Political Promise

Nearly all Brits think immigrants should speak English

In Liam Quinn on August 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Is it racist to demand that immigrants have a basic level of English before entering this country? Liam Quinn is offended at that suggestion, and 97% of Britons agree.

In last week’s newspapers there was an article about a 58 year old Indian man who wanted to move to Britain to be with his wife.

The article created a storm in a tea-cup because the aforementioned man could not speak basic English. The topic was brought up on some dreary BBC Sunday morning show at the weekend. The BBC ran a poll “Should immigrants be forced to learn basic English before coming to Britain” (or something to this effect). The results were quite shocking. 97% voted Yes.

Whilst I am not shocked that the public was in support of the idea, the overwhelming majority did surprise me. So why is the topic controversial? Mrs Chapti claims that the decision to not allow her husband into Britain is “racist” and is against her human rights.

I totally disagree with her comments, whilst it is easy to jump on this case and claim anybody who agrees that they should be separated is cruel, fascist or racist is a symptom of what is wrong with modern day Britain. Any conversation on immigration and integration has become taboo. If politicians speak out, they are shunned by the press and told to be careful in future with their words.

Immigrants should have to learn a basic level of English. The most important benefit is to the immigrant themselves; imagine moving to a new country and not being able to communicate with anybody other than the people you already know? If they don’t know English before arriving they risk isolating themselves and causing tensions in the community. If they are unable to speak English they are failing to add any value to the UK’s economy or culture which part of the new immigration points system for those coming from outside of the EU. I have no problem with immigration at all and would be offended if somebody read into this in that manner, but basic English should be part of the pre-requisites of immigration to Britain.

“Real communities are bound by common experiences forged by friendship and conversation, knitted together by all the rituals of the neighbourhood, from the school run to the chat down the pub. And these bonds can take time,” – David Cameron on multiculturalism earlier this year. Breaking down the language barrier is a step to achieving real communities once again.

One quick response to this issue was “What about English people living abroad?” I firmly believe we shouldn’t have double standards and ex-pats should learn basic language skills, however it is easier to get by with English as a first language. This isn’t hypocritical, it is just common sense.

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  1. I think it would be quite interesting if children were taught sign language from a young age as this is a universal form of communication for the most part, and then at least there would be some form of exchange. Although it could lead to some very vague taxi journeys!

  2. […] Read the original here: Nearly all Brits think immigrants should speak English « Political … […]

  3. I think the standardisation tendencies and policies of the previous leftwing government created this situation where people in this country make it their business to standardise foreign people coming here (for legitimate reasons and within the legal framework) so that they would eat, walk and talk like their hosts. To bar foreign people from coming here legally because they don’t speak our language is apish on our part. So what if they can’t communicate with the indigenous populations and can only seek solace with members of his/her national community? In my opinion as long as they pay taxes where legally obligated, not break the laws where obligated and seek independent help to adapt, I don’t care what language they speak. Most people in this country don’t give a flying rats’ ass about speaking to their neighbours down the road. Most people shop online. We should not get worked up with someone else’s’ spouse from India.

    When people go to foreign countries, they have enough intelligence to know what to expect and what they need to do to survive… let us stop this social intervention and standardisation of all nations to look, talk and walk like us at customs and immigration just so we could continue to ignore them as we do with our neighbors down the road. We might even save money on cutting back the tedious government paperwork. We are developing a very insulting and apish image overseas at our various High Commissions, Embassies and consulates with our standardising questionnaires.

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