My thoughts on British citizenship test tightened to include English test for immigrants or rather economic migrants:
“Yesterday (Wed 17th April, 2013) saw a sad day for equalities’ communities, although you wouldn’t know it from the newspapers and media etc today. Yesterday (Tuesday 16th April, 2013) in Parliament, the Conservative (coalition) government voted (by 310 v 244) to get rid of the general Equality Duty (to promote and address inequality) that applies to all statutory sector organisations and all those organisations commissioned by them.
What it means for you and your families who work
(1) people’s ability to achieve their potential is limited by prejudice or discrimination.
(2) there is no respect for and protection of each individual’s human rights.
(3) there is no respect for the dignity and worth of each individual.
(4) each individual does not have an equal opportunity to participate in society.
(5) there is no mutual respect between groups based on understanding and valuing of diversity and on shared respect for equality and human rights.
This important news story, got lost got ignored by the UK Press and Media. The only way to tell people about this change, is either to blog or produce a press release about it, and make sure the media knows about these changes.
The House of Lords repealed this. The Coalition Government… didn’t. They know what they were changing.”
For some time I have spoken about equality, multiculturalism, diversity and immigration in the UK. I even mentioned that I’m a proud son of an immigrant as my father and mother have contributed to this country which allowed myself and my siblings to be educated in this country.
When I look around our great nation and able to see multiculturalism and diversity I can’t help to reflect if our parents were not able to hold a decent conversation in English and would they able to get by without our help. The answer will be mixed as I begin visited various communities I note with concern that there are still some communities are not willing to accept change to able to speak English and they still depend on family ties to help them to fill out forms and translate for them.
Which is still worrying in one sense the other is both successful governments in the UK have tried to address without success. Until the current government start to address the social policies or issue they are no further in moving forward this is because they are not addressing the root causes yet they continue to throw the problems back on immigration and they have to speak English to enter this country thinking it will be a vote winner.
David Cameron has the cheek to state that multiculturalism is failing and then continues to mention on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism.
At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism.
He also signalled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.
The speech angered some Muslim groups, while others queried its timing amid an English Defence League rally in the UK.
As Mr Cameron outlined his vision, he suggested there would be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups which get public money but do little to tackle extremism.
Ministers should refuse to share platforms or engage with such groups, which should be denied access to public funds and barred from spreading their message in universities and prisons, he argued.
“Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” the prime minister said.
“Let’s properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?
“These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations,” he added.
The Labour MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker, asked if it was wise for Mr Cameron to make the speech on the same day the English Defence League staged a major protest in his constituency.
There was further criticism from Labour’s Sadiq Khan whose comments made in a Daily Mirror article sparked a row. The shadow justice secretary was reported as saying Mr Cameron was “writing propaganda material for the EDL”.
Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi hit back, saying that “to smear the prime minister as a right wing extremist is outrageous and irresponsible”. She called on Labour leader Ed Miliband to disown the remarks.
It’s time the right hand knew what the far-right hand is doing”
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain‘s assistant secretary general, Dr Faisal Hanjra, described Mr Cameron’s speech as “disappointing”.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We were hoping that with a new government, with a new coalition that there’d be a change in emphasis in terms of counter-terrorism and dealing with the problem at hand.
“In terms of the approach to tackling terrorism though it doesn’t seem to be particularly new.
“Again it just seems the Muslim community is very much in the spotlight, being treated as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.”
In the speech, Mr Cameron drew a clear distinction between Islam the religion and what he described as “Islamist extremism” – a political ideology he said attracted people who feel “rootless” within their own countries.
“We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing,” he said.
The government is currently reviewing its policy to prevent violent extremism, known as Prevent, which is a key part of its wider counter-terrorism strategy.
InayatBunglawala from Muslims4Uk says Mr Cameron is “firing at the wrong target”
A genuinely liberal country “believes in certain values and actively promotes them”, Mr Cameron said.
“Freedom of speech which includes Freedom of worship, The rule of law, and Equal rights, regardless of race, sex or sexuality.
“It says to its citizens: This is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe these things.”
He said under the “doctrine of state multiculturalism”, different cultures have been encouraged to live separate lives.
“We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.”
Building a stronger sense of national and local identity holds “the key to achieving true cohesion” by allowing people to say “I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, but I am a Londoner… too”, he said.
Security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said when Mr Cameron expressed his opposition to extremism; he meant all forms, not just Islamist extremism.
“There’s a widespread feeling in the country that we’re less united behind values than we need to be,” she informed the media.
“There are things the government can do to give a lead and encourage participation in society, including all minorities.”
But the Islamic Society of Britain’s Ajmal Masroor said the prime minister did not appreciate the nature of the problem.
“I think he’s confusing a couple of issues: national identity and multiculturalism along with extremism are not connected. Extremism comes about as a result of several other factors,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
Former home secretary David Blunkett said while it was right the government promoted national identity, it had undermined its own policy by threatening to withdraw citizenship lessons from schools.
He accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of threatening to remove the subject from the national curriculum of secondary schools in England at a time “we’ve never needed it more”.
“It’s time the right hand knew what the far-right hand is doing,” he said.
“In fact, it’s time that the government were able to articulate one policy without immediately undermining it with another.”
I would like to challenge him to hold a public debate to address this issue in local communities across the country and stop using spin to address his ideology
I have to say that the government are living in the land of never, never. Instead of addressing the issues in their own backyard they are quite happy not finding the solutions of the 1000s of immigrates who enter this country with fake identities. Once they reach here they use different names to work or claim benefits. Some will argue you need to have a national insurance card to gain employment.
I beg to differ on the grounds that people who enter the UK by other means will find ways of obtaining a national insurance card, work permits by paying underground prices. Nor am I suggesting that every immigrants who came to this country came used the same route as most that came here during the 1940s to 1970s have contributed to society and provided employment to simulate the economy by the invitation of the government.
The Home Secretary and UK Boarders need to clamp down on the loopholes and engage more in the wider communities to grasp the nettle and stop pandering to fascism and racism of the far right parties. Sure it is a vote winner but at a very expensive cost. For years we give a good talk but still can’t do the walk.
I can understand why this has come up coupled with the problems of lack of social housing, and employment needs which is the main concern from the all sections of society instead this government are more concern about pleasing their rich donors to the Conservatives. The same argument is being used by the government to undermine Labour by saying that the Trade Unions are the pay masters of Labour Party.
I don’t have a problem per say for people who want to enter the UK to gain employment but the test must be done fairly across the board for people applying for British citizenship are to be set a compulsory English exam.
From October 2013, all those wishing to settle in the UK will have to pass an English language course as well as the existing test on life in the UK.
And that has now been extended to cover applicants for citizenship.
English-speakers applying for citizenship have currently only to take the life-in-the-UK test, which is in English.
If they are not English speakers or skilled migrants, they must pass a course in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) which contains citizenship materials.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said the changes would “ensure that migrants are ready and able to integrate into British society”.
In a letter to Keith Vaz MP, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “It would clearly be wrong for people to be able to become British citizens with a lower level of English than that expected from permanent residents.”
In some ways the images I have is when I see the Home Secretary in her bid to outdo the Iron Lady by pushing the right wing agenda in the hope of a leadership challenge to David Cameron should he not succeed in winning the next General Elections in 2015.