Yes, we should.  It is the only way to understand each other and live in peace with each other.  David Cameron is right.

But he is wrong about which language it should be.

The language should be mutual respect and respect for human rights, not the spoken language of your adopted country.  The problem arises if we let people in who are against our values in the first place.  What could happen then is that people learn our language (English, in our case) and subvert it to use it against us.  People who don’t speak our language coming in to the country are not our problem, but people who don’t share our values.

What are our values?  I don’t know!  Get any group of White Anglo Saxons together and you can have just as many culture clashes as you can with anyone else, even though we have been here for generations as the dominant group.  The loud mouths.  “It’s all the fault of the immigrants, coming into our country and stealing our jobs”.  If people have to make an enemy out of someone and unite against them, I have been taught that is possibly all they agree about, and some of those do it because they wouldn’t feel safe to disagree.   Correction, some of us, because we all do it sometimes.

But not speaking the language of the country should not be a problem, because there are ways around that.

Respect is the thing.  If we provide translations (or anything) but resent doing so, that communicates and damages relationships.  Or the people working with the translations, the officials and what have you who, for some reason, don’t really value different cultures but are doing a job because if they don’t they are financially penalised, if they can’t stand the people they serve or work with, how is that going to help anyone?  I know the answer is obvious and so does my reader.  “It isn’t”.

Translators are people who love language.  They problably love the culture that goes with it as well, otherwise they might not have got that far (I managed to take French to first year degree level myself, starting at the age of 9 or 10.  My best exam mark for it was an A at ‘O’ level, as it was before GCSEs.  My worst might have been an E at ‘A’ level.  I put it down to the increased literature element and my inconsistent attendance).

What if translators of English into other languages translated our literature for the non-English speaking people that live among us, and we also got their literature in translation?  This must be distress at its worst, because I know I’m talkiing garbage because I know that obviously happens, now I say so.  That’s what snakebite does for you, it has you all over the place!

But . . .  national identity doesn’t depend on us all speaking English, and you can’t blame the foreigners for the fact that there are many clashing value systems in our country, because that is true without them.

If we maintain respect there is no reason why we should push for integration.  People want to maintain their own identities, that is natural, especially in a strange place.  And why should it be seen as unhealthy if some of them never want to do anything else?  Saying that kind of thing about what someone wants makes them angry and miserable and promotes discrimination and prejudice.

We can keep the separate communities.  We can celebrate difference.  We can enable learning about each other within our own communities.  We don’t have to mix it, we can keep it separate, if that is easier, and let different communities be taught what they need to know by their own people and anyone else able to communicate with them that they accept.

Why, these days, should a non-English speaking child be thrust into an English taught school and therefore be at a disadvantage?  We can’t all learn another language, it doesn’t come naturally to some people.  Some people have problems with their own language, let alone someone else’s.  And there was plenty of illiteracy in England before mass immigration, so it isn’t fair to say we are being slowed down.  And why should the focus be language skills anyway?  What about other necessary skills?  There are some jobs you can do quite happily without needing to yap at everyone.  Some jobs might be better done that way.  Artisan type jobs, for example.

Let’s celebrate everything!  Different cultures, different gifts and skills.  It doesn’t have to be onerous and pedestrian, it can be a constant, joyous flux and flow.

People keep up trade links with their own countries anyway.  Why force people to integrate who can’t or don’t want to?  As long as we can establish and maintain respect between the communities there is nothing wrong with separateness where people want to be separate and coming together where they want that.  I’m thinking that education, at least in the first years, should be within the child’s own ethnic community, because that is where they will be happiest.  And what’s wrong with having further and higher education that way as well, all within our own country?  Why should we invade or insist on dragging out into the open the private place of someone else’s cultural identity?

It’s about choice.  Choice creates industry and jobs.  This is something there is both a need and a demand for.

I say, back to basics.  Back to reality.  Stop blaming people and trying to create jobs selling things people don’t need like food, for instance, with all kinds of subliminal messages attached (why else do you think we are obese and lazy?  But those who sell it and know the methods they use to sell it still turn round and blame us and say we are a burden on the tax payer.  Well, some tax payers are a burden on everyone!).  Start providing instead the things we actually need to make society work – people skills, philosophy, values, the arts, beauty, (shh erm – religion?)

Quack quack, said the silly duck, it’s time for another industrial revolution.

Hey, this is the 21st century! (I never thought I’d say that!)  David, what kind of leader says, “you must learn our language, or you can’t come here”?  Different isn’t bad, it’s different.  It’s an opportunity.

This is so outrageous I can hardly believe you mean it.  I watch the most serious things these days and find myself laughing as if it is a comedy, sometimes.  Does everyone end up saying, as they get older, “the world has gone mad”?  Because I did last night.

If we are going to say to people, “you can’t come here unless you learn our language”, what about the people here who already don’t speak it? Are we going to end up having an ethnic purge?  Shall I being the mental health system into this?  Yes, I think I might, because in many ways it is the same kind of thing.  Ethnic purge.  That is a real danger.  There are elements, including among those in power, who after stopping entry by others who can’t speak the language/don’t share our values, will next turn on those already living among us, and that wouldn’t be pretty at all.  David Cameron, you seriously need to rethink this.  You can’t make people conform at will without damaging relationships. There would also be a backlash from some people already here from countries from which some people were not allowed access.

By the way, when I talked about snakebite earlier – I had just watched the Andrew Marr Show before I wrote this and I first thought of that phrase after hearing William Hague talking.

I think among our human rights should be the right to be inadequate and incapable, if that is what our lives have done to us, without it bearing any kind of stigma at all.  I wonder if that is possible while the great god the tax payer gets invoked against everyone that is or feels that way?

This society stinks, it is so abusive.  But it is probably not that much different from many others.  Jesus said you can’t serve God and mammon.

He also pointed out that the Bible says in one of the Psalms that we are gods, and the scriptures cannot be broken.  I used to think that was sarcasm, but would the Jesus I have been taught about have been sarcastic about scripture?  No, He wouldn’t.  Is the Jesus I have been taught about the real Jesus?  Unquestionably!  Jesus defended the scripture that says we are gods.  He would not have been sarcastic about scripture.  And we can’t serve each other (God/gods) and money as well.

I apologise for my style, but I watch and listen to so much rubbish.  It seems to be all there is available.

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