Discussion of the UK Government
:thumbsup: 100 %
By Bart
This is a thread specifically for pointing out things that are wrong in the Home Office.

I will start it off by linking an article published in the Independent. Click on the text here to read. It was written by a former senior Home Office clerk.

Now, after reading this piece of 'wisdom', I am not really surprised why the hostile environment happened. It seems to me that at least some people working for the Home Office are not competent, and this article proves it.

I know many of you hate the Independent, but if you have seen the latest Reporters without Borders Report, cried yourself to sleep already over worldwide decline in press freedom, including in the UK, and if you looked into the number of complaints upheld, you would appreciate the Independent, because it is still more reliable than most major British newspapers. Besides, this specific article could have been published by any media outlet. It is the author who matters.

Now, being competent matters for Home Office with its EU citizens's CSI and Windrush generation scandals. It seems the person who wrote the article makes two claims that are profoundly wrong.

Exhibit 1.
I called up a disappointed home secretary and went back to my work. I had always assumed that as long as we let people enter Britain without a visa – today 56 countries worldwide plus all of Europe have that “privilege”, just as we have the right to travel to scores of countries without first getting a visa – some would abuse the system and start working cash-in-hand.

Fair play to the diplomat.

The claim is obviously untrue, and the map of countries getting visa-free movement into the UK is far from all Europe.


Light gray - Visa required for entry, and landside transit (unless holding exemption documents); visa-free airside transit
Dark gray - Visa required for entry, and both landside and airside transit (unless holding exemption documents)

Exhibit 2.
Well before the formal enlargement of the EU in 2004, London was home to half a million or more Polish people and other Eastern Europeans who came as tourists and stayed to earn money.

First of all, Poles identify themselves as Central Europeans. Poland is located in Western Europe geographically. It's religious makeup is Western (Catholicism is a branch Western Christianity). Not even Kaczynski can change that, just like Franco doesn't make Spain Eastern European, Hitler doesn't make Germany Eastern European and so on. It also ticks all characteristics of Central European distinctiveness not only as outlined by Kundera, but also by Jordan.


Secondly, it would be good to see what the data actually was, because with such a cold war journalistic shortcut for Eastern Bloc counties (the bloc lasted 45 years, no more), it might turn out that the guy meant Austrians, Czechs, Finns, Romanians, Russians and Yugoslavians.


I appreciate the entertaining quote of a Brazilian diplomat who was explaining why Brazil will not accept a plane full of Brazilian 'illegal immigrants':
He explained that Brazil did not want to see its citizens humiliated with a high-profile public expulsion of a plane flying home these men and women, just so a British politician could get some publicity for being tough on illegal immigration.

However, the guy should have said 'much of Europe' when referring to visa-free movement and 'Central Europe' when referring to countries that are in Central Europe.
Last edited by Bart on Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Timbo
Membership Days Posts
With Bart's permission, I will add a little context on his behalf (we are acquainted offline).

As an EU citizen, he moved to the UK several years ago, initially to study, but decided to stay. One year of his studies was on the Erasmus programme split between Germany and Spain. Upon the Brexit vote, he decided (as many others did at the time) to apply for Permanent Residency as a stepping stone to a citizenship application (his native Denmark having legalised dual nationality in 2014). After a couple of months of frantically gathering paperwork and filling in an 80+ page form which asks all manner of things, including specifics of every single entry and departure from the UK since first arrival.

After a protracted delay, his application was declined on the basis that he hadn't maintained Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for the duration of his residence. This requirement has only begun to be enforced under the Tories, and has been found to be in contravention of the UK's treaty obligations by the European Commission.

Since then, he has been very closely involved with other people and groups representing those who have had immigration problems, specifically arising from Home Office managerial malice or incompetence.

I think this post is somewhat intended to draw attention to that issue, although there are certainly far greater examples in the press every day at present.
Malcolm Armsteen, Kreuzberger, Boiler and 2 others liked this
By Bart
Kreuzberger wrote:I'm somewhat confused...
Abernathy wrote:Moi aussi.
What confused you, exactly?
Timbo wrote:So this giant post is about two semantic errors in an article in The Independent?
Yes, it is. Two errors that are quite significant.
Timbo wrote:With Bart's permission, I will add a little context on his behalf (we are acquainted offline) [...]
Thank you thousand times! Thanks for putting my frustration into words.

I assumed you people are well aware of how incompetent the Home Office clerks are already, especially since Theresa May, but I just wanted to tip it even more.

It saddens me is that EU citizens' Permanent Residence refusals remain an unexplored branch of the Home Office's incompetence scandal.

Everything Tim said is true, except one thing I feel very strongly about: I identify myself exclusively as European. I am still unsure how the mailwatch works, but before I get heckled, I would like to expand that this is down to being fluent in a few European languages and being communicate in most of them (I made personal effort to know the languages and the cultures expressed through them), as well as having lived full-time in a few countries of the European Union (Theresa May was wrong - once you lived somewhere, you establish emotional link, and you can be a citizen of the world quite naturally), and studying histories of a few of them.

Here is some essential reading about the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance:
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/03/1 ... insurance/

Regardless of Alexandra wrote, the interpretation of CSI used by the UK authorities is a breach of the law:

The European Commission considers this a breach of EU law. It started infringement proceedings:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/get ... anguage=EN

I am not sure whether the EU waits until Brexit to strike back, but it seems the UK will wave the unlawful requirement (as if it would be a goodwill gesture) for the settled status. the problem is that the settled status still does not exist and the status of EU citizens remains insecure, despite a flood of media reports published more or less monthly. You can call out BS every time you see the revelation next time (it's likely not going to be solved anytime soon).

EU citizens' main worry is that it was meant to be simple, but if is simple, why does it take a year to develop it?
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