Tuesday, September 06, 2005

perpetual cycle of identity politics

The most fascinating thing about modern-day identity politics is its perpetuity: new identities are being 'discovered' a.k.a. made up as we speak...

CanWest News Service ran this report today:
OTTAWA - Canadians with a mother tongue other than English or French aren't well-served by Ottawa when seeking employment insurance benefits and other services, the federal government admits in an internal report.

The report suggests the government start providing more help to EI applicants in languages other than English and French, especially in major urban areas, and that it become more sensitive to the needs of allophones.

Failure to do so is unfair to allophones -- those who have difficulty with the official languages, says the report, obtained by CanWest News Service under the Access to Information Act.

In regular English "unfair to allophones" means that the goverment is the one at fault for allophones' inability to learn adequately one of the official languages.

Those who make 'identity politics' their source of income are of course all over it:
Allophone community leaders charge that the provision of services only in English and French is "increasingly at odds with the demographic makeup and linguistic diversity of Canada's major urban centres."

What's most remarkable here is the newly coined term 'allophone community leaders'. What's 'allophone community' anyway? The report makes it sound as if it's heterogenous group who migh pose legitimate claim for recognition. This is of course sheer nonsense. Yes, there are lots of people, including myself, whose native tongue is neither English, nor French. However, except that unfortunate fact, there's nothing in common between a Haitian and say Pakistani or Hungarian. Therefore, the 'allophone community' is a purefiction, and not so harmless, as it may seem at the first sight. For if those 'leaders' are indeed real persons they must be representatives of certain (!) communities, not the mythical 'allophone' one. They of course could make a conceivable claim on behalf of their particular linguistic group but then obviously an inconvinient question will arise: if you want to have services provided in the language A, then one may have an equally legit demand to have the same privilidge extended to the language B, which would make the line of claims potentially endless. Hence, there's the allophone community cover up.

The most disgusting thing of course is the fact that the report was an internal investigation of the Federal Government, i.e. taxpayers money have been spent on this nonsense. But, welcome to Trudeaupia!


Post a Comment

<< Home