English. But it isn't easy when you are not bilingual in the language used by the owner and the kitchen staff. The children of Chinese and Indian immigrants work hard not to end up behind the counter as their parents are and know if they don't make it where they might end up. What is more worrying is the fair ups, not turning up for work and general attitude. Part of that is long term unemployment, partly being always ignored by education and partly the malady of society. The point, as made by the programme is that these people are here, are citizens and something has to be done so that they can be and are employed. They can not be ignored.

• Colin, Mildenhall, Suffolk: Unlike most of the commentators so far I have actually watched the show. Approx 1/3 of the Brits didn't even bother to turn up. Of those that did actually try to do the jobs most did not keep up with the migrant workers. I know who'd I'd employ with my money. I do not think the migrants are "stealing" jobs from British workers. We have too many people we taxpayer are paying to sit at home watching TV etc. That is not the migrants fault it's ours for allowing people who have never worked to get benefits. My view is that for every year you've worked and paid tax/NI then you get 1 month of benefits if you lose your job. If you've not worked and so not paid in then you should get nothing back out.

• Phil, Fareham: At last..! this programme showed Exactly what i a small local employer{Garage business]and my friends and contacts experience EVERY DAY!trying to recruit/train/motivate english workers.unfortunately mostly the young..not turning up,illness?? always on a monday!!no motivation.no social skills.no interest.lateness.non attendance of college.and aggressive agumentative behaviour...friends[who run pet shops].like myself will no longer try to employ schooleavers or long term unemployed...if they do bother to attend work the prime concern they have is playing with ipods or mobile phones instead of working....the programme was spot on showing the non attenders!!! my suggestion..NO WORK NO DOLE!!!.but that probably infringes their human rights...well done evan on an excellent report....

• Sophie, Wisbech: Brilliant, But it shouldnt matter if your british or polish or something else. they may come over and take our jobs but they would feel just as annoyed and as bad as us if we went over to there country and took there jobs. i have been out of work since i left college back in june 09 and its hard to find work, im now doing a Learning works programme to improve my skills in computering. so fingers crossed i have a job soon doing what i love. :)

• Tim, Wimbledon: Firstly, thank you for making this excellent programme. Secondly, why dont you try and get Gordon Brown or some of his cabinet to watch this, and discuss on TV, in front of the viewers - what, if anything, they think is wrong with the British people in your documentary. And what role they think they - key members of the government - have had in facilitating and fostering these attitudes. The social engineering performed by new labour has directly facilitated this uniquely British cultural mix of proud irresponsibility, ignorance, laziness and lack of respect for others. Tell me how this might be untrue - please! I am 52, and I cannot remember a time when I ever called an employer, an elder, a customer (anyone we used to call our "betters") "mate". The combination of traits exhibited by the Brits in this programme has and continues to be fostered and encouraged by the massively expensive social strategies such as our benefits and welfare system, and the rampant yet clearly insane streak of political correctness that accompanies and drives it. Added to this is an enormous number of meaningless jobs (tasks that benefit nobody except those performing the task) in both central and local government, the on-going depression of educational and moral standards, and the clueless "computa says nah" attitude of these wasters.

• Paul Wisbech: The local food processors use Gang master labour only. They do not advertise jobs locally. The gangmasters bring in migrants, charge them for transport, provide and rent them accomadation, and pay minimum wage or less. Policy in most local factories is to employ only locale in management, the rest go to gangmasters who own many houses ( rented to migrants)and are making a fortune.

• Michelle, Wisbech: There are jobs in Wisbech employers have a problem finding people to do, like the asparagus picking. Just the same as the rest of the UK. But in this program there was no mention of the number of people who have been made redundant to bring in cheep foreign gang work. There was a large number of redundancies at the Wisbech factory were my husband works, First voluntary redundancies were offered, so those who wanted had the option to leave with a good redundancy settlement. Then people were made redundant, some who had worked there for over twenty years who did not apply for the voluntary redundancy, who did not want to loose there jobs. These people wanted to work, were on a low wage but were still layed off to bring in mostly foreign gang workers.

