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> Blunkett Is Gone, UK-Centric
Mr Fuzzy
post Dec 16 2004, 12:13 AM
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So, how do people feel about Big-Blunkett resigning?

Are you dancing at the end of Big Brothers greatest exponent, or do you fear that his policies on public scrutinisation will lead to greater terrorism with their demise?


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CommieBastard
post Dec 16 2004, 12:15 AM
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Ding, dong, the witch is dead...

Who's replacing him? And is the government dropping the ID Cards Bill?


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markslut
post Dec 16 2004, 12:24 AM
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Charles Clarke - The Education Secretary wacko.gif wacko.gif


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CommieBastard
post Dec 16 2004, 12:35 AM
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Hmmm, don't think much of Clarke but to be honest almost anybody is better than Blunkett.


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Mata
post Dec 16 2004, 01:46 AM
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Isn't it convenient how all this has completely overshadowed the ID cards bill which was being debated on the day that all this blew up? I have no idea what will happen to it, but I doubt that it will go away, we couldn't be that lucky.

While I'm here, who's the child in your avatar Commie?


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lar_di_dar
post Dec 16 2004, 02:47 AM
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hurray! i wonder if he will see himself out...i bet he didnt see that coming...cant think of anymore

anywho i think its cuz of that girl he knocked up but it does seem abit to convenient


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the lil' pie...
post Dec 16 2004, 01:03 PM
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I think it's a shame people have that kind of thing happen to them. And finding out he was blind (yes, I'm an ignorant, I'm sorry) made me feel bad for him. Which it shouldn't, as that's pitying and...not like me.
But I didn't agree with most things he wanted to do, especially the ID cards, so in the end I'm hoping someone new will stop things getting that bad.
Clarke...I'm not sure about yet. But he's annoyed me in the past as well. It's a wait and see thing, innit?


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CommieBastard
post Dec 16 2004, 01:08 PM
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QUOTE (the lil' pie fairy @ Dec 16 2004, 01:03 PM)
And finding out he was blind (yes, I'm an ignorant, I'm sorry) made me feel bad for him. Which it shouldn't, as that's pitying and...not like me.
*


Quite a lot of people are or were unaware of it. Blunkett himself always detested getting any kind of different treatment for it.


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the lil' pie...
post Dec 16 2004, 01:13 PM
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Oh...well, if it's not just me. I thought so, which is why I was trying not to feel bad about it. You have to admire someone that can reach the post of Home Secretary against the general consensus though. No-one would have predicted that when he was at university, I guess.


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Misty Rain
post Dec 16 2004, 01:15 PM
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So, how do people feel about Big-Blunkett resigning?

He is not the first to be caught misusing the public purse.
I refer to the train ticket incident.

I was a civil servant for a while.
If a company gives you a biro with their logo on it you have to declare it and you can keep it.
If you go on a site visit and the contractor picks up the tab for a ploughman's lunch you can keep that too of course but you must declare it. It is recorded in the departmental hospitality book.
If the gift costs more than about £20 (I think, I only ever had biros and a ploughmans) you have to declare it and you cannot keep it.
Every body knows this so when you see a guy saying he didn't he is lying.

I think that many of these rules stem from a big corruption scandal years ago. Poulson Tribunal?
Some of this anti corruption stuff goes back to Samuel Pepys when he was the Ruler of the Queen's Navy so it's been around a long time.

The electorate, not just the tax paying electorate has the right to demand the highest standards of behaviour from politicians and civil servants..
If you illegally take goods/money and put them back when you are caught it is still theft.
I once met a building mamager who had a civil servant sacked for taking a bit of wood from a skip.

The affair of the affair is surely the affair of two consenting adults.
And not our business.
But there is a husband and a child involved also.
I think Blunkett has bought himself manyl years supply of misery.

This has exposed the arrogance of our rulers.


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Smiler
post Dec 16 2004, 01:24 PM
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Clarks a bit of a bruiser but I think he's behind the ID cards so they're gonna happen. I actually like the idea (dont shoot please).
It depends on the amount of info and the use of the cards other than for our ID purposes that can get a bit screwey. I dont think Blunkett wanted them as limited as I do, but in principal and where I've used them in practice (Denmark) I kinda want 'em to come in.

