This month’s Citylife (Jan2011) community service section – check it out on the Web – resulted in howls of derisive laughter to emanate from D3 in the Hilton. No fault of editor Pim’s but the entry was deliberately sparse on necessary detail thereby permitting certain – no names, no pack drill – British Embassy employers to instigate yet another dirty deed done dirt cheap and bolster her pension funds at the expense of the pockets of both British ex pats and us residents in Bang Kwang. As of (presumably)1/1/11 all non- Europeans requiring a visa to travel to the UK must pass an exam that tests their fluency with the English language.
A favoured phrase of both my prep. School Latin master and my mother comes readily to mind:”Sed qui custodiet ipsos custodies?” I also stress how the Embassy have again shot themselves in the foot by using the proper noun, European.
Long-standing ‘Old Thai Hands’ amongst the British ex-pats/inmate community will recall a previous ‘nice little earner’ of the Embassy’s, TB testing. Given that Amazing Dieland is rife with TB, itself only 2nd to the incidence of Aids, this scam netted consular staff hundreds of thousands in GBP paid as a back-hander by the sole clinic authorised to carry out the test! Unlikely that the cognoscenti will anticipate a lesser windfall with this latest swindle.
Not that blog readers aren’t aware of many or all, of the caveats raised by this shameful subterfuge of what is more accurately described, extortion, but I would be remiss if I failed to give, at least serious exceptions to exhibiting a competency in ‘Home Counties’ English.
- A visitor intends to journey to the UK to experience one or more regional festivals, viz; Edinburgh, Eisteddfod, Hop picking in Kent, Morris dancing in Devon and Cornwall, Naval reviews in Portsmouth and or Plymouth, sites of Roman occupation, walking tours of Yorkshire Moors, etc., etc., etc., I argue that being conversant in a British style Eton college English is downright life-threatening in many parts of the UK.
- The Visa applicant intends to stay in the UK for socio-economic reasons during an extended period. Linguistically the United Kingdom is one of the most diverse regions on the planet. Five separate languages, not counting hundreds of local dialects, - many of which become incomprehensible to other Britons living outside of the 5 mile radius of the locality – are routinely spoken in the British Isles; 3 Goidelic (variants) of Gaelic, i,e, Scottish, Irish and Cornish, Welsh and English. Personally I am grievously insulted by Ambassador Quayles egocentric demand that my wife and children would be forced to learn a language that they have no need of in Cymru.
Quayle needs to be asked some questions about this racist and very challengable dictum, again blog readers will need little prompting as to which ones reveal the Embassy’s true intent. For those new to this blog I’ll give a sample or two of jeopardy type answers:
- This new policy only applies to Thailand
- It will cost ‘big bucks’ to sit the exam.
- The setter will be a locally employed Thai with a Khao San road T.O.F.L certification, or an Aussie woman whose name momentarily escapes me (Clue –ROFL)
As a further aid for English exam entrants should you see the Sheila whose name I can not recollect in the examination hall then the following question, posed in Australian, will ensure a 100% pass mark;
(to be spoken out loud for the best effect)