BBC BLOGS - Mark Easton's UK
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Is English test really about integration?

Post categories:

Mark Easton | 13:45 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The home secretary says her demand that foreign wives and husbands of British citizens learn basic English before they come to the UK is about promoting integration. But critics claim there's a more sinister and discriminatory reason for introducing the new rules.

One hand putting wedding ring on another handAs things stand, spouses from outside the EU are allowed to come to Britain for up to two years. By that point they must have passed a "Life in the UK" test, including an English language element, or risk being sent home. The idea is that foreign brides and grooms must integrate or leave.

What the change to the rules will introduce is a test of English before they leave their homeland, regulations that were due to be introduced under existing Labour plans next year.

However, the new Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May has brought forward the changes to this autumn, arguing that "the new requirement for spouses will help promote integration, remove cultural barriers and protect public services".

Given that spouses already have to learn English to a higher standard than is proposed under the new rules, some question whether they can have any additional impact on integration.

The changes will obviously have a very limited effect on those foreigners that Brits choose to marry from English-speaking countries or from countries where the education system ensures most have a decent grasp of the UK's mother-tongue.

The real impact will be felt in those countries where a basic command of English is less common, notably on the Indian sub-continent.

Some suspect the motivation for introducing the rules is to target British citizens with an Asian heritage who traditionally return to their family village for a bride or groom. These usually arranged marriages result in thousands of often poorly educated rural immigrants arriving in the UK, although numbers have been falling.

In 2007, 49,000 foreign spouses came to Britain including 19,000 from the Indian sub-continent [540 KB PDF]. In 2008 the figures were 44,600 and 16,000 [1.06MB PDF]. Last year's total was down to 38,000, a fall of 22% in two years. Figures for the sub-continent are not yet available.

By introducing the new English requirements even more quickly than had been planned, it makes it virtually impossible for rural villagers in remote parts of the Indian sub-continent to pass the test.

When ministers suggest that the visa regulations offer a business opportunity for entrepreneurs to market language courses they may be accused of being disingenuous. There is no way such facilities can be set up in a few weeks and, even if they were, there is no way many impoverished Pakistanis or Bangladeshis could afford them or complete them.

The real issue here is not integration or removing cultural barriers, it might be argued. It is about trying to reduce the economic impact of a legacy of British colonial rule.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 2:19pm on 09 Jun 2010, ziggyboy wrote:

    If immigrants are to integrate successfuly surely they need to be able to speak some English. How do they expect to get a job without even a basic command of the English language.

    For too long we have allowed people into the country who have never had any intention of making a worthwhile contribution to either the economically or socially. Britain is seen as a soft touch by other countries.

    I am not a racist but I do think our immigration policy needs to be very strict.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 2:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, CComment wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 2:24pm on 09 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Good thing those countries did not have a similar rule when the English were occupying their countries. How many English spoke Hindi, Burmese, Chinese? Integration didn't seem to be a priority at that time. You must be like us but we do not need to be like you. Has a ring of superiority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 2:38pm on 09 Jun 2010, Tom W wrote:

    The UK is a multi-lingual society - Welsh and Scots Gaelic should also be options.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 2:44pm on 09 Jun 2010, valkyrie20 wrote:

    'The changes will obviously have a very limited affect on those foreigners that Brits choose to marry from English-speaking countries or from countries where the education system ensures most have a decent grasp of the UK's mother-tongue.'

    Presumably applicants will still have to PAY for these tests, making the visa process even more expensive that it currently is.

    And what happens in the case of migrants like me who have a PhD from a UK University, have been studying/working/living in the country for years and are currently marking undergraduate papers, docking points for poor spelling and grammar in English? Will I, when I decide to marry my UK citizen boyfriend, be required to take this test? If yes, I will be taking a pointless test, based on a blanket policy, which does not allow for different circumstances. How is this not a waste of the tax-payer's money?

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 2:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, virtualsilverlady wrote:

    Being able to speak the language of the country you are in is an essential tool against exploitation.

    How many of those entering the country and unable to speak the language have been monitored by the authorities as to their treatment and wellbeing. Very few I suspect.

    There are in the shadows of this society many living in misery and fear. They are being exploited in a myriad of ways but they cannot communicate
    because they cannot speak the language.

    Anyone who has travelled abroad and can't speak the language should know how useless and impotent you are unless you can find someone to help who does.

    They go on and on about using the Australian points system.

    Perhaps if they took it up properly they would find that English language skills as well as stringent health checks are a fixed requirement before entry.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 2:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, tacrepus wrote:

    It is ridiculous that this is even being questioned. How will any immigrant who cannot speak basic English expect to find work, use services and mix outside of their own communty? Not doing so, especially in these difficult economic times, leads to precisely those circumstances where health trusts are drained of valuable cash by having to pay for English lessons for it's employee and local councils waste money printing all of their notices and service literature in nine or more different languages. Fluency in English for all, please, then we might be able to start becoming the harmonious society that the governments, past and present, tries to force us into being.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 2:52pm on 09 Jun 2010, maryw wrote:

    There are over 250 million south asian speakers of English, (in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), so I fail to see how this represents a form of discrimination against south asians. It seems completely sensible to me to encourage these potential skilled migrants over those that can not speak English. All our unskilled labour requirements are met by East European migration. Why should the UK not discourage unnecessary unskilled labour from outside the EU? Former colonial ties are irrelevant. If Pakistanis wants favourable immigration treatment then join the EU or raise the Union Jack in Islamabad and start singing God save The Queen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 2:57pm on 09 Jun 2010, grumpyoldman58 wrote:

    "there is no way many impoverished Pakistanis or Bangladeshis could afford them or complete them".
    Getting married is an expensive business. If people from the Indian sub-continent can afford the matchmaking, dowries, visa applications, travel costs etc, then a basic English course is really small beer.
    I realise that it is not PC to mention cultural differences, but the fact remains that sub-continental brides in particular are denied, or even forbidden, to learn English as a method of controlling them on arrival in the UK. The instances of virtual enslavement of the luckless immigrant by marriage have been brought to public attention so often to be ignored or glossed over. When living in the East Midlands in the 70,s it was common to know of women who had lived in the UK for over 20 years but had no understanding of English language or basic literacy. They had never been offered the opportunity to learn by their own culture.

    The situation is exactly the sort of thing the British Council should be involved in. It would e perfectly possible to organise short courses in basic spoken English, given by a person bi-lingual in the local language and English, who toured an area giving 2-week intense courses.Alternatively, schools could be set up near major airports and other departure points and the pupil booked in just before flying/travelling out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 2:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, michelle_a wrote:

    In many countries people would love the opportunity to learn English before coming here but simply can't afford the expensive fees charged by language schools. It's easy to take for granted the access to education we have in this country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 3:00pm on 09 Jun 2010, Michael wrote:

    I agree that the time scale is too rushed, but it is not unreasonable to expect migrating spouses to acquire at least some knowledge of English before they arrive in the UK. With a few more months' leeway, travel agents and airlines in the countries concerned could design courses to provide the necessary training, which if efficiently designed should not cost more than the air fare.

    It does seem odd, however, that British people expect to be able to move to Spain without ever acquiring any knowledge of Spanish. This is a serious practical problem for monolingual English migrants to other parts of Europe who require medical treatment (not just for the British but the doctors and nurses who have to treat them as well). I hope that Theresa May will champion the necessary changes to EU legislation, to prevent non-Spanish speaking Britons from migrating to Spain (or elsewhere in Europe where they do not speak the local language).

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 3:04pm on 09 Jun 2010, Frilly wrote:

    I agree with 1/ Ziggyboy, it's not racist it's common sense that if someone from another country want's live here without being a burden on the benefits system, the NHS, the Adult learning system etc etc they should at least be able to communicate effectively in our language. I work in recruitment and you wouldn't belive the number of foreign national who come to me for help finding work who can hardly speak a word of English or are sent to me by the Job centre under threat of losing benefits (which I have yet to hear happen) for help and then they come up with all sorts of excuses why they can't apply for the suggested vacancies, many of which are because they are being treated for an illness. Mr Cameron if you wan't to save a packet, get a grip

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 3:04pm on 09 Jun 2010, Bob Smyth wrote:

    It is entirely reasonable to expect that those wishing to become permanent residents of the UK should be able to speak English.

    It is, however, interesting to note that various self-identified "communities" and their apologists are already actively seeking "victim status" for themselves and describing the measure as "colonial". Can't be long before these are followed by the ritual claims of being "offended" or "cultural insults" and threats of "community unrest and violence" by the "disaffected youth".

    Some are almost certain to claim that an inability to speak English (and a refusal to learn) is "cultural" and that illiteracy and lack of fluency should be welcomed as examples of "diversity".

    It would be a tragedy if any dimwhit politicians and journalists accept and pander to these claims.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 3:06pm on 09 Jun 2010, yellowrattle wrote:

    'Integration' is only possible when the indigenous population does not feel itself overwhelmed by the sheer NUMBER of immigrants. The level of immigration into the UK over recent years is destroying communities. As for the argument that there are net benefits from immigration, just look at the whole areas of our cities that have been taken over. One immigrant arrives to do a 'key worker' job, then brings in a wife (if not other dependants), has three or four children, and they all need schools, health care, social security support, etc. And we're supposed to believe there's a NET benefit?

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 3:07pm on 09 Jun 2010, Julian wrote:

    I hope other countries don't start to implement such a policy or millions of expat Brits might suddenly have to return home from Spain and elsewhere. Yes I know Spain is in the EU so it couldn't happen there, but in the context of whether this is right or wrong is that relevant?

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 3:08pm on 09 Jun 2010, aslan wrote:

    I disagree with the assumption that all incomers should integrate with an assumed 'native' culture / language. I disagree with the assumption that an incomer's intrinsic value lies in their ability to contribute to the UK economically or socially. I disagree with the assumption that a government has the right to tell an incomer whether or not they have the right to join their partner in the UK.
    Is it not a basic human right to have a family? Therefore, is it not a basic human right for partners to live together in the same country? Where does the prerequisite come in that one's partner has to integrate? Contribute economically?
    The costs for visas in the UK are exorbitant, the rules increasingly Draconian. What right does the UK govt have to impose such obstacles on private individuals pursuing their private lives?
    "The UK will be overrun" people may cry. Well, perhaps it deserves to be given that it has sponsored and fostered inequality outside its borders for so long.
    The imposition of increasingly stringent immigration law simply allows the priveleged to ignore inequality.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 3:11pm on 09 Jun 2010, hackerjack wrote:

    It's a ridiculous notion.

    Learning a language is always far easier if you are living in an exvironment where you hear ti around you every day. What might take a couple of months to learn the basics in the UK could take 2 years elsewhere just because of this.

    Anyway the majority of people who come here DO learn English to a reasonable level pretty quickly, the majority of Brits who go abroad on the other hand dont bother.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 3:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, lincolnlad wrote:

    Come to this Country & play by our rules.
    As usual the PC brigade are branding anyone who insists on "when in Rome" as racists. We are not.
    Multicultureism has failed, has created divided communities, tens of thousands of people living in ghetto's.
    The Human Rights Act has created a safe haven for known terrorists, who are allowed to roam free & peddle hate.
    I come from non christian immigrant stock, we were grateful to be allowed to come here, to abide by the rules, we understood it is a Christian country, we made the effort to integrate. NOT try & alter this Country to the fit the immigrant way of life & religion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 3:15pm on 09 Jun 2010, Eucalypta wrote:

    @ ziggyboy

    It's a bit of a cheek to demand English language skills from people when your own are clearly lacking:

    Quote: If immigrants are to integrate successfuly [sic]

    Quote: making a worthwhile contribution to either the economically or socially. [the economically or socially what?]

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 3:15pm on 09 Jun 2010, jon112dk wrote:

    If worst came to worst, there is nothing stopping UK residents moving to India or Pakistan to be with the love of their life if it is that important to them.

    How many a year do that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 3:18pm on 09 Jun 2010, devilsown wrote:

    BP oil leak / immigration. Impossible to control with any real results.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 3:19pm on 09 Jun 2010, phildman wrote:

    To those saying "well they must learn english or they will never find a job or intigrate". My friend's grandfather came to the UK 50 years ago not speaking any english, and didn't pick up more than a few words of it until he died 10 years ago. He worked hard all his life, his son is now a well paid civil servant with a 4 bedroom house in Surrey, and his grandaughter is a medical doctor. So no, I don't think that his lack of English hampered his or his children's education or earnings. Although of course we live in a different world nowadays, knowlage of english is not always neccecery, however it would obviously help greatly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 3:21pm on 09 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    Ha. Great, I'm Indian, soon to be marrying my wife next month, we only speak in English funnily enough, but this is just another headache AND another reason why I will leave this country that privately educated me, and gave me 3 degrees.

    Great job on alienating people. People from the Indian Sub-continent have significantly contributed to the economy, allowed the British to rule the country for hundreds of years, and this is the thanks we get.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 3:22pm on 09 Jun 2010, njmayes wrote:

    This is full of weasel words - "critics claim", "it could be argued". What you really mean is - "this is my opinion, thinly disguised".

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 3:24pm on 09 Jun 2010, Opap wrote:

    It is not only English laungage ability but also costs lots to get married with English person and live in the U.K.

    I spent about £540 for 2 years marraige Visa. £34.00 to take life in the UK exam. My visa was expired, we spent another £820 to apply for regidence visa.

    I think most of the people in the UK didn't know we spent lots money. I don't think it is easy to afford £820 for average English family.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 3:26pm on 09 Jun 2010, dickie wrote:

    Michael, you have missed the point. EU residents have the right to come here irrespective of whether or not they speak the language. In the same way, we have the right to go to Spain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 3:27pm on 09 Jun 2010, dazzlingpuddock wrote:

    This is a disgusting blanket policy that will do nothing to improve integration!

    How can it be just that a Brit ex pat, having lived in China for a number of years and married a local girl, will be forced to live apart from his wife and family because he is posted back to the UK, simply because she has not learnt English yet?

    Surely there will be more opportunity to learn English here where she will be immersed in the language than abroad!

    If she wants to become a citizen of this dull and dreary place then she will have to learn the lingo anyway to pass the citizenship tests!

    Persons on a spouses visas have no access to public funds anyway!

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 3:28pm on 09 Jun 2010, RoyaltyinTheChampionship wrote:

    Mark is there anyway of finding out what the figures for official immigrants coming to the UK that currently can't speak English? Is there anyway of dividing these numbers between EU and Non-EU immigrants? I don't know how anyone can comment on this law without knowing these stats to see if it's a major problem.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 3:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, i like you wrote:

    I agree with Michael. I am sure there is legislation in place for the EU, but why is it ok to have EU nationals who cannot speak English to be here, or vice versa, as in Michael's example?

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 3:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, 1geoffski wrote:

    1950s and 60s immigrants were moivated by a desire to maximize their opportunities by learnng the language and customs of what was their choen country. Moving to so called multiculturalism in he 70s onward reduced the incentive to even partially integrate by learnng the language. Political correctness led to forms (oftn for benefits) being printed in multiple languages, leading o the general misconeption of immigrants as croungers.
    Without language skills the (generally women) immigrants are left in a world they are not in control of, falling prey to sweatshop managers and worse. The cycle of importing wives like purchasing goods online, then leaving them open to abuse needs to be tackled urgently. Ensuring language skills is a good start.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 3:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, freindleonewhocares wrote:

    I cannot but laugh at the rather silly comments about British ex pats living in Spain and other countries,these people do contribute to the economy there as they are financially independent and do not rely on benefits.
    As one who was once an immigrant in a foreign country it is not too much to ask that a rudimentary knowledge of English to be acquired and not live for years in Britain without ever even speaking English as it seems many immigrants do here.Time to expect any immigrant to accept OUR way of life and not to bring with them the ways,that they say they are trying to escape from,for if they cannot,then perhaps they have no right to be here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 3:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, Megan wrote:

    I'm intending to retire to Greece in 10-15 years' time, and so I've already started to learn Greek. Incidentally, if I wish to teach there, even if it's English that I'm teaching, as a non-Greek I have to pass a Greek language test before I can do so.

    All seems entirely reasonable to me. The ability to speak the language of the community in which you wish to live seems a pretty basic requirement. Nothing racist about it at all. Anyone can learn to speak a (to them) foreign language irrespective of their ethnicity.

    Or is it just that I'm an oddball who likes to communicate with other people wherever I happen to be? Hence speaking English and French fluently as well as ever-increasing amounts of Greek, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. Or does being a native Welsh-speaker give me a head-start in picking up other languages? Or is it 'in the genes' - my late father was fluent in German and Italian as well as Welsh and English, and could get by in French if he had to as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 3:52pm on 09 Jun 2010, jakeyleeds wrote:

    UK citizens should have an absolute right to bring over a foreign spouse or partner, regardless of linguistic proficiency (just as it should be regardless of race, religion, national origin, or gender). It is an infringement on the basic rights of citizenship to curtail the ability of a British citizen to bring in a foreign partner in such a capricious and discriminatory way. Proficiency in English (or Welsh, or for that matter British Sign Language) for foreign spouses would obviously be optimal, but the languages one chooses or is able to speak or learn are an entirely private matter and not the domain of the state. If lack of English is really considered a major social problem, like in other European countries the government--or the private sector--could deal with this effectively once the migrant spouse is already in the country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 3:53pm on 09 Jun 2010, Nick wrote:

    Surely those from South Asia who have a colonial heritage must have a better chance (on average) of speaking English than somewhere colonised by another European power, or even an unconquered one.
    As a UK citizen with a South Asian wife I have no problems with this at all. Mind you the knowledge of life in the UK test has many questions most Brits can't answer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 3:56pm on 09 Jun 2010, Michael wrote:

    Dickie, I did not miss the point - I realise that EU citizens have the right at present to move from country to country without language restrictions. That is why I said that Theresa May should lobby for a change in EU law so that will not be possible in future. If we expect people coming to the UK from the Indian sub-continent to have a knowledge of English, should we not have the same standards at EU level?

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 3:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, nautonier wrote:

    Maybe its about saving millions and millions of £'s a year in interpreters fees and classroom disruption and other benefits since those who cannot speak English may also have other non-english speaking relatives/dependents who can automatically become eligible for a British passport, interpreters and other benefits.

    This abuse of our non existent population planning, taxpayers, unemployed, British children and people generally must be stopped as the associated costs and problems have spiralled out of control under Labour and the arrangements have been and now still are unaffordable, unsustainable and grossly unfair for British born people.

    Immigration needs to be based in reciprocity between individual countries - balanced on balanced numbers - we should contribute to any particular immigrant the same as their country provides for the same number of British people going to their country. If that is 'nothing' ... then 'reciprocate'. If we need new laws to achieve this then these should be given the highest priority.

    If we keep 'paying people to come here' to the UK when we're already full, overcrowded and broke... then they will keep coming and I've nothing against them as 'foreigners' .. I've visited overseas and been addressed as a 'foreigner' in the different countries... and every country in the world has a special word for a 'foreigner' and it never bothered me to be called a 'foreigner' and I never criticised anyone in their own country for saying that or ever accused any them of being xenophobic or racist for saying it in their own country - they have a right to do so - just as I do.

    Enough is enough in terms of taking in an unlimited amount or large numbers of 'foreigners' each year - keeping foreigners out who are an additional burden is an obvious necessity especially when with some countries that have large numbers of immigrants trying to get into the UK; there is very low reciprocity and assurance that British citizens are going to their country in reasonable numbers in return and are safe and treated well and with UK equivalence on human rights, benefits etc.

    I think there is a lot more to this than just 'language'. It's called 'fairness'!

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 4:00pm on 09 Jun 2010, epimetheus wrote:

    I work in an inner city hospital and the cost of translation services needed for the high percentage of patients who cannot speak English would make you shudder. Translation costs are typically £100/hour, now consider that these services are needed for 50-60% of patients where I work, and that this is before you've included any treatment costs. Additionally, becuase of this, the time for consultations with health professionals is at least doubled resulting in the taxpayer having to pay the higher salaries of doctors and nurses for longer on a per patient basis. You can soon see how this has a massive impact on costs. This change is not only sensible, it is essential given our current economic status.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 4:00pm on 09 Jun 2010, dave wrote:

    Easton on his usual hobby horse...defending immigration.

    'Sinister'....getting a bit over excited aren't we?

    And what's this at the end? ...'The real issue here is not integration or removing cultural barriers, it might be argued. It is about trying to reduce the economic impact of a legacy of British colonial rule.'

    You finally come clean about the negative economic impact of immigration.

    How good of you to report a fact for once.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 4:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, Chiredzi wrote:

    Obviously this English test has got nothing to do with integration as it only applies to non-EU citizens. Why can't other non English speaking EU citizens in UK take this test as well in order to promote their integration into this society? Can anyone answer this question please or ask the minister to respond. Thanks in advance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 4:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, Wrinklyoldgit wrote:

    "The real impact will be felt in those countries where a basic command of English is less common, notably on the Indian sub-continent."

    For goodness sake, it is precisely those people that this law is designed to impact - people who come from a remote village mentallity where they are subservient and poorly educated, have little or concept of life in the UK, know no English, have culture shock on arriving. Those women never have a chance to fully integrate for they are often married to forcebly men who dont care about their wives, who only want children and feeding and everything doing for them - not wives but unpaid slaves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 4:07pm on 09 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    In the same way that evidence of having a place to stay must be provided, evidence of enrolment (fully-paid) on a UK-based ESOL course should be sufficient to gain initial entry - immediately benefiting the local economy, in respect of the providers of those courses - for those without current English skills.

    As for the suggestion that race plays no part, the relevant courts have already established the principle that if a particular group is disproportionately and adversely affected by a piece of legislation then it is discriminatory against that group (e.g. part-time workers where differentiation is seen to be discriminatory on grounds of sex, since the majority of part-time workers are women), so if most rejected applicants are from 'brown-skinned' nations, it is surely a racist policy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 4:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, Mr H wrote:

    19. At 3:15pm on 09 Jun 2010, Eucalypta wrote:
    @ ziggyboy

    It's a bit of a cheek to demand English language skills from people when your own are clearly lacking:

    Quote: If immigrants are to integrate successfuly [sic]

    Quote: making a worthwhile contribution to either the economically or socially. [the economically or socially what?]

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    As an English teacher, I'd like to point out that people often make minor spelling mistakes and minor grammatical errors when contributing to online forums. This reflects the spontaneous and interactive nature of the medium.

    In fact, Ziggyboy's use of grammar and a formal register show rather good English skills, in my view. And I'm sure he would check his writing more carefully if the circumstances made it appropriate.

    Let's forget the ad hominem arguements and address the issue!

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 4:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    "this is just another headache AND another reason why I will leave this country that privately educated me, and gave me 3 degrees."

    Ooo. Ragequitting a country! Internet custom says someone must now ask this of you -

    - when you go, can I have your stuff?

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 4:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    "Is English test really about integration?"

    If the author, or indeed the BBC, think that the above headline represents 'good' English, I am rather afraid we shall have to disagree.





    Surely: "Is the English test really about integration?"

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 4:16pm on 09 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    People must not get out much. Go to any ethnic neighborhood and you will hear that native tongue spoken. In these areas the busineeses speak the native tongue and the customers are not required to converse in English. This will usually last a generation or two and the children are educated in public schools and adopt the language and the culture to some degree. Diversity is a plus to any society and invigorates food,style, arts and language. Assimilation takes time, integration does not alway occur, be patient. The world is becoming more multi-racial...one day we may all be Chinese.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 4:19pm on 09 Jun 2010, Mark wrote:

    "The changes will obviously have a very limited affect on those foreigners that Brits choose to marry from English-speaking countries or from countries where the education system ensures most have a decent grasp of the UK's mother-tongue."

    I believe the correct word here would be 'effect'... perhaps UK citizens and residents should be asked to sit the test first :op

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 4:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, Webb of Deceit - Not606 when 606 shuts wrote:

    "Yes I know Spain is in the EU so it couldn't happen there, but in the context of whether this is right or wrong is that relevant?"

    No it isn't. It is a left wing attempt to divert the debate away from people in Britain not speaking English. British law does not apply to ex-pats abroad. Your post should be deleted for being off-topic

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 4:31pm on 09 Jun 2010, LaiGsy wrote:

    @ valkyrie20 - well said!

    Although I think that it must be exceptionally difficult to live in a community where you do not speak the language, the literacy levels of some British nationals is shockingly low. What's being done about that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 4:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, MaxG wrote:

    Just wait for the denial of "Human Rights" cases to start.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 4:40pm on 09 Jun 2010, Louisa100 wrote:

    My parents came here in the 50's from Europe. It was so difficult for them not speaking English. Can you imagine shopping at a supermarket and looking at the pictures on the tins to help you understand what the contents are? A visit to the Doctor was another dreaded occurrence, having to take your child or a friend with you to explain the symptoms. Being forced to rely on others when you are helpless.
    It's not a case of being racist or expecting full integration of migrants, it's just being practical.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 4:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, 1963Tiger wrote:

    @ 4. At 2:38pm on 09 Jun 2010, tom_p_willis

    are you serious? It might be worth pursuing if more than a handful of Welsh, Scots etc spoke these languages or are you saying that if you can't read/write/speak English, you can move to Wales, Scotland and N/ Ireland?

    PS I got to take an English test in the US when I became a citizen which was one of the biggest jokes in my life especially as all the public announcements at the naturalization ceremony were in Spanish, Creole and English. I guess we have them in Hindi, Gujarati etc in the UK

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 4:48pm on 09 Jun 2010, absic115 wrote:

    Whilst the principal of insisting that a basic understanding of the English language and an ability to be able to communicate effectively, seems sound is this not just another hoop to force immigrants through and to raise more money through the process?

    Having had the delightful experience of our immigration system, first hand. I think it is a complete an utter waste of time and resources. My wife, who is Japanese has had to undergo many steps before obtaining her Indefinite Leave To Remain Visa. This included the laughable Life In The UK Test which, to be totally honest, was failed by the majority of my family! (We are all born and bred in the UK.)

    I believe that this is just another sop for the anti-immigration brigade and will serve no useful purpose at all, other than to alienate us further from the rest of the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 4:53pm on 09 Jun 2010, Protesteilus of Edinburgh wrote:

    It could be asked what benefit rural villagers from Pakistan and Bangladesh offer this country. The Punjabi language is only useful here if you want to work in a pakora factory. The "negative economic impact" indeed!
    Off topic but why do you and some of your posters call yourselves "Brits"? It sounds ugly and was a term of abuse used by the IRA amongst others.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 5:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, Em wrote:

    Just like valkyrie20 I am a foreign national. I teach English at secondary level, have a good degree from an English university and am studying for a masters degree. Will I have to take the test? I bet they'll make me pay for it!
    I currently deliver Citizenship to my form - when I tried some of the on-line questions for the citizenship test,to become naturalized, I couldn't answer them because they were all about how to claim benefits or get help. Interestingly, other teachers in the staff room couldn't answer them either - nor could my English (and very highly educated) husband.
    These tests have a hidden function - they are a way of raising revenue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 5:10pm on 09 Jun 2010, de rigueur wrote:

    Absolutely the right thing to do. The ability for settled immigrants to 'import' wives and husbands and add to our population squeeze has got to stop. Forget the language tests, just make the whole practice illegal!

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 5:11pm on 09 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    @Dark Side of the Goon

    of course, but its all ethnic.

