Michael Rosen is a very bad man. He argues with people here.
As commenter wardytron has observed:
You were being boring and a bit thick actually, and completely out of touch, and bearded and old and rather pointless and irrelevent, and not funny, but wrong, and bearing a faint smell of something unidentifiable, but from years and years ago.
If only Britain had had the right immigration policies back in the day. None of this would have happened. I mean, look at this comment Mr Rosen left here this evening:
“Did your grandparents seek to assimilate into British society and make positive contributions to their adopted land or did they alienate the indigenous population with their culturally separatist demands?”
Me: Well, they spoke Yiddish at home and in the street, they hung out with other Jews in the streets and immersed themselves in separatist Jewish life. I’m not sure that they all tried ot ‘assimilate’. Some did, some didn’t. They did make culturally separatist demands like asking that their children could have time off school for Jewish holidays. On the other hand they gave away bread to non-Jews just before Pesach. Though some non-Jews thought that was a bit odd, apparently.
Did they work hard and pay their way?
Some did. Some didn’t. My grandmother was a sponger though. She had no husband to support her – he stayed in the states and she was a polio victim so she was essentially a beggar. Probably should have been voluntarily repatriated somewhere, I’d say.
Or did they see themselves as morally and culturally superior while decrying the cultural norms of the system that gave them shelter and asylum?
Ah, well, that’s a tricky one. I guess some of my forbears thought that being Jewish had a certain moral virtue. For example, they sang a song ‘Shikke war eyn goy’ which implied that non-Jews get drunk but Jews don’t. There was also the word shikse which I heard older relatives use to imply that there was a particular kind of ‘common’ non-Jewish woman who shouldn’t have been consorted with. Did they decry some of the social norms in this country? Oh yes. Some of them were very much opposed to ‘Empire Day’. My father for example was told not to take a union jack to school that day because the British Empire oppressed the masses. Some of them were Communists so when war broke out, they didn’t support the war until the Soviet Union joined in. They also opposed the non-intervention policy re the Spanish Civil War and the British policy in India ie they supported Indian independence in the 1930s. My grandmother took in the typewriter of a striker during the General Strike because his house was being searched for seditious publishing materials.
So, all in all, a pretty lousy and disgusting lot that shouldn’t have been let in, I’d say.