back to article Points mean passports: Citizenship Smith unveils 'like us' plan

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today put forward a scaled-down version of a 'points for passports' citizenship scheme floated last summer. Under plans announced to Parliament today, non-EU immigrants would be faced with a pre-citizenship probationary period involving a deal of conspicuous joining in, and they may not have a lot of …

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Coat

Uh-oh

I was born here and it looks like I'll be getting deported. Somewhere warm I hope.

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Making the volunteering compulsory...

isn't that called conscription.

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Ian
Go

This is the second time today...

...I've commented on a Reg article with the phrase "...the logical extension of this...", but if we have a plan to withhold citizenship from people who commit crimes and don't contribute to society, surely the logical extension would be also to start withdrawing the citizenship of people who commit crimes and don't contribute to society -- or Transportation as it used to be known.

I do hope so, because any sort of pikey-reduction policy is sure going to win my vote.

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Flame

great

So my wife with a recently diagnosed disability is pretty much screwed then whilst hate preaching imam gets a free ride through being a "minister of religion"

typical left wing hand wringing crap as per usual.

Seems going back to North America is getting to be a more and more attractive option

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: great

The plans certainly look bad news for the sick, disabled and vulnerable (aside from the ones you're supposed to work with to get your brownie points). There seems to be some kind of financial weighting against those likely to be more of a burden on health services, and full access to benefts won't be available until you have citizenship. All very welcoming...

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Stop

Oxymoron

In what way can volunteering be made compulsory, without a redefinition of the language? Or perhaps the government intend to do that as well? Orwell was right...

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Black Helicopters

Re: Oxymoron

They've been working on this for a while, trying to get the public used to these being normal, everyday items.

Examples include "Unlimited Texts/Phone Calls/Downloads (subject to Fair Use Policy)", and anything combining the words "efficiency" or "value" in a positive context with a governmental department....

Doublethink, anyone?

And if she (Ms Smith) thinks I'm going to have anything to do with the glue-sniffing, cider-quaffing urchins in South Yorkshire just to get "citizenship" which I've been summarily refused a number of times previously*, voluntarily or otherwise, she has a another think coming...

*only my Mom's English, so I'm not entitled to citizenship. If it had been my DAD who was English, I'd be handed a UK passport just like *that*.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: great

Frankly more and more I wonder why my wife and I came back here.

despite having a degree in computing, I got zero support from the jobcentre (big surprise) whereas the junkie filth, teen breeding farms and the minority religious nuts got training courses and jobs dished out on a silver platter plus have housing arranged on an express basis.

What do I get? zero help, refusal to re-arrange my appts as I have a non chaotic lifestyle (I'm not a junkie), and now? stuck in retail as according to several IT recruiters there is a "glut of Asian nationals with large amounts of work experience" off the record comments "most of the experience is fake but HR dont care, and the govt dishes out visas to asian nationals to avoid appearing racist, despite there being a ton of good british graduates we would love to employ as they understand the culture and primarily can speak english!!"

Thing is.....I'm not the only one who is more than qualified but cant get a position and is stuck stacking shelves as every other job deems me under or over qualified.

The ruling royalty would do well to remember what happened in russia in the early part of the 20th century....not that I'm advocating revolution...given that its now classed as a crime to overthrow the uk dictatorship

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Alert

Re: great (John Lettice)

Isn't there an EU law which means it's illegal to discriminate against the disabled ? If there is, perhaps the government will consider.

Saying all this, if you want to emigrate to many countries (e.g. Canada) they insist on a full medical...

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Ian

Have I misunderstood?

Isn't this only for people who are wishing to immigrate to the UK? The comments here seem to suggest we're all going to be expected to do this kind of volunteering, is that the case?

If it is just related to immigrants then I don't see the problem so much. The UK has allowed far more than it's fair share of immigrants and whilst I realise some contribute to society there are an awful lot who detract from society. As such the question has to be asked as to why people think the UK should maintain it's previous relatively open immigration policy, we can't indefinitely handle people who receive more than they contribute in terms of state support.

