Tongues of men

Dear Sir/Madam

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that Social Security claimants will in future be required to attend compulsory English classes if they are not fluent in the language.

It will be interesting to see just how seriously the heads of our devolved governments take the existing statutory protection of the UK's other native languages (Gaelic in Scotland, Welsh in Wales and Irish and Ulster Scots in Northern Ireland) by demanding that classes in these languages be offered as an alternative.

If they do not, will monoglot speakers of these tongues also be forced to learn English or is this new legislation aimed solely at Johnny Foreigner and native-born Geordies?

John Eoin Douglas
(Spey Terrace)