As I sit here on the train to Liverpool Street, I can hear many voices of fellow travellers and it occurs to me none of them are speaking English. There’s Spanish, various forms of Asian languages, dialects that sound like Russian (they could be Latvian or Ukraine however). An so I’m sitting wondering what happened to all the British English speaking people. Is this the new Britain?
Where as before the drip of immigration meant that social integration was vital for the immigrant to “get on” in their new life, now the influx caused by Europe’s open borders means that ghettos of various nationalities, silos of languages and customs have developed across our country.
This has happened before of course, notable examples being Brixton, Slough and Bradford, these being driven by the racial undertones of last century’s England. Today’s ghettoisation is more to do with convenience for the immigrant, many cannot speak English when they arrive (at least not well) and so choose to settle where the shops speak their language and sell their foods from home. This is much like the English Ex-Pats in Spain and other countries that gather in certain areas, for example Benidorm.
What can we do as a nation, if we should do anything? Like the citizens of Bradford, Slough and Brixton have, these colonies will gradually integrate. The social boom and benefits bonanza that made moving to the UK an attractive proposition are mostly gone so we may even see migration back to their countries of origin.
I think the conclusion we should take is that Britain is a sum of its parts. From time immemorial we have suffered invaders, intruders and invitees, we are the resultant mess of peoples, a nation of immigrants.
(edited some time after posting because I may have been drunk when I originally rambled incoherently and barely was able to string a couple of words together without spelling mistokes)