David Cameron reveals plans for immigrant integration

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© Pete Sherrard / Shutterstock.
Muslim woman wearing niqab.

UPDATE: Just days after Prime Minister David Cameron revealed his government´s plans to test migrants´ grasp of English language after they have been in the country for two and a half years, UK Home Office officials have been left red-faced after spelling the word ´language´ wrong in a press release about the new tests. 

The release, which was published on January 21, included the typo ´langauge,´ an error that has since been widely ridiculed on Twitter and was described as “beyond parody” by BBC Radio 4 presenter Anita Anand, on expressing her amazement at the Home Office´s gaffe. 


BRITISH prime minister David Cameron has turned his attention to the English language skills of the new wave of immigrants on January 18, announcing that they will have two and a half years to improve them in order to avoid deportation. 

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Speaking live on BBC Radio 4´s Today, Mr Cameron confirmed that rules regarding English language acquisition would be toughened up to ensure better integration into “one of the most successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracies in the world.”

Focusing on those immigrants arriving on a spousal visa, in particular Muslim women who are sometimes confined at home and segregated from British life after their arrival, the prime minister said the new rules would come into force in October 2016. Currently the only stipulation in place is that those arriving on 5-year spousal visas have to demonstrate a basic level of English.

During the radio programme, Mr Cameron also broached the controversial subject of face veils, in particular, his thoughts regarding their necessary removal in some public places such as schools, border crossings and courts. 

Sources suggest that Mr Cameron has privately expressed the view that a major reason for an increasingly radicalized British Muslim youth is the “traditional submissiveness of Muslim women,” who are afraid to speak out against influential Imams.  

His stance on immigrants´ English skills was criticized by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, appearing on a different BBC Radio Four programme, who argued that the government´s plans were “a very odd way of pursuing an integrated approach to community cohesion,” and that threatening to return spouses whose language skills don´t improve was an “unusual way of empowering and involving women.”

12 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Cameron – what is more likely to radicalise a young British Muslim? Having a mother around the house or deporting mum because she doesn’t speak good English! It’s not a hard question.

    BTW I like Adam’s cartoon in the Telegraph – Cameron saying immigrants must learn to speak English or be deported and Donald Trump saying “Bit extreme.”

  2. The problem is politicians of today don’t know what to say as they try to think of every way of saying something through fear of not being picked on by some group or other and what happens is they get picked on anyway, so… what they should do is just say what is needed to be said for the number one importance of the people of the country and the country and to hell with everyone else! People and groups condem Donald Trump for what he says but he is showing that the Americans actually seem to like him…. and why? because they are fed up to the eye teeth of David Cameron’s (George Bushes, Obama’s etc) and just want their politicians to tell it as it is and say it as it is! It really is that simple.

  3. H’mm. Slightly concerned about your “to hell withe everyone else” bit Mike. What do you mean exactly? Should the political leader of any given country only be looking after the citizens born in that particular country without any consideration of other nationalities – other human beings from elsewhere? That’s verging on xenophobia. We’re all human wherever we live Mike. We should all be entitled to equal treatment no matter what our original nationality.

    The logical conclusion of Cameron’s policy would be that anyone living in any country must be able to speak fluently the language of that country or be deported. That would fairly set the cat amongst the pigeons with most of the British ex-pats living here in Spain! Most of us would be deported back to Britain if Spain’s next leader adopts the same policy!

    BTW I wrote to No. 10 about this using the online form. I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Yes Brian, a countries politicians should hold primarily the security and responsibility of their country and countries citizens first and foremost.

    It is not a case of ‘to hell with everyone else’ but suggesting that a countries politicians take as much interest in peoples from other countries than that of their own is just plain unrealistic! If you class that as verging on xenophobia then I suggest you look up the meaning of the word. It is people like you that take politicians off their course and one of the reasons they can no longer do a main part of their job properly and that is to rule with common sense and protect their country and citizens.

  5. I really don’t see the point of this language thing.
    What I think more important is the womans right to drive. In there own country they are not allowed nor are a british woman who has to have an escort to go anywhere.
    My problem is the burka and them driving wearing it.
    THAT should not be allowed- I saw one in Cardiff trying to park a car wearing the full thing- it took her an hour to park.
    Gave us a good laugh though
    Kay

  6. Hi Kay.
    The only country in the whole world where women are not allowed to drive a car is Saudi Arabia. Women can get a driving licence in all the others which includes all other Islamic countries of course. Strangely enough, it’s Saudi Arabia that the UK government cuddles up to the most – buying oil, signing contracts, selling Brimstone missiles, fighter jets and bombs for example. But Saudi doesn’t just stop at banning women from driving. It also beheads people. Just like Jihadi John did. The only difference is they behead people as part of their justice system. Nice.

    I shared a laugh at your description of the woman in the burka taking an hour to park her car. I’ve seen a few people (men as well as women) struggle for the same amount of time while NOT wearing a burka. Can’t wait for Google’s self driving cars!

