Allison Pearson writes, “No, madam — you have offended MY values”:
On a train to London, a young woman wearing a burkha, with only her heavily made-up eyes peeping out, did not have a valid ticket.
Challenged by the guard, the young woman gave a litany of excuses. She had left her bag at her boyfriend’s, he had bought the ticket, she had no money on her…
My friend Jane, who was in the same carriage, noticed how the guard became nervous as the Muslim girl presented herself as an innocent in a society she didn’t understand.
Instead of issuing a penalty fine, the guard backed off, shrugging his helplessness at the other passengers.
So imagine my friend’s surprise when she got off at the same station as burkha girl and saw this ‘penniless innocent’ whip out a credit card from under the folds of her dress with which she promptly bought a Tube ticket. (…)
only yesterday, a Metropolitan Police chief admitted the bill for translation services for criminals and victims was set to soar to a staggering £20million by 2012.
Scotland Yard blames a growth in 50 distinct communities of more than 10,000 people and having to deal with more than 300 languages.
At no point in the statement is there any mention of compulsory English lessons...