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The Commons Bar Mk V

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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Not really sure how any one can defend the idea of immigrants not speaking the local language. If someone has no command of the English language how are they going to work and function in English society? People should't have to give up their language but they should have to learn the national one for sheer practicality
    Because according to melancholy and adorno it's racist.

    But you are absolutely right - to create a harmonious and functioning society there must be common ground. If someone doesn't speak the same language, they cannot function in an English speaking society. No one is asking them to give up their language or telling them they shouldn't use it; all that is being asked is that for, as you call it, sheer practicality, they learn the language of the country.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    So wanting immigrants to speak the language of the host country isn't a racist policy?
    In discrete terms no, as part of the much wider discriminatory practices of centre-right and populist xenophic parties it almost certainly is. In any case, I would be minded to use discrimination rather than racism since the notion that we're different from someone else simply because they happen to have a different colour skin or speak a different language is pathetic really. Race doesn't exist.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Because according to melancholy and adorno it's racist.

    But you are absolutely right - to create a harmonious and functioning society there must be common ground. If someone doesn't speak the same language, they cannot function in an English speaking society. No one is asking them to give up their language or telling them they shouldn't use it; all that is being asked is that for, as you call it, sheer practicality, they learn the language of the country.
    If someone can't speak the local language all it's going to lead them to is a crap life. You cannot get anywhere in another country career wise without speaking the local language.
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    (Original post by ajp100688)
    Because they made a choice to move here, they weren't forced to.
    Why does choice necessitate being coercively integrated into a particular society? Are asylum seekers allowed to opt out because they didn't make a choice?

    Integration increase social harmony.
    True, but this isn't integration we are talking about here. It is a forcible tactic which one hopes will encourage integration. It could in fact go the opposite way. What then?

    Being able to communicate with other residents in the country is integral to every day life. It's not rocket science.
    Is language the ony way one can communicate. Forgive me for the anecdote but the corner shop close by is a foundation stone of our community and is run on a day to day basis by an Indian gentleman who can speak just a few words of conversational English. In his shop communication has little to do with language.

    Surely the type of communication which necessitates a good grasp of the English language would be an incentive in itself for those individuals who lack it. This may involve a more prosperous job than working behind the counter of a corner shop, or even being involved with local government etc...etc... Are you saying that the learning of English will not happen spontaneously without the heavy hand of the state?
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    (Original post by ajp100688)
    Because they made a choice to move here, they weren't forced to. Integration increase social harmony. Being able to communicate with other residents in the country is integral to every day life. It's not rocket science.
    Except, as was briefly mentioned yesterday, that cannot be taken for a given even when we're all speaking the same language!
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    If someone can't speak the local language all it's going to lead them to is a crap life. You cannot get anywhere in another country career wise without speaking the local language.
    You can't get anywhere socially either.

    (Original post by Adorno)
    In discrete terms no, as part of the much wider discriminatory practices of centre-right and populist xenophic parties it almost certainly is. In any case, I would be minded to use discrimination rather than racism since the notion that we're different from someone else simply because they happen to have a different colour skin or speak a different language is pathetic really. Race doesn't exist.
    Right so why all the accusations from you lot? I accept we disagree on many issues but was all the accusations necessary? I practically agree with your lost few words - not so much that race doesn't exist more that it's entirely irrelevant.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Right so why all the accusations from you lot? I accept we disagree on many issues but was all the accusations necessary? I practically agree with your lost few words - not so much that race doesn't exist more that it's entirely irrelevant.
    I used racist once yesterday but that was me being lazy on reflection of what I was saying. I have not used the term once today.
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    (Original post by Adorno)
    I used racist once yesterday but that was me being lazy on reflection of what I was saying. I have not used the term once today.
    Unjustified use of the word regardless of how many times you used it - but at least you have acknowledged you were wrong to use it.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    If someone has no command of the English language how are they going to work and function in English society? People should't have to give up their language but they should have to learn the national one for sheer practicality
    That is not the issue here. The issue is government forcing them to learn the language. You have identified the facts above. Anybody who does not learn the language of the majority is going to have it bad. The fact is that most do learn the language for precisely the reasons you identify above, practical and reasonable reasons. Nothing to do with cultural integration, more to do with pragmatic material prosperity.

    Why should the state be bought in to forcibly encourage this on the reactionary basis of us and them? It is irellevant and in my opinion will do more harm than good by satiating hardliners on one side and enraging hardliners on the other. Do immigrants lack the sense to realise that a grasp of English is required? Does Teaddict think all immigrants are as hostile to the idea of another culture encroaching upon their own as he is? (I can assure him that his opposite numbers in other cultures are also a minority)
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Unjustified use of the word regardless of how many times you used it - but at least you have acknowledged you were wrong to use it.
    Well I believe you to be xenophobic and you certainly display certain characteristics in common with the populist volksparteien which exist across Europe but it would be hard to label anyone here a racist when I don't consider race to exist.
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    (Original post by Adorno)
    Well I believe you to be xenophobic and you certainly display certain characteristics in common with the populist volksparteien which exist across Europe but it would be hard to label anyone here a racist when I don't consider race to exist.
    That's unjustified as well
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    (Original post by Anna_Karenina)
    Does Teaddict think all immigrants are as hostile to the idea of another culture encroaching upon their own as he is?
    I don't know where you get this crap from...
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    That's unjustified as well
    No less justified than many of the things you have said about me. I stand by it.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    But you are absolutely right - to create a harmonious and functioning society there must be common ground. If someone doesn't speak the same language, they cannot function in an English speaking society. No one is asking them to give up their language or telling them they shouldn't use it; all that is being asked is that for, as you call it, sheer practicality, they learn the language of the country.
    I've been ignoring this discussion, but you guys really need to stop this.