Until the majority of other safe, stable countries have handled an equivalent level of immigrants that don't benefit the country then why is it so bad that we're bunkering down for a while to get things sorted out?

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Anonymous Coward

to Mike JVX

1) Your message is full of prejudices

2) You call this government "left wing"

I am glad you see going back to North America as the best option for you. It's probably the best for us as well.

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Flame

Re: This is the second time today...

Ian, except that the people typically classed as pikeys tend to have been born here and have British citizenship. So there goes your plan out the window.

You'll find that most immigrants used to look forward to the day that they would become citizens so that they weren't looked at strangely by officials all over the UK... I certainly counted down the hours to my ceremony and then the days for my passport to arrive.

Of course, there are those who can't be arsed (like citizens of certain Commonwealth countries, based on their country's relationship with the UK), but most of those who come from countries who face restrictions on travel to the EEC and other countries (read: visas with application processes that make a full-body inspection feel like a holiday) celebrate the day that they pay their 500 quid to get their applications in and get the letter in the mail that says "I am pleased to inform you that your application for naturalisation as a British citizen, has been accepted".

If only all those self-serving, self-absorbed twits were told to shape up or ship out... this country would be a better place.

A former immigrant (and now citizen)

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Joke

Immigrant Idol

Why not have a system whereby the top point scorer at the end of the year earns their citizenship, the rest have to start over or get deported?

You could even have a TV show in the last 6 weeks of the year where "the public decides" between the top 20 candidates. I can see the commentary now - "The tension, the excitement as Tsu Jinn takes the lead at the last minute, earning 2000 points for donating his eyes to a blind white child citizen".

Bit unfair on Al-Fayed, he already has the highest possible negative score after saying the royal family are vampires, MI5 and MI6 are in league with the French and everyone is conspiring to cover up Diana's murder.

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@Mike JVX

Ehm...I understand you're frustrated at not being able to get a job you're qualified for but the generalisations are a bit off the mark. I hate to be sounding like a spelt-eating hempwearer but the government is not dishing out houses and jobs like sweets to junkies (?!), teenage mothers etc, and any help they're getting is to equalise their disadvantaged situation. This is a good thing not just from a moral point of view, but also because not helping them has a hugely detrimental effect on the rest of society. Society is better off with drug addicts on their way to recovery and teenage mothers being trained to earn money so that they can provide for themselves rather than sitting on welfare. I know it doesn't work a lot of the time, but in every case where it does that's one less neighbourhood terrorised (by a junkie, not a teenage mother).

Also, if the Asian nationals turn out to be as crap as the recruiters say, eventually companies will cop on and stop hiring them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Have I misunderstood?

It is only for immigrants. But the government wants the yoof to also undergo some kind of social contract training or something similar, to make them better citizens.

The relatively open immigration policy is something left over from the Commonwealth days (hence the opting out of the Schengen visa, together with Ireland, pre-EEC). Opting into the Schengen visa requirements would have meant Britain having to apply the strict requirements to citizens of the Commonwealth who enjoy a very liberal visa regimen (discretionary 3 month tourist visas and the like without applying beforehand). Britain decided that upsetting the Commonwealth as a whole was a bigger evil than cutting itself off from the EEC immigration-wise.

Ireland also enjoys a very liberal immigration policy with the UK (flights from Ireland are generally not checked immigration-wise) because of its relationship as a former country of the union, but Ireland is cutting that back and it's not reciprocal (arrivals in Dublin et al have to show their travel documents to the Gardai at the control point).

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Dan
Unhappy

@Andy S

To be fair to Mike JVX, have you been in a jobcentre? I did, when I was made redundant in 2003. To be fair to him, most of his comments, while stereotypical, are unfortunately often accurate. Ok, there will always be exceptions, but not for nothing did the DWP staff simply assume that I was yet another layabout, despite having a work history that proves otherwise.

