Monday, September 11, 2017


"The Dench publicity train arrived at BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and inevitably one of the questions was about Brexit. Dame Judi is not in favour. Are there any people in the theatre or film in favour of it? Would they dare admit this if they had voted for Brexit? Presumably the actor’s union Equity would be right on their case with sanctions (“it’s Midsomer Murders for you, for five series”) if anyone dared try to say Brexit might not be a disaster. “I shouldn’t even open this bag of worms,” Dame Judi told the BBC. “But the whole business of leaving Europe… There’s something about being inclusive that is more important than being exclusive.” She recalled a celebratory performance when Britain joined the Common Market (if only it had stayed as a Common Market rather than morphing into an integrationist behemoth) in 1973, with an evening of performance with Sir Lawrence Olivier (Larry, lovely Larry) and fellow actor Max Adrian. “There was opera from Italy and the ballet, there was everybody,” said Dame Judy. “Everybody was represented in Europe that evening. There was something so glorious about it"'.
Iain Martin, "Dame Judi Dench and the luvvie myth of British isolation from Europe". Reaction. 11 September 2017, in
"Ever since the 1990s, the number of young people in England choosing a language as part of their sixth-form studies has been going down. However, since 2012, the rate of decline has sped up, with French dropping by 17 per cent and German by 12 per cent over a period of just two years".
Teresa Tinsley & Kathyrn Board, "Why aren’t England's A-level students learning languages?" British Council. 14 April 2015, in
I am afraid that however much I am enamoured of the acting talents of Dame Judi Dench (especially pre-1990's, when she started, Maggie Smith-like to play herself), the fact is that she is talking bogus nonsense or in fact absolute unadulterated rubbish. As the above referenced statistics clearly show, regardless of British membership of the European Union, and one to two million European immigrants migrating to the United Kingdom since the 2004, that has not prevented a very noticeable down-ward shift in the number of British students who study and can reasonably speak a foreign language. Statistics which parallel the decline in language abilities in the general British population overall. Especially, it would appear the two chief European ones, German and French. So whatever is meant (pace Dame Dench), about that very over-used mot 'inclusive', apparently learning continental languages (and the culture that goes with it one presumes) is not meant to apply. And to belabor a point perhaps in the same vein, is it not too surprising, that of all the Prime Ministers who have governed the United Kingdom since it joined the European Union in 1973, only one (Tony Blair) spoke with some level of confidence, a European language (in Blair's case French)? Whereas pre-British membership of the European Union it was not unheard of to have (three in a row actually) Prime Ministers who spoke some level of French (Macmillan and Churchill) and in the case of Sir Anthony Eden, German and Arabic as well. The larger point that I am making herein is that whether or not one is in favor of Brexit (and I am assuredly not - I thought in June of last year and still to-day think it was and is a mistake), is one made by Iain Martin when he concluded his piece on this issue and this piece:
"The idea that we were ever somehow in splendid isolation from the 18th century onwards, restricting ourselves to English lute music and grim plays about coal-mining deaths in the industrial revolution, until we joined the EEC and “became part of Europe” is just not how it was. We have long been European in cultural terms. It is a shame to see otherwise well-intentioned people become so anti-Brexit that they deal in luvvie myths rather than the more interesting historical reality" 1.
1.) Iain Martin, "Dame Judi Dench and the luvvie myth of British isolation from Europe". Reaction. 11 September 2017, in


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