It seems that the right wing tabloids have found themselves a new hero, a brave “patriot” upholding British values in the manner of the infamous metric martyrs.
This time our hero is “patriotic postmaster” Deva Kumarasiri, who banned people who were unable to speak English from his Sneinton Boulevard post office in Nottingham.
Mr Kumarasiri, 40, introduced a ban on non-English speakers after claiming they ‘annoyed’ other customers by causing delays and made it difficult for him to do his job.
‘I told people to learn some English or come back with an interpreter,’ he said.
He said he banned only five people and most of the community had supported him. But members of the local mosque are said to have started a petition against him.
According to another report
His bold stand against nonintegration has sent a shudder of political correctness down whatever spine the post office has these days, and infuriated some local do-gooders who accused him of inciting division among the community.
Now I don’t doubt that it can be frustrating for Mr Kumarasiri to deal with customers who don’t speak English and also for his other customers who experience delays as a result. I also would agree that people who move to a foreign country should make an effort to learn the language, it is in their interest and that of the rest of us. But it is not Mr Kumarasiri’s place to be the arbiter of such things, he is there to provide a service to his customers, a service which for many people is a fairly essential one. By refusing to serve certain people he is not only doing a disservice to the community but also his employer who owns the shop and will no doubt see his profits suffer and to the post office itself which expects its postmasters top provide the service it is paying them for. This is nothing to do with political correctness, nor are those who complain “do-gooders”.
Anyway, Mr Kumarasiri has now been moved to another branch where he is not likely to encounter such problems (ie in a mainly white area) and so hopefully hat is the end of the matter. In fact I don’t actually have any great animosity towards him, I think he is wrong on this issue but he is not wicked or bigoted. What concerns me more is the way he is held up as a great patriotic hero by the right wing tabloids. It is not hard to see why this story appeals to them – it gives them the chance to indulge in a bit of immigrant bashing while at the same time deflecting accusations of bigotry by pointing out that the guy they are defending is an immigrant himself. But do immigrants really need to go to these lengths before they get the approval of the Daily Mail?