Blunkett going??? I think its a bit of a shame really. He always seemed kinda solid and actually dare I say it, trustworthy (ouch! I said no bullets!) He was definately a fighter and a strong man to do what he did even if you dont fully agree with his policies (some of which I dont). Maybe a bit forceful and overzealous at times definately, but you always knew where he stood. To go through somebody elses actions is a bit low as well. If I'm right, he didnt personally fast-track either visa but someone in the office winked and nudged probably in the hopes of promotion. Shame but overall I cannot say he was terrible. Progressive before his time maybe, outspoken definately (not that thats always bad) and determined. This is almost gonna get interesting now that a streetwise normal person has left.


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Moosh
post Dec 16 2004, 04:37 PM
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I'm with smiler on this one, basically everything she/he said. (Sorry I don't know which one you are smiler)


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snooodlysnoosnoo...
post Dec 16 2004, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE (Smiler @ Dec 16 2004, 01:24 PM)
Clarks a bit of a bruiser but I think he's behind the ID cards so they're gonna happen. I actually like the idea (dont shoot please).
It depends on the amount of info and the use of the cards other than for our ID purposes that can get a bit screwey. I dont think Blunkett wanted them as limited as I do, but in principal and where I've used them in practice (Denmark) I kinda want 'em to come in.


We had a lecture yesterday about IT in the NHS and our lecturer (who works for the IT department in QMC and NCT hospitals) was telling us about how a persons details would be stored on them so they could just be scanned at the beggining of an appointment to save time finding patient records by having to scroll through a list of names and enter all their personal details which wastes time (and it does, it can take up to 15 mins) and gives instant access to any relevant details.
It should speed up the efficiency of the NHS and help reduce waiting lists. I just hope it works.


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CommieBastard
post Dec 16 2004, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE (snoo @ Dec 16 2004, 06:01 PM)
We had a lecture yesterday about IT in the NHS and our lecturer (who works for the IT department in QMC and NCT hospitals) was telling us about how a persons details would be stored on them so they could just be scanned at the beggining of an appointment to save time finding patient records by having to scroll through a list of names and enter all their personal details which wastes time (and it does, it can take up to 15 mins) and gives instant access to any relevant details.
It should speed up the efficiency of the NHS and help reduce waiting lists. I just hope it works.
*


Worth three billion pounds?


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snooodlysnoosnoo...
post Dec 16 2004, 06:41 PM
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Eventually, maybe.

I didn't say that they were worth it, just that they would be useful in some situations.


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Snugglebum the D...
post Dec 16 2004, 11:27 PM
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I agree with Smiler.

Other's have done much, much worse with little consequences.

I think he took the high road and walked away.


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Mata
post Dec 16 2004, 11:54 PM
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I personally disagree strongly with ID cards.

If all details of all patients were correctly put onto a database (which is what would be needed to be done to put them onto the cards) then why rely on the data being on the cards, which would likely be forgotten? Why not simply have all the information on a computer in the doctor's room? That way the patient would never forget their card and miss out on giving details to their doctor that might be vital to a diagnosis. There is absolutely no need for the cards.

When medical records go on ID cards then who is to stop their abuse? Of course your medical history is of interest to an employer, because they will often need to know any important facts about your life that may affect your capability to work... But if an employer is looking at two otherwise identical candidates, but one is HIV+, then which do you think that they will pick?

ID cards would either serve to incriminate those that are forgetful if it was law to carry them (at best it would mean a waste of police time as you were escorted back to your house to get your card) or they would be pointless if it was not law to carry them. There are existing systems in place to prove your identity, such as passports, and ID cards would not be any progress from these.

The idea that 'if you have nothing to hide then what's the problem?' is critically flawed. It's not about what we feel that should be hidden, it's about who's looking. Another example; you might go out clubbing with some friends on the weekend, perhaps you go to a gay club, you might not be gay but you're out with friends who are. Your ID is scanned and logged. Monday morning you have a job interview and the interviewer might be a homophobe, why should they have access to the places that you go? Well, why not? I've you've got nothing to hide... Right? Perhaps you go to get your health insurance checkup. They need to know what kind of lifestyle you have, so they have access to times that you've used your card. If you've been to a gay club then you will likely be flagged as possibly be gay and therefore more likely to contract AIDS (yes, some companies do do this), hence your insurance goes up... But you had nothing to hide...

The benefits of the card system already exist with existing systems, but the potential, perhaps not at first but definitely over time, for infringement of civil liberties is extraordinary. Maybe I'm being paranoid, I think I'm being healthily cynical because it's not really that far-fetched.