• Stefan, Wisbech: Hi im dissapointed about this program. im sure that the europian workers do proberbly work harder than the local english workers. the thing is what the programme did not mention is the fact the european workers work for roughly the same rate as english workers however generally they live 4-5 adults per house-hold. obviously this means they share bill/rent meaning pound for pound they are better off. most english people/families only have two adults per house-hold. im sure if english people had the same amount of expendable money as the average european worker they would work equally as hard!

• Sandra, London: Why didn't you show the other jobs the migrants have taken in banks, call centres, casinos, hotels etc. I have worked 34 years in London i was made redundant last year why am i still unemployed and not entitled to any benefit's. i feel my country just doesn't care for people like myself. My GOVERMENT IS NOT ON THE SAME PLANT AS ME.

• Barbara, Hertford: An unfairly structured experiment which played into the hands of employers. It illustrated the destructive effects of unemployment, loss of confidence and the lack of qualification that exists for those who have been unable to find work. A proper comparison would have been with the unemployed left in the migrants countries. We'll be back with the "Get on your bike" philosophy if the BBC promotes this kind of pseudo-sociological analysis. Superficial.

• Aidan, Wisbech: I am 17 and are a resident in Wisbech and trying to find a job and found its hard to find any jobs i don't blame Immigrants but would help if there was less of them give us a chance to find a job.

• Lucie, Oxford: Could anybody explain to that carpenter gentleman called Dean that none of the EU countries are third-world countries. He mentioned this 'fact' of his several times in the programme and I believe he could benefit from a correct information. I am Czech and I surely am offended.

• Stu, Peterborough: Makes you proud to be English... the way the majority of the participants virtually ran away from the work offered. I think the program was extremely biased - the BBC should NOT have allowed this blatantly unbalanced program to go out. (Even though I agree with the producers' views on lazy Britain). The young lady doing the asparagus picking got her head down and got to work .. because this did not fit in with the bias of the program she hardly featured in it. My view is that people on the dole should either be made to take work offered (within reason) OR they should have to give up their morning or afternoons doing work for community <- we're all already paying them for it !

• Serge, London: Unfortunately Even failed to summarize his arguments effectively leaving the questions hinted at and relating to services consumed and tax contributions insufficiently unaddressed, and therefore unanswered. As there is data on this issue from a House of Lords enquiry into migrant labour that claims this type of agricultural work is a negative burden on tax payers, the farmer could be considered to be subsidized by the UK taxpayer. As a purely academic exercise, Evan would receive an average to poor mark for leaving questions unresolved where information and evidence was available

• Charlie, London: I very much enjoyed the show. But I do beleive it gave a false impression of ALL unemployed UK residents. I am currently unemployed and I can not find work. I beleive there is a good point that migrants will do jobs the average british worker wont. But there is still a shortage of jobs (especially in the construction sector) as a result of immigrants.

• Mrs Sandra Mcloughlin: This programme pointed out two things: 1. The majority of young (under 30's) unemployed and unskilled have no job ethics which comes from work experience, not through their own fault, but by using cheap foreign labour. We are destined to have a generation of unemployed people. 2. Those older unemployed people, who have years of work experience, have a better chance because they adapted, but will not be employed as it is still cheaper to employ foreign labour as stated in programme. The government need to address this major problem or we shall have lost a generation of young men and women who do not know how to work and will be a liability.

• Markus, Upwell: The Carpenter featured in the programme Dean did two jobs for us several years ago. He turned up on time, finished both jobs to a a very high standard, we could ask for no more. Best of luck Dean to you and your family.

• Pip, London: I was stagger by the attitude of majority of the British workers; shaking hands as they left as if they had just climbed Everest, they had only worked for THREE PITIFUL DAYS! It is the credulous system that we have in this country that allows perfectly able bodied people of a variety of ages not to work, whilst a vast majority of us do. The social system is rearing generations of fecklessness' and we are almost powerless to address the problem. Migrants arrive here with no access to social security so it does matter how your spoken to, you work as you have bills and responsibilities. We are de-motivating and producing too many government dependent families unwilling to understand how to be responsible and take on responsibility.

• Sally, Manchester: Embarassing to be English!! This programme demonstrates the underlying problem with British culture (if there's any left!) - many think they're owed a living without working hard - the only decent lad was the carpenter who tried from start - the rest have no idea what a hard days work is but they expect all the trappings of a successful life - get real & respect your hard working european workers - it seems without them we'd have an even worse economy on our hands!

