Swearing allegiance – will it deliver inclusivity?

The press is full of the idea of councillors, NHS workers etc swearing allegiance to Great Britain in the hope this will ensure our diverse communities are embraced and included rather than isolated.

 

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as well as MP for Bromsgrove is a supporter of the idea.  I’m not sure swearing an oath will carry much weight.  It will certainly be meaningless to the members of our communities isolated by fear, religion, culture etc.

 

However, something Sajid also said made a lot more sense.  He told the story of visiting his GP when he was 8.  He wasn’t sick.  He was attending as translator for his mum who had lived in the UK for years but never learnt the language. Sometime later she did learn English and her life, as told by Sajid, opened up.

 

I meet a lot of people who have family members who do not speak English despite living in the UK for decades.  This of course means they can’t work, nor can they integrate with other communities.  Studying is difficult. Day-to-day life – such as a GP’s visit – depends on other family members.

 

Wouldn’t it break down more barriers between our diverse cultures if we all spoke the same language?  At least then conversation could be held, understanding would grow, integration and prosperity would then follow.

 

Is an oath of allegiance really needed? or is it more relevant to learn English?

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