A Nottingham postmaster has said he will refuse to serve people in his post office if they cannot speak English. (BBC)There is a group of well-meaning but utterly muddled individuals in the United Kingdom who think that "multiculturalism" means ignoring the UK's history, values and language. They argue that forced marriages ought not to be tackled, because other cultures do things differently. They say that free speech should be sacrificed on the altar of not causing offence. They purge our language of references to Christmas, Easter, or Christian names, in case such things offend religious minorities . They insist that not only essential information, but everything must be published in minority languages.So quite how confused do you think such people will be, on learning that this postmaster is
Deva Kumarasiri, who moved to England from Sri Lanka 18 years ago.The conundrum: is he a racist, or is he not?Of course people need time to learn English, but for that reason, we should be very careful about opening up literally everything to translation, since the need to learn English will attenuate. Rather, essential services, and only essential services, should require translation. Everything else can get by using simple, clear English of the sort people learn in TEFL classes. In fact, those minorities are generally more offended by the kind of rampant secularism represented by this group of people than by the references to Christianity in events such as Christmas and Easter.