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OT - is this a human rights breach?

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  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    W1 wrote:
    I don't really understand the argument that this is particularly targetted at a certain ethnic group - it's a rule that affects anyone who doesn't want to learn English from anywhere outside the EU...
    So why not make speaking any EU language the entrance requirement?
    W1 wrote:
    ...How much contribution can someone make to a society where they don't even wish to try to learn the language?...
    As long as they make a net contribution, I'm happy. The chef in an Indian/Chinese restaurant, or the Pakistani grandmother who looks after the kids while their mum goes to work might not be able to speak English, but are still contributing, no?
    W1 wrote:
    ...It makes integration impossible. That's a sure fire way to a more culturally divided society which can be a dangerous thing.
    Culturally divided or culturally diverse? I prefer “diverse”, it’s got a more positive ring to it.
    If “integrated” means culturally homogeneous, then British society has never been integrated throughout it's entire short history, and never will be - the devolution of powers to the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Assemblies will see to that - and those aren't even proper foreigners.
    OTOH, if one of the characteristics of Britishness is to be inclusive, diverse and to have tolerance and a true appreciation of other cultures, then things are good and getting better.
  • clarkey catclarkey cat Posts: 3,641
    +1 @ snailracer
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    This isn't about being ethical political correctness or human rights. It's about Britain's oversensitive need to accommodate everyone at the expense of itself.

    It ends with the liberals being oh so sensitive to ethnicity that their actions actually do more to insult than integrate.

    This shouldn't be a "liberal v conservative" issue at all. By making it one you're dooming the debate to becoming a censored -flinging circlejerk. At a higher level this means that policy ends up being short-term and electorally motivated.

    The real question I think is what is the government trying to accomplish by setting the language requirement? It appears to be one of the ways in which they want to encourage immigrant integration into British society. Because lack of this is viewed as part cause of conflict in multicultural areas. The primary reason for this isn't to reduce immigration by putting up barriers from what I can see. It seems to be pretty sensible, and is in line with what many "liberals" were thinking when Labour was in power.

    Well thats my view anyway.

    With regards to this specific case, it would be hard to argue that the husband could get a job if he can't speak English. This combined with his age, and the history of their marriage (15 years living apart) makes me think that the only way this woman is going to get her husband in is by hopping on the "liberal outrage at perceived human rights infringement" bandwagon.

    Immigration isn't a problem in this country. I'm the son of an immigrant myself. But I can understand that policy designed for a large number of people can cause problems for a minority in cases involving economic migrants. And thats a shame, but this isn't a human rights issue. Its just bureaucracy, which is an unfortunate necessity.
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    notsoblue wrote:

    Immigration isn't a problem in this country. I'm the son of an immigrant myself. But I can understand that policy designed for a large number of people can cause problems for a minority in cases involving economic migrants. And thats a shame, but this isn't a human rights issue. Its just bureaucracy, which is an unfortunate necessity.

    My Grandma would say that it is. You see for her she came over and aside from issues back then my Gran was able to run a successful market stall for a number of years and raise 8 (3 of whom were born in Jamaica) successful and well integrated kids.

    The problem she cites is that back then many left Jamaica wanting to come here, work hard and cut a decent life out of the social cloth (well they were asked to come and that they found fell far short but I digress). They would work 3/4 jobs if needs be to purchase property and establish themselves.

    What you have now, according to her, is people coming over here (irrespective of the circumstance) looking for an easy life and with no intention of being a functioning part of society.

    While there were those types back in her days there are far more expecting the easy life now.

    A balance needs to be drawn between what is acceptable to expect of a person in terms of social integration (societal integration being the constant amongst the variables) while not limping back into prejudices or forcing foreigners to lose their own cultural identities. I don't see expecting a person to be able to speak English as being unacceptable.
    Food Chain number = 4

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  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    snailracer wrote:
    W1 wrote:
    I don't really understand the argument that this is particularly targetted at a certain ethnic group - it's a rule that affects anyone who doesn't want to learn English from anywhere outside the EU...
    So why not make speaking any EU language the entrance requirement?
    W1 wrote:
    ...How much contribution can someone make to a society where they don't even wish to try to learn the language?...
    As long as they make a net contribution, I'm happy. The chef in an Indian/Chinese restaurant, or the Pakistani grandmother who looks after the kids while their mum goes to work might not be able to speak English, but are still contributing, no?
    W1 wrote:
    ...It makes integration impossible. That's a sure fire way to a more culturally divided society which can be a dangerous thing.
    Culturally divided or culturally diverse? I prefer “diverse”, it’s got a more positive ring to it.
    If “integrated” means culturally homogeneous, then British society has never been integrated throughout it's entire short history, and never will be - the devolution of powers to the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Assemblies will see to that - and those aren't even proper foreigners.
    OTOH, if one of the characteristics of Britishness is to be inclusive, diverse and to have tolerance and a true appreciation of other cultures, then things are good and getting better.

