Following on from my little rant about Gordon Brown’s new plan to force immigrants to learn English, this particular item of news from Private Eye came to my attention today:
“Since November, immigrants wanting to take the UK’s citizenship tests must be able to demonstrate an ‘acceptable degree’ of skill in the English language. But how are people supposed to learn it?
”An interim report from a study by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education has uncovered ‘enormous problems’ with the availability of English classes for speakers of other languages (ESOL). As demand for the classes has risen (by 65 percent in the past two years), little has been done to boost the number of courses and there is a national shortage of qualified ESOL teachers.
“Many areas have long waiting lists for courses and the inspectorates looking after colleges and adult education services say ESOL is ‘probably the weakest curriculum area’ in the whole learning and skills sector.”
So not only has Gordon come up with a policy that is really just an extension of an existing one, albeit a stupid extension that couldn’t possibly work in practice (how exactly are unemployed immigrants going to be able to afford these English lessons? etc, etc), he’s overlooked the fact that there’s no one to actually teach English anyway. Assuming this isn’t pointless posturing to attract the Daily Mail vote but which he’s never going to actually implement.
It’s his hands on the economy, folks, and soon he’ll be looking after the whole country…