A campaign suggestion to aid social cohesion

September 27, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Hazel Speed

It was with surprise that I came across a radio discussion regarding the view of French people resident and working in the UK, the majority being in London but further thousands throughout the UK.

From the Corporate viewpoint Brexit was a detrimental action as far as one French Company was concerned, but in reality they were only moving a small section of the same back to Paris in order to benefit from the research and development monies from Europe. Therefore the UK was still good enough for everything else – a case of cupboard love! This annoyed me somewhat as they explained it in such a disingenuous way, blaming Brexit in a false scape-goat format until someone else clarified it was really ‘the best of both worlds’ scenario this Company was enjoying. That in itself could be creating a racial resentment and one can anticipate the kind of retort they could be given.

Apparently, estate agents who are devoted to resettling French people in London have a good going concern selling high end properties in exclusive areas. They obviously can speak mostly in French within all their dealings, as their customers may be planning to come from France to the UK and the staff of the estate agent are French/speak French which thereby facilitates all especially where legalities of contracts are concerned.

Some of the French community felt betrayed by Brexit! Others were more honest. Very few commented on the democratic vote of the majority. Anyone from another Country should acknowledge such a thing even moreso than natives of the UK if they do not wish racial tensions to arise.

Regarding French Companies that may return to France (yet only one example of the same was given thus far), someone gave an excellent analogy saying that Companies were like restaurants in that if one day your favourite restaurant has closed down then one simply moves to another restaurant which may in fact prove to be even better. In short he was saying ‘life goes on’. Those of us who recall the shops in London years ago can bear witness that they have been replaced more than once by new names, products and services.

They call a particular area which is relevant to companies Francais as a certain – (?) Valley. I would not dare say what it is as the irony being it is OK for them to use a euphemism for the same which conversely could get a native to the UK arrested for being racial.

There was one comment which really encouraged me and I think there is potential for a PR Campaign to assist social cohesion. See what you think.

The Mother of a French teenager mentioned a comment her daughter had made to her which she found sad, but personally I think the Mother should be proud.

Her daughter was brought up in the UK, so she was bilingual.

She had met up with a French friend and whilst they were walking along the pavement, they spoke in French.

Suddenly, apparently, this young lady felt it was inappropriate to do this.

We have left the days of my youth long ago when it was considered rude to speak in a foreign language in front of those who did not understand it, more by way of a common courtesy rather than any aspect of eavesdropping.

Then again, we live in the era where it seems almost everyone is constantly speaking with someone on a mobile phone. London is so cosmopolitan, along with all the UK, and probably every Country in the world is represented these days.

As a common courtesy it would be nice to see posters suggesting when amongst other people it would be greatly appreciated if a person can speak in English wherever possible, as a mark of respect for this Country, and that those who speak English as a primary language can they remember others may be forced to hear what they are saying so could they also keep the volume and content to socially acceptable levels, i.e. No domestic arguments for all to hear!

From a security aspect this would also be more reassuring.

I have lived in another Country myself and always respected their laws – legal and social. I did not intend on spending the rest of my life there so did not apply for dual citizenship as that would have also given me a sense of betrayal to the Country I loved, where I was born – England. I lived overseas for a few years as a teenager just for the experience whilst I was young.

At the end of the day respect is a mutual functionality. We respect those from other lands and granted, a number will not be able to understand or speak English for a while, but for those who can and both live and work in the UK ‘thank you’ if you can show us that as we have opened up our Country to you, that in return you show us your respect by speaking English in areas you consider appropriate so to do.

A sense of a new Social cohesion will emerge.

If a French teenager intuitively senses the need for this then it gives hope others may too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing states of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: www.thepinkprofessor.com.

Art sites: www.candystoreart.comwww.terrificart.comwww.artbadges.co.uk.

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