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Monday 18 January 2016

Cameron Muslim Attack Unravels

After yesterday’s appearance by Jeremy Corbyn on The Andy Marr Show (tm), one might have thought that Young Dave might join his cheerleaders at the Sun in putting the boot in on the Labour leader’s continuing refusal to entertain the conventional wisdom on nuclear weapons. Instead, Cameron, to the dismay of many in the Pundit Establishment, has gone on a crusade against those followers of The Prophet who are not fluent in English.
The Murdoch Times, by no coincidence at all, has the inside track as it declares “Women must integrate, Cameron tells Muslims”. Not Sikhs. Not Christians. Not Buddhists. Not Jews. No-one with those religious affiliations need be concerned. And it gets worse: the Tories are trying to connect lack of English language skills with extremism, somehow not noticing that the knife-wielding ISIS followers in the videos speak fluent, er, English.
After Christopher Hope of the Telegraph told “Immigrants who can't improve their English after two and a half years of coming here will be extradited from Oct”, the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire mused “Lot of Brits [would] be kicked out of Spain if Madrid imposed language tests. Imagine them coming back and shouting at our waiters”. It’s not only Spain, but France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and places further afield like Dubai.
And Maguire had another telling point to make: “Speaking perfect English isn't the problem with British jihadis on IS videos. PS Cameron cut language spending”. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett was on the same page: “David Cameron - whose govt slashed funding for English lessons for migrants in 2011 - is now complaining migrants aren't learning English”. Causes the problem, then says “Look at that problem over there!
Stephen Bush of the Staggers reinforced the point, observing “Joined-up government! July 15 2015, cut 16,000 Esol classes. January 18 2016: announce you're deporting people who don't learn English”. Mic Wright took a directly cynical view: “‘...if you look at what Saudi Arabia is doing, they do have a good programme for de-radicalisation.’ - David Cameron”. Not much chance of being radical after beheading, that’s for sure.
Even in his own party there was disquiet: Sayeeda Warsi reminded Dave “PS mum’s English isn't great yet she inspired her girls to become a Lawyer, teacher, accountant, pharmacist, cabinet minister”. Helen Gardner responded to figures for Muslims who have limited or no English by pointing out “And what of the elderly Gurkha relatives of both sexes, for example, who also speak no English? They're not Muslim”.
She had more questions for Dave: “Also elderly Sikhs, been here for decades, who speak little or no English - what of them, Cameron?” And on the assertion that segregation was “unacceptable in the UK”, she asked “So when's he starting on the orthodox Jewish communities in north London?” The Tories claim they will be looking at the role of Sharia councils, but they would then have to do the same with the Beth Din.

And they won’t be doing that. So unless the Government is prepared to be challenged over religious discrimination, this initiative is dead on departure. No surprise there, then.


J said...

I'm beginning to see a pattern emerging here...

Cut funding for something, make it a big amount - say 100 million.

Wait for things to screw up a year or so later...

Make an announcement of "new money" to solve the problem you created, make it big - but not as big as the original cut, say 50 million.

Sell it as how wonderful you are and make sure the new "private state provider" has a massive profit margin built in, so only 50% makes it to the front line.

Wait for the offers of non-execs positions to roll in for a few hours a year at 50K a pop.

Flood defence cut, 100 million; floods happen; "money no object" offer 50 million.
ESOL cut, 45 million; people can't speak english; "extra funding" offer 22 million.
Bedroom tax, cut 500 million; people loose homes; "DHP's increased" from 40 million to 80 million.

Sit back as the reich-wing press say how good you are.

Arnold said...

"After Christopher Hope of the Telegraph told “Immigrants who can't improve their English after two and a half years of coming here will be extradited from Oct” "
Says someone who doesn't know the meaning of the word "extradited".

Anonymous said...

As a quid pro quo, all those military currently engaged in wars against the Arab people in their own lands will now acquire Arabic so they can "integrate" better. (That's "integrate" NOT "disintegrate.")

What's not fair? What's not to like?

Not that the Bullingdon Pig Boy and the other Nastzis will "get" that.

Andy McDonald said...

And what will the test be like? The British citizenship test used to actually include sections on language skills and effective everyday communication. That was all dropped though because the tabloids were convinced it was all about encouraging people to sign on or lust after our women or something, so the test was revised to be Dunkirk, Downton, Good Queen Bess and Churchill.

Joking aside, this stands the risk of being as cripplingly loaded as the literacy and numeracy tests used in the deep south to establish (read: deny) voting rights.

Richard Gadsden said...

You're quoting from a private twitter account (@helzbels) - I hope that's with permission, because most of us can't see her tweets.

Anonymous said...

To Jonathan Wilson.

It's been that way since 1979, through governments of tories, New Labour and (bit part) LibDems. All of them nothing but a gang of card carrying neocons.

Nothing new there, then. Only the targets change. And they'll keep stealing more and more until such time as people organise and say, "Enough is enough."

When we reach the point where the country is governed by a reactionary gang of spivs that only got the votes of 24% of the eligible electorate - then democracy in Britain is little more than a public relations comic notion.

Might as well get yourself ready because there's much, much worse on the horizon.

Tim Fenton said...


Helen has no problem with those Tweets being quoted, thanks.

SteveB said...

and at what point do we reach the white, male, UKIP voters of, say, South Yorkshire? Lesson 1: Definitive Article............

There is a real possibilty that in some areas foreigners taught to speak standard English will end up being more understandable than the locals. Or, alternatively, foreigners who speak perfect local english dialects will fail Camerons tests!

Rivo said...

But this will play well in the media. There will be plenty of people who hear the headline or the soundbite up and down the country nodding their heads sagely in agreement without looking into the full details.

Further to your penultimate paragraph, I seem to recall Richard Dawkins, in one of his TV shows, meeting with some members of an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect in London, some of whome had been born and raised for 3 generations in this country who still spoke not a word of English.

asquith said...

I've met more immigrants than that bellend ever has or will, and most are desperate to learn English. Another failure to think things through properly from the man who "helped" turn Libya into a failed state, who in 2013 tried to do the exact opposite of what he's trying to do now (I think so, it's nigh-on impossible too see what he's trying to do, so incoherent is it) and now this.

I think some Muslim males do have attitudes that we'd consider unacceptable, and empowering women by helping them do what the vast majority desperately want to do is a good idea. But if you trust Dave to do that you are not very bright in my humble opinion.

Maxwell Turnbull said...

Surely Cameron is the living embodiment of the " Wily Coyote " character from the " Roadrunner " series of cartoons. I mean, he has all the resources of Whitehall to assist him and yet he still has a 'strike rate ' that is directly comparable to Wily Coyote's with his reliance on the technical marvels produced by " Acme Industries ( TM ).

Maybe I'm being too abstract... .