Bill Carmichael: Multi-culturalism’s failings in miniature

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THE decision, revealed exclusively in The Yorkshire Post this week, that the City of Leeds School is to offer all its pupils lessons in English as a foreign language was shocking, but also entirely understandable.

THE decision, revealed exclusively in The Yorkshire Post this week, that the City of Leeds School is to offer all its pupils lessons in English as a foreign language was shocking, but also entirely understandable.

I don’t blame the school, which is no doubt trying to do its best for children in almost impossible circumstances.

But what we see at the City of Leeds is a clear demonstration in miniature of the catastrophic impact on working class communities throughout the UK wrought by unfettered immigration and the failed policy of multi-culturalism.

Children from 55 countries attend the inner city school and they speak 50 different languages and dialects from Czech to Urdu. Many have arrived in the UK within the last four years and 85 per cent list English as a foreign language.

Headteacher Georgina Sale said: “Many of our pupils are not only new to English but they are not even literate in their own language. In some cases we are the first people to put a pen in their hand.”

Now imagine you are the parent of one of the 15 per cent of pupils at the school who are native English speakers. Do you think the fact that most of your child’s classmates do not speak or understand English, many are illiterate even in their native language, and some at secondary school age have never even held a pen, is going to have a detrimental impact on your child’s education?

Of course it is, but if anyone dares voice the merest whisper of concern, they are howled down as racists and a bigots by posh socialists who never in a billion years would consider sending their own children to a school like the City of Leeds.

Of course, it is not just in education where the open doors immigration policy has had an impact.

Maternity services around the country are creaking from the strain of coping with an influx of young women from the four corners of the globe, GPs and dentists are under pressure from growing patient rolls and social housing cannot cope with the demand.

In addition immigration depresses wages at the bottom of the pay scale and adds to the problem of unemployment in working class communities.

The lesson here is that if you offer free education, health care and housing to anyone around the world who wants it, whether they are prepared to contribute to our society or not, then don’t be surprised if local people are knocked aside by the stampede of newcomers.

It is all very well for members of the left-liberal elite to praise the virtues of immigration and multi-culturalism. They love the fact they can employ foreign nannies and cleaners at poverty rates – while patting themselves on the back for their boundless compassion and tolerance.

But the real damage is being done to people at the other end of the income scale. Society is rotting from the bottom up. What chance have the English speaking pupils at City of Leeds and similar schools of a good job or further study once their educational prospects have been sacrificed on the altar of multi-culturalism?

Although I absolve the City of Leeds from much of the blame, it does get some things badly wrong.

Its website this week had an announcement that the school was closed on Wednesday because of the teachers’ strike (that’ll help!) – and it was repeated in several languages.

The school also employs staff who speak Czech, Romanian, Russian and German and offers a translation service for foreign parents.

This is all part of the multi-cultural dogma that immigrants need not make the slightest effort to fit in with the communities they join. It is supposed to help newcomers, but in fact it deepens their separation and deprivation.

If you live in Romania and you can’t speak English, you are at a big disadvantage in the modern world where English is the language of the internet and business. To live in England and not speak English is simply bonkers.

The school should stop indulging in this multi-cultural fantasy and end the translation services. Parents and children should be told the brutal truth; to have any chance of getting on the world you need to learn English – and fast.