It seems I was on to something in my post yesterday when I suggested, somewhat tongue in cheek, the reason UK Border Agency senior officials ordered border guards not to bother checking non-EU nationals’ passports this summer. My suggestion was…well…somewhat on the money.
Phil Woolas, an ex Labour MP, is quoted in today’s Daily Telegraph stating his Government’s policies to get a grip on immigration (albeit very late in the day!) were constantly obstructed by Whitehall civil servants. Now as a former local government councillor, I know what Mr Woolas means, albeit on a smaller scale. The civil service is full of vested interests and thoroughly left-wing, especially in local government. Strong political leadership is essential to overcome the hurdles and obstructions civil servants throw in the way of elected politicians or all you get is government by unelected bureaucrats. The Sir Humphrey’s of the civil service will always find a reason, procedure, protocol, or directive why a minister or councillor should not do something. The key is for the politician not to be persuaded and to always question: some are better at doing this than others.
However, it seems the Home Office officials have gone one step further and actually changed government policy without consulting the Home Secretary, Theresa May. Their actions may actually mean a civil servant ends up in prison as they could have threatened national security. And today it has been made known UKBA officials have accepted bribes for allowing non-EU nationals to enter the country illegally.
The issue of controlled immigration or lack of in the UK is always at the top of the issues voters most care about. The e-Petition ‘No to 70 million’ calling on the government to get immigration down to a level that will stabilise the UK population as close to the present level as possible is now very close to attracting the 100,000 signatures required for it to be considered by Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee, which is one step before a full debate in the House of Commons. The current number of signatures are 92,984. You can sign the petition here.