Here in the UK, there has been a sudden and rather frightening series of (so far) verbal attacks directed against foreigners who have arrived during a time of financial hardship which has hit everyone, and they are being accused of 'milking the system' with regard to state benefits, and even street-trading which - for some reason - has been perceived as the sole right of naturally born British people who find themselves homeless for whatever reason.
Of the 2 million officially 'unemployed' people in Britain right now, attention is being centred on the Romanian Gypsies who have spent about 600 years traveling from place to place around Europe, and since the demise of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, the restrictions to travel further than mainland Europe have been lifted, allowing them to quite legally set foot upon England's green and pleasant land.
I don't know how many Romanian Roma there are in the UK right now, but I am guessing that they number no more than about 30,000 or so (maybe more, no official figures exist) - not many in the scheme of things, I would have thought.
And so what if they are milking the system? If their activities are legal, then they have the right to do so, whether we are over-stretched or not. You cannot blame them for trying to improve their lives by exploiting a 'generous' welfare state. A good many Poles came to this country during WW2 in order to provide flight crews and land-army to an over-stretched Britain in time of need, as did many Asians. I'm sure that if the Roma of Eastern Europe were not being gassed by Hitler in huge numbers along with the Jews, then they would have done the same thing. The above picture is of Roma people.
One generation away from the last great European depression which saw the rise of Hitler -who blamed the economic catastrophe squarely on the Jews - we are beginning to think along the same lines by forgetting the global bankers and real criminals in order to kick the weakest in society - Big Issue sellers. How much does a Big Issue cost? £3? Less? And the profit on that? 50%.
Be very careful about who you start kicking in frustration in the next few years, and don't allow any government to hoodwink you into thinking that any viable scapegoat exists outside of the system where they are all still hiding and thriving. You really don't know where it will lead - actually, you do.
Now is the time to be generous in spirit, even if you cannot afford to be materially generous.
Stay hospitable, for pity's sake.