• Anonymous, Wisbech: Apart from highlighting the strain of supermarkets on farming in britain the whole program to me showed what a lack of anything todo for youth and how bad schools in Wisbech are. Its generally a nice town with really nice people but it needs to be brought up to the 21st century, people have no options and the council needs to attract business not based on farming.

• Mrs Roberts, UK: I have just been watching this programme and have turned it off in disgust. It was stupid, biased and akin to watching Till Death Us Do Part in reverse. I expected something more intelligent from Evan Davis. Some people are good with their hands. Some people are good with their brains. Few are good with both. In order to raise the UK population above the, apparently demeaning, concept of manual labour, the education system has, for at least the last 60 years, only taught academic subjects aimed at children who are good with their brains. The people who need to survive by using their hands have been taught nothing and many leave school having learned nothing, with no where to go and with no self esteem. Then, the UK benefits system (paid for by all those who got jobs because they fulfilled the academic educational requirements), then ensures that life on the dole is more attractive than digging potatoes from frozen earth in the dark. I wonder if Evan would fancy it if he lost his job? Of course the immigrants are hard workers. They are hungry for a better life. Their children won't be half so hungry once they have been through the UK education system and seen the benefits on offer.

• Michael, Great Yarmouth: It is now time to call the BBC, PCBBC. I no longer wish to pay for a service like the BBC any more. I once believed in the BBC. I now wish that I no longer have to pay over £120 a year for rubbish such as this overly biased and politicly correct TV programe. It was covered by an interviewer of whom is a smarmy pen pusher and has no idea what hard work is like. None of you belonging to the BBC have to walk down a street in fear. As you probably all are living as smug and as comfortable as the interviewer in this program. It is now time for the BBC to compete with other main stream programs on TV.

• Ian, Cardiff: I speak to an average of 300 company owners per month who are in a similar position and rely on imigrant workers but in particular East European The feed back is similar and it is about the positive attitute of immigrants their hardwork The same is true of attitude to credit and it is often easier to get the immigrants credit rather than the UK persons as they have a more responsible attitude Perphaps we could do an exchange scheme and relocate some of the UK idiots who dont want to work to Eastern Europe where they can watch TV, smoke and drink all day but the benifits will be lower as the cost of living is lower there....

• John, Halifax: Well edited. Unfortunatley we are not comparing apples with apples. We are comparing British free riders with hard working foreign workers. This programme did not show people in our society that are working and thinking in a way that the immigrants are. The programme left me feeling a little embaressed to be British but well worth the watch.

• Pad, UK: Once again the BBC has completely missed the point and reported on the wrong immigrants. The issue is not of the immigrants who work or the immigrants who are skilled and bring vital skills to the nation the issue is about the huge amount of immigrants who come to the country to exploit the benefits system this is the issue that the BBC is not confronting the UK doesn't need more people on its benefits system the benefits system will become saturated if it carries on much longer.

• Steve, Evesham: We really have come full circle in the UK haven't we? We have now got a mass of totally unskilled 'workers' not even capable of picking vegetables! How long will it be before we as a nation become 'third world' Other nations walk all over us - no wonder we can't compete in the world markets, British labourers minimum wage and poor performance put pay to that. So whats left for us in the UK?

• Karen, Glasgow: OMG..... this just sums up Britain today! All the British people on the programme just moaned, made excuses and felt sorry for themselves!

• Lisa, Northampton: BBC & Gov propaganda AGAIN, you have choosen a group of lazy good for nothings to represent the British people, I have news for you Paula from POLAND Not all Brits are lazy & scared of hard work. The UK needs to crack down on letting all & sundry into the country using all our services and housing, roll on the election I only hope whoever gets in does something about it...!

• Mo, Glasgow: These unemployed people can't complain about the migrant workers. they have shown that they have no interest in doing the jobs, have given up or not even turned up. They have done nothing but complain and moan about the work and i would employ none of them as they all have a dreadful attitude and it is hardly surprising they are unemployed

• Grant, Mansfield: Anyone who is fooled by this amatuer attempt at propaganda really needs to live in a deprived area like me and see the real truth. I DO NOT KNOW ANYONE who would act like the handpicked few from the hundreds of applicants who were chosen by the BBC to represent the British Workforce. SHAMEFUL PROPAGANDA - I for one am not fooled because I know most people here work hard & consistently in worse conditions than these people.