To be fair, this was in a deprived urban area, so probably a biased demographic, but still...

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@ Dan

Thats was my problem, deprived area, I live in a deprived street....but I have a degree which made it worse as they didn't know what to offer me (one jobcentre worker suggested a beginners computing course and basic typing after I told them I had a degree in computing with advanced level office program skills and set up :-| )

Only help I got lasted 2 days after I complained to their manager who picked up the phone....they were surprised at how little help I had been offered, that I hadn't been asked if I would be interested in training for a trade (I was...electrician / welder) and the problem was they didnt get many office jobs in the area, in fact they didnt get many jobs any more as the agencies had signed up most of the firms who used to offer work and training.

In the end I got offered a job without any help from them, basic muppet work, but least I was earning.

My dad was a worse case, they told there were no engineering jobs in the area....I checked their website and there were several, one which he got, who were surprised hardly anyone had applied... I wonder why?

Seems to be only since they became an "executive agency" things have shot downhill......surprised they dont play whalesong really.,

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Anonymous Coward

@Mike and Juliette

I know about what you're going through Mike. I see other 'immigrants' scheme and connive and game the system - and get away with it - to the point where the rest of us that do everything by the book get very frustrated and long for equality.

Juliette, maybe the gov doesn't hand out sweet benefits to all-and-sundry, but it certainly seems like a lot of less-than-worthy immigrants are getting handouts. And when I don't understand why they aren't in the same category as me (i.e.: "no access to public funds"), it gets very frustrating. Not only that, but that 'limbo' state mentioned in the article exacerbates it. I panic and pay for my visas at the right time, and stick to the rules of my work permit, etc, yet there seems to be a lot of free-loaders doing the opposite and spoiling it for Mike and I.

I would welcome a system that would give me equality with a (proper) British person and punish those that abuse the privilege.

I have a reasonably paying job, so I pay all my taxes. I have hardly used the NHS, or even tried to claim any benefits. I have thought about how I might help the community and look forward to doing so. I spend all my hard-earned money in the UK, and I even speak English. So how about it Ms Smith. Can I have a passport now please?

DB

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unBritish

Yuk. I mean all this sorty-of-voluntary-but-not really, hearty, loyalty-pledging, values-stating stuff. We don't do things that way, or we never used to. It Is Orwellian - but not in the constant surveillance sense, it reminds me more of Winston S's neighbour, the fat, sweaty one who was always running youth groups and hikes and ended up turned in by his children.

See also the supposed Bill of Rights AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

Freedom is the freedom to be irresponsible and lazy - as well as the freedom to participate.

More pragmatically, the value of "voluntary" activities will be eroded if people are strongarmed into them just to tick boxes. School Governor is a demanding post (I have been one - I don't want it done by people just earn their citizenship points. Better to pay professionals if you really can't get real volunteers.

David

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Paris Hilton

School governors / working with kids ?

Perhaps this was a joke (not sure, didn't read into it too hard), but I wonder how you do CRB checks on foreign nationals to see whether they have known "tendencies" towards kids ?

...what if their country of origin keeps little in the way of records, or they just haven't been caught here yet ?

Paris, because i'm sure she's safe around kids too...

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Anonymous Coward

why not do something utterly revolutionary

Like actually deporting people who don't pass muster. you can make the criteria for gaining citizenship as strict as you want, but its pretty much a moot point at the moment as nothing is done either way. Do you gain citizenship points for cleaning the houses of parliament?

By all means change the criteria so that you actually need to be a useful member of society to get into the country, bring it on i say, but make sure that if you're not, you're on the next ship out. If you want to appeal the decision, then most countries have a fine postal service.

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This will NEVER happen . . . . . . .

. . . . .BECAUSE . . . .