    Out of interest, what City do you live in?

    I think this thread would be interesting to see what day to day experience people have with cultural differences. There is a difference as well between living in a very multicultural area for a period of time to "Well, I have lived in x for 6 month's and I am a regular at the chinese.

    I'm not saying it would go either way or anyones opinion is any more valid, I just think it would be intersting seeing how someone in Norwich's views differ to mine from Bradford.
  • kingmhokingmho Posts: 37
    Aren’t half the words in the English language foreign? :)
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968

    Out of interest, what City do you live in?

    I think this thread would be interesting to see what day to day experience people have with cultural differences. There is a difference as well between living in a very multicultural area for a period of time to "Well, I have lived in x for 6 month's and I am a regular at the chinese.

    I'm not saying it would go either way or anyones opinion is any more valid, I just think it would be intersting seeing how someone in Norwich's views differ to mine from Bradford.
    Walton-on-Thames.
  • Butterd2Butterd2 Posts: 937
    To take an economic view of it rather than a racial one.

    I understand the need for controlled immigration into the country and have employed several non EU accountants in the past and on the whole they have been great, they work hard, pay their taxes and increase the output of this country to all our benefits.

    On the other hand to allow people to come here when they are 58, i.e. just about to retire, require a pension and start to become a drain on the NHS is a different matter when they have not contributed over their lives. Just because we all live in £1m houses don't think this is a rich country that can afford this because it's not as we will discover over the next few years.

    Interestingly on the interview the woman gave on R4 this morning she said that her husband would not even try to learn English when he got here - I'd love to know what I'm supposed to owe him?
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  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    kingmho wrote:
    Aren’t half the words in the English language foreign? :)
    Two-thirds.
    P.S. 40% of "English" words are French. We've been speaking 40% French for the last 900 years without noticing :P
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    notsoblue wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    This isn't about being ethical political correctness or human rights. It's about Britain's oversensitive need to accommodate everyone at the expense of itself.

    It ends with the liberals being oh so sensitive to ethnicity that their actions actually do more to insult than integrate.

    This shouldn't be a "liberal v conservative" issue at all. By making it one you're dooming the debate to becoming a censored -flinging circlejerk. At a higher level this means that policy ends up being short-term and electorally motivated.

    But we are talking, in part, about societal values so I think this can be about the ethical perspectives of liberalism and conservatism.

    After all, this decision affect (British) Society the most.
    The real question I think is what is the government trying to accomplish by setting the language requirement? It appears to be one of the ways in which they want to encourage immigrant integration into British society. Because lack of this is viewed as part cause of conflict in multicultural areas. The primary reason for this isn't to reduce immigration by putting up barriers from what I can see. It seems to be pretty sensible, and is in line with what many "liberals" were thinking when Labour was in power.

    Well that's my view anyway.

    It is one I agree with. However, I see it as affecting both immigration and immigrant integration.

    Example: It's widely accepted that even if you (a foreigner) are fluent in Portuguese and move to Brazil and have all the credentials they will actively and openly hire a Brazilian who might not be as qualified as yourself. (Real life experience) The end result, would I move to Brazil? Not likely.

    In short the "Having to speak English thing" sends a message.
    With regards to this specific case, it would be hard to argue that the husband could get a job if he can't speak English. This combined with his age, and the history of their marriage (15 years living apart) makes me think that the only way this woman is going to get her husband in is by hopping on the "liberal outrage at perceived human rights infringement" bandwagon.

    My view is that the law has to set a precedent and this is as good an opportunity as any. This Woman moved here and has been estranged from her husband for half my life time. You could get a divorce for less time spent apart/estranged.

    Circumstances be damned, you need to speak English..
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:

    Immigration isn't a problem in this country. I'm the son of an immigrant myself. But I can understand that policy designed for a large number of people can cause problems for a minority in cases involving economic migrants. And thats a shame, but this isn't a human rights issue. Its just bureaucracy, which is an unfortunate necessity.

    My Grandma would say that it is. You see for her she came over and aside from issues back then my Gran was able to run a successful market stall for a number of years and raise 8 (3 of whom were born in Jamaica) successful and well integrated kids.

    The problem she cites is that back then many left Jamaica wanting to come here, work hard and cut a decent life out of the social cloth (well they were asked to come and that they found fell far short but I digress). They would work 3/4 jobs if needs be to purchase property and establish themselves.

    What you have now, according to her, is people coming over here (irrespective of the circumstance) looking for an easy life and with no intention of being a functioning part of society.

    While there were those types back in her days there are far more expecting the easy life now.

