Dame Casey demands English speaking U.K.


Ahead of the release of her Integrated Communities Strategy, Dame Louise Casey, during an interview with the BBC, has proposed that Britain should set a date by which every citizen should speak English. This comes less than two years after her 2016 report in which Casey propagates a slightly less divisive version of her social cohesion strategy, saying 'I did find this. Black boys still not getting jobs, white working class kids on free school meals still doing badly in our education system, Muslim girls getting good grades at school but no decent employment opportunities'.

Casey throughout her career has never shied away from controversy, whether comments criticising Charities in their management of the rough sleeper issue, or her criticism of perceived isolation by Muslim communities. What may ring as alarming even to those who are familiar with her rhetoric is the coercive undertone. Although according to the latest census than 3% of the population of the UK cannot speak English, Casey seems to be fixated on this as the fundamental barrier to inclusivity. By fixating on this issue and proposing policy which is both incendiary and almost impossible to enforce, she has relieved herself of the responsibility of finding the real issue, whilst also pandering to populist sentiment.

The UK is a place of opportunity and speaking English is one of the keys to unlocking this, if we continue to give the opportunity for all citizens to engage with the language and therefore the culture, the benefits to both the economy and the multicultural ideals would be immediate. Casey's policy suggestion seems to ignore the fact that English is part of the National Curriculum and the 2013 Government decision to require individuals seeking citizenship to hold English language (ESOL) qualifications. Instead, further marginalising the older generation of immigrants which is the very thing she claims to want to fix.

Adeolu Adebayo