Sunday, July 7, 2019

Welcome to the Boris Johnson Era

Is Great Britain ready for Boris Johnson? Is it ready for a tousled hair former lord mayor of London who makes Donald Trump look disciplined? 

As Johnson seems poised to take over the prime ministership from notably inept Therese May, I have not yet seen any reports praising him for much of anything. We are assured, by people who know BoJo, that he will be a complete calamity.

One wonders how things could be much worse, after May's abysmal performance. One suspects that the venerable Tory party, seemingly on its way to obsolescence, wants to give itself a shot in the arm. Why not take a chance with Boris?

If only for the entertainment value.

Anyway, yesterday, Johnson made headlines by uttering a decidedly controversial monocultural thought: namely, that immigrants to Great Britain should be obliged to learn English.

Yikes… so here is the report from Metro News:

Boris Johnson has demanded immigrants to the UK learn English because ‘there are too many parts of the country where it is not the first language.’

The Tory front runner made the comments while at a Conservative leadership hustings in Darlington on Friday.

He said it was important for people to speak primarily English so they can ‘take part in the economy and in society in the way that that shared experience would allow’.

He stressed that the story of immigration in the UK is ‘amazing’, and praised the ‘extraordinary economic success and dynamism’ of people who have moved to Britain from overseas.

Highlighting Bangladeshis, Jewish refugees from Tsarist Russia, and Huguenots from France, Johnson said immigrants have ‘adapted and they have made their lives and they have helped to make our national culture and they have bought into it’.

He added: ‘That’s what I want for our country, I want everybody who comes here and makes their lives here to be and to feel British.”

He continued:

‘And too often, there are parts of our country and parts of London still and other cities as well, where English is not spoken by some people as their first language, and that needs to be changed and people need to be allowed to take part in the economy and in society in the way that that shared experience would allow.’

You can imagine the reaction from the Druid quarter. Native Celts, speakers of Celtic and Gaelic rose up in anger. After all, they feel perfectly English and they speak any one of a number of nearly extinct languages. 

Dare we mention the obvious point: Johnson was not aiming at bilingual homes where people speak English and Gaelic. He was aiming at Eastern European refugees who continue to speak their native languages… and he was surely aiming at other refugees who come from countries we are not allowed to name.

The truth is, speaking English is an enormous advantage in an English speaking country. And in the world at large. Speaking Gaelic, not so much. And yet, the gods of multiculturalism took offense at a gesture that was designed to connect the peoples of Great Britain by encouraging them to speak one language. Only in today’s world, would this be controversial or need saying.


sestamibi said...

And like our president, he's a native New Yorker too!

Sam L. said...

BoJo be getting the Trump welcome, to show him just how unwelcome he is.

No speaka da Ingish means your job possibilities are low, Low, LOW, bordering on non-existant.

UbuMaccabee said...

I do not see the value in having immigrants speaking English in the US. If they speak English, they are less likely to work in the chicken processing plants or clean rooms for IHG or wash dishes at Applebee's. The whole point of a servant class is to keep them from fully assimilating so we can enjoy eating out and having someone else care for our every need. Assuming it is the same for the UK.

Sam L. said...

Ubu, u be harsh, man.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Speaking the native language means economic opportunity. No wonder Democrats hate it.