'If' the criteria for amassing the points necessary to gain 'citizenship' to the good old UK [sic] is strictly adhered to by the powers that be, then . . . .

. . . . the Al-Fayed brothers would get what they have always sought, British Citizenship, especially Mohamed, in a flash, like yesteryear!!

Excerpt from Wiki:

"For years, Al Fayed unsuccessfully sought British citizenship, despite having four British children and paying millions in taxes; also donating vast sums to charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital. Both Labour and Conservative Home Secretaries repeatedly rejected his applications on the grounds that he was not of good character."

I think on the evidence above alone, you would have to concede and agree that what Ms Smith is proposing is just one more of a succession of ill thought out schemes put forward by the TWUNTS you can find polishing a chair (amongst other unsavoury bodily objects) down at Whitehall, Westminster and all other 'Civil' Service outlets!!

Take what I've wrote howsoever you feel, as is your right but I will finish my piece on an educational note . . .

Q.

You mentioned the word TWUNTS in your post. I know it sounds like a really silly question, but what are TWUNTS?

A.

Be reassured, there is no such thing as a 'silly question' if you don't know the answer. So to explain as economically as I can, without offending you outright, I will resort to lexicography.

If you write the first two letters and the last two letters down on a piece of paper, leaving a small space between them, and insert the letter 'A'. That's one third of the equation solved.

Next, write the last four letters of the word down on a piece of paper, leaving enough space to the left, to insert the letter 'C'. That's another third of the equation solved.

'Ah, I get the idea, let me see if I can work out the final third for myself'.

Now you're being 'silly'. The only way to achieve the 'final third' of the equation is to reverse engineer the first two, back to their original form. If you do that, then you will have the FULL PICTURE . . . . . . .

. . . . . TWUNTS !!!!!

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Immigration and the UK

With all these proposals to keep the great un-washed out, how does the UK Government propose to staff those positions it doesn't train people for? You *are* aware, for instance, that the UK trains about 40 electrical engineers a year? What about nuclear engineering--where does the Government propose to find people to run the new power plants? But wait, it gets better. Most foreign universities rate a new UK PhD as about equivalent to a 'strong masters', so the UK has to import all its lecturers in fields--particularly interdisciplinary fields--where the coursework in a one-year masters degree is inadequate preparation. And I doubt international researchers are particularly interested in jumping through hoops backwards to please a Government as parochial as this one.

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citizenship???

"British citizenship"

Last time I looked*, the UK is a monarchy, and we're subjects not citzens.

Does that mean the Govt. is going to declare a republic first?

Off with their heads!?

Are they going to apply this plan retroactively?

"I'm sorry to inform you Mr Smith, that as William the Conqueror failed to provide the correct work visa upon entry, you and your family will be deported forwith."

* Checking what it says on the inside page of the UK passport...

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RE: School governors / working with kids ?

"Perhaps this was a joke (not sure, didn't read into it too hard), but I wonder how you do CRB checks on foreign nationals to see whether they have known "tendencies" towards kids ?"

They don't care, as long as you give them full access to your bank account. I volunteered to help out with a computer club at my kids school, until I realised at least 50% of the form was aimed at vetting me financially rather than criminally. When I explained to the head teacher that it was too much financial info for me to give comfortably, I was told that it was not an uncommon reason for volunteers dropping out.

The government already has the details they need, there's zero need for me to write down my bank details and have them floating around some data processing office filled with unvetted, temporary employees. I did some work for a data processing company, and security is laughable.

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Pirate

Prison sentence!

<Making the volunteering compulsory is also being considered, while those receiving a prison sentence will be barred from citizenship.>

So no one will be barred bacause of a prison sentence will they Jacqui? Because ALL THE PRISONS ARE FULL, YOU FUCKWIT and you will not build any more!!

I do not know what planet these idots are from but I wish they would go back there instead of trying to score points for re-election. Give it up morons you have done so much damage to this country over the last 10 years, people will remember and there is no chance of re-election for you.