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 5:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, Lordheber wrote:

    Considering that this is partly about standards of knowledge of the English language, I was surprised to see (among other things) the following passage in Mark Easton's article: "The changes will obviously have a very limited affect on those foreigners that Brits choose to marry...." EFFECT, not 'affect'; WHOM, not 'that'



    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 5:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, obligatory_expatriate wrote:

    It is certainly not discriminatory to expect someone moving to a country to learn the language, and, indeed, anyone wanting to move to another country would probably wish to do so so they could engage to the full in the life and culture of that country. My wife and son are Chinese, and they fully supported the idea that they should learn English and fully integrate when they moved here. We wouldn't have been able to get my wife to learn English so easily if she had had to learn it prior to moving here, as there is something about being totally immersed in a country and its culture that can facilitate language learning. As it happened, she and my son eventually were awarded residence permits to live here effectively without having to continually apply for visa extensions, but we decided to return to China earlier this year (meaning I must now learn Mandarin, which I am happy to do) because my wife suffered at the hands of racist idiots in her English language classes who were all asylum seekers (and were not particularly bothered about learning English because they knew it was unlikely they could be removed from the country), and who continually criticised the UK and my wife for having married a British person, suggesting that my wife should divorce me, become a muslim, and marry one of them, which horrified her and made her ultimately ill. Similarly, my son was lumbered with going to a school that held him back because of the attitudes of the other pupils and demotivated teachers; he was also a victim of racist bullying that culminated in him being beaten up on his way back from school, but the police didn't wish to pursue the matter, even though the child responsible had admitted he did it, and they could have got his name from the school. All in all, we think we made the right decision, and wonder why the combination of apathy within education, and toleration of atrocious bullying behaviour towards my wife and son is even tolerated in the UK. The college knew about my wife's problems, but seemed to do little that was effective. Yet the people who made her life a misery are exactly the kind of people who should be shown the door to the UK, but as it turned out, it is they who are remaining, and my wife and family who left because of their behaviour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 5:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:

    Ooooooh it's all so sinister when a Conservative government wants to restrict immigrants coming into the country. Of course, its not sinister at all when a Labour government floods the country with immigrants in the first place. Then lies about it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 5:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, English-teacher wrote:

    If speaking English immediately is so important, why do current regulations make spouses of UK citizens wait a FULL calendar year, often not until the initial, limited visa is about to expire, before they are allowed to join English language classes? Remember that knowledge of the English language is a requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain, demonstrated either by taking an online citizenship test which is written in complicated language, or by joining an APPROVED English class and improving by a complete level, as shown by passing a series of exams, all of which must be under the aegis of an approved exam board.
    Of course it is a good idea to learn the language of the country you are going to live in, but anyone who has ever tried out their school French or German should know just how big the gap between foreign language lessons in one country and the language actually spoken in a country can be.
    Furthermore, who is going to administer these tests, and who is going to carry out quality control? Either this system will be a sham, or it will be very expensive to provide any sort of rigourous quality control abroad, whereas ESOL classes and ESOL exams in this country are subject to inspection by Ofsted and by the exam boards.
    I'm an immigrant spouse who happens to be a native speaker. I also teach ESOL and know how many hundreds of people who desperately WANT to learn English my centre has to turn away every year. I'm about to retire, so no, I'm not just interested in protecting my job.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 5:15pm on 09 Jun 2010, SAF wrote:

    English test? Agreed! Something that needs to be administered to the locals, i.e. the indigenous people of this country. Why? Their level/competency is abysmal at best!

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 5:17pm on 09 Jun 2010, Andy wrote:

    This is a clever ploy by the new coalition government to try to convince the British people that they have handle on immigration. The truth is the problem is not spouses of UK citizens coming to the UK but rather the masses of migrant workers from Eastern Europe which the government has no control over and cannot do anything about.

    I don't see any of the migrant workers from EU countries being forced to do any kind of language test. So why just single out the partners of UK citizens? What a joke!!!


    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 5:17pm on 09 Jun 2010, vanroojdotcom wrote:

    A man from (I'm guessing Somalia) came into the GP surgery a few months ago. He'd got him appointment time wrong 5.20pm - he thought it was 4.20pm Every five minutes he's pointing at others going before him. The woman at reception kept repeating that fact that he was an hour too early, he couldn't understand. He was getting more and more frustrated and tried to go into the doctors before the next person could stand up. Eventually the woman just kept him in to keep the peace. Great! Now I was 20 minutes late, because he pushed in. He went off mumbling in his language and we all starred daggers at him as he left. A very simple and I would guess pertinent lesson in why people should speak a common language - to communicate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 5:35pm on 09 Jun 2010, InkDot wrote:

    When my Mum came over to England she could speak basic English. When I was born I had a hole in my heart and 2 months after I was born my Dad had a life-threatening accident. I will be eternally grateful to the Consultant that helped my Mum out by drawing pictures of what he was planning on doing to me.

    Fast forward 34 years and everyone who knew my Mum before she died will tell you that not only did she learn English and successfully integrate with UK society but she also gave a lot more to UK society than it ever gave her.

    My Dad (English) and I will use Dutch words when we speak to each other. Am I not allowed to celebrate half of my heritage? I agree with those who have posted asking why English people are not required to learn the languages of other countries before they visit them.

    The Government's proposals sound to me like a large dose of British Xenophobia.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 5:36pm on 09 Jun 2010, Leedschris wrote:

    I fail to understand why this is an issue? Surely it makes absolute sense and will help people integrate if they are able to have a basis grasp of English. I also don't understand why the reporter raises the matter of previous colonialism - this is just classic BBC Pc obsession with making us feel some kind of collective guilt for what happened years and generations ago: get over it! From personal experience I am aware of local schools in which so many children have English as a second language that extra assistants - at extra cost - have to be employed. It is NOT being racist to raise this issue. Also for many women who come to live in the country to deny them the language aids exploitation and exclusion and isolation. This proposal is NOT controversial; it should be welcome

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 5:56pm on 09 Jun 2010, Grey Animal wrote:

    It's far more effective to learn a language when you're immersed in a culture that uses it - if you study it as a 'foreign language' instead, you're at the mercy of textbooks of variable quality and teachers who aren't necessarily themselves accomplished users of that language, let alone native speakers.

    My father knew only rudimentary English before he came to the UK in the early 1950s (he might have been more proficient had his schooling not been interrupted by the German occupation of the Netherlands), but he had to learn rapidly once he had arrived because there are relatively few British people who speak or understood Dutch :)

    So no, I don't think that anyone should be required to show competence in a language in order to be permitted to emigrate; if the concern is that you should be able to use the language(s) spoken at your destination well, you'll probably achieve a more rapid and greater fluency by learning after you've immigrated.

    I do find it ironic that the English appear so keen that everyone learn their language when they themselves are so notoriously disinclined to learn anyone else's...

    As a secondary point: if one were planning to immigrate to Wales, would a learned competence in Welsh be considered a sufficient equivalent under the new measures?

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 5:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, hadis53 wrote:

    And your problem with that is what precisely?

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 5:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, bkk_mike wrote:

    In the long run, this will be thrown out by the courts just like prior immigration rules that contravened international law.

    Do people remember the law that stated that non-EU nationals needed permission to marry in the UK unless they were being married in a Church of England church. It got thrown out when a Catholic woman complained that it was discriminatory on the basis of religion. (Personally - I thought it was anti-Scottish, anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim etc. and couldn't imagine how it made it into law in the first place as any half-decent lawyer who read it would have pointed out it's being discriminatory.)

    Personally, I feel this law will have less effect on the Indian subcontinent (where English is still relatively widely spoken), and more of an impact on other countries where English isn't spoken widely and where the Roman alphabet isn't used. (China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, etc.)
    i.e. I'm British, but I work in Hong Kong, and have taken quite a few lessons in Cantonese. If I was to turn around and marry a local, there is no guarantee that she would speak any English, but if I speak Cantonese well enough, that's not going to be a problem while we live in Hong Kong.
    However, if, after several years of marriage, with children etc. - my company chooses to transfer me back to the UK - would the family be forced to stay separated by this law if my wife still only spoke Cantonese. If that's truly the case, it would contravene International laws on the rights of a family to stay together.

    (And this sort of law works both ways - what if China were to introduce a law that states I have to understand notices in Chinese. As someone who has lived in Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong, it's one thing to learn enough of a spoken language to get by at the shops. It's a very different thing to be able to read notices in a language in a completely different alphabet than you were brought up on.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 5:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, jptanyong wrote:

    In my opinion these tests are an onerous addition to an already very complicated and expensive visa application process.

    These conditions on spousal visas go against the fundamental human right of British citizens to marry and found a family. One cannot be prevented from having their spouse join them in the UK because the spouse doesn't speak a level of English acceptable to the Home Secretary.

    The Home Secretary is effectively telling British nationals not to fall in love with partners whose English is below a certain standard.

    The Home Office has been defeated in the courts before in its attempt to control marriage (cf. abolition of fees for certificates of approval).

    I have complete confidence that these rules will be struck down by the courts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 5:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, J wrote:

    Many people in the UK don't realise the absurdity of the current immigration system. As someone pointed out above, there are numerous cases of a one person here bringing in a large number of dependents; none of them speak English or are interested in contributing or integrating. Many end up claiming welfare and suffocating the public services (NHS, posters in and officers who speak 10 languages, etc.). You have tourists in London who cannot believe they are in the United Kingdom because they struggle to find British people (no joke - I have heard that from a tourist!).

    In the meantime, the Home Office makes migration really complicated and burdensome for the single foreigner with a double first from Oxbridge, doing critical medical research here or paying 40% of their half a million quid income in the City.

    What a splendid idea - we chase away all the single professionals contributing immensely to the UK (generally and in taxes), and instead welcome and bend backwards to accommodate all the people who exploit and paralyse our welfare system (all in the name of liberalism and political correctness).

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 6:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, ashcog wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 6:13pm on 09 Jun 2010, John E wrote:

    I have always thought it ludicrous that some local Councils in Britain produce leaflets in numerous different languages. If I were to go and live in Beijing or Shanghai, I would never expect the authorities to create English language versions of documents for me.

    If you go to live in another culture, you have to adapt to their ways. If not, you have no right being there. Discovering an understanding of the differences in other cultures is part of developing a respect for humanity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 6:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, Stephen Coulter wrote:

    I got married last year to a Latin American (we met while I was living there working with street children). Although opportunities there were limited, she had done her best to learn english through private lessons. Once arriving here we enquired at our local education college and were told she would have to pay international fees until she'd been here a year, in other words...seven times as much! This is a college that is subsidised from my taxes but someone who wants to live and work here is prevented from learning/improving their language skills whilst hundreds (literally) of Europeans come in the summer for a cheap english course (at domestic fees of course) and then clear off back home without contributing anything to our country or society. Worst of all, the college is actually doing us a favour by saying one year as the law stipulates three!

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 6:31pm on 09 Jun 2010, bkk_mike wrote:

    There is one further point - these laws only apply to the husband/wife of a British national. It doesn't apply to the husband/wife of nationals from elsewhere in the EU that work in the UK.

    A French man with a non-English speaking non-EU wife can happily accept a job in the UK and move the family in without requiring his wife to speak English. Under EU law, non-EU family members of an EU national will still be allowed to immigrate to the UK without going through the same hurdles put in front of the non-EU spouse of a British national.

    One silver lining - if you were born in Northern Ireland - you can apply for an Irish passport and use your dual nationality to avoid these new laws (and the extortionate visa fees accompanying settling your family in the UK) as you can then have your spouse treated as the spouse of an EU national, rather than the spouse of a (second-class in their own country) British national.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 6:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, dotconnect wrote:

    #18
    "As usual the PC brigade are branding anyone who insists on "when in Rome" as racists. We are not."

    As usual, the When-In-Rome-Brigade are branding anyone who questions "when in Rome..." as "the PC brigade". We are not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 6:36pm on 09 Jun 2010, dotconnect wrote:

    For the record, I disagree with Mark Easton on this one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 6:36pm on 09 Jun 2010, Pat berks wrote:

    What a very odd article Mr Easton – lots of slippery phrases like “critics claim “ ,“ Some suspect “, and “ it might be argued” - even “sinister and discriminatory “!
    This perhaps suggests you’re not completely convinced by your own arguments and want to attribute them to unnamed ‘critics’ ?
    Anyway - you claim that “The real impact will be felt in those countries where a basic command of English is less common, notably on the Indian sub-continent”
    This is absolute nonsense – 23% of Indians speak English, as do 10% of Pakistanis
    Compare this with less than 5% of Russians and you could conclude that the new rule discriminates in favour of Asians and against Russians..but I suspect you set out with a conclusion in mind and then fitted the facts around it.
    What the new law REALLY does, of course, is discriminate against non-English speakers regardless of race or nationality – which is what it’s intended to do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 6:37pm on 09 Jun 2010, Ignorance Is Bliss wrote:

    epimetheus wrote:

    "I work in an inner city hospital and the cost of translation services needed for the high percentage of patients who cannot speak English would make you shudder. Translation costs are typically £100/hour, now consider that these services are needed for 50-60% of patients where I work..."

    Shouldn't you complain specifically about those translators being too greedy at £100/hour? Or their agencies ripping off the taxpayer when they could survive on less if they cared about society more? I think it must be a seller's market to allow such a wage. A skilled, degree-qualified job doesn't on average pay this, even for freelance work (and it sounds like there's many hours' work available at your hospital). Ironic that if employed as English teachers to help people integrate, these same translators would be paid not even one quarter of that!

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 6:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, Mr H wrote:

    57. At 5:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, Lordheber wrote:
    Considering that this is partly about standards of knowledge of the English language, I was surprised to see (among other things) the following passage in Mark Easton's article: "The changes will obviously have a very limited affect on those foreigners that Brits choose to marry...." EFFECT, not 'affect'; WHOM, not 'that'

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Nice to see people continue to attack others' use of language rather than engage with the arguments. The irony, of course, is that if one chooses to go by the traditional 'rules' of English, 'Brits whom choose' would be incorrect as well, as 'whom' is the accusative form, whereas the phrase needs the nominative 'who': 'Brits who choose'. Personally, I'm more interested in the cogency of people's aruments than minor points of innapropriately proscriptive grammar...

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 6:49pm on 09 Jun 2010, James Rigby wrote:

    There should be a "true love" test. If a spouse want's to join their British citizen partner in this country, the British partner should first be required to live in their new spouse's country for three years. After all, if it's truly love, who could possibly object?

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 6:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, zandra wrote:

    I am a Southeast Asian that my British husband 'imported' to the UK. When I arrived here 7 years ago, I noticed that a lot of British people spoke bad, incomprehensible English. The comments above from the 'indigenous' British prove this.

    While I agree that immigrants should learn basic English, it does not in any way make them integrate in the society. I know a lot of Southeast Asian women who speak very good English (in fact, better than the locals') but they only mix among themselves. And it's understandable. Don't you British people, when abroad, only eat fish & chips and mix among other British people only?

    And why do you so conveniently forget history? When the British colonised India and brought with them their British wives, were the wives forced to learn English so they could integrate and contribute to the economy of India?

    And what about these old British men who go to Asian countries to marry so they could bring back a wife/personal maid? What do you do with them?

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 6:54pm on 09 Jun 2010, yes_an_extender wrote:

    Does this only effect Spouses??? what about other visas? also why is it only Non EU spouses? will they be able to limit spouse visas in the future? i thought that it ws against Human rights laws to seperate familes? My wife is from South East asia and speaks perfect English - i agree with this policy but dont see why it only picks on none EU people and why is it just spouse visa?

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 7:09pm on 09 Jun 2010, Mark wrote:

    I have worked out of the UK for almost 16 years, and have known the wives of many British-born expatriates refused visas for the UK, on the grounds they might "stay in the country."

    One of the biggest jokes about the UK immigration policy was that one associate of mine, whose wife spoke fluent English, and had a law degree from an American University was refused a visa, because she may stay and milk the system. Oddly enough she owned five large properties in her own country, and several businesses.

    Apparently it is okay to give British citizenship for many people who arrived illegally, never spoke English, and had cultural grievances with how people lived in the UK, but not for many educated wives of British expatriates.

    Many expatriates live in the very same countries many of these economic migrants come from. But unlike these migrants, cannot stay in their countries, unless you work. Yet we learn the local language and adjust.

    Only a fool would support a policy were anyone can get residency or even citizenship, without having to learn the local language. It is practical to learn a language, as it helps your own lifestyle, and career.

    Obviously too many people are in the UK, because they are economically better off, and would leave if they earned more elsewhere. If they can't be bothered to learn the language, then they don't care about the country they live in- its not home to them.


    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 7:30pm on 09 Jun 2010, westleton wrote:

    Why are EU immigrants (eg Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians etc) to be exempt from this language criterion? Does colour have anything to do with this so called policy? If the criterion were applied equally to all applicants at least there would be a veneer of fairness.

    Whilst many of those writing on this post bemoan the apparent paucity of contribution from non-English speakers, what do the following contribute to this country:

    1. the indigenous people populating the sink estates up and down the UK;
    2. the bankers who caused the economic crisis. Remember, the last govt had to bail them out to the tune of £850 billion and this is the primary reason we have a dreadful budget defecit;
    3. the MP's putting in dodgy/dubious expenses claims for the last x years.

    And please do remember that before Asain immigration, shops did not open past 7pm or on a Sunday and would close around 2pm on a Wednesday. Many Asian shopkeepers hardly spoke the Queen's English but they got by and did remarkably well. Many Asian children of first generation immigrants went on to be very successful - indeed, they out-performed their white working class contempories notwithstanding being victims of racism and "Paki-bashing".

    Many of those writing on this post need to examine their real motives on this - ie yes, I detect a real dislike of Asians, whether it is "racism" per se, who knows (though you, in your minds, really do). Let's face it, Asians are damn successful as a community, they work hard, their kids do extremely well at school whilst the indigenous kids are more interested in dossing, being disruptive (witness the Nottingham teacher case), underage sex and alcohol etc. And it is the same kids who perform atrociously at school and whose Asian counterparts go onto become doctors, lawyers, accountants, opticians, pharmacists etc - who then complain that "their" jobs are being taken by Asians (or "Pakis", as they might say to themselves or their friends). Please face up to your own racism before you post shallow and ill thought out comments onto this forum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 7:33pm on 09 Jun 2010, The United Way wrote:

    This means very little. Most of the immigrants come from the EU, wher we are powerless to stop them.

    We need to bring only skilled workers to this country... why are we the ones who always take people others do not want? We are no longer the world's power, and have not been for some time.

    It is time for Britain to look after its own national interests ONLY.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 7:43pm on 09 Jun 2010, lei wrote:

    i think its only respectful if people who come here speak our language i myself am mixed race so im not racist nor do i judge people however i got new neighbours almost a year ago now and they are polish and they are becoming more of a hassel every week and conviniently cannot speak english we put up with so much from them and the police and council basicly just turn a blind eye and this is not fair when there geering laughing and speaking in there language while laughing at my kids in the gaden and the old lady on the corner who cant sleep because of the noise and other neighbours asking them to be quiet from 11 on a night till 5 6 in a morning we dont understand what they are saying but they understand us

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 7:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, factfind wrote:

    Is English test really about integration?
    Is there any data out there to show this helps integration.

    If there were 16000 spouses who took the test every year and the test cost £100 significantly more than a practical driving test[£62]. The yearly income would be £1.6 million.

    No harm in generating a bit of extra revenue but we should make it compulsory for EU nationals as well. Hope this does not result in me being made to learn french spanish german..............

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 8:08pm on 09 Jun 2010, moncursouthernreiver wrote:

    I would like in the spirit of fairness this to be applied to the entire population of this country. The "Natives" as well as all incomers and add to the test the ability to understand basic calculus, The concept behind E=Mc2, a simple comprehension of genetics, musical scales, the golden ratio's of proportion, the political history of the world from 4000 bc on and the ability to place any country in the world on a map. A general knowledge of anatomy, chemistry, astronomy, the works of Shakespeare, several European composers and of course Newton's laws.

    I believe a simple test of about 200 questions with a pass mark of about 85% would permit the successful to remain in residence, a mark of 75% + the chance of a re-test and sub 75% to leave with a suitable notice period of say 26 weeks.

    All good clubs have membership entry standards and I don't consider such a test would be either prejudicial or overly onerous.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 8:33pm on 09 Jun 2010, Bonequisha wrote:

    @Mr H

    'Whom' is the correct pronoun as it is clearly functioning as a demonstrative referring to 'the foreigners' in the previous clause, as well as functioning as an indirect object (ie it would be in the dative case were such a system to exist in English) of the verbal phrase "Brits choose to marry".

    That's prEscriptive grammar for you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 8:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, zanocka wrote:

    I am foreigner myself and I agree that everyone who wants to live in UK should speak at least basic English. How can you expect them to work in here if they don't speak language. Maybe I am a bit harsh but it is my opinion.

    My English is not perfect but I came to England after passing exams in English. I learnt English for 8 years prior to my move to England.
    I still did college to improve my English.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 8:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, lancer01 wrote:

    It is a basis human instinct to be suspicious of 'foreign' or 'different' people, but as intelligent and fair human beings (as the British like to think they are), it is incumbent upon us to understand our initial prejudice and to work to mitigate our reactions to people who make us nervous on first encounter.

    However, it is remarkable the change that occurs if the person you are 'suspicious' about turns round and talks in the same way as you, albeit with a Liverpool or London accent, or a slightly-undefined-foreign accent - all of a sudden you feel a lot easier. So certainly in terms of integration, speaking the language well works wonders in terms of dissipating the anxiety felt by the 'native' who feels threatened by incomers.

    Sadly, the indigenous English (and I am separating them out from the rest of the UK), are a particularly frightened and small-minded bunch, and quickly become paranoid about any sort of perceived threat from 'abroad', and appear unable to apply the intelligence and understanding that should be offered to visitors of all types.

    There is little comprehension amongst these limited English people, in my experience, that diversity and change are necessary and beneficial ways forward - their sole hope in life seems to be that nothing will ever alter, so that they don't have to stretch their lazy and meagre brains further than they can see to the end of their gardens - I mean, let's face it, it's all a bit difficult ...

    They will also tell you (well, the middle-class, anyway) that they had an awfully good education, so they don't really see the point of learning anything else (well, we went to the best schools ...). At the same time, they will tell you they believe fervently in education ... well, not for everyone, obviously, otherwise where do I find a plumber if everyone goes to university ...

    It is in the midst of all these confused and incoherent ideas and emotions that notions of racism and anti-anyone-not-known prospers, so it is important that we stop pandering to these ill-educated and simplistic tendencies, and adopt a more open, accepting and generous attitude (even in times of financial straits), and embrace change and development and learning from other peoples / cultures. It's not difficult - adapt or die - or, maybe you won't die - you'll just be angry and miserable.

    There is a better way - it's called generosity, and it makes you happy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 8:47pm on 09 Jun 2010, Black_And_Proud wrote:

    To all the people pointing out that some British people do not speak English to your satisfaction: are you referring to the large number of immigrants who hold British citizenship? If so, you are a disgusting racist and should be ashamed of yourself. If you're referring to white people of British ancestry, you are a disgusting racist and should be ashamed of yourself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 9:18pm on 09 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    The real issue here is not integration or removing cultural barriers, it might be argued. It is about trying to reduce the economic impact of a legacy of British colonial rule.

    It's possible to see it that way though if I recall, India was returned to the Indians sometime in the 1940s so the question of colonial rule would only apply to very old Indians and their would-be brides.

    More likely, as I see it, is the cost of thousands of translators and the sheer inconvenience of even more foreign tongues in our society, schools, hospitals etc beyond the variety demanded by the EU.

    English is the mother tongue of the UK. I see no reason why non-English-speakers who want to live here shouldn't speak the language to some degree. It is about integration and about the huge cost segregation pushes on society. I'd even extend that to EU nationals who should learn English to live and work here.

    If I go to live in France, I would learn French. It would be arrogant to expect the French to accommodate my English.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 9:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, serton wrote:

    As someone who worked for a credit card company I used to be shocked by the number of people who would phone us unable to speak basic english, who could not understand, as a result of this, the terms of the card they had signed up for.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 9:28pm on 09 Jun 2010, 1979rambo wrote:

    Does this rule apply to BOTH asians and English (white) or just asians. Will white men still be allowed to bring their 'catalogue Brides' over from the far east without question? I think so! It only applies to asian people from the sub-continent, mainly muslims from Azad Kashmir/Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. I think the previous rule of 2 year stay with improving English in that period or leave was sufficient. This is the governments attempt of getting people into 'mixed relationships', but they will fail miserably.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 9:35pm on 09 Jun 2010, Doctor Bob wrote:

    91. At 8:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, lancer01 wrote:
    Sadly, the indigenous English (and I am separating them out from the rest of the UK), are a particularly frightened and small-minded bunch, and quickly become paranoid about any sort of perceived threat from 'abroad', and appear unable to apply the intelligence and understanding that should be offered to visitors of all types.


    Small-minded? Nonsense.

    English is the most spoken langauge in the world after Mandarin. We English were never taught a second or third language in school (except as an academic study taught (ironically) in English. If we did learn a language at school it was not to speak it usefully. Look at our language GCSEs - they don't even include an unprepared oral test these days). And as I see it, English being our mother tongue, it isn't unreasonable to expect people who come to live here to speak it.

    Being a tourist/visitor is somewhat different from coming here to live.

    Far from small-mindedness of a country, it is an expectation of most that if you want to emigrate there you'll bother to learn the language. It's for this reason that most Brits emigrating to Spain never integrate because they won't learn more than the most basic Spanish.


    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 9:36pm on 09 Jun 2010, Brian_NE37 wrote:

    Careful Mark, your prejudices are showing ...

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 9:44pm on 09 Jun 2010, wafer999 wrote:

    I have worked with children who have a parent who does not speak English - this has hampered their education. Insisting on an adequate level of english helps children as well as adults.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 9:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    So many things to criticise.......

    "The changes will obviously have a very limited effect on those foreigners that Brits choose to marry from English-speaking countries or from countries where the education system ensures most have a decent grasp of the UK's mother-tongue"

    Yes,surely you mean "foreigners" who are coming from the Anglosphere countries?

    Why would anyone(who is not "anti-racist" i.e anti-White) want to make it difficult for those kindred peoples to come here?

    There`s absolutely zero "integration problems" with them,are there not Easton?

    "In 2007, 49,000 foreign spouses came to Britain including 19,000 from the Indian sub-continent [540 KB PDF]. In 2008 the figures were 44,600 and 16,000 [1.06MB PDF]. Last year's total was down to 38,000, a fall of 22% in two years. Figures for the sub-continent are not yet available"

    Well,if the British establishment`s tractor production figures are in PDF format they must be true.......

    It`s a shame you did`nt care to tell us what the (estimated-natch!!) total population figure is for Britons(SOME people would hesitate to even use that word) who hail from the Indian sub-continent(must be a big place hey Easton,nudge,nudge,wink,wink!!).

    Just to give us an idea of what a pitifully small percentage 20,000 a year would be for this particular highly-mobile,almost dual-national population.............


    "By introducing the new English requirements even more quickly than had been planned, it makes it virtually impossible for rural villagers in remote parts of the Indian sub-continent to pass the test."

    Why for the love of God should Brits give two hoots about that Easton?


    Some of us are`nt scared anymore by the left`s crappy little political swear word("racist"),Easton.

    Some of us actually laugh and feel sorry for/angry about those who still are.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 9:49pm on 09 Jun 2010, stanilic wrote:

    I was in a supermarket the other day and some foreign youth was holding up the queue as he struggled to ask for a mobile phone card. When she had finally serviced this individual the cashier apologised to the now very long queue that she found it difficult to understand people who did not speak English.

    I asked her why was she apologising as I thought she had dealt with the matter as well as she could. The youth should have been apologising for holding up everyone by his incompetence.

    If you go to France or even parts of North Wales and you don't speak the local lingo the natives give you the cold shoulder and rightly so. If you can't be bothered to learn their language why should they bother to learn yours?

    It was an Asian friend of mine who had been expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin who once opined to me that the big mistake his people made was in not learning the local African languages. They conducted their business with the Africans in Swahili but never actually spoke with the natives on their terms so never understood how they felt. This was a good argument and refer it to those of you who are suffering from post-colonial guilt.

    When in Germany I try to speak German and the people there are very nice about it and correct me amusingly in English. This has improved my German no end and delighted many Germans. The same applies in parts of France because ordinary people respect those who are trying to get by through fitting in. The authorities should just use common sense and leave it to the ordinary people to resolve.

