Tory Leader: 'Migrants must learn English'

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Sep 27 16:11:23 UTC 2005

September 27, 2005 The Times

'Migrants must learn English'

By A Correspondent

MICHAEL HOWARD said yesterday that too much emphasis had been placed on
immigrants to Britain maintaining traditions from their countries of
origin and not enough on British identity. The Tory leader called for
everyone who comes to this country to be taught English and for children
to be instilled with a sense of pride in our institutions and our way of
life. He added: Perhaps one of the mistakes we have made in recent years
is a tendency to place too much emphasis on the need to encourage the
retention of attachment to other traditions and not enough on the British
identity we all share.

Rather than cherishing the ties that bind us, we have been focusing on
what divides us. Surely it is time to reverse this trend; our democracy,
monarchy, rule of law, history, these are the things which need to be
understood more and better, he said. Mr Howard, whose father, Bernard
Hecht, was an immigrant from Romania, told the Policy Exchange think tank
said that the ability to speak English was vital to successful
integration. Far too many British immigrants have little more than a
rudimentary grasp of the language, he said. We need a sustained effort to
teach English to everyone who comes to Britain, he said.

 Copyright 2005 Times Newspapers Ltd.,,2-1799394,00.html

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