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CommieBastard
post Dec 17 2004, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 16 2004, 11:54 PM)
ID cards would either serve to incriminate those that are forgetful if it was law to carry them (at best it would mean a waste of police time as you were escorted back to your house to get your card) or they would be pointless if it was not law to carry them. There are existing systems in place to prove your identity, such as passports, and ID cards would not be any progress from these.
*


As the Bill stands, law would require citizens to own an ID card, but not carry one at all times.


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Mata
post Dec 17 2004, 12:12 AM
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Which does rather raise the question: then what's the point? Why not spend that money on getting the systems we already have to work properly rather than some fanciful national database of everything that in all liklihood would stumble at every chance and would either be woefully short of its goals or criminally invasive of privacy? Alternatively, give the money to the police force, teachers, and the social security fraud agency. Apparently they could all do with more funding and would actually have a positive impact on social circumstances.


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markslut
post Dec 17 2004, 12:12 AM
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I wouldn't mind carrying an ID card, but I don't like the idea of having a chip on it, its fair enough having a bit of card saying you are who you say you are but who knows what information is on a smart chip.

Remember the aborted 'who can tap commumications' bill, it included the Department of Transport, local councils etc. I think the only people who didn't have their powers extended under the proposed 'method of fighting terrorism' were the Police


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Overfriendly_Kit...
post Dec 17 2004, 06:40 PM
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Okay folks - LONG POST ALERT -

you have been warned...
_____________

The Honourable Mr D Blunkett - former Home Secretary...

Well now, Blunky's legacy, what has he been up to?

A. ID Cards: -

1) Cost - so far a cited £3 billion pounds, on something that we must own, but don't have to carry? As Mata said, what's the point? And we the tax payers have to buy them on top of paying our taxes. Surely this kind of money could be put to better use? The cards themselves will only have a limited amount of info on them, and under the current recommendations it's highly unlikely that we'll be seeing shorter queues when we go to our doctors / hospital, or when we go to claim our benefits, or when we go to vote, or when we get asked for our driving licence, or security clearance... etc, etc.

2) Implementation - I don't feel very confident that this will be implemented properly or cost effectively. You just have to look at every single scheme introduced (relating to id - from passports to civil databases) within the last 10 years in the UK (at both a National and Local level) to see how this and previous governments have consistently failed to get it right. This in itself could open the cards up to fraud and theft... totally undermining what they're supposed to be for.

3) Failure to deal with terrorism - given that with the majority of recent arrests in the UK (that relate to terrorism) almost all of the suspects have been British Nationals, or people legally visiting the UK. ID cards aren't going to affect these categories of people, and as such I can't see how they're going to make the UK safer from terrorist attack. What will happen is that if (God forbid) a bomb goes off in the UK every Asian within 100 miles of the attack is going to be stopped and detained unless they have their ID card... a dragnet approach used by the Israeli Defence Force (in cases not involving suicide bombers) which has proven to be both monumentally unsuccessful and a tool for repression of Arab Israelis and Palestinians.

4) Enhances police powers but without any balance regarding civil liberties - so far not having to carry your card with you at all times won't actually stop you from being detained (for failure to produce ID on demand) if the police feel like it. Looking at other countries which have ID cards you can see how the current Blunkett proposals might lead to serious miscarriages of justice, unless they're addressed immediately (and so far Blunky has almost always dismissed any criticism / calls for safeguards - out of hand, strong conviction politics or just plain arrogant?).

In Paris a French National (of Algerian decent) had to temporarily leave his two year-old son at their flat to get the kid some food. He was tired and in a hurry and forgot his ID card. He was stopped by cops outside the shop he lived opposite. He failled to provide his card, tried (unsuccessfully) to explain and was taken into custody. 6 hours later he was released with a fine (but no other charges being laid). For 6 hours his kid was left alone and hungry and all because he wasn't carrying his card with him.

5) Failure to deal with most crimes - except possibly Welfare and Benefits Fraud, Identity Theft and Illegal Immigration, the ID card will not assist in crime prevention. A national fingerprints / DNA database is being constructed and is more likely to have a positive impact on criminal investigation, though this isn't linked to the ID card scheme... Even this national database will have to be looked at carefully, and there must be safeguards to ensure it isn't misused (something Blunky has ridiculed - as the police are beyond corruption in his opinion). On the issue of Welfare and Benefits Fraud and Identity Theft, the cards will only help if the relevant databases and support resources are committed to assisting tackle these crimes. So far Blunky (and Home Office as a whole) have only alluded to such support.