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 9:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, twistywillow wrote:

    Actually I dont think your blog is right on this one. Yes it could be seen as an attempt by the government to reduce the migrant intake from the subcontinent, and to be honest with you, why not? There are by now more than enough brides for Indians and Pakistani young men here,so maybe if you wanted to make it into a colonial issue look at it from another angle.If this trade in family selling females at such a young age to the highest bidder, ie a man in the UK who has far more money than the same groom would in the Asian countries mentioned were to end, and men were forced to seek brides here in the UK (and lets not forget the EU) it would end the forced marriage trade and it would (one would hope) bring about the emancipation of Asian women being married off at a price because very few Asian women born and bred here are going to put up with being subservient to their husbands. Under British law they are equal,whereas a wife imported from the Indian subcontinent would not know this.If we are to better all womens rights here in the UK then this trade traditional or not, must end. We are in the 21st century and women are not to be bought or sold as goods and chattels yet this trade in females continues it and because we are a wealthy nation actually encourages it. If as you say it is a racist policy and an attempt at stemming the flow of women from an ex colonial country whom we no longer 'own' then surely that means nothing if it stops these poor women coming here and ending up being in some cases treated as slaves, in a foreign country far from their families, traditional or not, this country cannot keep being seen as the holy grail and where the money is, just to keep tradition alive.
    I support this move today, but I also think it works both ways, and despite the spread of the English language across the globe, if more countries were to do the same, I think that would promote more tolerance not less from us Brits. When in Rome and all that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 10:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, SimonLondon wrote:

    An interesting question is, why Asian parents feel the need to marry their grown up children to their first cousins, back in the family village. The answer is simple, British Asians are not good enough for their sons and daughters. Not good enough, basically translates to too British or westernised, so they start the whole immigration cycle all over again. Immigrants can integrate or become colonists and sadly due to our foolish governments, many prefer to just set up pockets of their old country in this one and are allowed to do so. Forcing fluent English speaking before entry is a first step, followed by banning all government translation, except in casualty and the police.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 10:09pm on 09 Jun 2010, KittyDeJaneiro wrote:

    I am a British national and my husband is Brazilian. Thank goodness that this regulation was not introduced two years ago when we moved back to the UK. When we did my husband had a basic level of English and would not have passed the required English test. This would have meant I would have returned as a single mother with my 5 month old son and would have lived off benefits as I would have been unable to work full-time.

    Instead we came back together and my husband was able to be the main carer for our child while I work full-time to support my family. In this time has studied English and was able to make more progress in a few months here than after two years of Saturday English classes he took in Brazil. This regulation would have split up my family and taken its toll on us as individuals. What right has the British government to say I cannot bring up my child in a stable, hardworking family environment because my husband did not, at the time of entry, speak the required level of English. He has integrated very well thank you and we are fully self sufficient (not that we would we be allowed, because of his immigration status, to claim public funds anyway).

    After two years he is required to take and pass the Life in the UK test, a regulation that, while irritating and expensive, we accept as a part of the process to a permanent right to remain. But to insist on this at the point of entry is wrong and will create as many problems as it solves, along with heartache and frustration for those that are 'unfortunate enough' to fall in love with non-English speaking, non-EU citizens.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 10:37pm on 09 Jun 2010, kunjani wrote:

    Why shount that speke English like what we does. Everone else do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 10:39pm on 09 Jun 2010, Tim wrote:

    The rules as currently constitutedalready force foreign spouses to acquire significant English skills after they arrive in the country. Did none of you bother reading the article before making your comments that appear to be informed only by prejudice?

    Sadly, anyone who agrees with this change is thrown into the same camp with these mindless, reactionary, small-minded little-Englanders.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 10:40pm on 09 Jun 2010, Casey_Too wrote:

    I earn my living as a translator - but I would be the first to say that most of the considerable resources the UK currently puts into translation and interpreting services should instead go into opportunities such as (initially free or subsidised) lessons for non-English speakers to learn English themselves. This would be money far better spent - we fail to encourage people to learn to communicate successfully for themselves, and so we are actually fostering ghettoisation with all its appalling consequences for our entire society. The worst served are the older generation, particularly women, who are often effectively kept isolated within their own families and linguistic communities, unable to access support services independently and forced to rely on relatives to interpret for them even when there may be a conflict of interest. Move from translating to teaching English, and everyone will be better off - except translators such as myself, but it would be worth it!

    However, this should apply to all non-English speakers without exception. It is discriminatory to attach it as a condition to people's personal relationships, marriage or any other.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 10:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, Philter wrote:

    Of course these people should speak our language, If I went to live in Italy or some place and spoke English, not much would get done would it? "When in Rome............"

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 11:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, Allanon wrote:

    "Has a ring of superiority."

    Superiority (with modesty), elitism (whilst supporting the non-elite), striving to be the best (without mocking failure) are all traits we should encourage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 11:14pm on 09 Jun 2010, HeartOfOak58 wrote:

    #55, you complain about "The ability for settled immigrants to 'import' wives". Has it never occurred to you that British citizens born and bred in Britain might want to marry foreigners?

    On the surface, what the government is proposing sounds reasonable (how can you object to people living in England being expected to speak English) BUT the more I think about it the more unpleasant the knock-on effects I can foresee.

    (a) how much will this English test cost? Presumably the job of testing spouses' command of English will be subcontracted out to private firms who will charge hundreds of pounds for this
    (b) it is one thing to refuse to let in people who are planning to marry a UK citizen. What if the UK citizen has already been living abroad, nmarried to a foreigner, for many years, and perhaps with children? Are you going to break up a family by saying that they cannot all come to the UK?
    (c) I wonder what other nasty surprises the new government has in stock for those of us married to foreigners?

    To me, the real problem is that I don't trust the government's motives. The message to me is that if as a British person, you choose to marry a foreigner, you are a second class citizen, and your family is a second class family (and this from a governing party that claims to be "the party of the family"). Before you accuse me of being an apologist for the last Labour government, let me point out that a few years ago my wife (lived here for 20 years, fluent in English, experienced high school teacher) was about to apply for British citizenship, when I told her that I thought a fee of £200 was excessive. Next thing I knew, Gordon Brown raised the fee for British citizenship from £200 to £750.

    Other people on different categories of visa have had the rules changed retrospectively. For example people have signed up for and paid for English courses at particular colleges, which were needed for certain types of visa, only to find that the Home Office no longer accepted the particular qualification they had signed up for.

    As British governments of all political persuasions have a history of bad faith in dealing with immigrants, I wouldn't trust the government on this, and to me this is simply a tax on nmixed marriages.

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 11:32pm on 09 Jun 2010, Kamana wrote:

    It's a good idea but a bit pointless if not applied to ALL immigrants wishing to live and work in the UK. For example, will EU nationals be forced to learn English before being allowed to come and to live? Of course not. But why should they be exempt while South Asian spouses of British citizens be targeted?
    Apply this across the board and it will help improve integration. Targeting only one group of migrants is pointless.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 11:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, GERRYH wrote:

    The early Victorians and their queen embraced the Indian subcontinent cultures and the ability to speak their generic language became an indicator of sophistication and a modern attitude to the colonialists and cultural elite at that time. This is why so many English words such as bungalow and khaki are in fact Hindi. While learning Urdu at night classes the tutor explained that Urdu was a collection of words from various Indian dialects but mostly Hindi in its origin and grammar. My own heritage certainly bestows me with no reasons to defend English colonialism but the English colonialists compiled and formalised Urdu as a generic language for military and political purposes. It is therefore reasonable to assume that most colonialists also communicated with local traders and servants by speaking fluently in Urdu. I am sorry to dispel this old Looney-left myth about English imperialism, usually perpetuated by English people today who cannot speak the native language of their neighbours. The modern English tourists are notoriously inadequate with European languages only encountered while on their annual holiday, yet the most common language other than English spoken in their hometown is probably Urdu. Perhaps if we all took, the trouble to learn some Urdu instead of Spanish and Italian there would be no need to impose our single language and other cultural inadequacies on others

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 11:38pm on 09 Jun 2010, vonost wrote:

    My very naive and first ever comment. Having read all the arguments for and against this policy I wonder whether a more comprehensive approach is needed for what appears to be such a complex matter?

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 11:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, Raj wrote:

    For the last 60 years or so Britain needed immigrants, it was just a question of how many and from where. The question still remains. It is not that the selfless, generous Britain is allowing people to come in with open arms. As an English educated (in India) professional I would surely prefer that the people who come in know English. Indeed, there are a lot of Americans, Canadians and Australians here - not just South Asians. Of course, people coming from EU may not know English that well but it seems all political parties are alright with that (other than BNP) as nobody is trying to get out of EU. At the same time we should bear in mind that a lot of Brits also do emigrate to other countries in EU and beyond.

    So in short, we have to be careful what we are asking for. The "English" gate may not block just the rustic South-Asian. Globalization may mean a white British man, fluent in Mandarin, moving back to UK after years in China with his Chinese wife who may not know English that well. She may know C++ or C# better than many of the computer scientists here though!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 11:49pm on 09 Jun 2010, Bauer wrote:

    "Some suspect the motivation for introducing the rules is to target British citizens with an Asian heritage who traditionally return to their family village for a bride or groom. These usually arranged marriages result in thousands of often poorly educated rural immigrants arriving in the UK, although numbers have been falling."

    So it should! Arranged marriages have no part in our culture and all these poorly educated immigrants are going to do is leech off our benefits system... Don't like it? Go back to your home village, marry the bride/groom of your choosing and stay there.

    I'm sure I will now be branded as racist so I will leave one more comment. No one (even English people) should be able to leech benefits without having to work for them, unless of course they have a legitimate reason for physically not being able to work.

    There you go PC Brigade im not a racist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 11:54pm on 09 Jun 2010, lancer01 wrote:

    doctor bob

    I sincerely hope you're not a real doctor, because, if so, I am going to despair of the alleged intelligence that doctors (medical or doctorate) are supposed to have. To say you've missed my point would be pointless because, well, you have.

    The small-mindedness I talk about is all to do with the lack of ambition and expansive thinking that characterises the English (which small-thinking you appear to be a part of from your comment). Lack of understanding of different views and standpoints (characterised by instant dismissal of such views) is the sad position of people with limited minds. The future looks bleak for you - opening up your mind would lead you to a far happier place.

    The old smug and complacent attitudes have no place here any more - all that is important now is intelligence and talent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 11:54pm on 09 Jun 2010, geoff hughes wrote:

    I am puzzled at your approval of British citizens with an Asian heritage "who traditionally return to their family village for a bride or groom". Why is it considered acceptable for British citizens go to a remote village in a third world country and bring a spouse to this country who will have no understanding of our language or background in British customs or way of life? What chance does such a person have of successfully integrating into British life and contributing to British society?

    Surely this is a reprehensible thing to do?

    Are there insufficient potential local spouses for anyone brought up in this country? Why do some people think it is a good thing to bring third-world spouses to Britain? This is not a qquestion of race but rather an example of a very basic failure of some people to integrate into British life. Many Britons of Indian ethnic origin that I know would not dream of bringing a village girl or boy to this country for marriage. The sooner this practice ends the better.

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 00:04am on 10 Jun 2010, coolhunter wrote:

    jptanyong wrote "The Home Secretary is telling British Nationals not to fall in love with partners whose English is below a certain standard"
    This has nothing to do with love. These are arranged marriages and the system is being abused. At the moment it is little more than a legalised form of people trafficking. I don't think that 20,000 people per year just happen to fall in love with someone in another continent. If it were about people marrying for love we would not have this problem with the huge numbers. People who marry for love do not import a spouse they hardly know from the other side of the world just because that person happens to come from the same village as their ancestors, or is a family member. Unfortunately the few people who really ARE marrying someone from abroad for love will suffer as a result. One result of this huge influx of non-English speaking arranged spouse set-up is that there are now several schools in the UK where not one child speaks English as their first language. The thousands of women who are brought in each year who don't speak English bring up their own children in their native tongue rather than English, thereby perpetuating the cycle of segregation and lack of integration.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 00:17am on 10 Jun 2010, TrueChange wrote:

    For centuries Brits have ruled and lived in Africa and Asia without natives' consent, now they can't even contain migrants from these contienents for even half a century. I favour learning the language however it should be for every migrant non-EU and EU. How about scarping all language translations including EU languages.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 00:29am on 10 Jun 2010, coolhunter wrote:

    "you British people when abroad only eat fish & chips and mix among other British people only"
    This description could apply to the behaviour of a minority of British people who holiday on the Costa del Sol or similar popular holiday destinations which have been ruined by a type of Brit also known as Yobs. But going on a two week holiday to Spain is hardly comparable to marrying someone and settling in a foreign country for the rest of your life like the Southasian ladies described. Personally, when abroad I always make an effort to learn the language, meet the locals and talk with them in their language and try the food. What's the point of travel otherwise...

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 01:03am on 10 Jun 2010, monkey225 wrote:

    When foreigners marry a British citizen and arrive in the UK to live, they are on a two years visa and are not entitled to any benefits during the two years. Then before the visa expires, they have to take a test in English to apply for a permanent residency so somehow, they all will have to learn English to pass the test even if they don't speak English at all initially. Therefore, I don't see the point in this...

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 01:03am on 10 Jun 2010, floppedaset wrote:

    I think alot of folk are are commenting on this issue from some kind of bubble or fluffy existence. I see dozens of non economic migrants every day with no grasp of english and possibly no intention to even learn. I feel for them and their probable backgrounds but it pains me to witness the lack of ambition or motivation demostrated to learn basic english or adopt basic english cultural behaviour, although some do seem to enjoy binge drinking....

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 01:12am on 10 Jun 2010, Graphis wrote:

    Don't be silly Mark. Integration requires the language of the host country. Lack of that language creates ghettos. It's that simple.

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 01:23am on 10 Jun 2010, FBF wrote:

    Good - it's about time this practice was stopped and perhaps we can also stop the PC "Asian" nonsense and actually name the countries we are talking about.The intention seems pretty clear and reasonable - the Uk does not need uneducated rural peasants who provide no benefit to the state.The practice of such arranged marriages simply ensures a continued failure to integrate into the Uk, just as seperate religous schools do.The UK immigration policy should be based on the interests of the state like the policies in place in Australia and New Zealand.I do not care where people come from but if they want to come to the uk they should provide a useful skill or service and genuinely want to integrate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 01:24am on 10 Jun 2010, MediaActivist wrote:

    If a comment starts with "I'm not racist, BUT..." it's a good chance it is racist. Let's face it: if this law applied to the hundreds of thousands of people who leave the UK each year and exist as non-integrating ex-pats abroad, there'd be outrage. This kind of hypocrisy, ignorance, prejudice and injustice is not what Britain is supposed to be about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 01:26am on 10 Jun 2010, aofb wrote:

    In reply to ghostofsichuan: firstly it was the British, rather than the English who "occupied" those countries and if was wrong for them not to speak the native language, why is it right for immigrants not to speak the native language in this country?

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 01:36am on 10 Jun 2010, dwanyewest wrote:

    One of the most frustrating arguments is British ex pats don't bother to learn the language of the country in which they settle. I am sure this is true of a significant portion that are ignorant and don't bother equally I am assuming many also do make the effort. Beyond anecdotal evidence does any have any proof or statistics to back such assertions I doubt it. Besides if a sovereign nation decides to enforce strict language skills for its immigrants that is their right and has nothing to do with how the British Government should run their immigration policy. Besides two wrongs don't make a right I don't see how our request for foreigners to be able to speak basic English as any different what other European countries are insisting in learning their local languaages.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2593717.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8374396.stm

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188079,00.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 02:37am on 10 Jun 2010, Basic Reform wrote:

    Considering that they form a significant proportion of the world's population, how is a deaf person mean't to complete the requirements of citizenship? Do they have to learn English or can they learn BSL instead?

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 02:48am on 10 Jun 2010, Spindoctor wrote:

    The "Foreigners" should just do as the Brit's do abroad, talk slowly and shout !

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 03:18am on 10 Jun 2010, PJohnston wrote:

    "..makes it virtually impossible for rural villagers in remote parts of the Indian sub-continent to pass the test.."

    The UK will just have to struggle through without them. It will be a struggle to be sure but with luck we might just pull it off!

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 04:52am on 10 Jun 2010, Tom wrote:

    I can't help but feel incredibly angry about this new test. 'Indignant' may be a more appropriate word. 'Fuming' is pretty close to the mark, too.

    Most posters have said something along the lines of "Well of course foreigners should be able to speak English if they want to be a productive part of society". I actually agree with this (Welsh, Cornish, Scots Gaelic might also be acceptable). However if the mastery of English were truly vital, then why exempt foreigners from EU countries?

    Oh, they're exempted because of mutual political agreements that we have. Well, my wife is Chinese and can speak English to a far higher standard than a good lot of European's, I'll wager (including some native Brits!), but she will have to sit this ridiculous test, whilst goodness only knows how many European citizens with only the faintest grasp of basic English make the migration to the UK.

    For their part, the Government in Hong Kong welcome applications of citizenship and permanent residence from all manner of foreign applicants who can either demonstrate their economic potential or who otherwise fit into eligible brackets. One thing that foreigners DON'T have to do in Hong Kong is pass a language test. There are far better, tried and tested methods for assessing whether someone has something of value to offer to a society.

    When we eventually return to the UK, my wife will have to sit utterly pointless tests that I find frankly insulting. While she doesn't seem to mind taking the tests, and isn't put off in the slightest, I can honestly say that if Hong Kong were to treat foreginers in the same way as the UK, then I would definitely have been dissuaded from coming here and I suspect the city's status as a global economic hub would be in serious jeopardy.

    This really is the UK shooting itself in the foot for the sake of a headline and a few column inches of news print designed to appease the ignorant and bigoted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 05:23am on 10 Jun 2010, ausgraham wrote:

    Firstly the UK is an English speaking country, why therefore is there any problem with trying to ensure persons coming to live in the UK have some basic understanding of English?
    I have lived in Spain, and spent the year before studying Spanish in order to have a basic understanding of the language. I made the decision to move to Spain, who on earth was I to question that I had moved to a Spanish speaking country who were entitled to expect that I could at least attempt to speak their language.
    I now (very fortunately) live in Australia. For my first 2 years I was only allowed to work 20 hours per week, I had to pay $4500 in school fees for each of my 3 children per year, had no entitlement to any welfare payments, had no vote and if I really fell on hard times, the Australian Government would have flown me back to the UK. 4 years later I am due to take my Australian citizenship test. I have to show an understanding of the English language plus Australia's way of life, culture and history. I will be very proud to pass this test. Then I will be able to vote and have access to welfare should I need it in the future.
    There is s common car bumper sticker in Australia 'If you don't like it - LEAVE'
    Every day I thank my God that I have left the UK; the more I hear about topics such as this and the terrible mess the UK has got itself into, the happier I am that my kids will grow up in Australia not the UK. Aussies are proud of their country & culture, and they are right, if you do not like it then leave.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 06:10am on 10 Jun 2010, CharlesNorth wrote:

    As one of the first internal EU immigrants,back in the good old eightie's I was quite shocked to be told at my first visit to the employment center that they would not help me pay for or offer myself a German language course as speaking German was not compulsary to reside and seek employment in Germany as a UC resident ( This said interview took place in broken German and English )Digging deep into my savings I took a six months course in German and threw myself merrily onto the apprentice market.The only compultion I felt or wanted was to get along job wise and socially in my chosen country of residence,and now the but!In the following 25yrs I was supprised at the stuberness and lazyness off the non UC immigrants and there wives ( They had the financial backing from the state that I was refused )to learn even the basic's of german and I still today stand at the till in the supermarket patiently waiting for the 5yr old daughter/son to translate for there mother who after years of residency stil can't speak the langauge,and wouldnt now how to intergrate even if you wrote it on a bat and ( gently ) hit her with it.Myself,what the hell yes have picked up many German traits have a bilingual daughter and a large German circle of friends who forgive me at the world cup for stubbornly still waving the flag and patiently waiting for england at some time in the future win the bloody thing!

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 07:47am on 10 Jun 2010, Diana_France wrote:

    Husband and I moved to France three years ago. Having visited the village annually for the last 25 years we were already known here, and as we bought and renovated a house which the French hadn't wanted, everyone was pleased to see us. We spoke French reasonably, and had to learn about all the forms, taxes and procedures. We vote in local elections, pay French income tax etc, help local kids with their English studies, belong to local clubs and participate fully in local activities. The senior members of the community are pleased to chat when we meet at the village shop, and everyone is pleased to greet our friends and relatives when they visit us.

    I think we have done things the right way. When we received our postal ballot forms to vote in the UK general election, it came with a sheet of notes in various languages. We receive no such help here. NOTHING is translated into any languages - sink or swim in French. I believe we could have requested French classes upon arrival but our French was already above the basic level. The fact that France doesn't bend over backwards to make things easy for us does not mean that we are not welcome. The local tax office were friendly and most helpful - but only in French. We have no English neighbours and most people speak no English.

    I see no reason why UK documents and signs have to be translated into other languages, and the thought that anyone can arrive to live in the UK without needing to learn English is ridiculous. I have no sympathy for those English who retire to Spain without learning Spanish: it seems rather insulting to the Spanish. The pockets of ex-pats, whether English people in Spain or Bangladeshi people in England, seem rather unpleasant to me, and very sad.

    Incidentally, in the UK I have a Latvian daughter-in-law who speaks excellent English. If my family can emigrate and integrate so successfully, then others could at least try to. I can confirm that the effort is worthwhile and life in a foreign country is all the more rewarding if you aim for full participation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 07:53am on 10 Jun 2010, SAF wrote:

    116. At 11:54pm on 09 Jun 2010, geoff hughes wrote:
    I am puzzled at your approval of British citizens with an Asian heritage "who traditionally return to their family village for a bride or groom". Why is it considered acceptable for British citizens go to a remote village in a third world country and bring a spouse to this country who will have no understanding of our language or background in British customs or way of life? What chance does such a person have of successfully integrating into British life and contributing to British society?

    Surely this is a reprehensible thing to do?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Firstly, what does "Asian" mean? It means something different to the Americans!

    Secondly, why reprehensible? Simply because it does not conform to your notion of "normalcy"?

    I am not going to dissect your utterly nonsensical post further.

    I agree of the need to communicate in the local language (I am fluent in more than 10 languages!). However, your post just reeks of prejudice!

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 07:57am on 10 Jun 2010, SAF wrote:

    The real question (and the only one that should be debated) is:

    Will this English test bring about integration?

    That said, this ruling is so easily challenged in court. As such, what is the agenda behind this decision?

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 08:09am on 10 Jun 2010, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @zxspectrum

    We're all ethnic, one way or another, so that's a non-issue.

    Now we've settled the matter of stuff, what are your other reasons for leaving the UK? I'm pretty sure they're much more important to you than a testing requirement that was on Labour's books which has been brought forward by the current regime.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 09:07am on 10 Jun 2010, Megan wrote:

    #127 asked "Considering that they form a significant proportion of the world's population, how is a deaf person mean't to complete the requirements of citizenship? Do they have to learn English or can they learn BSL instead?"

    Even those who 'speak' via BSL ought to learn to READ English.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 09:35am on 10 Jun 2010, bandbuntheuk wrote:

    I am asian, born and brought up in the UK and have always worked, It angers me to see how much money is wasted through being politically correctness in the country!My view is if you are going to live in a country then you have to learn the language and take a test of competence in that language - regardless of which country you stay. I also think that all driving tests should be in English and without interpreters in the cars on practicals, as all the road signs are in English - just how much money was spent on all the various languages ?

    Where immigration is concerned I think people who have come to stay in the UK indefinetley should be re tested every 5 years and get points also check how much they have contributed to society, for example,how much tax has been paid by the individual.
    Find out exactly what that have done in that time, have they paid taxes or just self employed and telling the tax office they only made £120 that week instead of £500 so they can claim tax credits.

    How long have they been unemployed and how much in benefits they are getting.

    I have never understood why any government in the UK has allowed so many thousands of people in the UK compared to all the neighboring countries including Canada, Australia and America as this is a small island compared to the space these other countries have.

    I think all driving tests should be in English and not in the various languages- both the theory and practical test ( practical without an interpreter in the car ) i think that's just pathetic.

    I think that when people have appointment with the dhss or council they should be able to communicate at a reasonable level without bringing in interpreters from both parties.

    It isn't unreasonable to ask someone to the learn the language as in my experience they pretend not to understand things written or spoken but know what a cheque looks like, how to sign on cheque and cash it,they know how to open a bank account, they know also is child benefit or any other benefit is going into an account - but if you say you owe money its " I don't speak English " you simply can't have it both ways.

    Also if people come to the UK with refugee status when another government comes into power then why aren't these people sent back.
    I understand some are even getting pensions for their spouses who have never even entered the country how that works i guess i must be too stupid to understand.

    Being able to speak the language of the country in which you are looking to stay for any length of time is one of the most important and fundemental things you must be able to do to integrate - you just cannot come into a country to claim benefits - you have to work for it and show that you have tried everything in your power not to claim benefits.




    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 09:59am on 10 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    If a British person marries a non-EU national, works, pays tax, claims no benefits, what difference does it make to the average person on the street whether or not the spouse can speak English?

    As always, the non-EU national take the blame for the high immigration into this country, regardless of the fact that most immigrants are from the EU. So this test may mean that a little less Chinese is spoken on UK streets, but will do nothing to change the amount of (for example) Polish, French or Spanish.

    As for the argument that UK people don't learn the language before moving abroad, I'm sure they would if they had to!

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 10:00am on 10 Jun 2010, jonnyexpat wrote:

    I moved to Japan with my Japanese wife after living with her in the UK for six years, she speaks fluent English but was continuously abused racialy! I have never experienced this kind of treatment in Japan even though I speak just very basic Japanese.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 10:20am on 10 Jun 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    This is just plain old rasist.

    How about no one can go on holiday unless they speak the language of destination fluently... Save the locals and the local police a lot of trouble.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 10:26am on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    the requirement to speak english at a basic level is long overdue for anyone who wishes to live in the uk, pariticate fully and integrate. all those partners coming from eu or non eu countries that can not speak english must find it difficult...what do the wives for example do...just hang around with other wives who cant speak english, this cant be much fun to be in a country where the language is foreign for them, what about integration and then ofcourse the problem is perpetuated further as these mothers are only able to communicate with their children in their own foreign language, tax payers money is then spent providing translators e.g hospitals for these people who didnt bother to learn the language of the country that they were intending on entering

    result: a country full of SEGREGATED COMMUNITIES!

    its absolutely crucial that anyone wishing to live in the UK can speak english and is proficient in its basis use - thats good for the person coming to the uk as well as the rest of us who live here already.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 10:27am on 10 Jun 2010, HazySkies wrote:

    I'm with @monkey225 on this one. Suppose for a moment we agree that English should be a requirement for all immigrants (which I'm not actually convinced it should). As the law stands, a non-British spouse already has to learn it within the 2 year period of their initial marriage visa, or they'll be rejected on their application for permanent residence. They cannot even claim benefits during this initial 2 year term.

    So what am I missing? How do these new rules change anything, other than to cause extra difficulty to individuals who the law already requires to (a) learn the language and (b) be able to support themselves?

    As a long-time (and now bilingual) resident of Japan, I can attest to the fact that it is many times easier to learn the language once you arrive in a country. It can be next to impossible to do so before hand if you lack the time, money and resources. As many people have pointed out, if other countries imposed this kind of standard on us, there would be a whole lot less Brits enjoying life abroad...

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 10:34am on 10 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    Isnt the best way to learn English, to be in the country first, rather than do a test beforehand?

    In that case, this should be a world policy - I would love to see the English do tests in Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin, etc, etc before migrating to India, UAE or China.

    If you cant speak the language of the land - you simply dont get in. That goes for all the Brits, retiring in Spain and Southern France.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 10:36am on 10 Jun 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:

    "Is English test really about integration?"

    No. It is about the product of simple minds put to work on a complex problem, an electorate "placebo" which will lull the gullible into a false sense of security, for a while.

