Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A rose by any other name...

This interesting blurb appeared on the Yahoo UK & Ireland server:

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Jobless must learn to speak English
The Press Association Monday February 12, 04:43 PM

Unemployment benefits could be cut for people who refuse to learn English under plans to be announced by the Government on Monday. Welfare minister Jim Murphy will outline the plans for sanctions on benefits claimants to come into force from April.

Some 40,000 jobless people say not speaking the language is a barrier to them finding work. Mr Murphy will say: "We must utilise the resources we have to redress the balance: to put the emphasis not just on translating language to claim a benefit, but to teaching language to get a job. "Not just for the sake of employment rates, but for the benefit of the individual, their community and society as a whole." The measure is part of a speech addressing unemployment rates among ethnic minorities which he will say are "unacceptable".

"It is unacceptable that ethnic minorities on average earn a third less that their counterparts across Great Britain as a whole." Not enough of the language-learning opportunities at job centres are being taken up, he will say. "Wherever possible, we would like them to participate in a work-focused language course, where they exist."

"People will be able and expected to look for work while they undertake any training, and in many cases there will also be the provision to carry on with the training course after they have got a job."

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The tide of intolerant radical conformity continues - and is looking more and more like it has some nasty undertones of cultural genocide. Some ethnic and religious groups with non-English native languages may not want jobs with firms that don't speak their language - but that may soon be irrelevant in Great Britain. Either you learn to speak English or you get no unemployment benefits.

Now, I presume these people are citizens of the United Kingdom - I am opposed to giving welfare benefits of any kind to non-citizens and illegal aliens. But there are ethnic groups in the United Kingdom which predate the English by a considerable margin, not to mention people who have come legally to Britain and want to live and work among people with their own cultural and language background. Why should the Scots, Welsh, and other Gaelic/Celtic peoples have to submit to the English suppression of their native languages and culture? Isn't it enough that the English have stolen their sovereignty and their land? Now they have to discriminate against them as well?

It's wrong, class. Citizens should not be discriminated against in programs or benefits. People should have the right to reject the culture and language of those who conquered them - however long ago that might have been.

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