Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 20 August 2004

David Blunkett's latest wheeze

Home Secretary David Blunkett, according to this story in the Scotsman (and I can hardly believe it, even from him, maybe it's the Scotsman's idea of a joke) is seeking to apply complete equality to those applying for naturalisation by enforcing the evaluation of competency in English on all applicants, including those from English-speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Now I suppose it is theoretically possible that a Canadian applicant, who is monolingual only in French (or Inuit?) is trying to gain naturalisation in the UK, but I submit (M'lud) that this is not very likely.

If it was not completely tasteless, indeed crass in the extreme, I would be forced to wonder whether Mr Blunkett is not blind to how his actions and striving for some kind of Blunkett definition of 'equality' quite often come across (for those not familiar with British domestic politics I should clarify that Mr Blunkett is in fact blind and makes use of a guide dog and reads most of his speeches from Braille texts). Surely the Scotsman must be exaggerating what is being proposed? If only it were that simple, because many of his proposals are decidedly wacko (not to say illiberal); on balance I cannot discount the possibility that it might be just as the Scotsman is reporting it to be.

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