The Beeb is reporting that everyone’s favourite potential PM, Gordon Brown, is trying to win the “psychotically racist” vote by suggesting that not only should all potential immigrants to the UK have to learn English, if they refuse, we should force them to learn it.
Wow. Whose exact benefit is that for? The immigrants? Could be, but why force them if it is? They’ll do it of their own volition, surely.
If it isn’t, who wins from this plan? TEFL teachers and precious few others, that’s who? And how do you force people to learn a language?
“You! What’s that called? Tell me… No? It’s a ”loaf of bread“. Are you going to remember that? Are you? If you don’t get 100 out of 100 on your next vocab quiz, I’m going to send you back to where you came from! Now here are your flashcards.”
But here’s a question: why are we stopping with immigrants to Britain and English? How about people who relocate to other parts of Britain? Should we make Glaswegians who move to the home counties practice a slightly posher accent to make them more intelligible to the sheltered shire classes? Should we force surfers who move down to Newquay to learn Cornish? How about anyone who buys a holiday home in North West Wales being forced to learn Welsh? And let’s not get started on forcing the Northern Irish to learn Gaelic…