"Borders as a Weapon of Censorship"
From time to time we defer to brave and wondrous Kea. She is still blogging from her post at Oxford, despite the silliness of Britain's Home Office. Many scientists have missed appointments because of silly immigration rules. 2 months ago, Send in the Clowns, this blog reported than even circus performers are prevented from joining their tours. What a grave terrorist threat that circus clowns pose to Britain! The real clowns, the real threats to freedom are in government.
Speaking of clowns, California radio personality Michael Savage has been banned from Britain solely for his views. Savage had no plans to visit Britain, and has not done so for at least 20 years. As far as is known, he has never advocated violence nor been conviced of violent acts. Michael Savage is just a funnyman who poses no threat. Though his show is not even broadcast in Britain, the Home Office has singled out a private citizen out for defamation.
How does Home Secretary Jacqui Smith justify this laughable ruling? "I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country," Smith told a GMTV interviewer, "and what's more we will make public those people we have excluded."
Jacqui Smith's dictatorial rules have turned even Labour allies against her. Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the UK was prepared to "use their borders as a weapon of censorship. It also deprives the citizens of that country of their ability to hear dissenting views."
The Gurkha Rifles are among Britain's proudest defenders. Recruited from their Himalayan homeland, they are known far and wide for their bravery and trademark curved swords. A new ruling by the aforementioned Home Office strips them of the historic right to settle in Britain. Gurkha Justice Campaign. The Gurkhas have found a spokesperson in the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley:
"Via a single-page document published on the internet, the Government delivered a wicked blow to loyal and brave British Army Gurkha veterans.
"The bond between the British people and the Gurkhas is paid in the blood of 50,000 of them who died for our freedom. The Gurkhas stood by this country through its darkest hours; now, those Gurkhas call on every Briton in their own hour of need.
"The British people are not fair-weather friends. The Government has miscalculated the depth of support from the public. The new policy is deliberately designed to exclude nearly every Gurkha who retired before 1997. Gurkha Riflemen were limited to a maximum of 15 years’ service in the Brigade, yet the new immigration policy requires that a Gurkha must have served for 20 years before he can live here.
"Ministers now say that Gurkhas can live here if they have family in Britain — but Gurkhas’ families were previously excluded from Britain. They also say that they can live here if they have served in Britain (not in war zones) continuously for three years — yet Gurkhas toured Britain for only two years and their stay here was broken by tours of duties in war zones."
On April 9 Britain's Counterrorism Chief Bob Quick resigned. He was photographed by the press entering 10 Downing Street carrying a document marked SECRET in the open. The paper detailed to the world a plan to round up 11-12 terrorism suspects. 10 of the suspects were Pakistani nationals who had entered the UK on "student" visas. The Home Office let them in but keeps Gurkhas and others out. Bob Quick, who will retire to a million-pound pension, was appointed by the Home Secretary. Jacqui Smith's husband, Richard Timney, is also on the government payroll as Smith's parliamentary aide. Recently Timney confessed to watching adult films in their home, then charging them as expenses.
Innocent people have been locked out of Britain for nothing more than their opinions. This is truly a form of censorship. From entertainers to Gurkha veterans, noone is safe. Who voted for these Orwellian regulations? Who desires a government that has bankrupted the UK while making taxpayers pay for minister's second homes? If Britain's science and democratic government are to advance, the Home Secretary and those around her must be shown the door.