  7. Hi Mike
    1. I agree completely with you that a country’s politicians should hold primarily the security of their country and its citizens first (by which I assume you mean ALL of its citizens whatever their original place of birth?) That was actually the whole point of my original comment btw.

    2. You’re the one who wrote ‘to hell with everyone else’. Now you’re writing ‘It is not a case of to hell with everyone else’. You’re contradicting yourself.

    3. I know what ‘verging on xenophobia’ means. That’s why I wrote it that way.

    4. As far as I know I’ve never taken any politician ‘off their course’. They’re perfectly capable of doing that all by themselves! I don’t kid myself that I’ve got any influence over them at all!

    5. Since when did politicians ‘rule with common sense’?

  8. “one of the most successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracies in the world.” That is only because the British people cannot say anything about immigrants because of Tony Blair’s Race Law he introduced to stop criticism of his Multi-Cultural Britain programme.
    There is so much wrong in Britain today and it is getting worse by the day because Muslims refuse to integrate into British society, but no-one is allowed to say anything.

  9. “No-one allowed to say anything” Roy? ANYTHING? REALLY? I think you just said SOMETHING Roy. And we’re all reading it right now. Actually nobody’s preventing anybody from saying anything. It’s called ‘Freedom Of Speech’ y’know and it’s still alive and well. However I have to quote something often attributed incorrectly to Voltaire but actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall. Namely “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    What I disapprove of though is your blanket statement that “Muslims refuse to integrate into British society.” That’s just your opinion Roy. I challenge you to find ANY facts to back up that opinion. There are none. No facts at all. You’re just exposing your prejudice for all to see. But as I say, I’ll defend your right to say it. However if you saw Wednesday’s news on BBC Scotland you would have seen a family who are calling Clydebank paradise. I was born and brought up in Clydebank but I wouldn’t have called it paradise. The reason they do? They’re from Homs. Their home was bombed out and they’re lucky to be alive. Their little girl is speaking pretty good English already and mum and dad are taking lessons. How good is your Spanish Roy? Have you taken lessons? Are you integrating? Do you engage in Spanish customs? How many Spaniards are on close friendly terms with you? Just asking.

  10. 1. Very good

    2. Yes I am, I stand corrected but it was meant as ‘The country first and People of the country’, thats what is important & to hell with everything else, get that sorted and then other things can be taken into consideration relative on the situation.

    3. I don’t think you do or else you are trying to instigate argument by using it as there is nothing to do with dislike or hate against any other race, that was not what the statement was about!

    4. Well I think someone that uses ‘verging on xenophobia’ off the cuff does help influence politicians, the minorities in the UK do this and scare politicians into making decisions the same as others use racist in a country ‘the UK’ and ends up making it so. The UK has accepted many people from different races showing it isn’t in general a racist country, it has become more so because of these people for the reasons I mention and because people are fed up listening to them.

    5. Well they did with a lot more common sense than they do now and my thought on this is because they are scared stiff of loosing votes and so are forced to try and keep everyone off their backs but you can’t keep everyone happy sp they should say what they feel and think… exactly like Donald Trump is doing, now people know the person and vote for them if that is what they want. Politicians saying things as they are, as they think is what people want because they are fed up with what politicians have become.

  11. Yes but woman can drive in the UK, hate to imagine what would happen if they tried to ban that, anyway…

    Personally I don’t think Burkas should be allowed to be worn in public in the UK Kay, it is totally against our culture “Culture I said, I didn’t say religion” to cover your face in public, even youngsters waring hoodies wrapped around their face makes people suspect something because they appear to be hiding their face. I understand they use the excuse of religion but it is not something we do in the UK just as girls in short skirts in many muslim countries is not allowed. If people insist they want to ware them then they should go back to a country where people can hide their faces in the street without issue.
    It is strange that in Marbella we see many wealthy arabs come and spend a lot of time here, many of them drink alcohol and spend time with prostitutes or chase women for obvious reasons… oh they don’t do that do they, it’s against their religion ‘when they want it to be’… bit like the UK tourist coming over and sunbathing topless but you wouldn’t catch then without their bras in the UK 😉 But then topless sunbathing is not against our religion and after all, it is allowed here 😉

  12. LOVE the updated story about the Home Office gaffe in their press release concerning the new tests spelling “language” as “langauge”! Don’t they have spell-checkers on their ‘pooters?

    More seriously, UN Refugee Agency figures show that of the more than a million migrants and refugees who survived and reached Europe by sea last year nearly half were adult men and more than 30% were children. Syria is losing its next generation. This month six times as many people have arrived already by sea compared with January last year and the month isn’t even over yet! This is still just the beginning of the biggest mass movement of people in history.

    How on earth can Cameron’s British bombings in Syria or deporting mums with poor English away from home make things any better? How we respond to this challenge of historic proportions will shape the world for good or ill whether we like it or not. Anyone happy with Cameron’s bright ideas?

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