• Richard, Norfolk: What a waste of licence money. This show is rubbish and proves nothing. The basis of immigrant workers being blamed for job stealing is the following: Eastern European workers coming over here and getting jobs on large construction projects and in the car manufacturing industries. These workers have a lower cost of living back home and so can work for less money than UK skilled labour - the result? Large firms employee foreign workers at a lower rate of pay which is still higher than in their countries of origin. This means skilled labour in the UK lose jobs and the opportunity to obtain contracts here in the UK. This forces highly trained personnel to become unemployed, go out of business and having to retrain for lower paid jobs if they are lucky. If the BBC wants to seriously tackle this subject then take it to London or Essex where large foreign companies are employing large numbers (2000+)of foreign construction workers on large scale construction projects and PFI projects, whilst British firms are going out of business as they were unable to compete with the lower cost of immigrant labour. But I expect the BBC won't want to investigate that as it will show the situation as it really is.

• Graham, Durham: Currently a serving police officer however prior to this occupation I worked 2 jobs , 1. 40 hours unskilled labouring and 2. 16 hours as a door supervisor , I watched the programme The Day the imigrants went home on BBC 1 and was disgusted not with the claims that imigrants are stealing work from local British workers, but the lack of backbone and commitment shown by the British replacements, when I worked in a similar style of work I found a similar lazy attitude found in my british counterparts always taking sick days. The British worker in the majority will not work hard to better his situation some will like I did and change my lifestyle but most would prefer benifits

• Emma, Bournemouth: I am telling you that woman in that factory was rude, just damn rude! They understood perfectly well that a mistake had been made but lightened the situation. No ones perfect!!! That was a prime example as to why some brits are hating immigrants! We want a fair shot, not to be judged after a couple of hours!

• Tony, UK: I'll bet my house and car this programme is another left wing anti-British propaganda showpiece which will be carefully orchestrated to makes Brits seem inferior and lazy to their immigrant superiors. It is on the BBC so the odds are I'm right.

• Duncan, Wimbledon: A bit more LEFTISM from the beeb but there is a grain of truth in there. I wish we didnt look like a bunch of excuse makin lazies. I really do!!

• Sue : They should all go home, british jobs for british workers ..........end of

• Paul, London: The premis for this programme is facile. The point is not whether English people want these jobs, rather it is whether they are willing to do them for the same wages that foreigners will do them for. Instead of allowing wages to reach a decent level in this country, the government has done as it has done so often before. It has bowed down to its indistrial masters who pay party contributions and lobbyists in order to influence government policy. This means bringing in cheap labour to keep wages down and make sure profits remain high.

• Sally, Wisbech: It's daft to say how would we cope without the Migrant workers'. Before they turned up we were coping ok. I have seen Wisbech turn from being quite a reasonable place to live. But this all changed once we were descended upon. I have been pushed out of queue's. Approached by a drunk immigrant in a car park. I have even seen in one pub in Wisbech about 5 years ago with a sign saying in the window, 'No English'. Can you imagine getting away with this in their Country! This has created alot of very bad feeling in the town...We didn't ask for this....

• Gerald, Cambridge: High unemployment is cheaper for UK PLC than training the citizens in skills that industry claim they require. Training is not enough as employers demand 6 months doing the same job elsewhere rather than cross training a good candidate over a couple of weeks. The extra costs to the country are ignored when there has to be expansion of services and infrastructure. There may be a net benefit, but the other side is the lost of a work force already living here and the abuse of the recent immigrants in housing and employment. Neither attitude is acceptable.

• Mark, Manchester: Another liberal plot shaped at a dinner party in Islington. Why do we all know the predictable message this programme will strain to convey - lazy old Brits and hard-working foreign labourers. There is nothing heroic in accepting excessively low wages thus driving down the incomes of working class families and raising poverty levels. This is especially the case when that income though low in the UK has a a significantly higher purchasing power when spent in an East European state. We are supposed to have developed our society such that living standards are being raised and working conditions improved. The BBC clearly values cheap au pairs above quality reporting and certainly above the welfare of low income UK families.