Sorry, this gov'ment just seems to exist to wind me up. I'll go and lie down in a dark room until they go away.

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@ Mike JVX

Given the prejudice and sweeping generalisation you throw around in your first comment, it may be better for all of us if you do head back across the pond, where your undoubted talent and political outlook may be more appreciated.

Being UK citizens, the "filth" to whom you refer are entitled to a degree of consideration from the government that you, as non-citizen, are not - irrespective of your "degree in computing". Your 'nudge nudge, say no more' swipe at Asian nationals and their 'fake' work experience suggests you may well fail any reasonably thought out citizenship test around about question two in any case.

The UK has quite enough Tory/Nu-Labour muppets smitten with americanised notions of deservng/undeserviing poor and an abhorrence of human sympathy. Giving you a passport would add unnecessarily to their ranks.

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Anonymous Coward

And the requirements will no doubt include...

...voting Nu Labour. After all, that's what all right-thinking British people do, isn't it?

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Dan
Flame

Hi ho off to Argentina I go

Im wondering if this ridiculous scheme will apply to non-UK citizens already living here with permanent residency visa's. If it does then my wife and mother in law will have to leave the UK. Although I suppose as an independent IT Contractor I could employ them to undertake free child-minding duties (i.e. our 3 month old son,) and register myself as disabled and claim that they are doing in-house care in the community for me.

After-all I am a man so Im technically disabled as far as the washing machine and cooker are concerned.

Tbh if they want to force people to become British citizens they could end up losing a lot of people. There are many non-UK/EU citizens living her on permanent residency visa's who are happy to live here and work here and abide by all the rules, but have no desire to apply for British citizenship. (My wife and mother-in-law being two of them.)

And afterall why should we force non-UK citizens to become British citizens ? I thought the claim was that one of our greatest assets was that we were a multi-cultural and open society ???? They shouldn't be focusing on penalising every non-UK citizen, just the lazy hate mongering scrounging ones !!!

And kick the chav's out of the UK as well.

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Dan
Joke

@anonymous coward

"By all means change the criteria so that you actually need to be a useful member of society to get into the country"

Well that rules Ms Smith and every other Member of Parliament out then doesn't it. Best start loading them on to planes and boats to deport them ;)

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Too many loopholes - as usual

The problem with all these government schemes is that they have to have a structure, a scheme, a framework - and as soon as you say what you need to do to qualify, people will work out exactly how to game the new system and get an unfair advantage, just like the chavs, crims and junkies game the current one.

@Mike JVX - your Jobcentre experience ties in with mine of 5 or 6 years ago. I can sort of sympathise with the staff, whose main experience/training is in trying to help what we used to call blue-collar workers, not degreed professionals like thee and me, but it was annoying to have to use my disability (genuine but minor) to get onto a helpful scheme _without_ having to wait until I'd been unemployed for 18 months.

@Pheet - my passports have said "British citizen" for over a decade. Does that mean we Citizens and kick you Subjects around? (-:

@Colin Wilson - I know several foreign nationals with CRB checks, so there must be mechanisms. (Most of the ones I know are EU citizens, mind you.)

@Ian - "The UK has allowed far more than it's fair share of immigrants" - it seems to me that's the kind of thing that's said by people who don't travel much. Go visit the slum-suburbs of Paris, or see how many Poles, Kurds and so on are in Germany, for example, then come back and tell us if you still think that.

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Boffin

@mark

For your information.....I AM a British citizen...actually Scottish (6+ generations Scottish at least), lived in Scotland about 23 years out of 25 years I've been alive (other 2 I spent backpacking) So I have a passport.

Therefore I think I'm entitled to prefer that everyone has to obey the same rules and not be given preference due to their gender, religion etc.

Also I dislike chavs/neds as they are lazy, criminilistic and make life hard for the rest of us.

