Monday, 3 March 2014

Farage: England for the English

Nigel Farage is quoted on Liberal Democrat Voice as saying:
“In scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short space of time, has, frankly, become unrecognisable. Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact that in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more, this is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.”

Well, I am old enough to have children and grandnephews and I started working in London umpty-thing years ago. The family home being on Merseyside, I put up in a hostel in Swiss Cottage for the first few months of a job in Westminster. I remember being excited and intrigued, not blimpish, by all the different accents and languages I came across on my journey to work, let alone in exploring the streets of the metropolis.

Seeing the films and reading the literature of the years between the end of the war and my entry into the world of work and the '60s, leads me to believe that there was probably more interchange between London and the continent then than there is now. Of course, there were many refugees from the Nazis still in residence here and the eyes of soldiers returning from Europe (some with continental brides) would have been opened. Garrisons had been established in occupied Germany which would not be wound down until the end of the Cold War - more interchange there.

We did well from migrants then and we are doing very well from EU migrants now. I don't believe we even have to try too hard to persuade these folks to learn English, if they don't already know the language - there are strong financial incentives so to do. Wrong target, Mr Farage.


Anonymous said...

Well Frank,
Go to Ceredigion and walk through the Teifi Valley and hear the language of the streets. It is English. Due to massive demographic change. I really don't see any great attempt to integrate on the part of the incomers there. Many of whom have told me to my face that the vote LibDem to keep the 'Welshies' down. True.

Anonymous said...

Look at real linguistic change in West Wales!!!

Anonymous said...

There have been comments, but you wont publish them. What is the point?

Frank H Little said...

Note that I do not allow automatic comments for my own protection. I look at this blog at least once a day on average but am not continuously online.

Frank H Little said...

I thought about the Welsh dimension, but since Farage's speech was about England and the English (relating to a train journey from a London terminus, I believe) I stuck to that subject.

Neilyn said...

Sut mae dy Gymraeg di Ffranc Sais?

How's your Welsh Ffranc Sais?

Frank H Little said...

Not good. But I have learnt a few useful words like "tafarn" and "cwrw". :-)