• Julia, London: OK so they take jobs and a lot of money from our society and then our money is spent on paying those immigrants money while they are doing NOTHING for the duration of the show!

• Jeff, London: More BBC liberal-left propaganda! How about a programme called The Day The Liberal-Left Left... Maybe we'd would get back our nation's work-ethic again?

• Monnie: Why is the BBC producing yet another pro-mass immigration programme? We have had it up to here with the government line. Give us a programme that looks at the other side; give us an enquiry about Labour's social policy to change Britain into a multicultural nation. No more propaganda please.

• Paula, London: l was born in Poland and can't wait to see some lazy Brits to pick up some nasty jobs that immigrants are doing for them now :)!!! Cant wait!!!!!:)))))))))

• Josh, Wisbech: I was in wisbech town and saw Evan Davies and i think i am in the background when they filmed "the day the immigrants left" so i am looking forward to maybe see me on t.v

• Rowan, London: The concept of this show sickens me iv been unemployed now for 3 mounths searching daily for work may it be throught the job center to the internet to agencies to just walking the street looking, In 2004 i was employed and working for a gardening company in london by the end of 2004 my boss had lost most of his contracts to polish work crews under cutting him on cost not quality!! I was shortly after laid off and found it boarderline impossible to find steady work, so in mid 2005 i left the country takeing a small amount of saveings in the hopes i could start afresh abroad. 5 years later i find myself back in the uk looking for work and the situation has not improved remotley. And personaly i resent the fact the bbc is trying to make some kind of point that english working clases are some kind of lazy whining lay abouts who dont know a days graft. Im staring to feel like a man without a country and i have zero options and with documantarys like this what hope do we have then ? i dont like being on job seekers allowence but when i am at the job center there are certenly no shortages of migrant peoples claiming there also ! so i think the title of your docu should be "migrant workers clearly we dont need them"

• Claire, Wisbech: I moved to the fens two years ago and realise now how much work goes into our food but I do think that part of the problem we have in this country as a whole is with the schools they make everyone believe that you should be something when truth of the matter there isn't that many jobs avalible for everyone to be someone and have a great job. schools need to teach a work ethic so people believe that its better to work than scrounge off the state but at the same time it dosen't take a genius to work out that the pay has to be right too whats the point in breaking your back when you can get just as much at home. I think the migrants do a great job and work a lot harder than some of our lazy british people that think there too good for the job but in a time like this I feel that all British should get presidence over working if they are looking applying and willing to do the job.

• Carrie-Ann, Wisbech: I know that there are a lot of people in this Town who really do not want to work....In my job I come across many families of adults where none of them work, and they are all capable but terribly lazy...Society allows this it seems..I also come across many people who have come here to seek out work...And they really will do anything...I would take them anyday if I were an employer..and they are truly nice people in the main. I believe our Town would suffer badly if all of them left..because the unemployed are happy doing nothing and being looked after by the government..they are idle...

• Sally, Wisbech: I feel that many local unemployed do not take the jobs that the immigrants have (it is not that they do not want too) due to the very low wages offered in the factory and farming industries. Many low skilled migrant workers are tempory and live in subsidised accomodation provided by the gangmasters etc. However, if you are a single local unemployed person or have a partner or family and rent or mortage to pay as well as other regular monthly bills such wages will not cover all your expenditure with the single under 25's who have no children not being able to claim any help at all for taking on low paid work (have personal experience of this), so unless wages are raised to cover the day to day needs of local people such jobs will be difficult to fill with local labour. I have a high regard for Evan Davies and hope his programme is impartial and a well balanced as he is making out.

• Gill: My partner has had a bad back and is awaiting a back op. he has been unable to work. He is unable to claim for any benefits so life is a struggle. It is very frustrating when new comers to this country can claim benefits above him he has paid his dues all his working life.

• Pete, Hilldersham: I have worked with e u people for about 5 years on and off!. They are very hard workers and i have no problem with them!

• Jennifer: Our so called government have made us a soft touch where immigrents are concerned. Other E U Countries do not take just anyone in, they put their own Countries needs and people first, ours does not. It is about time we did.