Seems you have a prejudice against americans...sadly for you neither my wife nor I are from the USA....my wife is Canadian. Before you say anything more...Canada has a seperate culture from the USA, heck even east and west coasts of Canada have diff cultures in many respects.

Canadas immigration policy is slow (worse if you apply in Canada as they feel they have no need to go quickly since you and your spouse are living together already)

but the medical is fair and for spousal apps mainly is to make sure that your told of any conditions you might have and to ensure you get treatment for anything contagious like TB for example.

I agree with Dan this is going to increase the amount of people leaving Britain for other places....

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The Rt. Hon. Subject Smith

Were it not that government bumbling affects real people in unpleasant ways, and that the effects of EU expansion swamp the "problems" being addressed by this "initiative", this latest mise-en-scene from Citizenship Smith would be surely be seen in the ludicrous terms it deserves. But there is more here than meets the eye.

Global Citizen 2000 is the keynote initiatve - a (developed) world standard for "citizenship" - norms, attitudes, and values. A kind of homogenised human, that fits in everywhere - and belongs nowhere. GC2000 has been adopted in the UK, and many other countries (the usual suspects, in fact), and the only problem is implementing it. That is necessary for the Nu Insect Overlards' NWO, but it is not a trivial matter in the UK, due to the real cultural diversity of people. It doesn't help either when the administration has reached its fag end and is filled with appartchiks barely able to hold onto the wagon.

The ongoing deprecation and destruction of a broad range of cultural, ethical and religious values is not a by-product of historical "progress" but an intended strategic objective. The postmodern does not supplant the modern - it is just the latest guise of the modern. If for UK nationals, such destruction appears to correlate with increasing levels of what sociologists call "anomie", that is accepted by the designers as a temporary cost of the transition to the new model citizen, who will be part of the new model "community". For the government to actually "do something" to fix anything right now would be premature - besides, it is also trying to put into place the future technical levers of power (also could be going better). Immigrants it appears cannot be left to experience the necessary cultural reorientation naturally any more - for them a forced focussed re"education" progam is now considered necessary, just in case they happen to be inspired by the better values of Britishness, which are now mostly redundant and well on their way to being a myth. Whether the urgency is required by the master timetable, or is due to the incompetence of the present incumbents in power is an interesting question, but not one the Nu Insect Overlards would answer (all your humans are belong to us, etc).

In summary, how paradoxical can the social policy of "diversity" get? Avoiding answering - this paradoxical: that Subject Smith can pass off as Citizenship Smith with next to no comment at all.

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Joke

Compulsory is to Voluntary as Sense is to ........?

Brilliant - 'compulsory volunteering', from the people who brought you 'ID cards won't be compulsory but everyone will have to have one'. Maybe if this does come in some of those foreign workers who been here contributing to the country for 5 years already could be forced to volunteer to teach the Home Office some basic english ;)

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Re. why not do something utterly revolutionary

You almost got it right. What this latest brainstorm means is that the minister in charge (Is she, now ?? - ed) is so deep in the doo-doo that she has to think of something to distract the unwashed masses from her incompetence in deporting the undesirables (mostly because they cannot find the so-and-sos) !!

What about that 15 year old kid knifed by a bunch of Somalis who cannot be deported because "their lives will be in danger in Somalia" ?? But of course it is OK to knife kiddies in the streets of Britain because it is safe for them !!

Rue Britannia !! (This is *NOT* a spelling mistake !!)

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Shades of Australian Transportation

This reminds me of the "New System" of punishing convicts as discussed in Robert Hughes' "The Fatal Shore". Convicts were assigned "marks" for their behaviour and allowed to progress through various stages of punishment.

Of course, in modern Britain, being foreign is akin to a crime..

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Re: Ishkandar

Yes, if I'm going to be stabbed by a yob, I damn well want to be stabbed by a white yob. Coming over here, taking our knives, etc.

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