    This government (by coalition) doesn't intend to grasp the nettle anymore than any preceding one has. Although it is hardly acceptable to do so these days, only plain speaking about the problems and the inconsistencies is going to open up the essential "can of worms" that really has to be released if we are to make progress. Anger must be vented.

    One of the chief and most dastardly lies is the one that runs "we will have more non-working than working soon and we need migrants". If the elderly are seriously counted as a potential "workforce" then surely there are sufficient in their numbers to provide work whilst receiving pensions. After all that is government policy in the extension of pension age.

    Given that we have and still are dancing to the tune of single parents and mums in work who need lots of part-time, convenient work, then what is so wrong about showing the same bias to those who have pensions but would like minimal work to give them a better lifestyle?

    We are constantly told about British innovation. It is a great pity it never gives a live performance at Westminster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 10:39am on 10 Jun 2010, global-gypsy wrote:

    I don't quite understand why these rules apply only to those from outside the EU area. Is the intention to create ghettos for EU immigrants? Several non-EU nationals (esp from Commonwealth countries) are more proficient in English than those from various EU countries.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 10:40am on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @141 thats just plain daft...you know very well that going on holiday is completely different to emmigrating.

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 10:46am on 10 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    136. At 08:09am on 10 Jun 2010, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @zxspectrum

    We're all ethnic, one way or another, so that's a non-issue.

    Ah - this is 'modern' English - > Ethnic usually translates to Ethnic minority... like the Ethnic Food section of Tesco.

    So you wont be wanting my Spice stash then.

    Other reasons ? We'll need another blog for that.!

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 11:04am on 10 Jun 2010, Molewood6 wrote:

    Of course you need to speak English if you want to live in the UK. I moved to a job in Germany in the late 1970s and already spoke German, otherwise I'd never have been taken on. Germany also has lots of immigrants who don't speak adequate German and so feel isolated and naturally get angry over it. Germany wants another kind of test about knowledge of German history, culture etc, which I feel misplaces the emphasis but as they say here: "Andere Laender, andere Sitten" ("other countries, other manners/customs"). If only we'd thought of today's problems before we started causing them. Still, better late than never.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 11:12am on 10 Jun 2010, WorsleyNick wrote:

    In reply to jonnyexpat (comment 141) and the attituse of the Japanese to foreigners. I am surprised that he has not experienceed any abuse. In 2005 the UN rapporteur on racism and xenaphobia, expressed profound concern about Japanese racism.

    For many years I worked with aa man whose mother was Japanese and father American. He was born and brought up in Tokyo. Eventually he and his mother felt they had to leave Japan and settled here. The reason was the Japanese attitude to Gaijin.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 11:22am on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    139. At 09:59am on 10 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    If a British person marries a non-EU national, works, pays tax, claims no benefits, what difference does it make to the average person on the street whether or not the spouse can speak English?

    As always, the non-EU national take the blame for the high immigration into this country, regardless of the fact that most immigrants are from the EU
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/177727/This-crazy-immigration-must-end-

    "More outrageously still the previous government massively increased the numbers of foreigners being granted British citizenship to more than 200,000, a rise of 58 per cent.THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF NEW BRITONS CAME NOT FROM EUROPEAN MEMBER STATES BUT FROM THE THIRD WORLD."

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 11:25am on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    140. At 10:00am on 10 Jun 2010, jonnyexpat wrote:

    I moved to Japan with my Japanese wife after living with her in the UK for six years, she speaks fluent English but was continuously abused racialy! I have never experienced this kind of treatment in Japan even though I speak just very basic Japanese.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Yes,please tell us how many(sic) immigrants/colonists Japan takes into it`s over-crowded island!

    The British are fed up to the back teeth of it,but the British establishment gives not a hoot!

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 11:37am on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @144.


    i cant on the top of my mind think of a single british person i know who has gone to live in either india or china??? the exodus seems to be from those countries rather than to them.

    english must be a prerequisite for entering the uk or else you get segregated communites that end up being a tax burden for the rest of us...eg. i quite like the idea of intenational cuisines being available in tecos being of asian origin myself, but I DEFINITELY DO NOT want to see a whole high street of ethnic shops which is what ends up happening in segregated communities.

    brits retiring to spain...again is completely different to eu and non eus entering the uk and not integrating to the extent of them becoming a burden for the UK ....we were recently talking about cuts...well one of them could be the massive number of translators/ tranlated texts required in hospitals...drs surgeries, courts, road signs etc...if people can speak english we dont need this resource!

    and with regards to arabic countries...brits are not given an arabic passport so can be thrown out at any time. shame we dont apply this here too!



    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 11:41am on 10 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    149. At 11:04am on 10 Jun 2010, Molewood6 wrote:

    "Of course you need to speak English if you want to live in the UK. I moved to a job in Germany in the late 1970s and already spoke German, otherwise I'd never have been taken on."


    But what if you are not coming to the UK to work, but to be a stay at home parent while your spouse works? Then, while living in the UK, you learn the language easier, faster and cheaper than trying to learn before arrival.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 12:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, HazySkies wrote:

    @WorsleyNick

    That story doesn't surprise me. I've been in Japan for nearly 10 years and I would say there is indeed a deep-seated (although often subtle) kind of racism here. I've never heard any stories of the kind of outright abuse you might find on British streets. So in that sense it's not as bad as you might find elsewhere. But it manifests instead as an unshakeable attitude that no one other than pure ethnic stock can ever be "Japanese" and a strong us-and-them mentality. You can be a fully-fledged citizen, born and bred here, but if you don't look the part you'll always be Gaijin and people will treat you as such. Forget assimilation and integration.

    If you're the "right kind" of Gaijin (i.e. European, American etc.) you won't get the worst of it though. The worst I've had is being refused rental accommodation because "Gaijin are noisier and less tidy and are more likely to cause trouble". (Surely this would not be legal elsewhere!) However, I'd say I also encounter a certain level of positive discrimination towards blonde, blue-eyed types like me. I gather you'll have a much tougher time if you're Korean or Chinese...

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 12:23pm on 10 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    151. At 11:22am on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    "http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/177727/This-crazy-immigration-must-end-

    "More outrageously still the previous government massively increased the numbers of foreigners being granted British citizenship to more than 200,000, a rise of 58 per cent.THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF NEW BRITONS CAME NOT FROM EUROPEAN MEMBER STATES BUT FROM THE THIRD WORLD." "


    However, citizenship is not the same as immigration. Whilst the majority of new citizens may well be non-EU, the majority of people moving to the UK are from within the EU.

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 12:49pm on 10 Jun 2010, srpswan wrote:

    Be interesting to know how many people making comments about immigration rules have actually been through the process. I can assure you all, getting a foreign spouse into the UK is already a complicated in-depth process and it's also very expensive. By the way, a foreign spouse is not entitled to claim any public funds until they have been granted leave to remain (minimum of 2years), UK immigration rules are very clear on this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 12:57pm on 10 Jun 2010, ar4 wrote:

    Mark,

    Slight error in the story. Your marriage visa lasts for 2 years, during which you have 'no recourse to public funds'. Then you can apply to go on 'Indefinite Leave to Remain', for which you don't need an english test nor the 'Life in the UK' test. You just head down to that Orwellian building in Croydon and show ample paperwork. The tests are only when you apply for British citizenship, but you need to be in the country for 4 or 5 years to qualify to do that. You can remain on ILTR forever, and collect benefits and never undergo an english test. You can divorce your spouse after you're granted ILTR as well.
    Alot of us who are on ILTR but from Australia, NZ, Canada are now applying for citizenship because we're scared the Tories will restrict our rights and also make the process harder and more expensive. Already I have to do the english test though english is my first language and i have 2 degrees from British universities.

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 1:07pm on 10 Jun 2010, kimiraikkonenisalegend wrote:

    @Ziggyboy
    What does Race have to do with immigration? I wonder if this will apply to football players as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 1:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    153. At 11:37am on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @144.

    But I thought Britain was to be promoted as a multi-racial country ? Whats wrong with a row of international shops giving you a flavour of the world beyond Britain?

    Translation!? Is that the big expense ?? Does it really cost so much to translate something. Again I thought we were a 'multi'racial' society. We should accomodate people from all backgrounds - what about tourists who are visiting ?

    Did you know that Britain has the highest rate of interracial relationships in the WORLD !!? Is this really a problem about Integration ??

    And I must remind all of you this 'Great' Britain was built on the hundreds of years of economic exploitation of other countries, particularly India. And you are complaining about Tax.

    Britain has enabled its wealth and developed status through the destruction of other countries.



    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 1:15pm on 10 Jun 2010, Rushda Khan wrote:

    I think many people here are missing a very crucial point: the best way to learn English is to go to the place where you'll speak it. I think it is unfair to ask people from impoverished Pakistani backgrounds to learn it before they come here: often these lessons are too expensive, and finding the teaching expertise is rare. My sister-in-law has been in the country for a few years now after coming here from Pakistan. When she arrived she knew no English whatseoever. Her English is by no means perfect now but she has integrated into society and is picking can communicate ably. What harm does such a system do?

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 1:37pm on 10 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    @ 155.

    Oh please, now you know what its like to be an Ethnic Minority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 1:51pm on 10 Jun 2010, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    I support bringing the plans forward. I too have lived in a community where women (mostly) were effectively ghettoised, trapped in a limited social circle of their own home and local shops. They were excluded from exercising their democratic rights because they couldn't understand the ballot paper. They were genuinely frightened if they had to leave familiar settings. They were completely reliant on their husbands for everything making them open to exploitation. I think we will be doing these people a huge service if they have some basic education in English before they arrive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 2:23pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    156. At 12:23pm on 10 Jun 2010, toni49 wrote:

    However, citizenship is not the same as immigration

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Of course,so these "new citizens" just popped out of the British soil like leprechauns eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 2:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @157
    2 years is that all??? you mean benefits into which they have made zero contribution you feel they should be entitled to????

    a foreign spouse shouldnt be able to claim anything full stop esp as there are countless posts about telling us how the partner pays tax etc and so their spouse is no burden at all.

    what happens when a spouse from the subcontinent who doesnt speak a word of english needs to go to a uk hospital for the delivery of a baby!

    we have have to bend over backwards to accomodate this person...this test isnt difficult and i am amused as to why so many of the noneus are objecting to it...after all it will assist to ensure your spouses fit in.


    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 2:50pm on 10 Jun 2010, tatham wrote:

    Enoch Powell the British statesman . Hit the nail on the head in 1968

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 3:01pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    The anti-racist/anti-White PC-ism on this thread is sickening.

    White people are something like 7% of the worlds population,but we have the grotesquely unfair situation of:

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,White countries for EVERYBODY.

    Who are the REAL "racists" in this debate?

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 3:07pm on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @160

    i am a british born asian in the 40+ years and i can tell you that multiculturalism has had massive detrimental effects on britain.

    i dont make any negative comments about britian as i have a deep passion for the best country in the world...wish i could say the same for some of the obvious noneu persons who have contributed above.

    i wish to protect this beautiful country - multiculturalism has been leading to demise here but thank goodness for that english test for spouses....its one step in the right direction...

    and as we are about to face some austerity cuts...perhaps translators is one that wont be missed.

    a row of ethnic shops in an area of a majority ethnic group....well, you only have to walk down it to realise the unsavoury results of "multiculturalism"

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 3:11pm on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @ 161

    may i be so bold as to ask what exactly is your defintion of being "integrated into british society" is when you refer to your sister in law...

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 3:12pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    160. At 1:09pm on 10 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    Britain has enabled its wealth and developed status through the destruction of other countries.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Behold the "anti-racist"/anti-White "logic"!

    Two wrongs make a right in their anti-White PC book,even going back to events of centuries past for their "moral" "justification"!

    I think you`ll find that all that "destruction" was at the behest of the British establishment which was/is wholly controlled by "International Finance",and which treated the ordinary Brit then (as now)as something lower than cattle.

    Indeed,the British establishment is actually calling for their genetic destruction i.e genocide through "assimilation" i.e intermarriage with millions of non-Whites.

    Just like the "anti-racists" on this thread!



    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 3:19pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    150. At 11:12am on 10 Jun 2010, WorsleyNick wrote:

    In 2005 the UN rapporteur on racism and xenaphobia, expressed profound concern about Japanese racism.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Wow,"The UN rapporteur on racism and xenophobia"-what a fine communistic moniker!

    So he expresses profound concern does he?

    Please tell us why the Japanese(or anyone else) should give two hoots what this communistic meddler has to say about their cultural values.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 3:21pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    Wahey,another "slow moderation day"!

    Again.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 3:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, Soul News wrote:

    The best way for someone to learn English is to live in an English speaking country. The current rules make sense, they give someone 2 years to learn English and integrate. Two years living in an English speaking country will give you a pretty good chance to learn English.. learning part time in an expensive school in another country will take FAR longer.

    Personally, I'm an English citizen. I'm married to a Japanese woman. She actually speaks pretty good English, but frankly, even if she didn't speak a single word, so what? She's MY wife, and who is the government to say that my wife can't live with me?

    It's knee-jerk pandering to the "I'm not a racist, but..." racist crowd.

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 3:48pm on 10 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    @161 Rushda Khan wrote:
    "I think many people here are missing a very crucial point: the best way to learn English is to go to the place where you'll speak it."

    That's probably true, but the key phrase there is where you'll speak it. Substituting where it is spoken is very different.

    I know of several instances of spouses moving to the UK that not only cannot speak English but make no discernable effort to learn it, preferring to speak only their native Hindi. It's important to have a mandatory test to to ensure that people are at least willing to try to integrate.

    Please remember Britain is a very crowded island now - and needs to be selective with it's immigration policy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 3:52pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    162. At 1:37pm on 10 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    @ 155.

    Oh please, now you know what its like to be an Ethnic Minority.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Yes,I can tell you`ve been crying into your organic muesli over the fate of the brutalised White S.Africans and Zimbabweans.

    Or maybe a demonic anti-White rubbing together of hands at their plight.

    Which rather demonstrates your unfitness to be lecturing us White Brits that we should give our country away..........

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 4:16pm on 10 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    @144,
    "In that case, this should be a world policy - I would love to see the English do tests in Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin, etc, etc before migrating to India, UAE or China.

    I think each country should have the right to set it's own immigration policy, and that people planning to migrate there should accept that policy, whatever it may be, without complaint.

    If you cant speak the language of the land - you simply dont get in. That goes for all the Brits, retiring in Spain and Southern France.

    Execpt Spain and France are EU countries and free movement of EU citizens within the EU is now EU law. This discussion is about immigration from non-EU countries.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 4:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    @168, barabara99 wrote :-

    i am a british born asian in the 40+ years and i can tell you that multiculturalism has had massive detrimental effects on britain.

    Thank you. I find it very sad that, in this PC world, native Britons (by which I mean by race, as well as by birth) are seemingly unable to voice similar concerns without being accused af racism.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 4:47pm on 10 Jun 2010, Geek Magnet wrote:

    "69. At 5:59pm on 09 Jun 2010, jptanyong wrote:

    The Home Secretary is effectively telling British nationals not to fall in love with partners whose English is below a certain standard."


    You can't be serious! This has nothing to do with love. As far as I'm concerned, heading back to your 'family homeland' to effectively buy a bride (let's not forget that dowries and match-making fees are not uncommon in arranged (forced?) marriages in some parts of the world) has zero to do with falling in love.

    I'm all for this idea. Hopefully it will help to crackdown on the number of forced marriages as well as increasing the opportunities for integration. I myself know at least one person who headed to Pakistan to 'find' a bride who then chose to spend no time with him whatsoever - were it not for this arranged marriage and financial benefit to her family abroad she would never have touched him with a bargepole.

    There will always be exceptions such as people who have been married to a foreign national and lived abroad and now wish to return to the UK; perhaps there should be some kind of rule dependent on how long they have been married or similar criteria.

    Also, to everyone talking about British ex-pats in Spain; this is largely irrelevant. I know from experience that in order to be entitled to many Spanish public services you have to pay into a system and, even then, if you use them you will not be asked if you need a translator or be given a leaflet in umpteen languages. In Britain you're entitled to many free services from the day you arrive and we're only too happy to throw bad money after bad money at you. If Spain wants to change it's own laws then fine, but this discussion is about the UK NOT the rest of Europe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 4:48pm on 10 Jun 2010, healthytoes wrote:


    Here in Catalonia, the Catalan government offers extremely cheap courses to learn Catalan - open to everyone. Some native speakers sign up to learn to read and write Catalan, which had been banned under Franco.

    Foreigners and Spaniards start on the beginners courses. ´Whilst there is no obligation to take the courses, many of all nationalities do.

    Would it not be a good idea to facilitate learning English in this way and then after 2 years if the person/spouse, whoever cannot speak reasonable basic English, refuse the "Indefinite Leave to Remain".

    I now speak 8 languages, albeit some imperfectly, also being brought up bilingual, simply because wherever I go to live, I want to be part of the community.

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 5:19pm on 10 Jun 2010, Nickaitch wrote:

    Once again the BBC, or one of its representatives, displays more concern for the immigrant than the native.

    People who wish to join our society should expect to adapt to it, not change it to suit themselves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 5:41pm on 10 Jun 2010, Peter wrote:

    A few people on this blog have commented along the lines of "I/my wife/my husband speak excellent english, better than some native britons, so why should they have to take this pointless test?"

    For those of you au fait (see, fluent French!) with Formula 1, here's an analogy: Lewis Hamilton was sponsored and mentored by Mclaren from the age of ten. I'm sure that when he got to 17, he was still required to take a driving test before driving on public roads.

    A good thing too, and I don't suppose he whined about it either...

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 5:53pm on 10 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @ 177. your welcome....i will always defend the UK, i am a strong beleiver in the Great of Great Britain.

    @179, Catalan...Spain...part of the eu where english must be understood to some extent?...not quite the same issue as the majority of non eus who come from subcontinent villages,towns cant speak a word of english.....therefore dont integrate and embrace the UK in the way that should be done. and i mean this in the nicest possbile way but its the UK that everyone is rushing to not Catalan....so even if this is a means of control...its good.

    and anyway english is a world stage language...its good to be able to speak it and that can only help to cross barriers for everyone with greater understanding.

    ps i am sorry but the idea of a non english speaking spouse entering the uk and being tested for english after 2 years by which time she has had a baby...who on earth will be able to deport this lady with baby (or 2!)...you are talking about splitting up a family and you know that someone will start shouting about human rights etc!!!! its just not going to happen

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 6:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, tatham wrote:

    THE REAL WORLD

    Have you had a conversation with a 16 to 25 year old lately.

    they can not speak properly.
    Its all abrupt grunting and gestures ,know wonder they dont integrate.
    would you if you had a choice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 7:42pm on 10 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    I don't see why speaking English has anything to do with living in the UK. As long as they have a legit reason to be in the UK and are law abiding that all that matters. The great majority want to learn English anyway as it's in their best ineterest

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 8:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, shendor wrote:

    I live in Whitechapel where I can walk from the underground station to my house without seeing a white face. FACT. I also don't here any English spoken in the street. FACT. A growing proportion of the women in the street where face veils so I can't even see if they're smiling at me. FACT. It is getting to the point where I think maybe it is ME who should learn Arabic or Pakistani just to fit in to what used to be MY area! This is not racist, this is a fact. For those of you living in the country or holed-up at your Kensington dinner parties, perhaps you don't realise why these new laws might be necessary down here in the inner cities?

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 9:17pm on 10 Jun 2010, Luke Gervais wrote:

    "But critics claim there's a more sinister and discriminatory reason for introducing the new rules... By introducing the new English requirements even more quickly than had been planned, it makes it virtually impossible for rural villagers in remote parts of the Indian sub-continent to pass the test."

    Who are these "critics"? And what is the purpose of language tests other than to "discriminate"? By whose standard is such discrimination sinister?? With respect to Mr Easton, this is an utterly ridiculous statement that pre-supposes that rural villagers in remote parts of the Indian subcontinent have some inherent right to come to this country. If they fail the test because they cannot speak adequate English then obviously the test is working. I don't know why I should pay my licence fee for the BBC to manufacture controversy where there is none.

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 9:42pm on 10 Jun 2010, John wrote:

    I absolutely agree. If not these people will be confined to the home only having spouse to translate for them. What happens in an emergency, could they call the services when needed? Then there would be an outcry if they could not make themselves understood. Oh yes, the PC brigade would have all the services with multilingual speakers instead! (at the taxpayers expense)

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 10:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, Mike B wrote:

    Surley the United Kingdom can no longer be expected to 'support' many thousands of poorly educated rural immigrants from parts of Asia ?
    This duty, if it ever existed, has time expired. The UK Goverment has a duty to protect it's borders from mass immigration because of the danger that many parts of England will come to resemble the very places the immigrants wish to leave.
    The nutrality of some BBC correspondents sometimes gives the impression that they are not be adverse to this outcome. `

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 11:03pm on 10 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    183. At 6:29pm on 10 Jun 2010, tatham wrote:

    THE REAL WORLD

    Have you had a conversation with a 16 to 25 year old lately.

    they can not speak properly.
    Its all abrupt grunting and gestures ,know wonder they dont integrate.
    would you if you had a choice.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    In the real world,leftists can`t spell or use grammar to save their lives,and they take a perverse pleasure in denigrating the working class youth(who they otherwise pretend to care for) during immigration debates.


    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 11:03pm on 10 Jun 2010, Jon Ellis wrote:

    I am a 'white' UK citizen. I am married to an Indian citizen and we wish at some time in the future for her to reside with me in the UK. I gather that the current and proposed legislation requiring non-EU foreign spouses to pass a test in English is designed to prevent my wife and I from being able to live together in my home town, Southampton. I will give you briefly the case history.
    In 2005 I married my wife in India. I have been visiting India to do voluntary work in education since 1992 and had known her since 2000. She is divorced with children and grandchildren from a previous marriage. Due to the poverty of her family she never attended school and is consequently illiterate in her mother tongue, Bengali. She does not speak English and I communicate with her in Bengali. For the same reason that many English people are unable to learn a foreign language, she will very possibly be unable to learn enough English to pass a UK immigration test. She is aged approximately 43.
    My wife obtained a passport with great difficulty. At the time of her birth poor people in India were not generally issued with birth certificates. In 2008 and 2009 she visited the UK twice to stay with me, having been issued with spouse visas of 6 months duration by the UK consular service in Kolkata, India. I have sufficient funds to support my wife in Britain and a place for her to stay, so this was not an issue. I spend 5 months every year in India where I run some small schools in rural Bengal.
    My wife is still caring for a dependent child in India and has not, therefore, thought yet of living permanently with me in Southampton, UK. When this child is no longer dependent, in about 5 years, it is likely that we would wish to be able to live together for the greater part of each year in Southampton.
    My wife is in good general health although she is registered as having a disability in India after losing her right leg and arm in a train accident 18 years ago.
    My wife does not have any need or wish to seek British citizenship. We wish merely that we be able to stay together for about 8 months a year in Britain and to travel freely between Britain and India without the need to apply constantly for short term visas.
    Why does the UK Government feel that any public interest is served by preventing my wife and I from living together in Southampton?
    Do we need, perhaps, to seek political asylum in a third country ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 00:03am on 11 Jun 2010, mk wrote:

    I'm from a non-EU country, married to a british national and currently going through a rather expensive visa process. I recently took the English language and life in the UK test as required and found it entertaining as well as useful(always good to know who appoints the house of Lords or what percentage of children lives with both birth parents).

    I understand why British people feel there should be tougher immigration regulations. I would feel the same if it was my country. It's fair enough for you to say 'learn English if you want to live in this country'. Well, you don't really need to say that actually. As someone mentioned above, it's my best interest to learn English anyway. I'm tired of being talked at or ignored altogether.

    Only if it was that easy. Passing the test is no problem. Integrating is a separate matter. It's like saying you are integrated into the Japanese/russian society after reading the Lonely Planet Japan/Russia(albeit in Japanese/Russian). I feel that it's less about basic language skills or basic knowledge about the country you need to be part of the society but more about getting used to the cultural codes, which are impossible to pick up before arriving in the country. If it's really about integration, I doubt the English test BEFORE entering the UK would help very much. On the other hand, if it's simply about limiting the number of immigrants, it might have some effect.

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 00:20am on 11 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    Shendor, you may not consider yourself racist, but your statements cruelly expose the bigot within you. So what if you don't hear English as you walk the streets or that women wear veils? You should consider yourself lucky you live in a diverse neighborhood full of cultural opportunity--- yes, why not learn a different language. There is so much opportunity out there is we just put aside the views that all Brits need to speak English, eat the awful traditional cuisine, and live in the past glory of the empire. Its a global market, he who adapts wins

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 00:31am on 11 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    Bring on the Grammar parade !

    185. At 8:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, shendor wrote:

    I also don't here any English spoken in the street. FACT. A growing proportion of the women in the street where face veils so I can't even see if they're smiling at me. FACT.

    You, my friend, would fail the English test. FACT!

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 00:59am on 11 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:


    @ 192. Its a global market, he who adapts wins.

    Brilliant !

    @ 191. At 00:03am on 11 Jun 2010, mk wrote:

    Exactly, this has nothing to do with Integration, and it will have an effect on those who cannot afford to learn the language before entering the country.

    @ 188. At 10:10pm on 10 Jun 2010, Mike B wrote:

    Yes it does, after hundred year legacies. Where is Gandhi when you need him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 01:13am on 11 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    192. At 00:20am on 11 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    Shendor, you may not consider yourself racist, but your statements cruelly expose the bigot within you.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    In other words,don`t even bother trying to "defend" yourself against the PC charge of "racism" because the left and the establishment will call you it anyway if you say anything they don`t agree with in respect to immigration/identity politics.

    Just be proud,and love your race unashamedly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 05:09am on 11 Jun 2010, Tom wrote:

    With very few exceptions (e.g. for spouses of British diplomats serving in overseas posts), foreign spouses applying for indefinite leave to remain, or for citizenship, in the UK, must sit the 'Life in the UK' test.

    The 'Life in the UK' test has a significantly higher English language requirement than the newly announced test. From what has been revealed, so far, the new English test will ensure that applicants have at least a rudimentary understanding of spoken English, can read common signs and can communicate in a limited range of day-to-day situations.

    Any applicant who cannot pass this basic English test with his or her eyes closed stands absolutely no chance of passing the 'Life in the UK' test.

    How on Earth does this new test add anything to the existing competency requirements? As mentioned before, this is just a pointless extra expense and additional layer of bureaucracy that will not serve to weed out any applicants who would not already have been denied entry, and which will not serve to 'integrate' anyone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 05:25am on 11 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    BiiBoidshatue
    Your rhetoric makes no sense. Shendor is making factually (and grammatically- thanks zxspectrum) incorrect statements and presenting them as FACTS! He/she can be proud of his/her race all she wants - just quite stuffing xenophobic views down our throats. For all the other bigots on the board. Lets get one thing straight. The British government has always and will always look after its own interests. In post-war Britain it was the government who actively recruited skilled and unskilled labour because had they not done so Britain would have collapsed economically. it was nothing to do with embracing and helping poor ex-colonials it was about saving their skins.

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 07:00am on 11 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    197. At 05:25am on 11 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    just quite stuffing xenophobic views down our throats
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Now,now,SanjoseLeeds.

    Please explain where I have been "xenophobic" on this blog.

    Being pro-White is not xenophobic in the slightest,and even if it was,it would be a welcome relief from the rabid xenophilia exhibited by some of these "new posters" who just happen to agree with your views.

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 07:06am on 11 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    197. At 05:25am on 11 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote

    In post-war Britain it was the government who actively recruited skilled and unskilled labour because had they not done so Britain would have collapsed economically.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Utter rubbish.

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 07:07am on 11 Jun 2010, Timothy Byford wrote:

    I have been a British ex-pat for nearly 40 years. I did the 'Life in the UK' test online and failed. Will I be sent back to Serbia on my next visit to the UK?