• Thomas, Nottinghamshire: Having just heard the Charming comments from Bill turnbull and Evan davis on BBC breakfast with the effect that British workers has opposed to foriegn migrants are not "good value for money" this euphemism means willing to take very low wages with NO negotiation. These wages are kept artificailly low by importing migrants. I wonder how Evan Davis or Mr Bill Turnbull would feel if he was offered a considerably much lower salary and if he then refused they offered his job to some highly motivated, hard working Polish newsreader dying to break into UK presenting.

• Richard, Coalville: Surely a big part of the problem for those complaining that the migrant workers are 'taking their jobs' is not scarecity of work, but the rate of pay. Many of the employers of migrant workers are breaking UK laws by paying less than minimum wage. Tighten up on these employers and maybe some of our jobless would be willing to take the jobs on offer. However, it is interesting to note that the same thing was said in the 60's & 70's about South Asian and Afro Carribean immigration. The honest answer is that these people are willing to work long hours in poor conditions for a wage that locals are not willing to work for. They are not taking jobs away from locals - the locals simply don't want those jobs at that rate of pay.

• Barabara: A friend of mine tried for jobs in the Fen area (Newmarket etc)and even though she was able to do the job advertised and had been doing a similar job for a number of years, the employers would only pay her minim wage. She could not accept this job when it was offered as would not have been able to live and travel on the wages. To the immigrants this is a lot of money and they are only too willing to accept the job and I can't blame them. I blame the government for cutting the poorer peoples wages.

• John, Wisbech: The rates of pay seems to be such a contention i feel i have to comment. The rates of pay are set by the companies via the big supermarket chains which want to provide the public with Cheaper product due to demand. It's then passed on to the factory which has to provide a cheap product for as little as they can. So they then set a certain pay rate for the agencies to pay the agency workers, which is the min wage. We are all at fault as we want to buy cheap food from the supermarkets but want more money to do do the job. If you want a higher Min wage the Cost of living will have to increase to cover the cost.

• Gerald, Cambridge: My father worked in a factory that changed from three 8 hours shifts to two 12 hour shifts. The number of minor accidents increased. The number of absences increased. The factory has gone and the site is now a housing estate. At least the factory was a top payer for the area. When you get low wages and unsocial working added to physically hard work that you may be having to do for your working life of course local people want better. This kind of work should be on the way out, not only in this country but in the rest of the world as well. Yes prices will go up but we already waste too much as it is.

• James, Reading: Having not watched the program yet I can only guess as to the outcome, but it would be a guess I am fairly sure about. These people will struggle immensely as ultimately this is the very reason we have had to rely on importing labour. We simply don't have the work force in the country any more for these type of jobs. I hope this serves as a wake up call to anyone who opposes immigration, the problem isn't from abroad, its within the country.

• Helen: So if we don't want the BNP to win votes by pointing the finger at the immigants, the best we can do is point the finger at the locals, is it? Let's have the next group of victims shall we; the lazy, poor, unhealthy, thick, uneducated, scrounging poor.... You are playing with a box of matches in a haybarn. It'll be the middle class boys putting on their uniforms, rounding them up and throwing stones next. Dangerous times, BBC, dangerous times.

• Kobina Arko, Bristol: We always talk about immigrants as people that do low key jobs adn take british job away. That's just part of the story, there are immigrants that contribute immensely to the development of the country but we barely mention them. Immigrants do not get child benefits and all the other benefits that citizens get. Immigrants are just in this country to work get their money and go home. Without prejudice to the programme, without immigrants UK will not survive as an economic country. Lets look at a few immigrants in this country and guess what will happen if they close their doors and leave, Mohammed Alfayed - Harrods, lakshmi Mittal - owner of steel and richest man in UK, Indian doctors in NHS and private practices, African nurses in the NHS, foreign professionals in so called white collar jobs and all immigrants in the premier league. Objectively, how do we think the country will look like? These are the things we need to objectively ponder over.

• A Thompson, Spalding: I live in the fens and I wonder how we coped before the floodgates opened to the rest of the world coming to the UK. What I object to is that fact that there are lazy or stupid English people who are taking from the State, money to survive who are a drain on society and which allow the use of foreign workers, so hard working people suffer. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND a government that would allow people to sit and do nothing. Why do we allow them to have a choice. If there is a choice of working to earn some respect for yourself or allow a foreign person to work so you can do nothing is wrong. Why do the hard working people of this country allow it?




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