Sophia Money-Coutts

Back to stuff 10:56am Tuesday 28th June 2016

A thing about being ashamed

I’m aware that this is potentially going to sound like something you read in the Mail, but bear with me. I have a Polish cleaner called Kasia because I am an untidy person who finds it pathetically hard to keep my flat from looking like some sort of decaying, contemporary art installation. At least four half-drunk cups of tea in every room, toast crumbs on the carpet, discarded shoes liberally sprinkled in a trail from the front door to my bedroom. Slutty, in the old sense of the word, I know. But Kasia comes every Monday to make it better again and I am hugely grateful. I just have to remember to move my revolting, raisin-like earplugs off the bedside table on Monday mornings before going to work because I can’t bear the thought that anyone else would have to touch them.

Anyway, yesterday (Monday), I got an email from the cleaning agency saying Kasia couldn’t come because she had to make some ‘very urgent phone calls to Poland’. Could she come tomorrow instead? Of course, I said, these are quite odd times for everyone. And then I went back to Twitter, chuckling at the various Brexit gags that keep on rolling.

Except then TODAY (Tuesday), I got a message from my flatmate. ‘Kasia has just arrived sobbing because someone heard her speaking Polish in the street and told her to ‘fuck off home’.’

The thing is, last time I checked, I lived in Shepherd’s Bush, not 1930s Munich. So jokes on Twitter are all very well, but actually what the fuck is going on? ‘And,’ added my flatmate, ‘she says her children are being bullied at school by English ones.’

I know all the 17m odd people who voted Leave last week didn’t necessarily ALL want young Polish children being bullied at school or women being told to ‘fuck off home’ in the street, but there seem to be a terrifying number who couldn’t give a toss. And that is sick.

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