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 09:03am on 11 Jun 2010, iamsoscared wrote:

    Salute, Edward III & Wallis Simpson
    How luck you are, Madam Wallis Simpson, you wouldn’t have to do the English test to integrate into your husband’s country. You probably would say to all of the commentators and the rule makers of enforcing a UK citizen’s foreign wife or husband to do an English test before they head for their UK home: for what right do you have to stop them or separate them thanks to the language barrier when they enter legally with the visa application, through all of the ordeals of interview. It’s fine and reasonable to provide all of the documents to prove we are genuinely in love and married and have children now. Of course, paying the visa fee doesn’t need to be mentioned if you want to go to another country.
    I, a Chinese woman, have been through all of this, for being able to live with my English husband in his country. He was never enforced to take a Chinese test to have lived with his Chinese wife in Shanghai; our daughter went to kindergarten there, where she could enjoy Chinese benefit because of her Chinese mother. I am utterly disgusted and very upset to know how on earth husband’s great country tries to issue this rule, for the guise of stop those of us using public funds? Then better to make a different rule to different target, for I, never used any public funds when I lived in the UK for 3 years before I went back to shanghai. I AM JUST AN EXAMPLE. Where are those meddlesome people’s common sense, for God Sake, is it OUR right to go to where OUR husband live, no matter where I am from, Chinese or Indians, whoever, as long as through the legal way.
    For some people here kept wining on the asylum seeker immigrants, it’s another scenario from the married spouse case. I suggest all of you should ask your HOME SECRETARY to re-train all of the border officer and overseas entry clearance officers, who are responsible for checking those documents for letting those terrorist immigrants or seeking benefits immigrants in. For some of those overseas, like shanghai one, most of them are useless; they live as expats, enjoying the exotic life there far from their “Great” country, wouldn’t be bothered to answering any enquires either through phone or email from a woman, who desperately want to reunite with her family in England. Can’t they have any ability of distinguishing which visa applicant is a genuinely married UK spouse who wants to return to their spouse and children in the UK? I doubt it? I can only feel sorry for myself, why is my husband British? But he is my world, where I don’t care if it’s UK or other country, I would go for.

    I love you, Edward III, you are far more open-minded…

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 09:35am on 11 Jun 2010, fletch22 wrote:

    I love comments that begin with “I’m not a racist, but…”
    The Conservative government are back ! Everything about this piece of legislation screams racism. It is targeting people specifically from The Sub-Continent. The legislation is offering no provisions to aid learning. This is just a hidden way for the government to reduce the number immigrants into the UK.
    User ‘Frilly’ wrote a long message about how he works in recruitment and how many people visit him and can hardly speak a word of English. In your message I found nine spelling and grammar errors. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Please take the test and see how well you do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 10:12am on 11 Jun 2010, pam wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 204. At 10:17am on 11 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    185. At 8:43pm on 10 Jun 2010, shendor wrote:
    I live in Whitechapel where I can walk from the underground station to my house without seeing a white face. FACT. I also don't here any English spoken in the street. FACT. A growing proportion of the women in the street where face veils so I can't even see if they're smiling at me. FACT. It is getting to the point where I think maybe it is ME who should learn Arabic or Pakistani just to fit in to what used to be MY area! This is not racist, this is a fact. For those of you living in the country or holed-up at your Kensington dinner parties, perhaps you don't realise why these new laws might be necessary down here in the inner cities?
    -------------
    Riiiiiigggghhhhhtttt.....so all those English living in Little Englands abroad speak the native languages do they? It is a free country and as long as they know English they can speak in their own language to their own people what is wrong with that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 10:36am on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    BiiBoidshateu wrote:
    Please explain where I have been "xenophobic" on this blog.

    Being pro-White is not xenophobic in the slightest,and even if it was,it would be a welcome relief from the rabid xenophilia exhibited by some of these "new posters" who just happen to agree with your views.



    What about your classic:

    BiiBoidshateu wrote (on a previous blog):
    You`re either pro-White,or pro-White genocide
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white



    Looks like xenophobia, sounds like xenophobia...



    What is pro-White anyway ?

    Is it like pro-V or pronamel, will it give us shiny hair or dentist clean teeth ?

    Or maybe it's another one of those ideas that leads to concentration camps, ethnic cleansing and all of the other crimes White Supremacists seem so fond of and really it isn’t pro-White at all, it’s just anti-everyone else who doesn’t conform to your narrow view of a traditional Englishman.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 10:55am on 11 Jun 2010, Carl Showalter wrote:

    1. At 2:19pm on 09 Jun 2010, ziggyboy wrote:

    I am not a racist but

    right..

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 11:18am on 11 Jun 2010, Pat berks wrote:

    fletch22 wrote:
    "Everything about this piece of legislation screams racism. It is targeting people specifically from The Sub-Continent"
    How is it doing this exactly ? How is it 'targeting' people from the sub continent rather than , say, African or Chinese applicants ? It is not racially specific, and applies to ALL non-EU migrants whatever Mr Easton has 'concluded'
    "The legislation is offering no provisions to aid learning"
    Should it ? Is it the UK Government's responsibility to smooth the way for migrants ??
    "This is just a hidden way for the government to reduce the number immigrants into the UK"
    Given massive population growth and the attendant social problems, do you think the government should be encouaraging more immigration ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 11:23am on 11 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    81 And why do you so conveniently forget history? When the British colonised India and brought with them their British wives, were the wives forced to learn English so they could integrate and contribute to the economy of India?
    ---------------
    They wanted personal slaves for them that is why nothing was asked back then, but it goes to show that asians have been a part of the English heritage for 300 years but they do not want them here. Someone said above that they got 3 degree's and is leaving for India I do not see why they should. This country took alot of wealth out of India which should have been one of the richest countries in the world today now the very people who gave their lives by the millions for this country are being told they have to speak English very well. This government and its people are confusing Muslims (Burkha wearing/Islamic fundamentalists) with Indians. That to me sounds ignorant and a refusal on the English to learn or find out the difference about the different religions. This is why the English abroad eat egg/fish and chips never integrate and take up land that could be better used by the natives rather than let the English sit there in their mansions and swimming pools.

    Asians have never been liked for doing well but this country's Empire has left alot of elderly Indians damaged and it will never be forgotten, especially when the Queen's crown comes out, what a horrible reminder of how the Kohinoor ended up on a German womans head. For those English saying they do not have to apologise for the colonialism in India then get over the German war whenever you meet them in the World Cup or the European Cup! Do not forget how many English in Goa, Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta have white Hotels and how many of them speak the Indian language fluently?

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 11:48am on 11 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    "3. At 2:24pm on 09 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:
    Good thing those countries did not have a similar rule when the English were occupying their countries. How many English spoke Hindi, Burmese, Chinese? Integration didn't seem to be a priority at that time. You must be like us but we do not need to be like you. Has a ring of superiority."

    Yes it does have a ring of superiority and rightfully so. If we weren't superior then they wouldn't want to come here would they? There english spouse would instead go and live in bangladesh etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 11:51am on 11 Jun 2010, Biniwengel wrote:

    Marriage is a relationship between two people. And you do not ask your partner to speak a specific language to be eligible for being your half. Do not get me wrong. It is essential for anyone who lives in Britain to know basic English. But The government should not interfere directlly or indirectly by imposing certain rules, such as language requirement. As far as marriage is concerned it must be left between two individuals. But when it comes to citizenship, anyone who is not able to speak English should not be given nationality.

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 12:03pm on 11 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    "192. At 00:20am on 11 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:
    Shendor, you may not consider yourself racist, but your statements cruelly expose the bigot within you. So what if you don't hear English as you walk the streets or that women wear veils? You should consider yourself lucky you live in a diverse neighborhood full of cultural opportunity--- yes, why not learn a different language. There is so much opportunity out there is we just put aside the views that all Brits need to speak English, eat the awful traditional cuisine, and live in the past glory of the empire. Its a global market, he who adapts wins"

    Ah globalisation, its a funny one that isn't it? Do you remeber having a referendum on whether we wanted globalisation?

    So who decided? Certainly wasn't me or the british people. In fact no sane person would want it. Globalisation merely serves profit it does not serve people.

    And you think its wonderful that we have so many non EU migrants in the UK? Well don't you care about where these people come from? Are you happy that we are stealing a generation of young people and in so doing sentancing those countries to continue to live in poverty for another generation?

    Wanting to live somewhere where you feel at home and you're culture is the norm in not racist. Multi culturalism has not worked, people don't need it or want it. All it does is drive communities apart and drives down wages which again serves business wishing to make profit but does not serve normal people.

    Apadpting to global markets has only served the UK in the sohrt term look at the price we have paid? We have nothing left any more, no nuclear industry no food industry no oil no gas no coal.

    If there was a war tommorow the people of the UK would either starve or freeze whilst those living in france would be able to heat there homes and power there cars and feed their families all because of protecting local industries and not following global markets for short term gain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 12:14pm on 11 Jun 2010, zxspectrum wrote:

    202. At 09:35am on 11 Jun 2010, fletch22 wrote:

    I love comments that begin with “I’m not a racist, but…”
    The Conservative government are back !

    Wasnt Labour going to enforce this next year? What gives, British government is all the same, whoever is in power.

    And, other thing, it is impossible for an ethnic minority to be racist. - right go mull over that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 12:39pm on 11 Jun 2010, gorgo wrote:

    Having worked for local govt, I used to have to regularly arrange for translators to attend interviews for people who had resided in this country for more than 5 years. These people lived in their own communities and didn't integrate with the wider British community at all. I think making future immigrants learn a certain level of English would benefit everyone and also help lower costs within the civil service.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 12:40pm on 11 Jun 2010, Gluteus Maximus wrote:

    Should I consider emigrating to another Country, my very first task would be to learn the langauage to a level where I could properly understand the nuances of everyday life there, know the laws and customs of that Country and therefore be able to fully integrate. This is LONG overdue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 1:29pm on 11 Jun 2010, Clara70 wrote:

    If it were really to foster integration why is it so incredibly hard for migrants to gain access to ESOL training course presently.
    I work with refugees and people seeking asylum and a large body are denied access to training in spite of committment to learn English.
    I support the development of language skills for all immigrants, but question the headline grabbing introduction of one measure when so little actual support is available for people who are already here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 1:37pm on 11 Jun 2010, The Bloke wrote:

    23 zx

    "People from the Indian Sub-continent have significantly contributed to the economy, allowed the British to rule the country for hundreds of years, and this is the thanks we get."

    The contribution to the country is highly dubious. The problems caused by mass immigration, however, are very clear.

    And it is typical that Mark Easton presents the issues in terms of what we owe the immigrants. He could have focussed on Geert Wilders' success in Holland, or the growing hostility in the UK towards muslims.

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 1:38pm on 11 Jun 2010, The Bloke wrote:

    No, they're about making it harder for people to emigrate to the UK.

    Good job too.

    More of the same, please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 1:58pm on 11 Jun 2010, fletch22 wrote:

    fletch22 wrote:I love comments that begin with “I’m not a racist, but…”
    The Conservative government are back !

    zxspectrum wrote: Wasnt Labour going to enforce this next year? What gives, British government is all the same, whoever is in power.
    fletch22 reply: In the above article "The new Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May has brought forward the changes to this autumn"

    Yes, Labour introduced it, but the Conservatives are running with it. I do agree that there is very little difference between governments; I guess my point is that the Conservatives are worse.

    zxspectrum wrote: And, other thing, it is impossible for an ethnic minority to be racist. - right go mull over that.
    fletch22 reply:I was confused with the last comment, but it is possible for anyone to be racist. Racism is certainly not something that one group of people own.

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 2:49pm on 11 Jun 2010, Oldhistorian69 wrote:

    We face a similar problem in the United States. We have significant minority groups who speak other languages, especially Spanish. What we are asking is that these minorities learn a second language. The political, economic, and social fabric of this country and yours are benefited when people are able to understand each other. The Biblical story of the tower of Babel is illustrative of what we want to avoid. Most immigrants to the United States want to learn English and their children are usually taught in English in schools and also taught English. Instruction for the children and for adults in English as a second language is widely available. It will normally take them a few years to become really fluent. My son-in-law's English has improved steadily over the past several years. The fact that he is Hispanic and can use Spanish well helps him supervise Hispanics at work. He has also become a naturalized citizen.
    This does not preclude that these minorities may not use their native language among themselves and we also have some native Americans who speak their tribal language although most know English.

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 2:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote:

    @ BiiBoidshateu, post #198;

    "Being pro-White is not xenophobic in the slightest..."

    No, it's just racist. Your detractors were right the first time; I don't know why they decided to accuse you of xenophobia instead - I guess they're Partisans, (Left-wingers, in this case) and therefore not very intelligent.

    If you think that there's something special/different about you (or anyone else) because of skin colour or ethnic origin, you're a racist. If you think a person's race pre-determines how they think, who they are, what they're worth... you're a racist. It's what the word means.

    The irony evident in this thread - that many people calling for foreigners and immigrants to "learn the English language" don't actually understand themselves what the English word "racist" actually means - is not lost on me, I assure you. I fervently hope that many others have spotted it, too.

    (NB - Yes, before you ask; I do consider institutions such as the "Black & Asian Police Officers Association", etc., to be every bit as racist and offensive as you are).

    Please stop this self-denial. You're pro-white, therefore you're a racist by definition.

    Me, I'm not proud of my race; why the heck would I be? It's not like I've done anything in order to be white. It's not like I started as black, and then "worked my way up" to being white by hard work. It's just the way I happen to have been born. I could no more take "pride" in it that in the fact that I happen to have brown hair.

    Until people - all people, regardles of skin colour - can stop being "Pro-white" or "Pro-black" or "Pro-asian", or whatever... and start judging people as individuals rather than pre-assessing them on grounds of whatever skin colour they happen to have been born into... racism (and all its associated problems) will always be with us.

    Which is why I say to you now; please shut up, sir. Your attitudes are an embarassment to other (more intelligent) white prople. And you have no right claiming to represent us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 3:39pm on 11 Jun 2010, BinaKhozy wrote:

    I grew up in Africa and I recall that no white people tried to intergrate into our society and I know many who have lived in Africa for decades and cannot converse in even 1 local language. Europeans in general expect other people to adapt to their culture. Having said that because there is such diversity in the UK today, it is in all our interests to have common ground. I find it incredulous that people object to being proficient in English. You are in England, not by force but choice; if you choose to be here learn the language, know the culture. The problem is that some people deluded themselves into thinking multiculturalism was the way to go. It isnt. That does not mean that we should pie and mash afficianados but we need to have commonality and respect for the host nation.
    White British people in turn should acknowledge that in their time they have been immigrants-Australia, New Zealand etc. Let us be frank, in that immigration did the Europeans give 2 hoots about native culture? Like heck! They did their best to kill it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 3:53pm on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    The Bloke wrote:
    23 zx
    "People from the Indian Sub-continent have significantly contributed to the economy, allowed the British to rule the country for hundreds of years, and this is the thanks we get."

    The contribution to the country is highly dubious. The problems caused by mass immigration, however, are very clear.



    According to the records of the British Empire, the British government received a net surplus of over £20,000,000 a year from India for almost every year that we were controlling the country, this is the surplus revenue left over from all British state controlled sales and exports once all costs (including infrastructure costs such as the railways, military, schools, hospitals etc) had been taken into account.

    This money was paid directly to the British treasury.

    When we account for inflation that £20,000,000 a year works out at over £1.8 billion.

    So, for the period of 1900-1909 the British treasury ended up with a net surplus of almost £20 billion (at current value), and that's only a ten year period of the almost 200 years that the British ruled India for.

    This is only the state controlled revenues too, private individuals and companies were also taking several millions pounds worth of profit out of India every year they were there and their descendants still own significant holdings in many of India’s largest and oldest companies.

    Even putting aside the financial benefit, there is absolutely no way that Britain would have survived against the Nazi's without Empire soldiers fighting for us. We’d have been overrun by Germans within the first few months or we’d have run out of food & other essential supplies. Indian soldiers earned 30 Victoria Crosses during WWII and over 36,000 of them died fighting for Britain while at the height of the fighting over 2,500,000 of them were fighting on behalf of the Empire all over the world.

    So could you please explain why you feel that the contribution of the Indian sub-continent to our country is highly dubious because I don't understand how anyone looking at the facts can come to any conclusion other than that Britain profited enormously from its colonisation of India.

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 4:03pm on 11 Jun 2010, shendor wrote:

    In response to ROXY 204. The point I'm making is that I believe in diversity not ghettoism. I'm genuinely worried that any questioning of the Islamisation of the UK is immediately shut down by cries of "Racism". Islam is a religion of peace when in the minority, but when it is in the majority it is authoritarian, intolerant and dogmatic. Here in Whitechapel it is predominantly Bangladeshi. I enjoy living in a multicultural society, but would hate to find myself in an exclusively coloured Muslim area just as much as I'd hate to be in an exclusively white Christian area. Why can I not express this view without being labelled "racist"?

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 4:10pm on 11 Jun 2010, shendor wrote:

    @192 Sanjose Leeds. You miss the point. People who can contribute to the economy and greater good of society should always be welcome in the UK whatever their ethnicity. Unfortunately it is very hard to contribute in any shape of form if you don't learn the language. I agree that ex-pat Brits in Spain demonstrate an arrogance by not learning Spanish, but they invariably bring money and prosperity to local Costa economies. Here in the UK there is a massive problem of uneducated Somalis and Bangladeshis who contribute nothing, wish to integrate less, and take resources from the economy. A Somali mother of four (in today's Hackney Gazette) lives on Housing Benefit in a house that would cost £1,600 a month if she were to work and rent privately. Not speaking English and wafting round the streets in a full Niquab how can she ever make enough money to EVER come off the welfare system?
    This is my point. This is not racist. The sooner we can actually talk about this like adults rather than naive child-minds, the sooner we can make this country more inclusive for all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 4:13pm on 11 Jun 2010, daengkirana wrote:

    i notice that the law doesn't apply to EU nationals. what if the foreign spouse does not speak english, but speaks another european language? how come the spanish spouse who does not speak english is ok, but the spanish-speaking filipino spouse is not?

    i am malaysian, and married an englishman recently. he is coming to my country, rather than me to his. i remarked to him the other day, that if my country had a reciprocal law, we're screwed as he does not speak my language at all (not to mention a LOT of foreign spouses of locals here of various colours would have to be deported as they have neither learned the language nor attempted to assimilate). i love him, and malay is reputed to be the easiest language to learn, but he and i agree that it would take him a very long time to learn it since languages are not his forte, during which time we would be forced to live apart. so, this being untenable, either i would have to move to his country which we do not want to do, or we move somewhere else where we would actually be allowed to set up a family in one geographical location - not europe though, because being muslims we would likely have a tough time for the future even if one of us is native to europe.

    fortunately, it is a hypothetical dilemma for us. in general i think it is better to restrict citizenship in the first place, but once someone is a citizen, it is not right to force him or her to choose between his country and his spouse. otherwise this law should be more explicit and clear, what it means is: british citizens are forbidden from marrying a non-EU person who does not speak english. If they do and wish to set up a family with said person, they are exiled from Britain until the spouse learns to speak English. there - isn't that much clearer?

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 4:20pm on 11 Jun 2010, smalldifferences wrote:

    "As things stand, spouses from outside the EU are allowed to come to Britain for up to two years."

    erm... not quite that easy Im afraid Mark.

    Just some notes from my own experience with the UKBorderAgency:

    I'm a British citizen (from Edinburgh) married to an Israeli girl who I met and fell in love with in Mexico. We were married in the UK 4 years ago and have been living in Israel for the last two years while she finished her degree (I now speak Hebrew).

    Our £700 visa application advised us that we could not return to the UK together as the economy is weak and I dont have a job in the UK to return to (5 months before we plan to move) She has a place at Cambridge University to do a masters course (IELTS english 8.5 and £28,000 in your current account are pre-requisites) and I have two undergraduate degrees and 10 years experience in IT. We live a very comfortable life in Tel Aviv - but it is assumed that 'all probabilities considered' we could not support ourselves without recourse to public funds. (what public funds are even available to university graduates with money in the bank? cant imagine we would have much success with that application either!) :o)

    Anyone who thinks the system is soft and that these 'measures' are just safeguards and purely designed to encourage integration is seriously naive about the finance and international relations involved in immigration policy.

    (reading between the lines is encouraged)

    Love / family doesn't get a look in.

    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 5:32pm on 11 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    Dear Sanjose-leeds and the zxspectrum...the way you talk one would think that you are non eu and that you are here to just milk the system and get out of the uk what you can.

    fantastic to the english requirement test, the more that its made difficult to keep non eus out or even eus out that do not need to be here...the better

    from a british born asian

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 5:40pm on 11 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    globalization - stop forcing immigrants on the uk in the pretence that we have to accept it as part of globalisation....and anyway globalisation is not so smart...when one country falls so do others like dominoes...


    and anyone who harps on about british colonialsm...its so boring...

    as a british born asian i only want to see english speaking people enter the uk who have some long term added value for the UK...!

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 5:48pm on 11 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    a requirement to speak english is brilliant...because it reflects an effort.....and hopefully just the sheer thought of it will weed out anyone who is not interested in valuing the UK.

    anyone who thinks that a row of ethinc shops is a good thing...hmm most of these kind of high streets new exist in parts of the UK that have now become ghettoised...no loyal, honest british subject wants to see that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 5:54pm on 11 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    btw....plse dont compare the UK to any other country...its this country that everyone flocks to...is it because it is the best country in the world????...no body is rushing in massive numbers to any other country quite like the UK....and if they are they are not allowed to get away with frankly what is pretty bad behaviour from nonenglish speakers that i have personally observered



    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 8:03pm on 11 Jun 2010, vonost wrote:

    What a wonderful country I live in. I no longer have to travel abroad to meet with foreigners, shop in their shops and converse in their languages.

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 9:09pm on 11 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @231

    i totally agree, i often wonder when people travel to other cities e.g. mumbai, bangalore, beijing, budapest, moscow, krakow upon their return often remark that something was missing....that they could only find the shops associated with the indigenious population, that they could only converse in the language of that country....and how very bizarre it was that they didnt come across any of the diverse range of foreigners whose company we have the pleasure of in london.

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 9:36pm on 11 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    "190. At 11:03pm on 10 Jun 2010, Jon Ellis wrote:

    I am a 'white' UK citizen. I am married to an Indian citizen and we wish at some time in the future for her to reside with me in the UK. I gather that the current and proposed legislation requiring non-EU foreign spouses to pass a test in English is designed to prevent my wife and I from being able to live together in my home town, Southampton. I will give you briefly the case history...."

    I really feel for you and your wife, Jon - it's a heartbreaking siutation to be in. You don't have to be a member of the mythical 'PC Brigade' to appreciate this.

    Unfortunately, most contributors on here are not interested in your situation, or that of many others genuinely trying be bring a loved one to the UK.

    Furthermore they completely miss the point that this ruling will have negligible impact on immigration numbers or on integration.

    With her statement, Theresa May clearly has an eye on her constituency, the sadly not-mythical 'Daily Mail Brigade'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 10:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, TheHandsomeMan wrote:

    It disappoints me that although I am British and my ancestors for centuries before me were British, that I do not have the automatic right to invite my non-EU wife to live in the UK without having to pay exhorbitant visa fees (first to enter and again to stay beyond 2 years - about £1,200 in total).

    In addition we have to pay £290 for my wife to sit an official ESOL English course just so that she can get a certificate to show that she is learning English. Yet people from the EU, who have no previous connection with the UK, are allowed to come here without having to pay for visas at all and without having to show that they are even learning English.

    It is also ridiculous that the UK expects non-EU citizens to be proficient in English within 2 years of arriving in the UK but does not allow them to enrol on an ESOL English course until they have lived in the UK for one year. This means that they have just one year to become proficient before their visa expires.

    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 11:09pm on 11 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    OK so what happens when other countries follow suit? I lived in Japan with my Japanese wife and there are thousands of British people in a similar situation, the vast majority of whom speak little Japanese let alone master the complicated Japanese writing system. I am friends with many many couples of different background to each other who have fallen in love married and have children and in many cases the British partner does not speak the language of the foriegn partner. Are we to deny these couples the right to be together with the partner of their choice simply because the state dictates what language is tp be spoken? What about welsh speakers? Are we to allow our government to dictate that English will have extra privilage over Welsh? Screw them, this is attack on all of our civil liberties. Its the thin end of the wedge and we should be scared.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 11:21pm on 11 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @233 i take on board your viewpoint but would like to ask you a question.

    What long overdue steps would you propose in order to limit the unnecesary immigration into the uk....

    if you think that an english test prior to entering the uk is not the way forward then you must have some workable suggestions of your own that will help to reduce the numbers of nonenglish speaking persons entering the UK.

    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 11:33pm on 11 Jun 2010, sarabader wrote:

    freedom from state control.

    sorry i didnt sign up for what you are suggesting.

    i escaped an asian ghettoised town north of the border to get away from a community where particularly the men positively disencouraged their wives to speak english...only to come down south to find the same.

    whilst there may be some genuine cases that the wife will make an effort when she is in britain...its not happening for the large majority of spouses who come from noneu countries and by that i mean specifically india, pakistan, bangladesh.

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 00:08am on 12 Jun 2010, jonosss wrote:

    how is knowing a little more English going to help integration? Its yet another example of England and the English having a misguided view of others. How many of the hundreds of thousands of English in the Costa del Sol and Spain in general speak Spanish? I would guess conservatively that if the Spanish authorities were to bring in similar laws of language than the majority of these English would fail and come home!!!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 00:16am on 12 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    Barbara99 asked the question "you must have some workable suggestions of your own that will help to reduce the numbers of nonenglish speaking persons entering the UK."

    Eh, Why? What is this presumed need for a reduction in the number of non-english speakers entering the UK? If the government wants non-English speakers in the UK to learn English, and I see nothing wrong with that, why not take the money spent on translation services and provision of documents in languages other than English and spend it on more "English as a foreign language" courses? However, dictating that people must learn English before they enter the UK is simply a means for the government to appeal to the inherently racist British people that- " We, the government are doing something about the immigration "problem". It is pure politics. It has nothing to do with real practical measures to improve integration.

    Again, if other countries reciprocate and force UK nationals to learn the foriegn language before allowing them to settle, the English will soon start to complain. I am so fed up of English people in Japan saying "it is impossible, all of the signs are in Japanese and few people speak English, how can I get from A to B?" It's Japan stupid, what language do you expect the bloody signs to be in and who appointed English the king of languages anyway.

    Governments have no right to dictate what language people speak. It is a privite matter. The conservatives talk about the state staying out of peoples lives when it suits them, and then propose policies that interfere in our lives such as "clause 28", "tax system to encourage marriage", "though shall speak English"- If that is not social engineering then what is.

    Dictatorship starts with the few and ends with the many. Jonny Foreigner now, who will be next?

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 00:54am on 12 Jun 2010, fletch22 wrote:

    I love that this article has sparked such a huge response among people emotionally; some heart-felt. Some glib.

    For what it's worth, I whole heartedly feel that some people in favour of this new legislation think it will, in some way, unite a nation and enable us to converse and enrich cultural identity etc.. I however, feel that it is not the intention of the current(or previous)government.

    Good people of the UK have a very good understanding of immigration: its impact, its benefits and its drawbacks.
    Through the history of immigration to the UK, never were the citizens beforehand 'advised' or 'warned'of the implications of immigration. They were never advised on cultural differences or given pamphlets on 'knowing your neighbours' etc. As a young white British male, I was left to figure it all out for myself.

    Vice-versa. Invited immigrants were not informed. They had no idea of 'appropriate behaviour' and 'local customs' etc.

    In the 60's and 70's, the government invited large numbers of people from Asia and The West Indies to fill jobs which,'in the short term' boosted the industry and manufacturing industry. They were told that they were 'very welcome' in our country' and had high expectations about the future. The reality was quite different.

    In the times of prosperity we embraced the change but, naturally, in times of resection, rejected this.

    As a nation,we have to take the 'good' with the 'bad'. As such, we must appreciate hard working immigrants in times of 'woe' and and indeed times of 'prosperity.