    Your grandma's generalisations are wrong. Immigrants, even now, tend to have to work harder. And in many parts of the country this is what causes problems with the local population because they'll do the same jobs for less. I doubt theres much difference than from when she came over. Yes, people are looking for a better life, but so was your grandma. So was my father. There are simply more opportunities to have a better life in the UK and EU than there are in the Caribbean. But to dismiss recent immigrants as coming over to simply be parasites on our welfare system is just wrong. Theres nothing different about immigrants now as opposed to 40-50 years ago.
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    A balance needs to be drawn between what is acceptable to expect of a person in terms of social integration (societal integration being the constant amongst the variables) while not limping back into prejudices or forcing foreigners to lose their own cultural identities. I don't see expecting a person to be able to speak English as being unacceptable.

    I agree with this though.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Greg66 wrote:
    Little point in speculating, because pretty soon a Court is going to tell us the answer.

    But I'm a bit puzzled: the choice is learn a language or don't live with your wife. The "I'm too old to learn a new language" sounds to me a rough translation of "Meh. I never liked her that much anyway".

    He was 15 years younger when she came to the UK- so only 43 then or is that also too old to learn a new language?
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  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    snailracer wrote:
    Culturally divided or culturally diverse? I prefer “diverse”, it’s got a more positive ring to it.
    If “integrated” means culturally homogeneous, then British society has never been integrated throughout it's entire short history, and never will be - the devolution of powers to the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Assemblies will see to that - and those aren't even proper foreigners.
    OTOH, if one of the characteristics of Britishness is to be inclusive, diverse and to have tolerance and a true appreciation of other cultures, then things are good and getting better.

    Divided - it's impossible to be inclusive if you can't communicate except with people who have only the same background of you. And it sends a signal that you're not interested in being part of the culture of the country you're wanting to move to. And not to mention day to day practicaities - or should every sign, document, programme be available in every language?

    If someone isn't interested in learning English it says a lot about their motives for wanting to move here - and it's hard to contribute to society in a net positive way if you can't communicate with anyone outside of your own narrow intorverted group.
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    notsoblue wrote:

    Your grandma's generalisations are wrong. Immigrants, even now, tend to have to work harder.

    Work harder than who? Than she did or harder than the people already living in the Country?

    To clarify, my Grandma didn't say that all immigrants coming over here want a soft touch, but a lot of them do. And in her experience (of Jamaicans and Africans she has helped get cleaning jobs to set themselves up) a lot aren't interested in putting the graft in.

    Some immigrants work damn hard Polish people collectively and culturally redefined what we think of their work ethic. - That needs to be said.

    However, there are some who have no interest in being a part of society going as far as not even to bother learning the language. That's a problem and it's rooted in immigration.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • SimonAHSimonAH Posts: 3,730
    I lived just off the commercial road for three years. Ethnicly diverse? Definitely. Integrated? Not on your nelly.

    I think one of the big questions is what do you want to acheive? A country divided into ghettos or a racially and culturally diverse society that mixes and co-operates?

    An absolute minimum of a common language is required for the latter. It's simple.

    The national language is English. Ergo to be considered for residencey and all of the benefits that this bestows you should learn the language.
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  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,863
    notsoblue wrote:
    Your grandma's generalisations are wrong. Listen to my generalisations.
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I will say though that in my experience ethnicly diverse areas, for me, tend to be a diverse range of ethnic minorities and not many (and that were there were moving out) white folk.

    The day Wimbledon has a Caribbean and African hair and skin product shop the day true ethnic integration has been achieved! It will also be the day that I don't have to keep travelling to Tooting or elsewhere to get my products.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    However, there are some who have no interest in being a part of society going as far as not even to bother learning the language. That's a problem and it's rooted in immigration.

    I think thats the main issue here. What the government is trying to avoid with legislation like this is the self-imposed ghettoisation of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants like you'd find in Bradford, or Whitechapel. Or even to a certain extent in parts of Brixton and Hounslow. But I do wonder to what extent this can be avoided at all.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    edited July 2011
    notsoblue wrote:
    Your grandma's generalisations are wrong. Listen to my generalisations.

    Fair point :P I guess most generalisations are unhelpful. But its pejorative to say that immigrants are coming here for an "easy" life because that the whole point of migration. Why go through the process of emigration if you won't be better off?
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    notsoblue wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    However, there are some who have no interest in being a part of society going as far as not even to bother learning the language. That's a problem and it's rooted in immigration.

    I think thats the main issue here. What the government is trying to avoid with legislation like this is the self-imposed ghettoisation of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants like you'd find in Bradford, or Whitechapel. Or even to a certain extent in parts of Brixton and Hounslow. But I do wonder to what extent this can be avoided at all.

