Exciting days: we may soon Have Our Country Back Again, and be deploying our nearly-finished (but as yet aircraft-less) Aircraft Carrier to ward off all the foreign diplomatts and Trade Ministers and merchants who will be besieging us (I distinctly remember being assured that this is what would happen) in the hope of getting some of our splendiferous new Trade Deals. It will be a period in the History of our Great Nation when we shall have to re-emphasise our National Unity.
Perhaps one element here will be the need to ensure that anyone who tries to get in on our post-Brexit financial boom will be able to speak our National Language. Nothing of course cements a society as much as etc.etc. ad nauseam..
Which, of course, er, means, er ... y'kno' ...
English is not our only historic and native language in these Three Kingdoms. There is Welsh; there is Cornish, the language that Pam and I dip into together during our Cornish holidays as we return to the Catholic culture of medieval Europe by reading the mystery plays and sermons which survive in the old Cornish language. There are the two kinds of Gaelic; and, no, I haven't forgotten Manx. (In the disiecta membra of the old Duchy of Normandy, fragments of Norman French dialects survive.) Each of these is as properly, anciently, British, as is English ... the late Mr Chaucer's dialect ... or, possibly, even more so. And I haven't forgotten Old Norse, part of the heritage of the Orkneys. But there is also another inherently British tongue: Latin, the language of these islands from the Claudian invasion onwards; the language of S Bede the Venerable and Sir Isaac Newton; the language in which Law and Theology and Mathematics and Logic were taught in our ancient universities ... Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Aberdeen ... in the Middle Ages and thereafter; the language in which the inhabitants of the Three Kingdoms worshipped for more than a thousand years.
So here is Fr Hunwicke's Modest Proposal. We should have two levels of citizenship: full citizenship; and associate citizenship. Full citizenship, including the right to vote and to own property and to have social benefits, would be available to all who could speak at least two of the languages on the following list; associate citizenship would have much more restricted rights attached to it, including temporary residence and the right to pay taxes, but would be freely and generously available to lesser mortals who were only able to be fluent in one of these languages.
(In the Channel Isles: Norman French.)
(Within the Metropolitan Province of Westminster: Scouse, as an act of respectful deference to Cardinal Vin.)
(Esperanto would need to be excluded as being insufficently divisive.)
Gosh, the scope for fertile combinations: lessons in Cornish for native speakers of Urdu; Latin word lists for Polish Plumbers and Dentists ...
You know it makes sense.