Attention Potential Immigrants To The United Kingdom
If you'd like to move to Old Blighty, Prime Minister Gordon Brown would like a word with you.
He added: “To those migrants who think they can get away without making a contribution, without respecting our way of life, without honouring the values that make Britain what it is, I have only one message — you’re not welcome.”
Now, I have my suspicions about what that means, and you might as well:
But prudence, my friends, dictates that we be sure before we show up on Great Britain's doorstep with our suitcases. So I did a little research, and I think I have a list of essential items that form part of the U.K.'s way of life and form the values that immigrants must honor. Here are some precepts:
1. Manners: The first thing you should know is that the British are a very friendly people. That means they are solicitous of your feelings, and want you to feel welcome. For instance, they like to make terrorist bagmen and Holocaust deniers feel welcome by making England a one-stop shop for suing critics for libel. It's simply rude to be mean to such people, you see. So England assures that they will win their libel cases 90% of the time, and those rude defendants will have to prove that what they said about you is true to relieve you of the unpleasant nuisance of proving that it isn't. But it's not just foreigners! Heavens no. The English are solicitous of the feelings of their own countrymen — which is why you should want to become one. That way if you're a Scientologist you know that people who say you are part of a cult will be charged with a crime. And if you're a chiropractor? Welcome! Here, you need have no fear that anyone can get away with calling you a quack because you think you can cure cancer in children by fondling them. Millionaires have feelings too. So don't make fun of their Nazi sex fantasies or we'll fine you. Finally, airbrushed models in advertisements hurt everybody's feelings, so they're on their way out. So, in short, be polite.
2. Family: Family is the center of the British home. So, really, if there's any question about your abilities as a parent, you shouldn't mind that you're made subject to in-home surveillance. Children should be seen and not heard, except when they are being trained to report their parents' inappropriate speech to authorities. Oh, and by the way, you need to take an anti-"paedophile" test before you can interact with them, and you can't play with them in public parks in case you molest them all of a sudden.
3. Safety: The safety of every citizen is essential to the British. So naturally they have recognized that wheeled pizza-cutters are dangerous weapons and cannot be sold safely to 28-year-olds. Nor should toy lightsabers. Nor sciscors. And don't even get us started on knives with pointy ends. Jesus, are you kidding us? But fountain pens are fine. Except they are extremely fragile, so you musn't hold a fountain pen and a camera at the same time.
4. Community: Good neighbors make a good life. The British are encouraged to help their neighbors make a good life by going through their trash and reporting anything suspicious to authorities. Watching out for your neighbor also means reporting him if he doesn't communicate his holiday agenda clearly, because that probably means he's a terrorist. But neighborliness only goes so far. Don't look after your neighbor's kid. That's running an illegal daycare business.
5. Governance: The British believe the best government is local government. That's why they allow their local government to look closely after their best interests by entering their homes to make sure the water's not too hot and the cleaner cupboard is sealed tight, running sting operations to catch grandmothers who sell goldfish to 14-year-olds, use anti-terrorism laws to investigate citizens who fail to clean up after their dog, threaten to jail shopkeepers who put up funny notes on bulletin boards, and break into your house to make sure it can't be broken into.
6. Police The police are among the most admired members of British society. They do important things, like look for parties mentioned on Facebook and send the riot police to shut them down. Of course, given how dangerous the world is, there are never enough police to be everywhere at once. Fortunately, there are enough security cameras to watch you everywhere at once. Therefore, it's considered polite and prudent to smile all the time. And because there are so few police, they can't always find evidence. So good citizens agree to being stopped and searched without cause. They also agree that because the police are busy, it's perfectly reasonable to appoint citizen militias to investigate you for downloading songs and stuff like that. Finally, please remember that police are shy. If you photograph them, it steals their souls. So don't, or they'll jail you. Oh, don't photograph fish & chips shops; they don't like that either.
Does that list seem intimidating? I'm sorry. But never fear. If you cant absorb some of the more complex British values — like the equality of the sexes — never fear. The British will set up a parallel legal system to enforce your values.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Follow-Up: U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks Gets Free Speech Right This Time - September 12th, 2014
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- Yale Might Want To Look Into Some Sort of Basic Civic Literacy Course - September 10th, 2014
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