    Sending the second and subsequent generations to schools.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    notsoblue wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    Your grandma's generalisations are wrong. Listen to my generalisations.

    Fair point :P I guess most generalisations are unhelpful. But there are some immigrants who are coming here for an "easy" life devoid of a desire to give back to the society they are benefiting from.

    Insisting that they must at least speak English at least helps deter the most blatant ones.

    +1!
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    Your grandma's generalisations are wrong. Listen to my generalisations.

    Fair point :P I guess most generalisations are unhelpful. But there are some immigrants who are coming here for an "easy" life devoid of a desire to give back to the society they are benefiting from.

    Insisting that they must at least speak English at least helps deter the most blatant ones.

    +1!

    Er....some creative quoting there...

    So what do you think it means to "give back to society"?
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    edited July 2011
    Give back to society, be a functioning productive part of society to reap the rewards from a society working together towards a greater collective goal.

    it's all been said and explained before.

    The Country (Society) cannot work as a social entity without those things. You cannot do those things if you have a separatist attitude. A language barrier exudes that. At the same time you cannot force integration upon people and you need to leave them a measure of freedom to establish their own identities within the given society - through that a shared productive culture is established.

    Best example I can give.

    A British man in a carpet walled curry house complained his tandoori chicken was dry. The Indian waiter, who understood the customers complaint, went back to the chef and articulated it. with an understanding of the British need for gravy, but with the skills to give it an Indian take, what happened next was one of the great culinary improvisations of our time. And thus the Masala was born.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Pay taxes, be part of the system and not outside it. That type of thing.

    Taxes are a given. But what do you mean by being part of the system exactly? I'm inclined to agree with you but I don't really know what that means myself.
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    notsoblue wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Pay taxes, be part of the system and not outside it. That type of thing.

    Taxes are a given. But what do you mean by being part of the system exactly? I'm inclined to agree with you but I don't really know what that means myself.
    It means to agree with whatever DDD posts in this forum :wink:
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    snailracer wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Pay taxes, be part of the system and not outside it. That type of thing.

    Taxes are a given. But what do you mean by being part of the system exactly? I'm inclined to agree with you but I don't really know what that means myself.
    It means to agree with whatever DDD posts in this forum :wink:

    I've edited.
    ddd wrote:
    Give back to society, be a functioning productive part of society to reap the rewards from a society working together towards a greater collective goal.

    it's all been said and explained before.

    The Country (Society) cannot work as a social entity without those things. You cannot do those things if you have a separatist attitude. A language barrier exudes that. At the same time you cannot force integration upon people and you need to leave them a measure of freedom to establish their own identities within the given society - through that a shared productive culture is established.

    Best example I can give.

    A British man in a carpet walled curry house complained his tandoori chicken was dry. The Indian waiter, who understood the customers complaint, went back to the chef and explained this in great detail. With an understanding of the British need for gravy, but with the skills to give it an Indian take, what happened next was one of the great culinary improvisations of our time. And thus the Masala was born.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Give back to society, be a functioning productive part of society to reap the rewards from a society working together towards a greater collective goal.

    it's all been said and explained before.

    The Country (Society) cannot work as a social entity without those things. You cannot do those things if you have a separatist attitude. A language barrier exudes that. At the same time you cannot force integration upon people and you need to leave them a measure of freedom to establish their own identities within the given society - through that a shared productive culture is established.

    But a separatist attitude exists between groups of people well established in this country. Should recent immigrants be discouraged from creating their own separatist groups and encouraged to join established ones?
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    ...
    Best example I can give.

    A British man in a carpet walled curry house complained his tandoori chicken was dry. The Indian waiter, who understood the customers complaint, went back to the chef and articulated it. with an understanding of the British need for gravy, but with the skills to give it an Indian take, what happened next was one of the great culinary improvisations of our time. And thus the Masala was born.
    Ah, but the chef did not need to speak English - as long as he spoke one of the waiter's tongues he would have understood.
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    notsoblue wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Give back to society, be a functioning productive part of society to reap the rewards from a society working together towards a greater collective goal.

    it's all been said and explained before.

    The Country (Society) cannot work as a social entity without those things. You cannot do those things if you have a separatist attitude. A language barrier exudes that. At the same time you cannot force integration upon people and you need to leave them a measure of freedom to establish their own identities within the given society - through that a shared productive culture is established.

    But a separatist attitude exists between groups of people well established in this country. Should recent immigrants be discouraged from creating their own separatist groups and encouraged to join established ones?
    The Scots, Welsh and Irish are heading off. So we're doomed anyways, a few clichey foreigners won't make much difference.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    snailracer wrote:
    The Scots, Welsh and Irish are heading off. So we're doomed anyways, a few clichey foreigners won't make much difference.

    I was thinking more about divisions of demographic really.
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