Monday, December 01, 2008

I spent the better part of Friday morning in the Immigration offices in Glasgow having my application for Indefinite Leave to Remain dealt with by the staff there. The application was dealt with promptly - the staff were very friendly - and the results were such that I now have a piece of paper with a hideous photograph of myself over the words Indefinite Leave to Remain and Settlement.

One of the reasons that the application was dealt with as quickly as it was had to with the fact that the immigration offices were nearly empty. They had postponed the appointments of a whole series of people who needed to submit applications for Further Leave to Remain as either students or spouses (either of UK nationals or spouses of folks with Leave to Remain) People in these categories will now be issued mandatory I.D. cards, you see, and they weren't yet ready to process such folk.

As I was sitting there waiting to have my financial records perused and my excellent letter from the Bishop read by the staff there, I noticed a large room which was furiously being readied with a large picture of a finger-print on the door.

In other words, it's started! The much hated ID cards which have the backing of almost nobody are finally being introduced. The very first category of people to receive them will be those applying for FLR in these two categories.

One of the rejoinders by government is that security measures and legislation which have been introduced over the last few years will not be abused. We can sleep safely knowing that the idea of a Big Brother State looking over our shoulders and using their powers for nefarious ends is a figment of a dissatisfied imagination - doomsaying - science fiction - can't possibly happen.

Those of you who are not in the UK or who may have been engrossed with the goings-on in Mumbai (and Thailand and Nigeria) might have missed the recent story of the arrest of a fairly mild mannered senior member of the opposition - the Tories' Immigration critic. He was doing what opposition politicians generally do which is to position themselves on the receiving end of material from within government departments sent down the tube by like-minded civil servants. They then poop these embarrassing bits out during Prime Minister's Question Period and everybody goes "oooh". It's what Gordon Brown made his name doing during his time in Opposition.

Well in the case of Damian Green - the Conservative MP - the claws definitely came out. Doing what basically amounted to his job ended up provoking a near simultaneous raid on his home and his office at Westminster. Nine members of the anti-terrorism squad showed up at his house. His crime? Well - he has been on the receiving end of information from within government ministries which proved embarrassing to the government.

Matthew Parris screams the loudest amongst the mainstream media

Sam Coates Red Box Blog in the Times online is worth a read as is William Rees-Mogg.

The Guardian (the Labour Party in Print) soft peddles the political connection and blames the police for a simple and innocent overabundance of zeal

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Congratulations. I'm hoping to get mine next month -- but have to get a date for the 'Life' test first.