An Inspector Calls…

Both Justin and Alix do a fine job of heaping some well-deserved derision on different aspects of Margaret Hodge’s inane speech on Britishness, Culture and the Arts, which rather leaves me to add to growing pile by picking out this absolute gem of a comment:

My family came to this country via Egypt when I was five. As a descendent of German, Austrian and Jewish heritage I know a little of what it means to be an outsider and how a family approaches that delicate and anxious process of finding their feet in a new country and becoming citizens.

And I expreienced the ‘cultural test’ as a young girl of 10 when my father set about seeking British citizenship. An inspector came to my house to interrogate me and my 7 year-old sister to assess our ‘Britishness!’ Tea usually consisted of boiled egg and fingers of toast. But on that occasion we were made to eat cucumber sandwiches and fruit cake under strict instructions to say that that was what we always had – and I absolutely hated fruit cake.


Fuck me, we’re waaaaaaay beyond satire here, aren’t we – you read that and you can just picture Alf Garnett going off on a rant about how ‘yer immigrants’ don’t know what a proper British tea is all about…

… it boiled egg and soldiers, not ‘fingers of toast’!

FFS, the mental images this conjures up of young Margaret’s father running maniacally around the house like a headless chicken before remonstrating with her…

For gods sake, Margaret. Don’t mention the Schnitzel! I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it!


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