    In modern times, our good country was built on the backs of skilled yet under-paid migrant workers. In return we must realise should they chose a spouse from another county, with limited language skills, we should embrace, help and welcome them to our country with the very same embrace we offered our initial immigrants.

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 07:54am on 12 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    dear fletch22 and freedomofstatecontrol...as a british born asian who has lived in the uk for over 40+ years i can tell you both sides of the story....but again i ask you do you live in the middle of one of these asian ghettoised areas...do you send you children to the local school...how do you feel when you visit the dr and its like the the detention centre of heathrow rather than a drs surgery....

    if you really are saying that immigration shouldnt be controlled well fortunately most of the population of britian including many british born asians, afrocaribeans...(my best friend is a britsh born afrocaribean science teacher and she will tell you the massive problems she is faced with when she has a class full of nonenglish speaking immigrants)...

    is it ok if i send them ALL to your neck of the woods, ethnic shops, spitting red stuff on the streets and all.

    perhaps mark should do a poll on how many are against immigration vs how many for open doors...

    and also i am really sorry but anyone who has any love for they country of their birth place simply doenst want to see what has happened in the uk due to uncontrolled immigration

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 07:57am on 12 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    jonoss...you never know the english retiring out there might then be forced to learn alittle of the language...and anyhow have you asked the spaniards...are they really that bothered that the retiring brits havent taken up their language????

    the UAE states are not bothered at all that arabic hasnt been adopted by the brits so perhaps actually the spaniards arent either and you seem to be speaking for them.

    if they are really bothered perhaps they should start a movment for their cause ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 08:51am on 12 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    205. At 10:36am on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    What about your classic:

    BiiBoidshateu wrote (on a previous blog):
    You`re either pro-White,or pro-White genocide
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white


    Looks like xenophobia, sounds like xenophobia...
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    "Racism","xenophobia"?,as I`ve already told you,General_Jack _Ripper,I don`t give a flyong stuff about any of your PC religionist labels.They are just wordist propaganda insults used to bully White people into accepting "multi-culturalism"(a euphemism for government-backed anti-White policies).

    I honestly don`t think I`ll be roasted in hell with Satan pushing a fork into my backside just for being an outspoken advocate for my race,the White race.


    05. At 10:36am on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    What is pro-White anyway ?

    Is it like pro-V or pronamel, will it give us shiny hair or dentist clean teeth ?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Being pro-White means I`m fighting for the "14 words":

    "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children"

    A concept that you,as an "anti-racist",think is "evil" and should be eradicated from society,no?


    05. At 10:36am on 11 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    Or maybe it's another one of those ideas that leads to concentration camps, ethnic cleansing and all of the other crimes White Supremacists seem so fond of
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I don`t believe in any "historical events" that European and other governments lock people up for NOT believing in,and which by even discussing the disputed details of said "events" will get you banned from many allegedly free-speech forums(including here at the BBC) in allegedly free countries.

    Anyway,the communists were the biggest fans of concentration camps in the 20th century did`nt ya know?


    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 09:42am on 12 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    220. At 2:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote:


    If you think that there's something special/different about you (or anyone else) because of skin colour or ethnic origin, you're a racist.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Every race on this planet IS "special" and "different".


    Ask(in private) the black 100m runners and Russian chess geniuses whether they think "race is a social construct".

    A modern-day politically correct(the only ones who get funding by the establishment) fornesic geneticist has to do be able to do two totally contradictory things:

    1.Be able to determine the racial origin of a murder victim from just a hair or bit of bone.

    2.Swear on the PC bible that "There is no such thing as race".

    Even though:

    "Law: Genocide

    Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide from 1948 defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group....."


    Racial group.............

    220. At 2:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote:

    (NB - Yes, before you ask; I do consider institutions such as the "Black & Asian Police Officers Association", etc., to be every bit as racist and offensive as you are).
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    How many forum posts/letters of complaint have you made about their "crime"?

    Have you been on a single demonstration to protest about their diabolical sinning against the PC religion?

    A big fat zero maybe?

    220. At 2:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote:

    Please stop this self-denial. You're pro-white, therefore you're a racist by definition.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    There is no self-denial.What I`ve said is that I DON`T GIVE A MONKEYS about your crappy little PC labels!

    Being Pro-White "does what it says on the tin".

    The only self denial I see is the "anti-racists" not owning up to the fact that by supporting the following concept:

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,White countries for EVERYBODY

    As Whites only make up a tiny percentage of the world`s population,YOU ARE DE FACTO SUPPORTERS OF WHITE GENOCIDE!

    220. At 2:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote:

    Me, I'm not proud of my race; why the heck would I be?
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    See my point above^^^^^^^^^^

    220. At 2:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Khrystalar wrote

    Until people - all people, regardles of skin colour - can stop being "Pro-white" or "Pro-black" or "Pro-asian", or whatever... and start judging people as individuals rather than pre-assessing them on grounds of whatever skin colour they happen to have been born into... racism (and all its associated problems) will always be with us.

    Which is why I say to you now; please shut up, sir. Your attitudes are an embarassment to other (more intelligent) white prople. And you have no right claiming to represent us.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Well,in the real world,your happy clappy rainbow-land view of "Multi-culturaliam" leads inevitably to the situation seen in S.Africa,Zimbabwe,America etc where Whites are forced by weight of non-White numbers to be outnumbered,disenfrachised,brutalised and killed.

    I`ll never "shut up" about that till the day I die.

    Read it and weep.

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 10:18am on 12 Jun 2010, Rebecca wrote:

    I live in the Costa Blanca in Spain where there are many British expats who do not speak Spanish. Some municipalities provide translation services at town halls and police stations, but not all, and some of this is only seasonal owing to the large numbers of British tourists. There are English speakers on the 112 emergency number, but more often than not, the Guardia officers who attend the scene will not speak English. Non-Spanish speakers are expected to pay for their own translators - either at health centres, or to report a crime at a police station, and I know people who have been turned away. I think this is reasonable, particularly because a lot of municipalities instead provide free Spanish lessons for international residents. I think local Spanish taxpayers would be horrified to see their tax money pay for year-round translators at hospitals, police stations, courts, etc, just because several thousand Brits can't be bothered to learn the local language. I think taxpayers' money in Britain would be better spent on providing free English lessons so we don't need to translate literature into 13 languages, or provide translators for day-to-day transactions at the taxpayers' expense.

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 11:01am on 12 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    thankyou for your input from becsg.

    the problem with providing free english lessons is that a huge number of non english speaking non eus will never take these up and us as taxpayers will still need to provide wasteful money on translation. providing free english lesson will only be taken up by those who are willing to adapt etc and most of that group will fall into the group who will bother to learn it if its a prerequisite to enter in the first place.

    if you go to parts of london or any major city you will come across a ridiculous number of subcontinent noneus who entered the country many many years ago and just didnt want to learn english....

    the really important question is that "why havent the many noneu nonenglish speaking persons bothered and beleive you me, as a british born asian...its more to do with actual dislike of the brits and their ways and wanting to keep away from them and their culture than anything else...(largely its the men that push this but also the women beleive it too.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 247. At 12:33pm on 12 Jun 2010, Cosmo wrote:

    The govt have this ar** about face!

    All they need to do is reform the benefits system for immigrants. Their biggest fear is too many people on the dole. How an individual chooses to better their work prospects or, in the words of the government, "integrate", is a matter for the individual.

    I used to live in the East of Leicester, where you're more likely to get a job if you know one of the many languages spoken there rather than English. English is a second language for most in the area.

    The govt shouldn't be interfering in marriage, which is a private matter between two individuals.

    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 1:21pm on 12 Jun 2010, Ash wrote:

    A response to a post I couldn't disagree more with:

    "I disagree with the assumption that all incomers should integrate with an assumed 'native' culture / language."
    Why should the local culture be subsumed by interlopers? We have our way of life, and what right does another group have to come in and demand the rules of that way of life be changed to suit them?
    Let me put it this way: If you were going to go and live in, say, Japan, would you expect the Japanese to do everything in English and behave in a very 'western' manner just to please you? Of course you wouldn't! Same goes for if you went to visit a deeply Christian person's house, you wouldn't blaspheme and swear every other word. It's called showing respect.

    "I disagree with the assumption that an incomer's intrinsic value lies in their ability to contribute to the UK economically or socially."
    So, as far as you're concerned it's ok that your money is used to pay benefits to them. We are all required to contribute, as it is for the good of all. It's the entire reason that we have to go out and work for a living, and it's unfair that there are those who would sooner scrounge. I appreciate not all incomers are like this, but a proficiency of English is the first step to them NOT leeching taxpayers' money away from important ventures.

    "I disagree with the assumption that a government has the right to tell an incomer whether or not they have the right to join their partner in the UK."
    The government has the right to tell an incomer whether or not they have the right to be in the UK, full stop, and they should wield that stick more fiercely than they currently do. Whether they're married or not is immaterial. You make it sound like the borders are closed - have you looked at Canadian or Australian immigration law lately? You have to have been married for two years before you even *arrive in their country*!

    "Is it not a basic human right to have a family? Therefore, is it not a basic human right for partners to live together in the same country?"
    Why does it have to be this country?

    "Where does the prerequisite come in that one's partner has to integrate? Contribute economically?"
    Why shouldn't they? What is the harm in integrating and becoming a valued and valuable member of the community and the economy? Do you believe that all migrants should therefore be excused from all forms of taxation? How is that fair on the local population who must pay it? What about when they become ill and require thousands of pounds' worth of NHS money and time to treat them? Sorry, but it's a bit cloudcuckooland to assert that someone should not contribute economically to the country in which they choose to live. I'd like to see you move abroad and get away without contributing. They'd tell you to go away.

    "The costs for visas in the UK are exorbitant, the rules increasingly Draconian. What right does the UK govt have to impose such obstacles on private individuals pursuing their private lives?"
    It's draconian to expect people to work and pay tax, is it? Right. Find me a country where nobody works, and I'll show you a graveyard. Even in tribal communities where money doesn't exist people work - cooking, hunting, building huts etc. And exorbitant though they may be, anyone who wants to come here that badly will save up and pay it. Simples.

    ""The UK will be overrun" people may cry. Well, perhaps it deserves to be given that it has sponsored and fostered inequality outside its borders for so long."
    Dredging up the past does not negate the fallaciousness of your argument. Nor does it assert that more stringent immigration controls are unnecessary.

    "The imposition of increasingly stringent immigration law simply allows the priveleged to ignore inequality."
    On what basis do you make this assertion? The imposition of increasingly stringent immigration law ensures that the net population growth will slow down. We have housing lists a mile long because there aren't enough houses (which is why the price of houses is so high), dole queues a mile long because there aren't enough jobs, and our benefits system is overburdened. If anything, the English test should be extended to EU nationals, too!

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 3:23pm on 12 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    239. At 00:16am on 12 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    Dictatorship starts with the few and ends with the many. Jonny Foreigner now, who will be next?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    We already have a dictatorship in this country and one which encourages the mass invasion of these lands by foreign colonists,so your argument is completely bogus.

    To make matters even worse,the established religion of this dictatorship is Political Correctness,which demands that we accept these invaders as fellow Britons,and if we so much as hurt these colonist`s feelings we can be sent to jail.

    Britain a free country?

    Don`t make me laugh.

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 5:11pm on 12 Jun 2010, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @240 – Fletch22

    “For what it's worth, I whole heartedly feel that some people in favour of this new legislation think it will, in some way, unite a nation and enable us to converse and enrich cultural identity etc.. I however, feel that it is not the intention of the current(or previous)government.”

    There’s another angle to this which I haven’t seen mentioned. Languages like English survive because they are flexible and adaptable. English contains words and concepts from other languages – which is why we use the word Beef, which originally French, to talk about dead cow (which is Germanic) that our nation is famous for eating. In fact, English is a predatory language and is known for pursuing other languages down dark alleyways and mugging them for loose vocabulary.

    By not learning English, immigrants are not only preventing themselves from communicating with the majority of English citizens, they deny themselves the opportunity to add to the language with concepts and ideas which their own languages express better than English does. We couldn’t understand the concept of Karma without having the word. We also wouldn’t wear Pyjamas to bed or wash our hair with shampoo either. We also wouldn’t have the metasyntactic variable “thingy” without the Norse word “thing”.

    If you can’t influence the language, there’s something else you can’t do. Language, no matter what it is, performs the function of being a code that we use to programme humans. Everything we think is influenced by the language we speak. Language reinforces behaviour too, because we can only describe it to ourselves and others using language. If you don’t speak the language, you can’t change the culture.

    This is why the hysteria of Pro-White groups is totally misplaced, in addition to being silly, because without the ability to introduce new material into the language the non-integrated immigrant population is always going to be the Other and our attitudes and opinions are not going to change.

    Speaking English is absolutely about integration, because every conversation is a two way process; between individuals, between cultures and between the codes that create the thought patterns which inform all of those things. It’s a promiscuous process and the more people we have learning the language, the greater the chance that there’ll be some useful cross-pollination. The nature of what it is to be English will change, as it does every few hundred years, and most of us will never even notice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 7:00pm on 12 Jun 2010, realHarryPotter wrote:

    "The former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, claimed that the cost of translation was simply a feature of globalisation."

    Even going on holiday in another I try to learn enough of the local language to cope with routine transactions but we see many come to live here unable to speak one word of our language. Three years ago the cost for translation for public services was running at one hundred million pounds per year. How many cancer patients could be treated for £100m?

    Some critics of the changes regard the new rules as discriminatory because they will not apply to EU residents. Because two sets of circumstances are we supposed to accept that the one which can be improved should not be. A majority of people in this country are opposed to mass immigration whether from the EU or from other countries and would like to see the EU half of this equation addressed too!

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 11:53pm on 12 Jun 2010, Alex Worrall wrote:

    I thought that Indians rich enough to survive the horrors of its rock bottom society, and can therefore afford to emigrate, learned English anyway.

    I wouldn't expect tourists to do more than dabble in the local language, but if you are moving to a country how can you not learn THE language? I hope this sorts out the desirables from the scroungers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 01:53am on 13 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    I am very very angry about this new law. It directly affects me, my wife and family and a number of international couples that I am freinds with. It is a political move by the new government and has nothing to do with any real attempt to promote integration. It is simply a political appeal to the inherently racist British voter that "Look, we are doing something about the "problem"".

    Ask yourself the question; how would you feel if a member of YOUR family married a non-EU partner who could not speak English and therefore you as UK citizen were forced to live separately from your partner or not live in the UK at all? It has nothing to do with the government what language people speak, how dare they interfere.

    Just wait till other countries reciprocate and then we hear the complients "Oh, it is terrible, I can not live in Malaysia with my new Malaysian partner until I pass the language test and I don't speak Malay". When other countries reciprocate we will see the madness of this purely political move. If the government wanted to do something about pressure on resources due to non-English speaking spouses (remember, this law is nothing to do with immigration per se but only affects non-EU, non-English speakers married to British citizens), they would simply fund more English courses for non-English speakers.
    The fact that they are non doing this but are simply forcing people to sit an expensive test, shows their true intention-pure politics of race.

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 05:04am on 13 Jun 2010, misslolita wrote:

    What about people who comes from EU who can not speak English at all? what they are going to do about them?

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 08:52am on 13 Jun 2010, Helga wrote:

    It's a step in the right direction however Im not sure if it's the right one.
    I'd rather limit the translation services available at tax payers expence thus non English speaking spouses of British citizens would either have to learn English or get a friend/family member/paid interpretor to assist them just like British expats do overseas if they dont speak the language of the host country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 256. At 08:55am on 13 Jun 2010, lucenatony wrote:

    Personally I see this as the first step in Government at last actually recognising the very deep feelings of the electorate. However, I do not think it is directed in the correct way, as very,very few Brits, male or female, marry citizens of countries which are overwhelming this nation with immigrants. There are many Pilipinos here, and Thais, along with scatterings from other far Eastern countries. Most of these countries already teach English as their second language, yet the cost involved in getting a spouse here is punitive. Its a fact that each Brit Embassy makes millions every year turning down applications, and not because of poor or non English. The crux of the problem is the permission granted through the Commonwealth, and their "right" to come here. When they do they all know exactly how to "milk the system" and do so on an extremely regular basis. They also form their own enclaves, start up small and medium businesses and only employ their own, therefore dispensing with the use of English. Also, the majority have no intention of ever intergrating into our society - they just do not care.

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 09:56am on 13 Jun 2010, guyrws wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 258. At 11:11am on 13 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @missolita....to be perfectly honest...if i had my way....no body from the eu or noneu who can not speak english to an adequate standard should be allowed to enter the uk.

    the eu ...well its seems that our hands are tied somewhat but with regards to noneu heres a chance to limit that number by filtering out any who dont even want to make the effort...i dont care about people abroad having to spend money on trying to learn english...as they dont care about the fact that as a taxpayer my money is spent trying to teach them english in the uk if and when they are granted entry to the uk.

    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    "244. At 09:42am on 12 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    Well,in the real world,your happy clappy rainbow-land view of "Multi-culturaliam" leads inevitably to the situation seen in S.Africa,Zimbabwe,America etc where Whites are forced by weight of non-White numbers to be outnumbered,disenfrachised,brutalised and killed.

    I`ll never "shut up" about that till the day I die.

    Read it and weep."

    Ok lets break those countries down shall we:-

    South Africa - Aparthied instigated against the native black population. White are a minority because they are the immigrants and had no right to go take it over in the first place.

    Zimbabwe - Same as above.

    America - Whites invade form europe and commit acts of genocide against the native population. In 2010 the majority 'non whites' are either mexican (far more native than 'whites') and black people (the decendants of slaves brought over by the white invaders.)

    So i am sorry if they are currently feeling persecuted they brought it on themselves.

    I can't believe you are so racist that you think that white people should be able to go around taking other peoples countries persecuteing the native population and that the natives are not allowed to fight back.

    Also 'white' is not a race it is a skin tone. There are many races of white people ie: saxon, celtic, norman and there are many races of coloured people too.

    Be proud of being anglo saxon if you must (although i don't see why seeing as YOU did nothing other than were squeezed out by your mother) but don't be proud of being 'white' because thats retarded.

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 2:29pm on 13 Jun 2010, Qutuz wrote:

    Money, money, money

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 5:46pm on 13 Jun 2010, bestoftherest wrote:

    I read Easton's Left Winged rants with one eye closed tbh - this one is a gem - how very colonial of the government to ask for people wanting to come & live in England to speak English - who the hell do we think we are :-)

    It goes alot deeper than this for me...I would say that this is a very one way issue - how many of these newlyweds will be leaving to go & live in India, Pakistan e.t.c?

    Britain has given loads of third world people a fantastic opportunity to come here & live a better life in the name of human rights & some of them are ignorant & anti-british,see the posts on here for example!

    I could talk all day about how soft Britain has become..to the point where posters posting perfectly logical ideas & viewpoints have to point out that they are not racist :-(

    The only people complaining as per usual is the small collection of do-gooders who feel their purpose in life is to side against the majority & people who have or are trying to get a partner into Britain - how very selfish of you to only see things through your persecuted little bubble!

    Lets rename the BBC to the BCI or BCE because they stopped representing indigineous British people a long time ago!

    Lets re-name te

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 5:58pm on 13 Jun 2010, naila-k wrote:

    everyone better make sure if they go abroad and fall in love, that the person they fall in love with can speak English then....

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 6:21pm on 13 Jun 2010, bestoftherest wrote:

    But don't be proud of being 'white' because thats retarded...
    **

    Bless :-) I'm extremely proud of being the most successful skin tone in the history of the world... & one which belongs to the majority of this great country that everybody else is so desperate to live in...flick that chip off your shoulder & enjoy the rest of your life as a minority contributor...good day

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 6:26pm on 13 Jun 2010, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    "Just wait till other countries reciprocate and then we hear the complients "Oh, it is terrible, I can not live in Malaysia with my new Malaysian partner until I pass the language test and I don't speak Malay". When other countries reciprocate we will see the madness of this purely political move."

    The people who want to live in Malay will have to learn to speak Bahasa Malaysia, or Chinese, and pick up bits of a couple of other languages too. It's about as big a deal as me needing to learn French if I want to spend any time in France.

    You learn to use the local language because if you don't, and you can't find someone that speaks yours, you can end up in serious trouble.

    "If the government wanted to do something about pressure on resources due to non-English speaking spouses (remember, this law is nothing to do with immigration per se but only affects non-EU, non-English speakers married to British citizens), they would simply fund more English courses for non-English speakers."

    No, because of pressure on resources. This plan intends that the government will not have to support immigrants in their efforts to learn English, because that costs money that they are currently trying very hard not to spend.

    Also, if you're the spouse and you presumably speak English yourself, why would you not equip your beloved with the tools he or she will need to not be utterly isolated in a strange land. Why wouldn't you help them prepare to come to a strange country, ease some of the culture shock, and at least be able to successfully call 999 if your house catches fire while you're out?

    "The fact that they are non doing this but are simply forcing people to sit an expensive test, shows their true intention-pure politics of race."

    Assuming the politics of race include "Britain needs to stop spending money", which is the case, and "perhaps we can drive a little trade to private sector education companies who include basic ESL as well as literacy and numeracy courses.

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 6:31pm on 13 Jun 2010, bestoftherest wrote:

    everyone better make sure if they go abroad and fall in love, that the person they fall in love with can speak English then....**

    Or choose to settle in the country of the person that they have fallen in love with :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 6:45pm on 13 Jun 2010, bestoftherest wrote:

    Which is why I say to you now; please shut up, sir. Your attitudes are an embarassment to other (more intelligent) white prople. And you have no right claiming to represent us**
    **
    & you do? trust me you can talk on & on about how intelligent you are - to the point where you have to resort to telling other posters to shut up... I appreciate this takes a high degree of intelligence :-)

    You only talk for yourself!

    The government has the right to make whichever national decision it likes - look up the word 'Govern' some time..

    I'm just pleased the government is now displaying some common sense for once...you have the right to get married, you dont have the right to live here & not integrate or contribute & this goes for less intelligent white people too...like your good self ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 6:52pm on 13 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 268. At 7:06pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    There are a few posters who have written quite eloquently of the difficulties this new ruling will cause genuine couples and families. These people will be victims of circumstance under the new ruling, and there is clearly no intention, on their part, of trying to 'milk the system' or live in 'ghettoes'.

    Any attempt to obtain a fiance/marriage visa is not taken lightly, believe me. It takes love, commitment, money (substantial sums) and time.

    Interestingly none of the predictable, 'veen-splenting' contributors have had the guts or simple courtesy to respond directly to these types of posts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 7:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    Oh dear,the moderators have decided to "get tough" have they?

    Let`s try again,with four non-rule breaking words removed from the end of the last sentence:

    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    South Africa - Aparthied instigated against the native black population. White are a minority because they are the immigrants and had no right to go take it over in the first place.

    Zimbabwe - Same as above.

    America - Whites invade form europe and commit acts of genocide against the native population. In 2010 the majority 'non whites' are either mexican (far more native than 'whites') and black people (the decendants of slaves brought over by the white invaders.)

    So i am sorry if they are currently feeling persecuted they brought it on themselves.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Ah,another "anti-racist" anti-White "justifying" the displacement and extinction of the White race for deeds committed centuries ago.

    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    I can't believe you are so racist that you think that white people should be able to go around taking other peoples countries persecuteing the native population and that the natives are not allowed to fight back
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    But of course Whites are`nt allowed to "fight back" when it comes to their ancient homelands being overrun,are they?

    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    Also 'white' is not a race it is a skin tone. There are many races of white people ie: saxon, celtic, norman and there are many races of coloured people too.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    White,European,Aryan.

    Obviously the word "White" is a convenient shorthand for a gentically distinct group who are identified by others,and self-identify by that label.


    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    don't be proud of being 'white' because thats retarded.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I would expect nothing less from an unabashed anti-White such as yourself.

    How many black people have you called retarded for being proud of being black?

    How many oriental people have you called retarded for being proud of being oriental?

    Can you see where I`m going with this?

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 7:32pm on 13 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    268. At 7:06pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    Interestingly none of the predictable, 'veen-splenting' contributors have had the guts or simple courtesy to respond directly to these types of posts.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I don`t know about "veen-splenting",but the reason I`ve not replied to those with a self-declared personal interest in seeing the immigration rules watered down instead of tightened up is because there`s no point.

    They`ve made up their mind to marry a non-EU spouse,and their own personal lives outweigh the good of the rest of the country from what I can make out.

    A bit like ZaNuLab client state voters continuing voting for the party that has all but ruined the country,just so they can carry on living in the style they became accustomed to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 7:40pm on 13 Jun 2010, Darpan wrote:

    I, kind of, diagree to this new law. These are two different things; being able to speak English so as to be able to interact with the local people and know about the country and the life here. It should be necessary for some one to know how to speak in english. However, Life int he UK test has certain questions which have little to do with life in the UK or being able to interact well with the local people. I have tried questions with my colleagues who are learned UK citizens and all of them have not been able to answer these. I think more than being able to speak english. its more of a fuss. I have an ELTS score of 8.5 (out of a maximum 9) and am still required to appear for this test. I understand the noble purpose behind this but cannot digest the way its being implemented.

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 7:44pm on 13 Jun 2010, bestoftherest wrote:

    These people will be victims of circumstance under the new ruling, and there is clearly no intention, on their part, of trying to 'milk the system' or live in 'ghettoes'.
    **

    Victims? All is being asked for is the person wishing to come & live in England to learn English...
    & my home city in particular displays every day occurences of the system being milked & of Ghettos & the above proposal is a small step towards correcting that but alot more needs to be done.

    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 8:04pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    "270. At 7:32pm on 13 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    I don`t know about "veen-splenting",but the reason I`ve not replied to those with a self-declared personal interest in seeing the immigration rules watered down instead of tightened up is because there`s no point.

    They`ve made up their mind to marry a non-EU spouse,and their own personal lives outweigh the good of the rest of the country from what I can make out.

    A bit like ZaNuLab client state voters continuing voting for the party that has all but ruined the country,just so they can carry on living in the style they became accustomed to."

    OK, thank you for pointing out the minor spoonerism.

    Your next sentence just takes my breath away. You imply that marrying a non-EU spouse and then trying to make a home here is, by definition, 'bad' for the UK.

    But then you give the game away with your tiresome comment about ZaNuLab. Yawn...

    Complain about this comment

  • 274. At 8:10pm on 13 Jun 2010, SimonR wrote:

    grumpyoldman58 said 'then a basic English course is really small beer'. Her in Brighton, a small beer costs around £.20 a pint.
    My wife arrived recently from Brazil. The cost of visa, wedding, travel costs etc. was quite costly but one which I was prepared for. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that as the wife of an Brit and the holder of a spouse visa, she can work and pay tax NI etc. but until we have been married for a year, she can not realistically take an English language course. This is because for this year she is classed as an International Student and would have to pay around £1500 per term for a level 1 English course which is the requirement under the present rules if she wants to stay here with me. This is financially nonviable as we also have to live. I have no idea why this rule is in place. If we lived in other parts of the UK, (parts of London for example) she could take a course for a reduced fee or even free where there is a large immigrant community. But at present, there is no way she will be able to learn which is putting immense pressure on our relationship. I am fluent in Portuguese and am doing what I can to teach her but as anyone knows who has tried to teach a partner to drive a car, this is fraught with problems.
    Do the government really want people to integrate? if so, they should at least scrap the one year rule and instead allow a one year study period that could be taken any time during the first two years for Souse Visa holders.

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 8:22pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    "274. At 8:10pm on 13 Jun 2010, rnomis wrote:

    grumpyoldman58 said 'then a basic English course is really small beer'. Her in Brighton, a small beer costs around £.20 a pint.
    My wife arrived recently from Brazil. The cost of visa, wedding, travel costs etc. was quite costly but one which I was prepared for...."

    I'm sorry rnomis but you and your wife are bad for the UK, because BiiBoidshateu says so. Unfortunately, judging by this blog, many other fine, upstanding citizens of the UK agree with him.

