Friday, September 26, 2008

Hello Orwell

by Suw on September 26, 2008

I really do get depressed at the state of the State in the UK these days. Labour have turned us into a country Orwell would be shocked by, and this post from Cory Doctorow made me even more depressed about the direction the UK is going:

Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, had unilaterally (and on 24 hours’ notice) changed the rules for Highly Skilled Migrants to require a university degree, sending hundreds of long-term, productive residents of the UK away (my immigration lawyers had a client who employed over 100 Britons, had fathered two British children, and was nonetheless forced to leave the country, leaving the 100 jobless). Smith took this decision over howls of protests from the House of Lords and Parliament, who repeatedly sued her to change the rule back, winning victory after victory, but Smith kept on appealing (at tax-payer expense) until the High Court finally ordered her to relent (too late for me, alas).

Now, it seems, I will become one of the first people in Britain to be forced to carry a mandatory biometric RFID card in a pilot programme being deployed first to foreign students and we spousal visa holders (government is looking to curtail spousal visas altogether, capping all visas at 20,000 per year, including spousal visas, denying Britons the right to bring their spouses into the country once the quota has been filled).

This sort of stuff is not just academic – it could directly affect Kevin and I. We need to transition Kevin onto a spousal visa as soon as we can. (Indeed, I am currently searching for a good immigration lawyer (recommendations welcome!).) If the Government limit spousal visas, they are going to end up punishing people simply for falling in love.

Kevin’s been away a little over a week and I miss him horribly, but at least I know when he’s coming back. I cannot imagine how hard it would be if we had to be parted indefinitely whilst we waited for the government to deign to give him a visa. Capping spousal visas is, in my opinion, nothing short of evil. It’s bad enough that the government are forcing out of the country the very people we need here to have a vibrant economy – the highly skilled people who contribute all of their talent and intelligence to our country. But arbitrarily restricting spousal visa is the sort of cold, cruel act I’ve come to expect from our government. They’ve forgotten that they exist to serve the people of this country, not to make their lives hell because they happened to fall in love with someone who wasn’t born here.

And let’s not kid ourselves. The people who are punished by immigration laws are the people who respect the law and try to do things properly. The people who ignore the law, either living here illegally or faking their documentation, won’t be affected by this sort of change.

Labour has to be defeated at the next election, because they are turning our country into a suspicious, heartless, cold place. And we have to support organisations like No2ID who are working tirelessly to try and stop this country turning into an Orwellian nightmare.

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