A Melting Pot: Britain
(A) Tonight I want to celebrate Britishness. Sadly, it has become fashionable for some to argue that British identity is under siege в осаде, (1) but must be based on shared ideals and aspirations. I want to argue that where the pessimists identify a threat, we should instead see developments that will strengthen укреплять and renew обновить British identity.
(B) The first element in the debate about the future of Britishness is the changing ethnic composition структура of the British people. The British are not a race, but a gathering of countless бессчетный different races and communities. It is not their purity чистота that makes the British unique, but the sheer pluralism плюрализм of their ancestry родословная.
(C) London was first established основанный as the capital of a Celtic Britain by Romans from Italy. They were in turn driven out by Saxons and Angles from Germany. The great cathedrals of this land were built mostly by Norman bishops епископ, (2) but the religion in them was secured by the succession of a Dutch prince. Outside our Parliament, Richard the Lionheart proudly sits astride верхом his steed конь, a symbol of courage мужество and defiance неповиновение. Yet he spoke French much of his life, and depended on the Jewish community of England to put up the ransom искупление that freed him from prison.
(D) The idea that Britain was a “pure” Anglo-Saxon society before the arrival of communities from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa is fantasy. But if this view of British identity is false to
our past, it is false to our future too. The global era has produced population movements of a breadth широта and richness without parallel параллель in history. Today's London is a perfect hub центр of the globe. It is home to over thirty ethnic communities of at least 10,000 residents резиденты each. In this city tonight, over 300 languages will be spoken by families over their evening meal at home. This pluralism is not a burden бремя we must reluctantly неохотно accept. It is an immense asset огромный актив that contributes вкладывать, жертвовать to the cultural and economic vitality жизнеспособность of our nation.
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