6) Opens up possibility for Big Brother 1984 style - This isn't about people having something to hide, this is about people being at risk from the police, should the cops decide to abuse their position of power over the little people. This is about government agencies getting info on targets they don't like. This could be used as another means of controlling / preventing peaceful protesters (like the number of anti-war demonstrators) who have been identified as priority risks on various police databases... id cards will simply allow an escalation and continuation of the police control over these folks and denying them the basic freedoms that Mr Blunkett has effectively removed.

Greek authorities have been accused of using data on religious affiliation on its national card to discriminate against people who are not Greek Orthodox... Given that the accusation of institutionalised racism within the UK police has yet to be fully dealt with, I fail to see how this is not going to be misused as just another means of harassing minority groups.

On the issue of medical data and sexual preference being made available to employers, I don't think that the current proposals would include that much data - or allow for private sector usage, though this prevent local and national authorities misusing the info.

7) So where will these cards actually prove useful?
QUOTE
The success of ID cards as a means of fighting crime or illegal immigration will depend on a discriminatory checking procedure which will target minorities. The irony of the ID card option is that it invites discrimination by definition. Discriminatory practices are an inherent part of the function of an ID card. Without this discrimination, police would be required to conduct random checks, which in turn, would be politically unacceptable.

(source www.privacy.org)

The current proposals may lead to the identification and detaining of some illegal immigrants, but it will take thousands of stop checks to net hundreds of potentials, and then only scores of actual targets... It seems to me that the introduction of ID cards (under the current proposals) will be most successful in increasing already frayed tensions between the police and ethnic minority groups within the UK.
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Overfriendly_Kit...
post Dec 17 2004, 06:57 PM
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Long post continued...

B. Community Support Officers: -

Already suggested under Jack Straw's tenure... Blunky introduced them far too rapidly, without looking at what their role really is. They aren't trained, they have no clear mission / direction, they will now get batons, CS Sprays and handcuffs without having to go through the careful training procedures the cops have to before using them... but they won't be allowed to arrest people? It's a stop-gap for a more serious problem (without actually dealing with that problem), the actual issue being that there aren't enough real police officers. And even as a stop gap measure, this has been badly implemented... I have yet to meet a cop who thinks that giving CSOs a baton, CS spray and cuffs as a good idea, and if the cops are thinking that then what the hell should I be thinking?
______________________

C. Terror suspects held without charge: -

The Courts have just held that suspects can't be held without trial, part of the issue being that this policy hasn't made the UK a safer place, nor has it helped prosecute terrorists. It has taken away civil liberties and dragged Britain closer to countries like Russia, China, Iran and Burma in terms of human rights.

The reasons cited for detention rather than trial, being that open trials would risk covert government investigations and techniques as well as compromising the security of witnesses... so why not introduce new laws to help overcome these issues - and implement safeguards in fair and legal trials that don't follow the Diplock approach that the authorities know best and can be trusted to charge, sentence and imprison people all in one go.
______________________

D. Ending Trial by Juries: -

This may free up some cash, but at what cost? Surely it is more advantageous to have a jury sitting for the current handful of criminal matters? Instead, Blunky has made more trials that could go to Crown court and juries - stay at the magistrate's where prejudice towards the prosecution is far more common. He has also attempted to limit juries in Crown courts placing far more responsibility on Judges to be fair and impartial at all times, even when hearing matters that a jury shouldn't hear, judges then have to disregard these points and pretend they never heard them... great.
______________________

E. Trying to introduce minimum sentences: -

This removes a judges right to set a term for sentencing, and takes away their ability to take mitigating factors into account. Bloke A gets done for Actual Bodily Harm and the new rules say he has to be given a 12 months custodial sentence (except he was provoked by some nutter who hit him first) so a judge would have awarded him 3 months suspended sentence and community service, but can't do that now. There are mitigating circumstances in lots of cases from motoring offences through to murder... some of these are genuine and reasonable, but removing the judges right to set the level of punishment means that everyone gets treated the same - even if they shouldn't. The problem here is Blunky wanted to ignore the fact that no two serious crimes are the same and that the circumstances of every case should be taken into consideration.

