According to Andy Burnham, encouraging Muslim women to improve their English language skills will probably encourage them to blow themselves up in the nearest den of kafir iniquity - a bookies, perhaps, or anywhere selling pork scratchings. He didn't put it quite like that, of course, Labour's shadow home secretary (until he says something Jeremy dislikes) - he just uttered the usual mealy-mouthed platitudes about Cameron "driving further radicalisation".
He has a pretty poor opinion of Muslim women, doesn't he, Mr Subbuteo Head? Burnham seems to be implying that if anyone, anywhere, ever suggests that some Muslim communities may not be exactly engaging fully with the "wider community" then it's our fault if they self-destruct on the number 49. Makes you wonder how many Muslim women he's actually met. The ones I know would be deeply offended by Cameron's suggestion - but only because their English skills are far superior to those of the Prime Minister (or mine, come to that).
Some of the criticisms are fair - in particular the fact that Cameron has previously cut funding for ESOL classes that might have helped those very same communities. But isn't he allowed to change direction after weighing up the latest information? As Winston Churchill (and many others) said: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, madam?"
As is often the case with some factions of the Left, far more important than whether an idea is valid is who put it out. If Jezza said we could do more to help Muslim women, by perhaps increasing the amount of money injected into those areas with a high Hijab content, he'd have been hailed as a visionary. Yet when our poor PM makes the case - in an admittedly clumsy Times op-ed - he's castigated, even though most Britons who flock to join the Daesh death cult apparently do so because they felt alienated in the UK.
A hilariously predictable Guardian piece on Dave's suggestion found room for seven people who thought it a bad idea; not one who thought it might actually be a good idea to reach out to those women who are trapped within misogynist societies, or within Guantanamo-lite marriages. All the opinions said more or less the same thing: stop implying any Muslims are in any way linked to any form of extremism for Christ's sake or they'll blow us all up.
A number of critics have even made the fatuous (or Fatwa-ish) argument that if Muslim women from Pakistan in Halifax or High Wycombe are going to be coerced to speak English - what about all those lardy Brits sunning their tats on the Costa Brava? It's the same sort of witless comparison made by LibDem Jeremy Browne when he suggested there was no difference between migrants jumping the queue into social housing and Britons retiring to Spain. Until it was pointed out that those Britons living in Spain had almost certainly bought their homes, quite possibly putting money into the local economy (at least until the council pulled them all down and they all came home again with souvenir donkeys and melanoma).
Similarly, if a Brit wants to spend his twilight years speaking in his particular dialect with a bunch of expat mates in a Godawful football-themed bar in Doncaster-del-Mar that's up to him - so long as he isn't sponging off the local economy. Whereas if the British tax payer is going to be expected to house, feed, employ and understand immigrants, surely asking them to learn a little of our admittedly tricky language isn't asking that much, is it? I don't really understand what the critics are on about. But then, English never was my forte.