Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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UPDATE: Non-EU nationals waved into Britain

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.

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Non-EU nationals waved into Britain

News has broke today that senior officials at the UK Border Agency (UKBA) told border guards to not bother checking passports of non-EU nationals at the UK border in our seaports and airports.

When anyone enters the UK – British citizens or not – our passports are meant to be ‘scanned’ against databases of known names of those who are a risk or threat to the UK. That is what border guards are doing when they place your passport under the scanner at their post. But it seems this summer somebody, undoubtedly very senior, at the UKBA – without the permission of ministers – ordered border guards not to bother checking non-EU passports and instead just to glance at them and let anybody in. The reason for this given so far were the queues at the border were too long; I at least hope this was the reason and not a left-wing culture in the Home Office that would prefer to continue rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity.

Compare this to entering the United States. Firstly, you can’t even get on the plane in the originating country without telling the US Government in advance you are coming and then you have to tell them the same information you told them before you left in your landing card, and then, typically, you need to wait an hour in an immigration queue before being grilled by a border guard. Now, that is what I call immigration control. It seems the UK Home Office wouldn’t know the meaning of the word ‘control’.

The head of the UKBA, Brodie Clark, has already been suspended, as well as two other senior officials. 
Theresa May needs to get a grip and fast.