I’m sorry, but I fear I’m becoming rather xenophobic. While I’m a firm supporter of the EU and would renounce my British citizenship in favor of EU citizenship were we to have a federal United States of Europe, I’m fed up to the back teeth with foreigners from outside Europe who either don’t speak English while living in the country, or only speak very bad pigeon English, or who impose their alien cultures on us. Also all these foreigners from the Indian sub-continent who keep ringing me with surveys and other cold-calling. I’m afraid as soon as I hear that accent asking to speak to me I hang up.
Examples of the pigeon English I’ve heard or read recently include a few years ago when I still had a film camera, took the film in to be developed at my local chemist and the foreign girl behind the counter said: ‘Velop? What is velop?’
Then there was the Muslim woman who rang me at my mother’s place and said: ‘Police! Open up! Police! Open up!’ It was, in fact, supposed to be a plea to open up the Residents’ Association Clubroom, though it wasn’t my turn on the rota to do so that day. She couldn’t pronouce ‘please’ so it came out as ‘Police!’ She didn’t seem to know any other English.
Then the note from one of my mother’s carers the other day which read: ‘mummy oat hot hot finish’ which by the empty packet of Porage Oats on the table I gather meant her breakfast cereal had run out. It is worrying though should an emergency occur while one of these foreign carers was present. What would she do? Probably ring someone and say: ‘Police! Mummy down down floor!’ or something equally confusing.
On ‘Countryfile’ the other day when I was in a local pub I saw a piece on Hal-Al and Kosher food, and a discussion on whether religious ritual slaughtering should be banned in this country because of animal welfare regulations. Apparently a number of European countries have banned it. I would not go that far, but I do think Hal-Al and Kosher slaughterhouses and retail outlets should be strictly limited. The situation should not be allowed to exist where, for example, in my borough of London you are hard pressed to find any non-Hal-Al takeaway or butcher. One high road in my borough has many butchers’ shops, every one Hal-Al. My immediate area has two only, both Hal-Al. All the local take-aways are Hal-Al. All the local shops are run by Asians, and all except Tesco Express (also run by Asians) don’t stock English pies of any description.
The local State schools are all over 95% ethnic. White pupils apparently nearly all go to private schools. I saw on Facebook yesterday that some schools in the country are banning pork and only serving Hal-Al meat for school dinners. This is fair enough if it is an Islamic school, but State schools should all have a mix of pupils and ethnics should NOT be allowed to be in the majority. In America they adopted the policy of bussing pupils to different schools so there was an mix and no one racial group dominated any particular school.
I don’t consider myself particularly xenophobic, after all my father was Greek-Cypriot. But people who come to live in this country should learn to speak the language properly, and respect our local culture. Having said that, neither my father not many of my Greek-Cypriot relations who have lived here for decades ever learnt to speak English properly because they mix with Greek-Cypriots, read Greek-Cypriot newspapers and now watch Greek-Cypriot TV via satellite. It is just as bad with Britons who go to live in Spain and read English newspapers, watch British TV on satellite, demand a full English breakfast at local cafes and never learn to speak Spanish, Catalan, etc.
Respect the country you are living in, and learn to speakÂ the language properly. That’s not too much to ask surely?