Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tolerancia cero

We have finally managed to get a rented house about a quarter mile from where we lived up until 2002. We're still getting settled in and are eagerly awaiting the delivery of a washing machine and fridge.
I've changed career totallyand am retraining to be a science teacher at secondary school. I've had some weeks at a school in Fareham observing teachers at work. As would be expected there is zero tolerance to bullying there.
The same cannot be said of the school our children attended in Casares. I have the photographic proof of injuries to our children to proove it. Strange how the teacher kept saying that our children walked into doors. Ten times in one day? I think not! I cannot think of any teacher there that would keep their QTS* more than a week given the lies they tell and outright racist attitudes they hold. In fact, I'll go through the standards one by one to show you how they fail non-Spanish children and let down their own. That will have to wait for another post.
I've got to get back to my coursework now, there's so much to do and the standards here in the UK are so high.
* Qualified Teacher Status


Anonymous said...

Some questions that you should ask yourself:

Do you know how are immigrants treated in your country? What kind of jobs are they offered? How many hundreds of thousands of votes did the BNP get in the last Elections? And UKIP? Can we talk about "racism" when you are white, as most of the native population?

El Casareño Inglés said...

I am well aware of how some immigrants are treated in the UK (not MY country). However, the difference between the UK and Spain is that because of the PC culture here, many in positions of power fall over themselves to give preferential treatment to immigrants in both employment, housing and benefits. This is not how the rules were intended to be interpreted and causes the type of backlash illustrated by the rise in popularity of the BNP (UKIP is not a racist party, don't confuse the two). Racism is about race, and may encompass those of different colour as well. Ethnic origin is the issue. Anyone moving into a different culture will stand out and may attract the unwelcome attentions of racists (and just plain ignorant bigots) just because they are "different". If you believe that racism is simply a matter of different colour, then you are sadly deluded and could even be defined as a racist yourself. Beware! Example. Polish immigrants (white) have been victims of racism in the UK - a predominantly "white" country. And then there are a legion of examples of inter-tribal conflicts across Africa, again not an issue of colour. Spain is not immune either, viz. their treatment of gitanos.

Anonymous said...

UKIP is not racist....ok....but that is the party whose slogan in the past elections was "British jobs for British workers", isn't it? I don't know if you know the figures, but the BNP got almost one million votes and UKIP 2.5 million (only second to the Conservative Party)

"Preferential tratment to immigrants in both employment, housing and benefits"? You mean that, everything else being equal, the Polish guy will get the job before the British? In the UK? Where?

Your rant sounds very much like the "theories" of the Spanish bigots who blame the immigrants, who come to Spain to do the shitty jobs that nobody wants, for the rise in unemployment.

By the way, I think you have a small issue and you are confusing "racism" with "xenophobia".

El Casareño Inglés said...

Of course British is not a race, simply a nationality.

I'm no apologist for the BNP, thet are an overtly racist party and I'll have nothing to do with them. They feed on scare stories whipped up by the right-wing press.

Where would an immigrant get a job over an Englishman, Welshman or Scot? Anywhere where the employer has to recruit an ethnic minority to fufil their quota to keep the PC brigade in quangos or government off their back. Many employers would rather skew the rules to recruit other ethnic minorities rather than lay themselves open to a trumped-up charge of racism (or even sexism, ageism, homophobia etc. etc.).

I don't rant. I present logical, reasoned and researched arguements. If you want rants, go to the BNP website and read their drivel.

It is of course the BNP who quote "blame the immigrants, who come to [their country] to do the shitty jobs that nobody wants, for the rise in unemployment".

Racism and xenophobia are two sides of the same coin - prejudice against outsiders; based (unjustifiably) on colour or some other real or perceived difference.

Now, if you can present logical, reasoned and researched support for the Spanish treatment of non-Spaniards, I'm willing to publish even that on my blog - even though I would strongly disagree with the premise. You would have to abandon your anonymity to do so; I would need to see the credentials of anyone proposing such a preposterous arguement.

Jorge said...

