Richard Littlejohn often declares that he isn’t against immigration, but against immigrants who ‘refuse to learn English or integrate into our society‘. Now the word ‘integration’ has always bothered me when it is used in terms of integrating into a society, how is a person supposed to do this? Are they supposed to integrate with lower-class society, underclass, middle, middle-upper or high-class society? Are they not considered integrated if they don’t attend local groups – such as line dancing on a Wednesday evening?
Integration is such a woolly, indefinable idea that of course it is an easy stick to beat immigrants with, and it is easy for racists like Richard Littlejohn to proclaim that they don’t really mind foreigners, as long as they behave utterly British as soon as they cross the border. Given that Richard Littlejohn lives in a gated mansion in Florida I wonder whether he is properly integrated into American society. I was born and raised in England and have now lived in Wales for the last 6 years, am I properly integrated in this society?
Sure, I have bought a house, I have a job and a fiancee, but have I exchanged more than 50 words with any neighbours in the year I have lived in my house – no, have I learnt the local language – no, do I attend line-dancing classes or other local activities – no. So am I integrated? I commute back and forth to work and only spend time with my fiancee and close friends during the week, I keep myself to myself pretty much as I only have limited leisure time. I imagine I am not alone in living this kind of lifestyle and I wonder if I happened to be an immigrant in the UK whether this behaviour would be seen as a failure to integrate, and whether I’d be despised for this failure.
I recently stumbled across a new blog – Left Outside – and noticed that they had a post on the UK Citizenship Test, so in order to test whether I deserved to live in the UK I took the test. Here is my result:
You have failed the practice citizenship test.
Questions answered correctly: 13 out of 24 (54%)
In order to pass the test you must score 75%. I would like anyone with a spare five minutes (it is a multiple choice test and should not take any longer) to take the test and see whether they are judged to be worthy of residence in the UK – I think you’ll find the questions scarily obscure. Quite what being able to answer such questions achieves I am not sure, as I’m pretty sure most people born UK citizens would struggle to get the required 75%.
If you do complete the test, post your results below, I am genuinely interested if I’m alone in failing this test. No cheating, don’t Google the answers!