Notepad on Life

May 5, 2011

Local elections highlight perils of exclusive inclusivity

Filed under: politics — - @ 1:00 pm
Tags: ,

My wife has binned the pamphlet and I don’t like to criticise specifics without hard and fast evidence in front of me, so suffice to say that one party in my town – campaigning for today’s local government elections – may need to revisit its inclusivity policy next year.

Leaving aside the question of whether someone should even have a vote in a country whose language he or she can’t speak, I think you have to be all or nothing when lobbying the non-indigenous population. Either produce entire pamphlets in the language concerned or stick to English.

What you don’t do is  produce a pamphlet written in English save for the very last line: “Vote for … on 5th May”, which is set out in several different tongues.

Here’s how I interpret that if I’m an immigrant: “Never mind policy or promises, you just make sure you put your ‘X’ in the right box come polling day, there’s a good lad”.

Not great, is it? Although as a symbol of where the British are generally with today’s politicians you have to say it may be frighteningly spot-on. Whatever your roots.

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