Imposing minimum sentences will also ensure that every crim tries his/her hardest to avoid longer than deserved gaol terms, rather than do the right thing and plead guilty the courts will face a mass of pointless defences that it currently doesn't have to bother with (and in some cases might even cause juries to pass not guilty verdicts out of sympathy with the defendant). It will also place even greater strain on an already overburdened prison system - by ignoring new and sometimes effective alternatives to custody for minor offences (such as tagging and curfews - or community service).
______________________

F. Blunket going on about responsibility and social cohesion: -

QUOTE
"Linking rights and responsibilities and emphasising socially acceptable behaviour to others, underpins the development of active citizenship."

D Blunky - on new scheme to teach citizenship at all schools.

QUOTE
"Everything I stand for is about personal responsibility, it's about respect, it's about building cohesive society where you take the consequences of our actions."


He has stated in these two quotes the need for every one of us to: (i) ...emphasising socially acceptable behaviour to others... and (ii) ...build (a) cohesive society...

I don't think that these lofty ideals include: fathering a kid with someone else’s' wife, then dragging the whole sorry thing through the courts to get custody, with Blunky making very public certain Family Court information (which is almost always kept out of the public domain on sensitive issues like custody and contact) - simply to take some of the heat off himself. He wants to show socially acceptable behaviour, then how about allowing his ex-lover a couple of months delay in this case, until she's fit enough to attend court?

Personally I feel that Blunky is doing more for (what might be) his son, than a lot of dads do in this situation... but he came out with the responsibility speeches before the issue of the custody battle, and it certainly wasn't given with his paternal duties in mind. Also I don't think that breaking up a family is being responsible in emphasising socially acceptable behaviour. You just have to look at the damage marital splits can do to both parties, their kids and even extended families... is this really what society needs? More bigamy? This doesn't appear to be building a cohesive society, just damaging one which is already pretty much shattered in this respect. Now I'm not saying that divorces should be outlawed, or that people who commit adultery should be locked away, nor do I feel that Blunky should have stepped down because he had an affair.

I just think that it is particularly galling that the man then preaches to the populace to: do as he says but not as he does. Sure he's human, and under a lot of pressure, but if he can't keep his private life in order and have acted responsibly in the first place - then why should he expect the rest of us to be responsible citizens? I think that the responsibility speech (which is much needed) should have been given by someone with slightly cleaner linen.
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G. Citizenship: -

On the face of it I quite like the idea of Citizenship, but when politicians like Blunky start going all patriotic and talking up being responsible Britains - I wonder if it's either their genuine attempt at helping people feel the belong to the UK, or a rather cynically playing to the right wing nationalist tendencies of some UK voters in the run up to a general election.

The problem again is the potential for abuse. How far will the government implement the obligation side of citizenship? What will we as citizens HAVE to do? What happens if we don't / can't? Will we be portrayed as un-British. Throughout recent history certain American administrations (usually, but not always Republican ones) have seen citizenship and patriotism as a means of social and societal control, which they have misused unashamedly. I'd rather not have McCarthyist witch hunts in the UK (they could already be brewing for a resurgence in the US). I'd rather not have to tow the citizenship line, unless it was a line I strongly believed in - not a form of citizenship thrust down my throat by a rightwing conviction politician (even if he has a cute guide dog).

Also how do we attain this mystical citizenship thingy? How do immigrants get it? And if we can lose it - what then? Do we lose our property, right to vote, hold jobs, have bank accounts? Other EU countries take this line, is this really where the UK should go? If it is, then I'd certainly like to see what safeguards there are to protect me as a citizen.
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H. Immigration: -

Blunky has continued the policy of making it neigh impossible for anyone who isn't American, Australian, Canadian, Swiss or New Zealander to immigrate into the UK. The immigration and asylum rules under the current administration are both draconian and overly bureaucratic for all non-whites and most white Eastern Europeans; they have failed innocent people fleeing from war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq. This Home Secretary has escalated the crusade against foreigners trying to enter the UK, and whether you think this is a good or a bad thing he has then ignored all his own advice and policy by allowing this one person in. The nanny was initially informed it could take up to a year to process her visa claim, but 19 days later she was told she could stay in the UK indefinitely.

