Sergiu's story

From: Piatra Neamt, Romania | Date moved to the UK: August 2010 | Occupation: Digital Project Manager | Qualification: (BA) PR & Communication

Anywhere you go, you need to be competitive and goal-driven, but also wise enough not to take yourself too seriously. The UK is not much different in this sense than other European countries. In fact, people here are the same people you meet anywhere: all born and raised on this small planet and looking for some meaning.

I moved to the UK because I was a long-time fan of its literature, music and culture. I like the multiculturalism here, the fast fashion, the big name companies, the many types of beer, all of that. And, more than anything, I like the fact that in the UK there’s a civil society that constantly questions the government and a volunteering culture which empowers people to make some sense of their existence.

What I don’t like is the conservative mentality and the double standards you very often see when it comes to human rights - the treatment of Romanian people being an example of this, especially in the way they are portrayed in media articles.

"People need to find other, more sustainable and reasonable values to define their own identity than national borders, religion and race"

It isn't easy to read these damning one-sided articles in the so-called impartial newspapers every second day and not think that you’re being portrayed as a second class citizen.

It's sad, because it goes to show that an advanced democratic country that has built a strong brand around the idea of high standards of education has such low-quality media.

As an example, some tabloids wrote that 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians would invade Britain, when, in fact, the populations of these two countries put together make about 26 million people. As if every old lady and every middle class family wouldn’t have anything else better to do but come to the UK to be poorly treated.

It’s also sad because Romania suffers from this brain drain while the UK benefits from it. These skilled, underpaid people who are happy to do overtime are the ones portrayed as villains and social benefits suckers, even though they actively contribute to the UK’s economy and culture. You don't read a lot of articles about Sir George Iacobescu - Chairman and CEO of Canary Wharf Group in the Evening Standard where you are reminded he is Romanian, do you?

As a taxpayer, I’d be angry to see my hard-worked money wasted on some government campaign against immigration when there are more pressing issues to worry about.

People need to find other, more sustainable and reasonable values to hold on to and define their own identity than national borders, religion and race.

And as a Briton, I’d think twice before allowing a few right-wing tabloids of questionable journalism integrity to influence my decisions. Especially to the point where it would encourage law-makers to change my country's laws based on irrational fears perpetuated by the "whatever-sells" tabloids which would, inevitably, hurt my own freedoms, culture and economy.