    As for me, I really hope you can something sorted out. Good luck.

    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 8:54pm on 13 Jun 2010, SimonR wrote:

    I made an unfortunate typo. Beer doesn't cost £.20 a pint. It costs around £3.20.
    Also, my wife wants to learn English. She wants to contribute to the UK not just suck us dry as many people living in the UK seem hell bent on doing. If everyone paid their dues, we would be in better shape than we are already.

    If she could speak English, she could start paying her way sooner and support her adoptive country.


    I am fully prepared to pay to help the country out of its present financial problems. I know it is going to be hard but I also want to live happily with the woman I fell in love with in the country I love.

    Iof she was an Australian, American or from any other English speaking country, we wouldn't be in the situation we find ourselves.

    Successive governments seem only to see figures and have no empathy with people who have different circumstances.

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 9:02pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stephen wrote:

    In case you did not know millions £ are being spent in schools to teach children who can not speak english, if their parents had been forced to have an english speaking test before they arrived this could be avoided.
    This is at the cost to our children.... ignorance is bliss, is it not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 9:02pm on 13 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    Not one extra word of English will be learnt as a result of this new law. The law is clearly not designed to do that, it is not designed to encourage integration at all.

    Rather, it increases the cost of a couple consisting of a non-EU, Non-English speaking partner and a British spouse from setting up a home in the UK. This type of law, added to the ridiculously high charges for the citizenship tests and visa application are simply a crude means of trying to reduce immigration and appeal to the British voter that immigration is under control. Pure politics.

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 9:16pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    "278. At 9:02pm on 13 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    Not one extra word of English will be learnt as a result of this new law. The law is clearly not designed to do that, it is not designed to encourage integration at all.

    Rather, it increases the cost of a couple consisting of a non-EU, Non-English speaking partner and a British spouse from setting up a home in the UK. This type of law, added to the ridiculously high charges for the citizenship tests and visa application are simply a crude means of trying to reduce immigration and appeal to the British voter that immigration is under control. Pure politics."

    Absolutely spot on.

    Unfortunately, the population at large generally have no idea about non-EU immigration requirements, particularly in this category.

    No matter, it creates the right sort of headlines in the 'red-tops' and sates the appetite of the 'all our problems will be solved by stopping immigration' crowd.

    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 9:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    i cant beleive the number of obviously subcontinent bloggers who have only written posts regarding tightening of lax immigration...thank goodness the english test is one of them.

    just have a look above the some of the posts and then have a look if they have made posts on any other subject.

    could it be that no other area is of concern to them - just so long as they can get into UK????

    gotcha!
    roll on that english competency test....after all its just a tinsy winsy little test.

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 9:39pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    "280. At 9:24pm on 13 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    i cant beleive the number of obviously subcontinent bloggers who have only written posts regarding tightening of lax immigration...thank goodness the english test is one of them.

    just have a look above the some of the posts and then have a look if they have made posts on any other subject.

    could it be that no other area is of concern to them - just so long as they can get into UK????"

    Crikey, well I for one have been rumbled. I'm writing from deepest Loughborough, that medium-sized town near Bangalore.

    On the otherhand there just may be some UK citizens who just think this is a bad ruling which will have no impact on integration.

    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 9:46pm on 13 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    Right then,third time lucky:

    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    South Africa - Aparthied instigated against the native black population. White are a minority because they are the immigrants and had no right to go take it over in the first place.

    Zimbabwe - Same as above.

    America - Whites invade form europe and commit acts of genocide against the native population. In 2010 the majority 'non whites' are either mexican (far more native than 'whites') and black people (the decendants of slaves brought over by the white invaders.)

    So i am sorry if they are currently feeling persecuted they brought it on themselves.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    So,you agree wholeheartedly with the concept of:

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,White countries for EVERYBODY.

    That`s not very "equal" is it?

    It sounds like you are an "anti-racist" anti-White.


    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    I can't believe you are so racist that you think that white people should be able to go around taking other peoples countries persecuteing the native population and that the natives are not allowed to fight back
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Again,double-standards at play.Other peoples are allowed to "fight back" against colonisation and mistreatment,but Whites are not?

    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    Also 'white' is not a race it is a skin tone. There are many races of white people ie: saxon, celtic, norman and there are many races of coloured people too.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    White,European,whatever.

    Obviously the word "White" is shorthand for a distinct racial group that other racial groups identify as "White",and indeed,we ourselves self-identify as "White",so your argument seems a tad absurd comrade-citizen.


    259. At 11:18am on 13 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    but don't be proud of being 'white' because thats retarded.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    How many black people who are proud of being black have you called retarded?

    A big fat zero,methinks.








    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 9:52pm on 13 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @281 - you`re splitting hairs now...besides you have added posts re BP and Reith Lectures....so i know deep down you care about the UK :-)

    have you ever thought it could be spouses, relatives here in the UK wanted to bring over more relatives and partners...... point is quite a afew of the already in the UK bloggers above have no other comment to make apart from "anybody and everybody should be allowed to come to the UK, whats more we should be grateful for it...dont you get that feeling"


    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 9:57pm on 13 Jun 2010, runswithwolves wrote:

    I recall having Polish friends when I was a teenager. Their parents had fled Poland ahead of the Nazis. The mother of one friend never learnt English & was subsequently isolated from all but the Polish community. When her husband died she had to rely totally on her children as she was unable to manage her own affairs, had never paid a bill, written a cheque etc. So I would support any effort to encourage immigrants to learn English. I wonder though why so many Brit ex-pats don't feel it necessary to learn the language of the country they have relocated to. Double standards?

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 10:03pm on 13 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    Moderator,what gives?

    Where is the consistency?

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 10:06pm on 13 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    283. At 9:52pm on 13 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @281 - you`re splitting hairs now...besides you have added posts re BP and Reith Lectures....so i know deep down you care about the UK :-)

    have you ever thought it could be spouses, relatives here in the UK wanted to bring over more relatives and partners...... point is quite a afew of the already in the UK bloggers above have no other comment to make apart from "anybody and everybody should be allowed to come to the UK, whats more we should be grateful for it...dont you get that feeling"

    Point taken.

    I just wish that people would show a little basic humanity and recognise that the vast majority of non-EU spouses/fiancees are ready and willing to learn English in this country. Furthermore, they are not drain on the state (as this is a pre-condition of the visa). Why make it harder for genuine couple to remain together??

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 10:17pm on 13 Jun 2010, Karlos wrote:

    Why do people confuse protecting national interest with racism or not being politically correct?

    At the end of the day we should only allow people into the country who are able to contribute to the economy, society and its security. It doesnt matter what colour, religion or social beliefs people have, accepting the language/beliefs/values/ of the country you move to and contributing to its economy and way of life is a must regardless of who in your family already lives there/here.

    I have lived abroard and other countries have no problem imposing such rules. They believe to live in their country you abide by their rules, speak their language and contribute to their economy....I was happy to live by those rules and I cannot understand why we have a problem with doing the same.

    We can have a mutlicultural, all inclusive society that lives by these simple rules.

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 11:55pm on 13 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    BiiBoidshateu wrote:
    Being pro-White means I`m fighting for the "14 words":
    "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children"
    A concept that you,as an "anti-racist",think is "evil" and should be eradicated from society,no?



    Who are your people ?

    You do realise that all people, regardless of their race or nationality, descend from the same common ancestors and that we're all our people regardless of what we look like or where we live.

    We've all got;
    2 parents
    4 grandparents
    8 great-grandparents
    16 great-great-grandparents
    32 great-great-great-grandparents
    64 great-great-great-great-grandparents
    128 great-great-great-great-great-grandparents

    Are you seriously saying that you know who every single one of yours were and that they were all White ?

    And how far back do you have to go in your ancestry to be classed as White ?

    Is there a set number of generations or is it all based on what you look like ?

    I'd really like to know just so I can see if I'm one of your people, I look and sound like an average White British guy but I only have to go back two generations to find a non-White ancestor as my Grandfather was serving in India during his service in the British military and he fell in love with a young Indian girl while he was there who he ended up marrying and bringing back home to live with him in England.
    She's obviously my grandmother which makes me at least 1/4 non-White.

    So am I one of your people ?

    Will you forgive me my Indian ancestry and accept me as one of your people, will I get special dispensation because I look and sound White or am I not worthy of being saved ?

    And how about my children and grandchildren ?
    They're only 1/8 and 1/16 non-White respectively so will they be worth saving or not ?

    Although one of my sons married a girl whose parents are Jamaican so their children are 9/16 non-White so they're probably out of luck under your system and probably not worth saving as they're less than half White which I suppose is no better than being 100% non-White.
    Or could they be saved but with the condition that they and their children have to marry White people in order to get their racial mix back up to your standards of purity ?

    I don't really think your concept is evil, I just think it's stupid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 00:15am on 14 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:

    288. At 11:55pm on 13 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    So am I one of your people ?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Genetics aside,you`ve already clearly demonstrated that you`re not.

    None of us can change the past,but that does`nt mean we have to abandon the future does it?

    The very fact that having an Indian Grandfather makes you feel less "White" should answer that question.

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 05:11am on 14 Jun 2010, sarah wrote:

    i live in london im second or even third class human being but actually i very much agree with cameron and what hes doing why ?
    cos people who want to live in uk should speak english
    second they want to cut immigration maybe my life will be bit better cos im tired of hearing on bbc and other news papers about how bad immigrants are or polish people flocking etc, didnt hear about muslim ones are they flocking too? or it wil be racism against muslim people to say they are?
    england is still racist place and i would like it to change.
    i dont want live to the end of my life and be discriminated
    so cameron should stop immigrants from comming over and government news papers tv companies should respect immigrants already living over here!!!
    and if someone live in england than this person should speak english i do and its my 4th language.

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 06:18am on 14 Jun 2010, Jagdish wrote:

    I have lived abroad most of my working life. In Holland I managed to learn the language with the help of very good, expensive tuition and a very helpful employer. In German/French speaking part of Belgium, where I am now, I struggle to speak the language. I can work and live rather easily. Also know many Brits who live abroad who have never managed/tried to learn the language and live just fine, they also do not integrate. Learning a foreign language is not an easy task especially when you do not live in that country - more to the point when do you know you have integrated, I suggest it is when you are accepted by the host country as you are. It is the host country that decides when or not immigrants have integrated.

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 06:20am on 14 Jun 2010, Jagdish wrote:

    It would be good if the natives would set an example of good English, that may also help immigrants.

    Complain about this comment

  • 293. At 06:28am on 14 Jun 2010, Jagdish wrote:

    Poles and other East Europeans need to stop complaining about English and comments about flocking on the BBC - ask Asians and West Indians what it was like here in the 50s thru 80s and they spoke English!! Immigrants just have to suck it up. That's the way the Brits like it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 07:10am on 14 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    Jagdish...you may have made an effort but the problem is that a huge number of noneus and eus have not made the effort to learn the language even after living in the UK for 10+years and as an indian you should be honest and admit that.

    just go to Southall, west london and see!

    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 08:31am on 14 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    I'm afraid all of those hoping to see a real impact on immigration will be disappointed.

    But clearly you will be overjoyed about this rule contributed to keeping genuine couples and families apart.

    Nice to see the British sense of fair play is alive and well on this blog.

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 08:38am on 14 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    I think that some people really need to go back and read the article, and then why not try testing the law on yourself to see if it is fair.
    Remember, the law applies to everybody and not just "the other".

    YOU, have just married the love of YOUR life. Unfortunatley for YOU, even though YOU might like to think that YOUR government would be helpful to YOUR situation given that YOU are a law abiding, tax paying patriotic citizen of YOUR nation, the love of YOUR life happens to come from a NON-EU country and happens to come from a non-English speaking country (they still have some of those you know) and does not speak English. With this new law, until YOUR spouse learns to speak English YOU can not live with YOUR spouse in YOUR own country. IN a nutshell that is how this law effects YOU. Is that fair? It seems that with this new law, YOU have no right to live with YOUR spouse in YOUR own country.

    In a nutshell, this law breaks up families. Until the non-EU partner learns English and passes a test (not allowed to come to UK to do this though)the family is living in separate countries. Don't you think that the non-English speaking partner would learn English faster while living here? Now that would be integration. However, this law does not encourage integration at all. It discourages immigration, which is its true aim. In fact it does not really even do that very well, which is why I conclude that the law is only designed to give people the impression that the new government is doing something about the "problem" of immigration. It certainly does nothing about the "problem" of integration that's for sure.

    The article states "the new requirement for spouses will help promote integration, remove cultural barriers and protect public services".

    It does none of the above; it simply makes setting up home in the UK for such couples more expensive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 297. At 10:06am on 14 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    YOU just having married the love of YOUR life...surely would want THEM to learn the language before they come to a foreign land. it might actually make them feel alittle less anxious about leaving famly, friends and going to live in a different country.

    some of my friends have come from the subcontinent who speak english well and guess what THEY HAVE ADAPTED to live a very full and rich life in england. one is a teacher in a school, the other has a job in the local council, and one is a special needsd assistant. they`re often out on a friday night with hubby babysitting kids at home etc and guess what else all 3 both bothered to pick up english before they left their homelands.

    it isnt right that for the needs of just a few...this country should ruined. if you dont agree with the test for english you must have some other suggestions for tackling the problems of nonenglish speaking migrants entering the uk.

    personal example: i have to send my kids to a private school because the children in the local state schools do not speak english (90%kids in our local schools first language is either somalian, hindi, sri lankan or polish). so as a taxpayer i am paying for these children to be educated (many will grow up and never feel any affiliation with britain) and also paying with great difficulty to educate my own children. how is that fair?

    anyone who is an advocate of free and open wide entry to the uk should really just for a day send their kids to one of these schools. britain can still retain its reputation for being the fairest country in the world but not at the expense to the british people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 10:53am on 14 Jun 2010, Stevem65 wrote:

    barbara99 - you've made many comments here, but I would ask you again to respond to this:

    "I just wish that people would show a little basic humanity and recognise that the vast majority of non-EU spouses/fiancees are ready and willing to learn English in this country. Furthermore, they are not drain on the state (as this is a pre-condition of the visa). Why make it harder for genuine couples to remain together??"

    Please can you explain how people in this situation are 'ruining' the country?

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 11:47am on 14 Jun 2010, TheHandsomeMan wrote:

    I am a white English man whose ancestors have lived here for centuries. My now wife is from a country in SE Asia. We have known each other for 5 years and married 2 years ago.

    I just want to live with my wife and earn a living wage to support us. I am happy to support my wife financially and I am happy for her to work as well if she wishes. We hope to live for periods of time in the UK and in her country and wish to be able to move freely without paying for expensive visas all the time.

    Why do authorities both in my country and in her country make it so difficult for us to live together.

    Firstly, we had to comply with the local laws of my wife's country. We were not allowed to live together in her country unless we were married as co-habiting with a foreigner is illegal with fines of up to £3,000. So for 3 years I had to avoid being at her home late at night in order not to be caught by the night police.

    Secondly, we had to pay huge fees to government officals of my wife's country in order to obtain a license to marry (about £1,000 in total). In addition, we had to supply reams of paperwork at further cost to justify our eligibility to marry. At first they refused our marriage license on a technicality which cost me an extra return flight back to the UK for further paperwork.

    Thirdly, we then had to pay exhorbitant fees (about £600) for a spouse visa at an overseas UK embassy in order for her to come to the UK. We had to wait nervously for a month not knowing if the visa application would be successful. And there is no refund if it fails. We had to pay for hotels for 3 weeks whilst we waited for the results of the visa application as she had to hand over her passport to the UK embassy - there is no UK embassy in her own country.

    Fourthly. In the UK we discovered that you cannot attend an ESOL course to learn English unless you have been here for one year. The spouse visa expires after two years and inconveniently it is impossible to obtain the course test results until after the 2 year visa expires. This means having to pay a further £450 to £600 to obtain an extension visa before applying for an indefinite leave to remain visa. Note: the life in the UK test is only suitable for native english speakers and for those who have reached ESOL level 3.

    Only upon getting a certificate demonstrating that you have improved your standard of English can you apply for an indefinite leave to remain visa - at a cost of a further £850 to £1,050. Again, these fees are not refundable if the application is unsuccessful.

    And yet, if the love of my life was Polish or Czech or from elsewhere in the EU, I would not have to deal with any of these expensive problems.

    Surely, given that I am English and my ancestors were too, I should have the automatic right to invite my wife to live with me, whatever her nationality. We may need tough rules to control the number of uneducated, unskilled people from entering the UK but clearly the current rules should not apply to indiginous UK citizens with foreign spouses.

    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 12:41pm on 14 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    299 TheHandsomeman I completely sympathise with your situation.
    The fees for visas etc and indefinite leave to remain are priced a level way above the actual cost to the UK government for administration of the visa system. In other words, the UK Government is using the extremely blunt instrument of high fees to discourage immigration. Something must be done to solve the "problem", and that something makes victims of us; British citizens. It's a simple political stance that the new government has adopted to show the voter that something is being done.

    As for Barbara99 and comment 297, I think your missing the point. Who on earth would be against learning English, or any other language for that matter. Speaking English for anybody that lives in the UK is a very useful skill to have and my spouse has learned English. However, she learned it after marrying me and moving to the UK, a privilage that this ridiculous new law will take away in future. So much for the encouragment of integration then, just ban "them" from living here with their British partner and force "them" to learn English somewhere other than England! What kind of warped logic is that. Let's face facts, this law does not encourage or make it easier for a spouse of a British national to learn English at all. It simply makes it harder for a couple in such circumstances to live together, and thereby makes the government look tough on foreigners and tough on the causes of foreigners. Its a political show by the new government.

    You asked me what I would do? I would take the money currently being spent on translation services and spend it (i.e. no extra cost) on English language courses. Having people who speak different languages in our country is an asset to our country, not a drain. Keep in mind that the law only affects the spouse of a British citizen; the children that you mention in your local school would not be affected. In my experience children will aways pick up the local language spoken where they live; in fact I know Japanese couples living in the UK who are troubled that their Japanese child has become unable to communicate in Japanese since attending local UK state school. They spend too much time playing with their English speaking school mates and find that environment more influential than the home environment.

    Stuff this new law and stuff the tory government.

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 1:04pm on 14 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 302. At 1:43pm on 14 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 303. At 1:45pm on 14 Jun 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    Can I just point a finger.

    Is 'English'' school tests about 'English', or just having a good memory.

    But regarding immigrants, if immigrants are expected to know SOME English in order to(or perceived to) integrate, shouldn't the native 'English' also be tested on SOME of the other languages of the immigrants in order to (or perceived to) intergrate/welcome the new ???

    I just point a finger.

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 3:28pm on 14 Jun 2010, achristian wrote:

    One would hope that the English speaking requirement is of a better standard than that used by foreign call centres. When I'm using these I can't understand a word they say.
    Suppose it begs the question. Why have any at all?

    Complain about this comment

  • 305. At 4:04pm on 14 Jun 2010, RA wrote:

    I am an immigrant and I find just plain common sense to ask anyone deciding to reside in the UK on a more or less permanent basis (say 2 years+). Therefore it's not something I would enforce on non-EU spouses, but onto anyone wishing to stay.

    English is the official language in the UK and it is (or should be) a duty of all citizens (and residents) to learn it.

    Otherwise it ends up costing the tax payer in terms of translation services (hospitals, police, etc.)

    The country, at the same time, has to be supportive and offer free courses for anyone (which I believe already does).

    Complain about this comment

  • 306. At 4:40pm on 14 Jun 2010, David Hazel wrote:

    Firstly, what about the Brits who move to Spain (and other places) without having any intention to learn the local language?

    Secondly, I wonder whether anyone involved in this rule has actually bothered to learn a foreign language? You can learn a lot of the basics without visiting a country where the language is spoken natively, but a real grasp can only come from mixing with native-speakers. I know this from personal experience.

    Thirdly, the kind of people who whinge about people not being able to speak English will also whinge about the pronunciation of people who have satisfied the language requirement and been admitted. There's just no satisfying these kinds of complainers, so I don't know why we even bother trying.

    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 5:46pm on 14 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    Funny how this rule is in particularly aimed at Asians what about all those old English men who marry Thai Brides who speak nothing of English?

    What about all those English abroad not speaking a word of the language of their so called adopted country yet STILL support the England team!

    Such rules apply to other side of the fence too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 308. At 7:42pm on 14 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @298

    talk a walk on the wild side...perhaps The Broadway, Southall or Green Street in Upton Park, East London, Ealing Road Wembley...Melton Road Leicester...Green Lanes, North London...the list is endless. basically ghettoised areas of london and britain....

    if you are happy for someone else to live in these areas... then it should be ok for you. i never wish for others what i dont wish for myself. if you think its ok that other people have to send their kids to a school where 90% of the kids dont speak english...then it should be acceptable for your children too. let me give you an example Barry Gardiner MP for brent which has the highest ethnic minority in london (basically no non ethnics left in this borough)...guess what even he doesnt want to live here....he has chosen to live in beautiful, leafy Chorelywood...only 15 mins away...but far away enough that he doesnt have to live here. isnt that hypocrisy?

    if you find it acceptable to live in the middle of one of these ghettos then i rest my case but its unfair of you to say that i have to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 309. At 8:16pm on 14 Jun 2010, Dr Huw S Kruger Gray wrote:

    Absolutely, a basic grasp of at least conversational and written English should be a requirement for those wishing to relocate there. Such a requirement also would help to ensure that those who do travel to live in the U.K. possess a higher level of motivation, in order to pass this test.

    Down here in southern Florida, in what nominally is supposed to be an English-speaking country, we actually tend to be discriminated against by the majority, who speak only Spanish!

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 8:38pm on 14 Jun 2010, Annie wrote:

    "I realise that it is not PC to mention cultural differences, but the fact remains that sub-continental brides in particular are denied, or even forbidden, to learn English as a method of controlling them on arrival in the UK. The instances of virtual enslavement of the luckless immigrant by marriage have been brought to public attention so often to be ignored or glossed over."

    I think this is a very real problem for many foreign brides and is not exclusive to the UK. I personally know of women (I don´t want to be explicit about which countries) who have been denied the right to learn the language of the country I´m currently living in. It is truly dreadful - because it is a form of enslavement - they have no idea about their social rights (and they and their children do have signicant rights under the law) - they have little control over their finances (sometimes none) - there health - I know of one woman (with 4 children) who was denied hospital treatment for breast cancer by her husband. By the time he decided that losing his wife was not a particularly good idea - treatment was paliative. If you speak to hospital personnel - certain women from certain ethnic groups are extremely vulnerable.

    Oftenthe only route many women have to learn the language, of the country they are residing in, is through their children. To use their children as teachers and translators. Sometimes the only access they´ve to foreign language - their child´s schoolbooks. Women who arrive in a country with no language are really vulnerable to exploitation. And I think it is totally naive of people not to recognise this.

    Forcing families to give mainly women language training actually empowers them. Even a basic understanding can help them work out the language of banks - statements etc, social workers, but more importantly it helps them understand their neighbours - because it is often these people who are a real life-line.

    How on earth does a woman without the language learn to read a bus timetable, notes from school, rent contracts etc. It is vital that these women receive some sort of basic training before they reach the country - what are people talking about this is "devisive" - the consequences are tragic and they are happening all around us daily. Have you ever wondered about the sometimes almost total absence of certain groups of people from the streets, schools, banks, etc - it is because they are either imprisoned by actual fear or the fear of not understanding. Both of these are the same in my view.

    If you think that all women (even European women have access to the internet you would be wrong). If you think that these issues apply to exclusively to people from non-developed countries - you would be wrong. American - European women etc can be just as vulnerable - the very worst case I knew of was an expatriate woman from the USA - in the end she managed to escape with the help of a couple of friends and her neighbours.

    So next time you see a foreign woman neighbour scurrying out of view - wave for goodness sake - smile - make eye contact. She´s not running away because she doesn´t want so speak to you - she´s scuttling off because she is fearful.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 11:00pm on 14 Jun 2010, alan wrote:

    When will the public be 'educated' by government?
    Non EU, that is to say 3rd country migration to the UK is minimal compared to EU migration.
    3rd country-look at the visas- "NO RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS" How can that be a drain on our public services when they have no access(that includes the NHS) - to get your Entry clearance its jumping through burning hoops at the Embassy and visas cost thousands. Reality-Points system, tier 1 Highly Skilled migrant - eg nuclear scientists, specialist surgeons, investors/entrepreneurs with more than £1 million in UK bank, Tier 2 Skilled - eg doctors/dentists, need job offer to get visa. Tier 4 Student. Marriage/Civil Partnership and visit visas(all of the above "NO RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS") UK Ancestry eg Australians with Brit grandparent(they get benefits)
    All the rules are on the UKBA website.
    Now thats immigration - asylum = immediate benefits but asylum is NOT immigration! EU migration gets plasterers etc. with immediate recourse to public funds. Non EU migration gets the best brains and/or lots of money with no public funds for at least 5 years. (what would you choose)
    The bottom line is 3rd country is controllable (visas etc) EU is not (unless UK leaves the EU and makes Europe 3rd country. Remember before 1972 anyone ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 11:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, blimeme wrote:

    its laughable that we allow people in who cannot and do not learn our language. the government encourage it by printing everything in different languages.the french said non to this.learn french or go.we should also stop entrance of veil/burka wearers. totally un british. again our partners in other EU states are taking steps in that direction.. a guy in our local; paper awhile ago moaning though an interpreter about the price of rice. he had been here 26years and could not speak english.

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 11:24pm on 14 Jun 2010, blimeme wrote:

    ok

    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 05:24am on 15 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    For once, the UK is getting in step with Europe. Germany has required language capability as a condition of obtaining an entry visa or work permit for years. They employ examiners to tour their embassies checking would be immigrants capability in German. In France, the official language is French, government documents are not translated into 27 languages as they are in the UK.
    We already have three official languages, English, Welsh and Gaelic, why should we have more?

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 05:31am on 15 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 316. At 05:45am on 15 Jun 2010, sanjose_leeds wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 317. At 09:46am on 15 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    Yesterday, on the BBC website I read about Afghanistan being rich in copper and other materials, the BBC highlighted this is now a country worth fighting for and that the heaviest influences would be India and China. Now, can someone tell me why India or China should side with Britain when Britain is closing its' borders to those very people but not applying this rule to anyone else like those from the the EU or Africa?

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 09:51am on 15 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 319. At 09:52am on 15 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @316

    i already know the best chaat house in the UK - its on Drummond street, london.
    i love my culture but also dont need to ram it down anyones throat either....do we really need sooooo many indian spice shops? do we really need sooooo many subcontinent places of workship????
    being british born i love England and its a shame that the UK allowed in people who dont - you probably fit right in at Melton Road. but do we need sooo many Melton Roads?????

    Sanjose what you should be concerned about is that there are many many british born asians who want actually want immigration to end as well :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 09:57am on 15 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    Sanjose - you seem to beonly concerened about subcontinent folk being allowed into the uk as you have only contributed comments regarding immigration....precisely my point where is your loyalty???


    as a full citizen of the UK you should be voicing an opinion on gun laws or drugs problems or the BP crisis...why havent you???

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 10:36am on 15 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @317. i take your point...but do we really want world domination by either of these two countries??? no country should world dominate but least of all either of these where one has the most appalling humans rights issues (35mill people died in late 50`s due to sheer starvation and cannabalism was even reported at this time!!!) and the other has such internal poverty issues that its people are wishing to enter the UK/US/Europe in their droves. thats just not cricket.

    an english test is just a small step but more importantly its in the right direction...have no fear the british justice system is the fairest in the world and so i have every confidence that genuine cases will get through.

    its the disengenuious that we urgently need to do something about.

    any step taken to prepare a nonenglish speaking persons entry to the UK prior to getting here is for the good of all.


    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 12:46pm on 15 Jun 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    "289. At 00:15am on 14 Jun 2010, BiiBoidshateu wrote:
    288. At 11:55pm on 13 Jun 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    So am I one of your people ?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Genetics aside,you`ve already clearly demonstrated that you`re not.

