As momentum gathers to pull up the drawbridge and lower the portcullis against the marauding bands of the Unenglish beating a path to our gates, the burning question on the lips of each and every Daily Mail journalist and radio”phone in” presenter is this : “Once here, how do we make them integrate? How do we make them more English?”
The well known master of post modern irony, Reg Dwight, mournfully sung that “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” and how wisely ironic was that old sage of the keyboard. For an Englishman, and I shall persist with that term, “sorry” is as far from being the hardest word as is the deep fried Mars Bar from being a vitamin supplement, and English spoken without its regular and meaningless usage is American, which means that when it is used it will be unbearably sincere and equally unintelligible as it will be pronounced as if it were a South Asian female garment. So, I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to teach all new arrivals how not to be sorry, ever, but to say that they are, often, and as a matter of course. It may well be possible to speak English fluently with that word alone, a full vocabulary of hand, head and foot gestures together with a sound understanding of the subtleties of mime. On reflection, there is an important section of our society that has done so for time immemorial..sorry…for a very long time.