    Premise 1: 'a harmonious and functioning society' - what does that even mean? And I mean, in a technical sense, stop being abstract. What does harmonious mean when you envision it in your mind's eye? And what does 'functioning' mean? Function and purpose are inseparable, so what purpose do you want, or rather, what end to do you desire for this 'functioning' society?

    Premise 2: '...someone doesn't speak the same language, they cannot function in an English speaking society' - why not? But first, what function or purpose do you see for every constituent person in English speaking society? Coming back to the previous point, why can't a person who doesn't speak English 'function'? Deaf and dumb people 'function' well enough without being able to say a single word of any language.

    Going back to your first premise, you said that a common language necessitates a 'harmonious and functioning society', can you give me a single period between 1066 and now, to make it simple, where society has been harmonious and it 'functioned'?
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Right so why all the accusations from you lot? I accept we disagree on many issues but was all the accusations necessary? I practically agree with your lost few words - not so much that race doesn't exist more that it's entirely irrelevant.

    It was not accusation it was implied (There is a difference) that the basis for your position was grounded in racial superiority. Instead of confronting this issue you are taking a reasonably small point and blowing it up out of all proportion. You are just as bad as those who do throw around the term racist at anyone and everyone. Except you do the opposite and see accusations of racism behind every blade of grass.

    Chill out and try to clear your head. Firstly, as I have said many times before, my discourse with yourself has contained no value judgments on racism by myself. I have never said that your position has a basis in racial superiority therefore you are racist and therefore you are bad. It is you who has ranted himself into a fury over this issue. Why must the discussion be so heated and emotive on your part? I am asking a reasonable question and you have no idea what my ideological position is. (I am not Melancholy btw)
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    (Original post by Adorno)
    Except, as was briefly mentioned yesterday, that cannot be taken for a given even when we're all speaking the same language!
    Heh of course other issues come into integration/social cohesion but being able to communicate has to be the foundation stone. You can't have an integrated well functioning community if you have a section of it which ghettoises itself from the rest because it can't communicate with them.

    I'm surprised you're so liberal on the immigration issue because it's immigrants that refuse to integrate and learn only minimal English skills that usually take the low skilled jobs that the working class rely upon. Thus the recent mass immigration of people who have no desire to integrate has contributed greatly to the working classes problems.

    (Original post by Anna_Karenina)
    Why does choice necessitate being coercively integrated into a particular society? Are asylum seekers allowed to opt out because they didn't make a choice?
    Asylum Seekers still make a choice to apply to get into the UK, there are other countries out there if they don't want to go to the effort of learning English. Which lets be honest can be picked up to a workable standard in about six months if you try hard enough, probably even less given total immersion. I knew a Polish guy who could barely speak a word of English when he came over here and was speaking fluent English within a year to the extent you wouldn't know he was Polish if it wasn't for the accent.
    True, but this isn't integration we are talking about here. It is a forcible tactic which one hopes will encourage integration. It could in fact go the opposite way. What then?
    ....yeah people are going to seclude themselves from society because they're being made to learn English. That's such a logical idea. If they don't want to learn English they can remain in their nation of origin and communicate in their own language there.

    Is language the ony way one can communicate. Forgive me for the anecdote but the corner shop close by is a foundation stone of our community and is run on a day to day basis by an Indian gentleman who can speak just a few words of conversational English. In his shop communication has little to do with language.
    Yes but does that guy communicate outside of his shop, which is hardly a taxing environment, he can get by without English because lets be honest even English teenagers manning tills only grunt at you anyways. Does he involve himself in the community, can he talk to his neighbours, can he go along to a local council meeting, write to his MP if something has happened to him, open a business that doesn't rely on just passing things to people, deal with everyday paperwork such a bills, read a newspaper, watch a film, go to the threatre etc? All of these things contribute to someone not being a fully functioning member of society, who often relies upon one member of the family who has actually bothered to learn English.

    Surely the type of communication which necessitates a good grasp of the English language would be an incentive in itself for those individuals who lack it. This may involve a more prosperous job than working behind the counter of a corner shop, or even being involved with local government etc...etc... Are you saying that the learning of English will not happen spontaneously without the heavy hand of the state?
    Well there's an overwhelming number of recent immigrants in menial jobs where little English is needed. Make of that what you will.