    None of us can change the past,but that does`nt mean we have to abandon the future does it?

    The very fact that having an Indian Grandfather makes you feel less "White" should answer that question."

    You have already demonstrated that you believe in eugenics, so by definition you are a racist which by definition means you are pretty dumb because it means you do not understand basic genetics.

    If we did what you want 'protect white children and the white race' do you know what would happen? We would end up a nation of two headed webbed toed freaks with no chins.

    Mixed race children are on average more intelligent and better looking and thats because they have inherited a wider wealth of genetics.

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 12:49pm on 15 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    "The British justice system is the fairest in the world" Don't talk rubbish, what planet were you born on?

    Ever heard of the Birmingham six or the Guilford four?

    People need to focus on what this new law actually does, it is not about work visas. Comment 314 indicates that this law brings the UK into line with Germany and France, that is not true, it goes much further than that. This law denies married couples, where one of the partners is a British citizen the right to live in the UK until the other partner has learned English. No other country does this. It is a first. It is also an attack on all of our liberties; who knows in the future you or a member of your family may marry a person from outside the EU and be denied the right to live with his/her spouse in their own country. How on earth does that promote integration?

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 1:45pm on 15 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    20. At 3:15pm on 09 Jun 2010, jon112uk wrote:
    If worst came to worst, there is nothing stopping UK residents moving to India or Pakistan to be with the love of their life if it is that important to them.

    How many a year do that?
    -------------
    The same could be said about those English who move abroad and the natives of that land have to speak English to welcome their newcomers. Why should those asians born in the UK move back to a country that they do not want to be in? UK citizens born here should be here just as all those old English men in their 60's - 80's who buy Thai brides and bring them over.

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 2:16pm on 15 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    No asian should apologise for being asian remember who colonised whom and there should be an apology for it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 2:33pm on 15 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    @323 ... please be sensible...i never said the british justice system was perfect...but they also recognise wrongdoings and you are more likely to get a fair outcome here. tell me when if and when you ever committ a crime...which country do you think you would like to be tried in cos i cant think of a single country in the world that has a better, fairer justice system than ours. and no doubt all those complaining about the english test will be heading out there on the next plane...dont think so somehow do you?

    dear roxxy, the thai bride thing isnt that much of an issue...maybe a little creepy and vomitty...but it must be love, love, love as so many above keep shouting about above!

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 2:36pm on 15 Jun 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    freedom from state control...do you think you would get a fair trial in china or thailand, or india, or sri lanka or russia or saudi, or nigeria, or mozambique, or turkey, or israel, or bosnia or even the US????

    maybe germany but guess what they are looking at implementing a german history test for prospective german entry wannabees hmmm.;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 2:54pm on 15 Jun 2010, natasha edstrom wrote:

    '49. At 4:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, MaxG wrote:
    Just wait for the denial of "Human Rights" cases to start.'

    The right to create and live with your family is written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, something that the majority of the world, including the UK, is signed up to, so yes, introducing this law would be a violation of human rights and quite rightly so. No state has the right to tell you you can't live with your spouse unless you have commited a crime. Being unable to speak English a crime, is it? Let's try and get away from the ignorant hysteria of the Daily Mail types and see this rationally as human beings, and please can we try to show a bit of empathy? Reading most HYS posts on ANY subject contributes to me loss of faith in humanity....

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 3:25pm on 15 Jun 2010, Patricius wrote:

    My ex-husband is from Pakistan and he has been saying for years that we are now letting in the dregs of Asia - the bigoted and the uneducated - his words, not mine. There is no valid reason whatsoever other than to allow ever more immigration into this country for Asians currently living here to marry someone not already living in this country. We have more than enough people here already without adding to them and pleading special cases. What really irks me is when a woman brings a husband over, claiming cultural customs, when anyone who knows the Indian culture knows that the women go to live with the husband's family, not the other way round. It is time this custom were brought to a complete stop.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 5:24pm on 15 Jun 2010, Peppercorn wrote:

    If people want to stay in this country they should be able to speak and understand the native language. If nothing else on a safety level, if they are in an accident and get rushed into hospital they should be able to communicate with the doctors, firemen, police so critical decisions can be made quickly that can save their life. for example if they have internal bleeding they could be in a coma by the time a translator is found. I would expect to learn the local language if I lived in a non english speaking country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 08:41am on 16 Jun 2010, markuspetz wrote:

    "Are written in anything other than English - other languages, including Welsh and Gaelic, may only be used where expressly permitted"

    So you see even the BBC won't tolerate a multicultural society. I personally want people to be able to choose if they do an English test or not (and I am a private language English teacher). The British Council sounds a nice idea, but the last government has closed many of eth offices (in Europe) and stopped the language course s that were run so that local companies can exploit people instead of the money funding soft power and the UK's overseas work - in favor of spending money on Middle East Hearts and Minds programs.

    Do you really think a basic English course will get rural people employed?? I know from experience its not the most useful thing - for example in Leicester the desi community has been doing sewing machine courses for some years as that is what leads to employment. Much better is an integration package for all new migrants that is properly taylored to their abilities and needs. Then those with English (most of those who will come will have some level) won't waste time and money on a pointless test.

    However, you have a government that looks at migrants as a problem to be got rid of and not as people that need help. The same approach can be seen with the unemployed that are forced to do inappropriate basic maths and English courses (some of which are university graduates that clearly do not need them - they need a job).

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 10:35am on 16 Jun 2010, scotrafferty wrote:

    There are a huge number of white Anglo-Saxon born and bred English people who can't speak good English."No wot a meen"

    Complain about this comment

  • 333. At 11:28am on 16 Jun 2010, gonetoseed wrote:

    This language test is a badly thought out farce, for example someone from the Philipines (where English is the predominent language) would walk through the test while someone from another nearby island group would not. What in the name of all that is holy has this got to do with intregration?.
    The real purpose of pushing this test to the fore is maybe to distract attention from the written (multiple choice) 'Britishness Test' the sole purpose of this which is for the majority of applicants to fail and be denied a 'long stay' visa. Anyone who would like to dispute this should first download or aquire a copy of this and do the test. The vast majority of British people would fail this ridiculous test yet the governmemt requires immigrants to pass it, how can this be fair?.
    So far as British citizens like myself are concerned, If I took my asian wife back to the UK (which I have no intention of ever doing) I would neither want nor expect her to work, so what have her English language skills, though she speaks good english, got to do with anything so long as we can communicate between ourselves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 11:54am on 16 Jun 2010, ill1g08 wrote:

    I am quite impressed to see that there are people who will proudly wave their British citizenships, their living in this country for years but never speak a word of English, or very broken English and never interact with other people who are, pardon my bluntness here, "not one of their kind".

    English integration tests? Kind of a little too late to be honest. You also have to be careful here, there are quite a lot of migratory people out there who are not your usual stereotypes of "passport diggers".

    I know for a fact that I will not get a high percentage on the English integration test (my goodness have the British citizens given that test a go? I would love to know how they score!), but I damn well know that the food bought from independent farmers' markets taste 10 times better than what are on the shelves of supermarkets, and much cheaper.

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 1:24pm on 16 Jun 2010, Anon_Mind wrote:

    Comment 1. "I am not a racist but I do think our immigration policy needs to be very strict."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I cannot believe that in Britain in 2010 people feel the need to point out they are not racist for wanting a strict immigration policy.

    Well, Labour have gone, our values, beliefs and ideas arent going to be redefined as prejudices. If we want a strict immigration policy then we as the electorate should shout about it as loudly and as frequently as we like.

    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 09:26am on 17 Jun 2010, ichabod wrote:

    Well we can all see through Mr. Easton and the BBC's Guardianista, metropolitan left-liberal "let everyone in" agenda. Colonial past ? Next he'll be blaming the current UK government for the state that Zimbabwe is now in.
    But he writes, I suggest disparagingly, " Some suspect the motivation for introducing the rules is to target British citizens with an Asian heritage who traditionally return to their family village for a bride or groom. These usually arranged marriages result in thousands of often poorly educated rural immigrants arriving in the UK, although numbers have been falling."
    If this were true, perhaps he could explain to indigenous British taxpayers (irrespective of origin) why they should pay their taxes to subsidise such people with housing, social security, education, NHS etc.
    The issue is actually about fairness to existing citizens!

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 11:21am on 17 Jun 2010, ichabod wrote:

    With regard to emigration from the UK
    How many emigrate in order to take advantage of the social security system in the new country? Very very few I suggest.
    Most expats to Spain I suggest are retiring or starting a new life with some get-up-and-go.
    Our emigrants are mainly skilled and self sufficient, but alas many of our immigrants see the UK as a free meal ticket. This nett exporting of talent should give concern. As for skilled immigrants from the Asian subcontinent, how moral is it to deprive their (poor) home countries of their talent? Should we not morally be training up our own doctors?

    Complain about this comment

  • 338. At 12:02pm on 17 Jun 2010, freedom from state control wrote:

    Jacko, I'm sorry to say that your comments are whacko.

    Something I often have to say to my children is; try to focus and stick to the task at hand. In other words, focus on the question which is "Is English test really about integration". The answer is not its not. If it was the law would offer English language classes to the non-English speaking spouse of a British citizen, IN THE UK. Not deny the couple the right to live together.

    This should not be an opportunity just to make a general moan and gripe about UK immigration and the number of "them" over here. Try to stick to task, if you can.

    You said "The issue is actually about fairness to existing citizens!". That's exactly right. It is fair that our existing citizens should be able to marry the partner of their choice and live with them in their own country. This law denies British citizens the right to do that if they happen to choose a spouse who does not speak English. You, me and all of us, our rights are being denied by our governement.

    It's not about integration, this law is about immigration. Government spin is dead, long live government spin.

    Complain about this comment

  • 339. At 1:18pm on 17 Jun 2010, access122002 wrote:

    The article suggests that the proposed English test is not really about ''integration'', but about subtle ''discrimination'' against people from the subcontinent, but why does Mark think the two things do not coincide? It is quite possible that the government has identified a problem in integration with people coming from the subcontinent and therefore wants this English test to affect them in a manner more conducive to their eventual integration in particular. Marks article is a little bit disingenuous because he suggests ''discrimination'' is at work here but doesn't look at any of the positive reasons why the government may be doing it, or why they might be afraid to state their reasons clearly. Remember, there is nothing inherently wrong with ''discriminating'' - its a neutral term, it has no good or bad value. We do it all the time, every day for many different reasons. Its the reasons that are important here.
    The government perhaps do not dare not be more specific about a lack of integration from subcontinent cultures in particular, for fear of giving offense, and so when they are accused of ''discriminating'' they deny it and leave themselves open to suspect motives. Yet i think their motives are clear to those who wish to look a little deeper. Remember the very people Mark speaks about, the people ''who take brides and grooms from their home villages'', are discriminating themselves, in a very much more forthright and clear way than we would find acceptable in rational discussion. It is a way which prevents mixed marriages and seeks a racialist connection to a home ethnicity and culture, and it is motivated by ideals which are at odds with any definition of a ''non discriminatory'' society. Perhaps we should be discussing that!
    So which is worse? - discrimination for that kind of reason, or the proposed governmental discrimination which attempts to at least partly mitigate for this fact, and have new arrivals from the subcontinent able or willing to show some desire to take on something of their new home, and in doing so, gain some practical skill in living and coping here when they arrive?
    One look at almost any major city in the U.K will show Asian districts and Asian children in its schools, and this diversity of ethnicity and culture puts paid to the idea that we in this country are somehow ''against'' subcontinent migrants. The very opposite is true, and i would challenge anyone to show me different.
    However, we do also as a society have a right, whatever our colour or background, to discourage the formation of ghetto's , of parts of our population who think not in terms of that which they share with everyone else - because they do not share anything - but in terms of their colour or religion or cultural differences only. If subcontinental people and culture's are resistant to those ideals of integration , then i admit that tackling those issues are problematic, but we must try and we must not be afraid to try, when we read articles like Marks above.

    Complain about this comment

  • 340. At 2:41pm on 17 Jun 2010, VASmith wrote:

    I find this article rather amusing. I agree that a certain standard of English should be reached to promote integration within a society. However, this is often done after a few years living in the country. Immersion is the best way to learn a language!

    Besides the political aspect, my amusement comes from the fact that countless British people are unable to speak or write their own language correctly. Like another poster, I have also read innumerable papers written by British undergraduates with appalling spelling and grammar. Yet our own education system does nothing to improve this. I may also be a grammar nazi, but I'm fairly sure that the title of the article would better adhere to grammar rules if it were called "Is the English language test really about integration?" Food for thought, especially considering the number of badly written articles I find daily on the BBC. Why is my grasp of spelling and grammar better than most people of my age? Maybe it is because despite being British, I didn't go to an English school (I grew up in Belgium) and was taught spelling and grammar by my father and private lessons to ensure I didn't miss out. Improve the British education system first, stop blaming bad spelling on dyslexia, then you can worry about whether a foreign bride or groom is capable of speaking the English language.

    Complain about this comment

  • 341. At 11:42am on 18 Jun 2010, MARTNAL2 wrote:

    I sometimes think we are fighting a losing battle getting them to speak English. Can't we just settle for getting them to queue properly? Non-UK-born people just don't seem to understand the idea. Bus-stops are a melee, paying at tills in shops is chaos.

    Complain about this comment

  • 342. At 9:09pm on 20 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    This test is definitely racist because it is aimed at those who can never learn English in their own country and in their own villages. Why would someone living in an Asian country village speak english anymore than an english man would learn to speak any asian language in an english village?

    For all those racists on here claiming 'if you can not or will not learn the language leave' I would like to ask you why you wear clothes from Primark (made in India by the very people who do not know english) drink PG Tips, drink Kingfisher, buy clothes from New Look, buy Samson, Hitachi, Taiwo tv's, dvd players etc? Are all these products not made by none english speaking people?

    Complain about this comment

  • 343. At 10:25pm on 21 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    This Test is definitely not about integration it is about keeping those immigrants out as well as saying, 'if you can not live by our rules or by our way of life then leave'. So I ask why are there so many english people with bars open in foreign countries flying the english flag and supporting the england footie team? Just look at the other debate on 'Cry God for Harry, England and St. George!'.

    Simple answer if the english can not integrate into the adopted country's way of life, can not speak the language, will not support their adopted country's football team and will not fly the adopted country's flag then they should pack their bags and come home. Simple either you live their way of life in their country and if you are offended by their culture's then you leave.....simples!

    Complain about this comment

  • 344. At 10:44pm on 21 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    Don't you think you need immigrants in this country to do the jobs when the average indigenous are taking time off from work, getting PAID to sit in a pub or in a conference room at work to watch england play football? Who will do your jobs for you and is this what you use immigrants for? You do things to suit yourselves how many of the BBC moderators will be taking time off to watch the footie when all of you have internet to keep tag of the scores? Why should a company pay you to have time off to drink and watch footie whilst those who come from abroad work hard and are still denied a right to be here?

    Complain about this comment

  • 345. At 08:18am on 22 Jun 2010, Aaron wrote:

    you cant expect people to learn English in a country that doesn't speak English. Every person learning a language will tell you: don't waste your time learning a language unless you have people around, you can speak it to.

    It's usually wasted effort to try and learn a language unless you are in an environment where its impossible to communicate, forcing you to learn the language. As in many cases, those who have tried to learn German or french will spend, say a semester abroad in Spain or Germany.

    This law is obviously an attempt to limit immigration and Not promote integration.


    An aside:

    From my understanding Britain has areas where it is possible to live without knowing a word of English. I would suggest changing the time line of the current law so it's 1 year instead of two years. If they really want to learn the language 1 year is enough to grasp at least the basics.

    Note: For those those spouses who are illiterate, it will be extremely difficult for them to learn the mechanics of a new language. A verbal exam might be more appropriate.




    Complain about this comment

  • 346. At 08:31am on 22 Jun 2010, Aaron wrote:

    I will also add this to my above post (345). Why does the British Government have to create this guise that this law is for integration? Just say straight up that this law is implemented to limit immigration of spouses and there the true reason is brought to light.

    Politicians are a crafty bunch.

    Complain about this comment

  • 347. At 2:51pm on 29 Jun 2010, Harold Godwin wrote:

    Did anyone ask William the Conqueror to take an English test before he landed at Pevensey Bay?

    Complain about this comment

  • 348. At 1:51pm on 30 Jun 2010, Ignorance Is Bliss wrote:

    342. At 9:09pm on 20 Jun 2010, Roxy wrote:

    "This test is definitely racist because it is aimed at those who can never learn English in their own country and in their own villages. Why would someone living in an Asian country village speak english anymore than an english man would learn to speak any asian language in an english village?"

    Why not go and look up what racism actually means. If someone is co-incidentally of one race and can't speak English because they weren't born in an Anglophone country, it's not the language's fault for discriminating, is it? Why not blame the government of the S. Asian country for not providing English lessons? It would be just about as logical.
    Why S. Asians might want to speak English is because, colonialism aside, English is often a second language, the language of business internationally, of more socio-economically advanced nations, and the language of a country FAR LESS racist than most of S. Asia, thank-you very much. Caste system, anyone? What would happen to your average middle-class S. Asian who married a white person for love and stayed in their own country? Hopefully love! But go do a survey and tell me facts.
    Racism is racial discrimination. Language discriminates inherently against non-speakers, this is completely regardless of race. If employers can discriminate against people for not having qualifications, and it's acceptable - for good reasons, why not a country discriminates with a basic language requirement? I'd prefer humanity first, everything else second, on principle, but when there's great problems in the country and world, why prioritise helping people who aren't even in the country yet? Or maybe a by-product of the language requirement IS that it will actually help new immigrants (even if it WAS designed to limit immigration as suspected).

    Complain about this comment

  • 349. At 02:00am on 07 Jul 2010, lebrian wrote:

    Its very simple. Forget the courtesy and politeness and just tell people you hate them. It would be maddening to good sense that people don't see the writing on the wall. There could be no other explanation. Its pure racism. It doesn't matter how people try to go around it and brandish it as "integration". Its complete hypocrisy. When the economy flourished, these same people praised Britain for being a world leader and showing good examples. Now, the very same people have lost their minds as the Germans did when they praised Hitler's ideas. The only difference is that the Brits have not started to pin point and round up non EU citizens.It will not be long before your bitterness against non EU citizens becomes rage. The Germans already went down this road. You should learn from them. It's a pity that Great Britain is going to the dogs. The economic crisis has melted reason away. Its just a vicious cycle. Thank God there are still some Brits with good sense.

    Complain about this comment

  • 350. At 7:27pm on 09 Jul 2010, barbara99 wrote:

    just spouses????
    would anyone care to explain all the children in british schools who cant speak a word of english and for whom teaching assistants with relevant languages have been employed....english test. tightens that cog abit more.

    responsible i would say.

    Complain about this comment

  • 351. At 11:53am on 10 Jul 2010, If Only wrote:

    Some folk always throw up about the British going abroad etc , ok but i think you will find most of them have enough of thier OWN money to live on etc , they do not go and get a place to live or anything for that matter given to them , plus if they need to see officials they must have their own interpreter at their own expense and all the forms appear to be in the language of the country .

    Complain about this comment

  • 352. At 5:45pm on 12 Jul 2010, Kevin wrote:

    I just completed a short sample British Citizenship test. Curiously, as a recipient of Income Support, the only thing I failed on was not selecting "Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance" as a third option entitled to free dental treatment.

    I did notice a lot of online services offering coaching for the test: isn't this rather self-defeating, like an education system tailored solely to produce school-puffing grades?

    Complain about this comment

  • 353. At 03:24am on 14 Jul 2010, Basic Reform wrote:

    #137. Megan wrote:
    ----#127 asked "Considering that they form a significant proportion of the world's population, how is a deaf person mean't to complete the requirements of citizenship? Do they have to learn English or can they learn BSL instead?"

    ----Even those who 'speak' via BSL ought to learn to READ English.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Is there a need for CAPS or are you 'speaking' in tones? Perhaps I should have written my post in a larger and clearer font? Or perhaps you misunderstand what exactly deaf people are?
    READING is not a problem for most deaf folks; they can see perfectly well (the disadvantaged group affected by that are the blind or deaf-blind). No, the problem is that deaf people have difficulty HEARING no matter how LOUDLY you shout at them. It's no good asking a deaf foreigner to learn to read English, until you have first communicated in the medium that is easiest for most deaf people (i.e. sign language). That was my only point.
    It is unfair to expect a deaf foreigner to demonstrate English proficiency when existing tests are already biased against them. IELTS, for example, tests LISTENING, SPEAKING, reading and writing in English, with marks from 0 ("Did not attempt test") to 9 ("Expert User"). Quite obviously most deaf people are going to get about 0 in listening and speaking, and lose out on half the marks straightaway. At the very least there should be a option to learn BSL and a modified IELTS using only the reading and writing.

    I hope that is a little bit clearer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 354. At 12:15pm on 14 Jul 2010, James wrote:

    There is an obvious dilemma here. If we truly want integration then it stands to reason that everyone coming here from either Europe or elsewhere to live must be able to speak some basic English. The arguments that it would ease the social services burden may be valid but only valid if it is applicable to everyone. On the other hand if we say accept that Europeans from the EU will be allowed to speak one of their several languages then why not apply the test to immigrants on the basis of any of the EU languages rather then just English. It seems while the arguments for sound good logical and even plausible, the forcing of everyone outside of the EU seems to make it more of a discriminating stance. I think we should either adopt a policy of insisting all future residents who settle here speak English or make a more wider European language based criteria. I can somehow see how this is going to reduce cost to the public services if we still have to provide translation in any of the 26 European languages.
    Its time to have an open non biased debate about this before the government rushes off and creates another issue that is only going to help socially divide our country rather then truly integrate. We have already thanks to the cheap remarks of our politicians have polarised into a society not only making issues of ethnic differences, but also of disabled versus non disabled, Single Moms versus Non Single Moms and so on. Did anyone here of the phase "Divide and Conquer" ? If we go down this path it won't be long before the entire country fragments not only on the basis of ethnic differences, but also the disintegration of the union into more then just the four kingdoms. I can even see a time when English will set on English because of difference and variances within the nation and its many dialects.

    Complain about this comment

  • 355. At 2:47pm on 25 Jul 2010, James wrote:

    Unless we set about a real policy of including the EU (legal) immigrants into these discussions then the whole thing becomes nothing more then a sham and politicians trying to look good while not really addressing any problems. There are 24 different languages spoken in the EU, many of them have regional dialects and this is not being addressed. A vast majority of Brits don't marry outside the EU but inside the EU so the policy of attacking non EU spouses seems very questionable.
    Issues like multi language signs and so on usually consists of directions in EU languages and in some instances South Asian languages. I can't see how the cost of translations, etc will be reduced dramatically by only picking on a group. Either we use the EU as the basis and state that people need to know one of the 24 official EU languages or drop this sham which is directed against a very small element of people. When people in this country complained about a vast horde of foreign languages being spoken on the high streets much of this resentment was being directed at East Europeans. When we say neighbourhoods look different do we see the Europeans in this equation. I think a lot of this bickering has come about from confused politics and from intolerance hardly the British way of things. Its time politicians stopped pandering to a small minority of bigots who have selectively chosen their facts and stop targeting any one group. We need to have a good open public debate over this issue and in our own zeal to enforce English on anyone not forget the Gaelic speaking areas of the country that immigrants alike have to live in where speaking English would be fairly pointless too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 356. At 10:02pm on 25 Jul 2010, honeybunnyme wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 357. At 10:15pm on 25 Jul 2010, honeybunnyme wrote:

    293. At 06:28am on 14 Jun 2010, Jagdish wrote:
    'Poles and other East Europeans need to stop complaining about English and comments about flocking on the BBC - ask Asians and West Indians what it was like here in the 50s thru 80s and they spoke English!! Immigrants just have to suck it up. That's the way the Brits like it.'


    Just as you hate people saying ‘I am not racist but’...I hate when people say ‘Poles and other Eastern Europeans’. You cannot blame polish people for wanting a better life, or any immigrant for that matter. If you are unhappy with immigrant numbers you should address the issue to your government, do not take it out on them. Fair enough, we get few bad apples that present the whole nation in bad light, but you should not generalize. We have a lot of young British people visit Poland every year. They have fun, they get drunk and they get in trouble a lot. Does it mean that you are all the same? No, it doesn’t. And Jagdish, you are no doubt a very ignorant person. Nobody has to ‘suck it up’, especially not to you. Who do you think you are? People can adjust to culture and surrounding environment, they can integrate but never on earth ‘suck it up’. Your post should be deleted as it’s very inappropriate and you should grow up.
    I apologise for post above being off topic but immature comments drive me round the bend.

    Basic knowledge of English should be essential, thus this rule should apply to all, whether non EU or EU, no exceptions. For example, I could not imagine having to make a call to emergency services in life threatening situations and being unable to get a word out of me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 358. At 12:23pm on 26 Jul 2010, James wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 359. At 8:19pm on 30 Jul 2010, Robert Phillifent wrote:

    Of course ALL people in this country and those who wish to come here for any length of time should be BY LAW to have an acceptable standard of written and spoken English.
    Why don't the proto-liberal chatters on this site get real (as the Americans would say) and quite frankly grow up. Chucking around words such as RACIST etc. is stupid beyond belief. It has become the catch all expression of vilify those who do not share YOUR views which are often NIMBY in the extreme! If I wish to detest cheese, does this make me a CHEESIST, if I wish to dislike Doncaster does this make me a DONCASTERIST. The stupidity is clearly obvious to all but the most stupid. For those who accuse other peiople of "RACISM" are actually the most racist and illberal of the lot. If I prefer to dislike Australians, Bulgarians, Estonians, Mongolians, then I will, that is MY choice and I will exercise that choice. If the left-wing Gestapo which seems to be taking over our country don't like it then TOUGH! !

    But there should be more than English tests! Nobody should be allowed long term (ie. 10 yrs+) residence in the U.K. without being required to take on British citizenship IF they are considered fit for such AND , more importantly ,they should be required to surrender the passport of the country from which they have come! No more DUAL NATIONALITY! A MAN CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS!

    Complain about this comment

  • 360. At 2:35pm on 13 Oct 2010, Life in the UK Test wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 361. At 04:53am on 22 Feb 2011, U14792936 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 362. At 11:48am on 29 May 2011, Scanship wrote:

    I doubt if it will pass the UK, EEC, or UK Human Rights articles as it infringes on a person’s right to private life. It also does not take into account what to do if a person is deaf and dumb. The previous UK government’s own consultation on this was overwhelmingly against this proposal but the views expressed and captured during that exercise have been ignored. The whole process by which the UK government consults on these matters is not evidenced based and does not appear to be well grounded on independent data or familiar with modern research and consultation methods. The nature of such measures is that they can and do have ‘unintended consequences’. These changes do nothing to stem the flow of unlawful migration where migrants are not even engaged with these increasingly expensive visa pathways and may even make the problem of unlawful migration worse.

    Complain about this comment

  • 363. At 00:55am on 30 May 2011, ottide wrote:

    Naturally integration is a real issue regardless of the intention of the proposed new rules. If having two years to pass the "life in UK" test is too long it may be a good idea to shorten it rather than require integration standards before integration even happened yet.

    Not only is it likely that the courses that could be taken to reach these standards before entering the UK it is really quite difficult to try and integrate to a new culture and new rules without actually becoming part of it to do so. Having a time limit to pass the "life in UK" test seems to me like a more fair set of rules.

    Complain about this comment

  • 364. At 12:04pm on 02 Jun 2011, U14890913 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 365. At 12:30pm on 09 Jun 2011, ukblahblahblacksheep wrote:

    Good..it's a start. Not going to happen though because social cohesion and the well-being of everyone already in this country (regardless of colour) is secondary to the interests of Global corporations. Those interests, combined with human rights lawers and apologists for our colonial past will get their way. The central issues of over-population, limited resources and the chaos of the free-market get ignored again. Still.. increased competition is always a good thing for some.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.