Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Some days you just can't win.

There is uproar over NHS doctors who can't speak English. Apparently the NHS is acting illegally by employing doctors without checking they can speak all proper like what we do.

There is simultaneous uproar over taxi drivers in Southampton who can speak English and advertise the fact with a sticker in their car window. That's racist, apparently, and the taxi firms are breaking the law. Which law? I've no idea. Labour produce them so fast, nobody can possibly keep pace.

The odd thing about those two stories is that one is in the Daily Mail, sensationalists supreme and usually branded as right-wing and naughty. The other is in the Guardian, defender of all things politically and leftily correct and usually the first to point and howl 'Racist!' at any heretic who happens by.

They are the wrong way round. The 'Racist taxi drivers' story is in the Mail and the 'Nasty foreign doctors who can't speak the lingo' story is in the Guardian. Are they running some kind of exchange program between journalists?

There's nothing racist about those taxi driver badges, by the way. There are many taxi drivers of Asian and black extraction who speak perfect English and are therefore entitled to carry the badge. There are Spanish and Polish white drivers who can't speak a word and so can't have a badge. It's about language, not race. Then again, when was the last time 'racism' was used in its proper context? It's long been the standard 'shout-them-down' cry of the feeble minded. The word no longer means what it used to. Now it simply means 'someone who disagrees with the swivel-eyed loon'.

I'm just waiting for the first report of a vandalised taxi, set upon by the professionally offended for having a badge, that turns out to belong to an Asian driver who was just having a tea break.

It's bound to happen.


subrosa said...

It's a hell of a state of affairs when a taxi driver has to advertise he speaks the country's language.

Will this be coming north? I expect it will in time.

eh dinnae ken said...

I notice taxi drivers at Dundee Railway station have now started displaying similar badges. The Dundee accent is bad but surely not that bad !
Gies twa pehs a plen ain an an ingin ain an a.
Looks ok to me.

Mrs Rigby said...

It's a bit like walking into shop X and asking where something is, to be told, "No speak English". *shakes head*

JuliaM said...

"Are they running some kind of exchange program between journalists?"

If not, they really should. It'd shake a few complacencies out, wouldn't it?

Leg-iron said...

Subrosa - some of our bus drivers could do with a similar scheme. Most of them appear to be Polish now. They're good at driving in snow but it's best to avoid looking out of the window.

Leg-iron said...

eh dinna ken - Just out of town here, the language becomes Doric and that's something to experience!

Leg-iron said...

Mrs. R - if that happens, I just walk out again and try another shop.

It's not just immigrants either. there are parts of Wales...

Leg-iron said...

JuliaM - I'd like to swap the editorial teams of the Guardian and the Mail for a month, and see how long it took their readers to notice.

Ayrdale said...

One of our cabbies was murdered by a lowlife shit last weekend. An Indian of course, father of two, trying to make an honest buck, and probably develop his NewZild dialect at the same time.

I respect them. They're often over qualified, can't get work, but keen to make it. Can't be easy.

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