I know it is not easy being a foreigner and coming to live to a different country. There are language issues, cultural issues and the odd bigot with no brains. My point is that it is more or less the same everywhere. If a Spaniard goes to live to the UK he's going to face the same kind of difficulties you suffered. It is the immigrant the one who has to adapt to the new environment, and not the other way around. And if you are not willing to do that, stay at home.

I'm sorry to read that one of your kids was bullied in the school, but the sad truth is that happens also to other spaniards in Spain, to British kids in the UK, and to spaniards in the UK alike
But the easy thing is to blame the world: "My kid was bullied because he was English" (but you wrote that there were more kids bullied in the same school, and they were Spanish), "I don't get a job because I'm English" (but the unemployment rate, even among spaniards, is around 20%), etc...

Jorge said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
El Casareño Inglés said...

Jorge, I agree that it can (and frequently does) happen anywhere; that doesn't make it right.

We made the very best efforts we were capable of to integrate into Casares. We chose to live in the town, not on an urbanisation or in the campo like most expats do. Our children went to the local school, not to some private school for foreigners. We all learned the language and customs to the best of our ability. Our children are completely biligual. We made friends with some neighbours. All of that simply was not good enough for some though.

If I saw racist behaviour here in the UK I would immediately condemn it.

And, yes our kids were bullied because they were English. I know because on more than one occasion I asked the bullies concerned why they did it and that's what they told me. They were reflecting the prejudices of their parents who openly hold the same view.

At least in Spain the racism is pretty much out in the open. In some countries (including the UK) it is hidden and much more difficult to challenge - racism by omission effectively.

I never complained that I didn't get a job because I was English, though I'm sure that happens also. I know that in Andalucia someone would prefer to hire their brother, cousin, uncle, etc, before any outsider; that's the culture. Of course that still doesn't make it right.

A good example of that would be to look at Kalebul's blog (http://fuckedtranslation.blogspot.com/), and it's clear that talent doesn't rise to the top in translation jobs!

Jorge said...

"They were reflecting the prejudices of their parents". After reading the blog of your wife, could not we say the same thing about her and your kids?

"A good example of that would be to look at Kalebul's blog (http://fuckedtranslation.blogspot.com/), and it's clear that talent doesn't rise to the top in translation jobs!" I can understand his frustation, but shall I make a list with all the mistakes British companies make in their translations?. And I'm talking about big companies, like easyJet, not the Council of a small town, like Vic or Ripoll.

El Casareño Inglés said...

No you may not! Her views are as a result of her treatment in Spain. Her experiences are first-hand and so are those of our children.

Nobody is immune to cock-ups. kalebul's point has been to point out that this sort of typographical crap is routine in Spain.

You're welcome to set up your own blog of reverse translation errors. Someone might even read them if done wittily.

Jorge said...

"Her views are as a result of her treatment in Spain. Her experiences are first-hand."

That could also be argued by the nazis in Germany. They were not biased against the Jews, they had first-hand experiences.

El Casareño Inglés said...

No they cannot. You misunderstand completely. The personal experiences of one person are legitimate grounds for complaint. They are no basis for the oppression and worse of another people.

Just because Hitler had bad personal experiences, is no excuse for organised mass slaughter by the people he ruled.

Likewise, our experiences of life in Spain are no basis for racism against Spaniards, by us or anyone else. Our experiences DO give us grounds to highlight, publicise and litigate against those who perpetrated acts of racism against us.

Jorge said...

"Our experiences DO give us grounds to highlight, publicise and litigate against those who perpetrated acts of racism against us."

I agree with you. But if the conclusion is not that the whole country is racist, what is the conclusion? That some kids in a small village are racists and some teachers are sick of having to fight with them so they do nothing? You are probably right and you have all my simpathy. I was bullied for 4 years when I was a kid (although I was a spaniard living in Spain, so no racist component there). In hindsight, I can tell you that the feeling was frustrating, but I canot see what could have been done to prevent it. You have to learn to live with that and in the long term it makes you stronger.

Some people say that kids are innocent, but I can assure you that some start to behave like bastards very early in life.