Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Devils and angels

Sometimes you wonder if irony is lost on lefties. The Grauniad gives space to some dippy French woman to have a rant at the English. It's dressed up as a criticism of those who are opposed to the idea of teaching foreign languages by compulsion in our schools - but it's a very thin disguise.

The woman in question, Agnès Poirier, is a journalist and the author of Touché, a French woman's take on the English - says ...

The global culture we live in is a double-faced creature, part angel, part devil. It induces two sets of behaviour in world citizens: a greater openness and a new curiosity towards others, or the illusory and self-satisfied conviction that the world has come to them.

Part angel, part devil, eh? I wonder which is which.

The first group, embracing multilingualism, have learned that a better understanding of other cultures, based on mutual knowledge of each other's languages, can foster stronger business partnerships, richer cultural exchanges and lasting peace.

So the old "multi-cultis" are the angels - no real surprise there, but what of the devils?

The second, often found in the English-speaking world, are proud of their monolingualism, and have retreated into a fantasy world in which it seems everyone speaks their language.

Pretty clear that, then - the English speaking world are the devils. It's not just Osama and his buddies who view America as the "The Great Satan", it's leftard French feminist moonbats. Only she lumps the British, Aussies, Irish, New Zealanders and much of Canada in the Beelzebub Club, too.

Ah, well. At least we are in good company - decent democratic nations one and all. Take a peek round the Francophone world and it's not quite such an illustrious group - Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Chad, Niger ..... need I say more. Call me old-fashioned, but given a choice, I'd stick with the devils in Detroit rather than risk my neck with the angels of Rwanda.

Ms Poirier goes on to say "It is a well-known fact that giving children the tools to question the world we live in and how we live in it is a politically loaded weapon aimed at the establishment. It's called grown-up democracy."

Not sure about France, but here in good old satanland our grown up democracy is an adult pastime - albeit one that is in retreat. Quite how teaching a child another language provides them with a "tool" to question the world is not made clear - what I do know is is that if your question isn't liked by leftie tools like Ms Poirier the chances are they will call you names like "racist", "sexist", "homophobe" or "xenophobe".

So where is the irony? Ms Poirier is, presumably, French. The French are quite probably the most protective people on earth when it comes to language. Where English happily takes all sorts of words and influences from other languages and cultures - from bungalow to boudoir - the French refuse to allow anything to "taint" their own language.

It's one thing to criticise those who oppose compulsory teaching of foreign languages - but to use that as an excuse to rant at the English in such an unjustified way is deplorable. Unfortunately, it's typical of the left.

1 comment:

Alfred of Wessex said...

Amen, brother. I'm sure the Islamists will love all the useful idiots of the Left - right up to the moment they hack their heads off or strangle them from crane jibs...