    If I had my way I'd make English, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic official languages of the UK with a special status for Gaelige. All government associated publications in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland would be printed in English, in Wales they'd be printed in Welsh and English; Gaelic and Gaelige versions would be available on request. All other language publications, hotlines, whatever would be dropped immediately.
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    (Original post by Anna_Karenina)
    It was not accusation it was implied (There is a difference) that the basis for your position was grounded in racial superiority. Instead of confronting this issue you are taking a reasonably small point and blowing it up out of all proportion. You are just as bad as those who do throw around the term racist at anyone and everyone. Except you do the opposite and see accusations of racism behind every blade of grass.

    Chill out and try to clear your head. Firstly, as I have said many times before, my discourse with yourself has contained no value judgments on racism by myself. I have never said that your position has a basis in racial superiority therefore you are racist and therefore you are bad. It is you who has ranted himself into a fury over this issue. Why must the discussion be so heated and emotive on your part? I am asking a reasonable question and you have no idea what my ideological position is. (I am not Melancholy btw)
    I said that you were coercively enforcing a main facet of a particular racial identity upon other races. How is that not racial superiority?

    That is a quote from you and that heavily implies it. It's not the sole time you have implied it.
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    (Original post by ajp100688)
    Heh of course other issues come into integration/social cohesion but being able to communicate has to be the foundation stone. You can't have an integrated well functioning community if you have a section of it which ghettoises itself from the rest because it can't communicate with them.
    Sure you can, it's called the aristocracy!

    I'm surprised you're so liberal on the immigration issue because it's immigrants that refuse to integrate and learn only minimal English skills that usually take the low skilled jobs that the working class rely upon. Thus the recent mass immigration of people who have no desire to integrate has contributed greatly to the working classes problems.
    I don't believe that, if I'm honest. The problems of the working class in contemporary Britain aren't based on this notion that immigrants took their jobs. For the most part immigrants have taken jobs in their own cornershops, their own supermarkets, and in higher level professions. Alright, for a time, there were Poles who drove buses, cleaned hotels, and kept all the airports running but I think in the long run it will be shown that the British working class has been hampered by things other than immigration. Or else what of the 1950s and 1960s? What of the 1900s and 1910s? Both of these were periods when immigration was high but the problems we now link together simply did not exist.

    The problem isn't that lack of low skill jobs, the problem is the lack of skilled jobs. That's what the working class has been after: mechanic, carpenter, and so on. Neo-liberal economics has wiped away all the skill not immigrants taking poorly paid jobs.
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    I think it's both. On the one hand, immigrants are flooding in and taking unskilled jobs all across the country that many Brits don't want. But on the other hand, the problem is more that the 'working class' is shrinking and changing and is no longer pushed into doing such jobs. Nowhere do you see people being pushed to be bin men at GCSE careers evenings. And as Adorno says, our training is being changed.
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    (Original post by ajp100688)

    Asylum Seekers still make a choice to apply to get into the UK, there are other countries out there if they don't want to go to the effort of learning English.
    I don't really have time to get into a debate on workable definitions of choice.



    ....yeah people are going to seclude themselves from society because they're being made to learn English. That's such a logical idea.

    Since when ahve human beings been logical? I think there is far more evidence for my position to be honest in which a minority has been forced to conform in some way or another with the culture of a majority and has thus alienated itself, even if that alienation only occured within a minority of that minority. I think certain elements of militant Islam are a good example. Islam4uk evidently protests and tants at it being forced to conform to UK law. We are not going to repeal the laws they disagree with but introducing a law forcibly making immigrants learn English is both irellevant and in my opinion insulting to the intelligence of what are when we come down to it human beings like you and I. The fact they are immigrants, or look and speak differently does not mean they are alien (despite what teaddict might believe) they still want the same things all of us do, relative prosperitym, security and comfort. These things necessitate language hence the reason the vast majority of immigrants learn English of their own accord.



    Yes but does that guy communicate outside of his shop, which is hardly a taxing environment, he can get by without English because lets be honest even English teenagers manning tills only grunt at you anyways. Does he involve himself in the community, can he talk to his neighbours, can he go along to a local council meeting, write to his MP if something has happened to him, open a business that doesn't rely on just passing things to people, deal with everyday paperwork such a bills, read a newspaper, watch a film, go to the threatre etc?

    All of these things contribute to someone not being a fully functioning member of society, who often relies upon one member of the family who has actually bothered to learn English.
    I'm sorry but I cannot really tae this seriously and do not have time to debate it. You have drawn up a list of things you think qualify a fully functioning member of society. As DRE says above function necessitates purpose and you evidently envisage the purpose of a ciitizen to contribute to some united kingdom of emmerdale, full of respectful, responsible people. This is why discussing things like function is so ridiculous, it is subjective in the extreme and no doubt somebody living in the city will have a completely idea.


    Well there's an overwhelming number of recent immigrants in menial jobs where little English is needed. Make of that what you will.
    Care to back it up?


    If I had my way I'd make English, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic official languages of the UK with a special status for Gaelige. All government associated publications in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland would be printed in English, in Wales they'd be printed in Welsh and English; Gaelic and Gaelige versions would be available on request. All other language publications, hotlines, whatever would be dropped immediately.

    Why gaelic? That is spoken by even fewer people than Hindi. How does that in any way contribute to a functioning citizen?
Updated: April 29, 2012
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