Given that there are so many failed attempts by workers from S.E. Asia, I can only assume that this is why Blunky was asked to "look over her forms" in the first place. This is why I think that it's more than an infraction, it's corruption, and corruption in public office should not be accepted. It sets a bad example, and when you're dealing with people's lives and livelihoods I don't think that it's particularly fair.

I do acknowledge that there is a very real view in the UK that in this country we have limited resources, a housing problem, a security problem and a delicately balanced economy. Fair enough, if that's the case then when Britain is curtailing the steady influx of economic migrants and potential drains on the welfare system (as the Daily Mail likes to portray them), why shouldn't the rules apply equally to everyone? Why should a minister be allowed to sneak in a mate or three - at a time when it is very difficult for everyone else? What makes this a minor infraction, but some kid running through the channel tunnel a bad thing? Shouldn't both be treated with the same contempt - someone circumventing the rules to getting into our over-populated, unsecure (or is that insecure), under-resourced country with it's knife edge economy?

Personally I agree that illegal immigrants should be dealt with more proactively, (and this can be achieved through better border control and closer monitoring of welfare claimants) but not at the cost of ignoring the plight and suffering of genuine asylum seekers. If we can't afford to support these people then perhaps we can stop supporting the military regimes that have caused them to flee in the first place? We are prepared to spend billions on helping the Saudi government maintain its airforce, before Gulf War I - we had given Iraq £30 million worth of arms on credit... We constantly supply the governments of Indonesia and Burma with tax payer's money for all kinds of projects that often disappear into the bank accounts of senior politicians... the list goes on.

If we can't accept our international obligations to help people fleeing war and persecution, then why can't we at the very least stop exacerbating their suffering by supporting the their wars and persecutors?


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Daedalus
post Dec 17 2004, 10:55 PM
Post #23


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Hmm... I was going to have a bit of a rant about this too, but Kitten has basically said everything there is to say laugh.gif so I won't bother.

I certainly won't be missing him.


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Mata
post Dec 18 2004, 02:22 AM
Post #24


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Well...

I think that will probably go down as the definitive ID/foreign policy post on this forum for a very long time!

QUOTE (Overfriendly_Kitten @ Dec 17 2004, 06:40 PM)
On the issue of medical data and sexual preference being made available to employers, I don't think that the current proposals would include that much data - or allow for private sector usage, though this prevent local and national authorities misusing the info.

You're absolutely right, the current proposals do not currently include the data that I suggest, but it is certainly not inconcievable that in the future they might, leading to a huge amount of problems.

I think that ID cards could only really work to the benefit of innocent and legal civilians if the world was full of people who were entirely non-judgemental and fair in all decisions. I'm either cynical or realistic, but I don't think that the world is like that, and so we are not ready for others to have this level of access to our lives.

ID cards to me represent a slippery slope. Once we're on it everything else will be sold as a 'new feature' that is there 'for your convenience' and gradually surveillance becomes nearly total... But if you've got nothing to hide, then what's the problem? I know that this is the worst case scenario, but it is not an entirely far-fetched one either. Every government in the world would like to have more information on their populous, and ID cards are a foot in the door to day-to-day data. I just don't trust them because I don't trust people in power enough at the moment.

The one thing that reassures me after all this is that no scheme such as this in the UK has ever proven itself to be well enough organised to ever functionally work. Even something as simple as using PIN numbers instead of signatures to confirm payments is being given up by many shops in the weeks before Christmas because "it's putting some customers off spending their money". Maybe the UK is full of suspicious grumpy old buggers, or maybe we're rationally paranoid. I think that the former is the more likely option, and so any policy that tries to enforce the use of ID cards I suspect will face a great deal of opposition, more than it would ever imagine on first implementation.


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Overfriendly_Kit...
post Dec 18 2004, 11:05 AM
Post #25


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QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 18 2004, 03:22 AM)
Well...

...Maybe the UK is full of suspicious grumpy old buggers, or maybe we're rationally paranoid...


Paranoia is merely reality fine tuned.

I love London.

As to your concerns that this is just the begining, I agree totally... ID Cards are going to be brought in, and no one in the Home Office from Blunky down, has even attempted to allay any of the fears and concerns raised by civil libertarians. Instead Blunky has simply rubished all criticism as being the work of the 'liberati' who are conspiring to bring him and the country down.

Pathetic really.

And yes, I'm sure employers would soon start asking for more information from their employees... and in these uncertain and un(job)secure times, employees will comply.


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