Friday, 16 December 2011

Not on speaking terms

So Mrs Vali Chapti has lost her appeal against the ruling that her Indian husband must learn some English before he acquires the right to live with her in the UK. How does the BBC feel about this? There are some clues: the Chaptis' lawyer. Manjit Gill QC, is quoted at greater length than the judge, and a pro-immigration lobbyist gets considerably more space to air her disappointment than the Immigration Minister gets to express his satisfaction. Same old same old, as we bloggers used to say.

I can agree with Mr Gill on one point: this is about racism. We learn that the Chaptis 'have divided their time for 15 years between Leicester and India', so it seems reasonable to conclude that Mr Chapti has spent a total of several years lving in an English city. During that time he has not felt moved to acquire the most basic English (which, lest we forget, is one of the national languages - in many respects the national language - of his native India). That being the case, he can never have held a conversation - never so much as said 'nice weather we're having' - with the citizens of the country which he wishes to make his home. Or rather, only with the ones who belong to his own ethnic group.

This goes some way beyond a natural preference for mixing with one's own kind, does it not? Give Mr Chapti a paler complexion and he would be Dr Verwoerd's idea of a model citizen. Question 1: why doesn't the Beeb see it that way? Question 2: how many more Mr Chaptis are there living in Leicester? Question 3: how surprising is it if some of the people in Leicester who Mr Chapti doesn't talk to are drawn to the EDL or worse?

No comments:

Post a Comment