"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Monday 28 January 2013


“Are these the family values the government wants to promote? Keeping parents and children/grandchildren apart ... breaking up husbands and wives?”
“It’s ridiculous that British people now have fewer rights in Britain than even those from outside the EU... ”

Anne is the British mother of a British son who, by this government’s account, should not have fallen in love, married and had a child with a lovely woman, because his child's mother happens to be American. Anne is also the British wife and main carer of a British man who is disabled.

Anne recognises that, as she gets older, she will need assistance from her son, for herself and her husband.

The new rules now in place mean that her son is forced to live apart from his wife and daughter. They also mean that she is not permitted to be with her son and daughter-in-law and is prevented from spending time with her granddaughter.

NOTHING is right about this situation.

They are a proud, if not rich, family. They missed the wedding of their son to a woman who is now a much loved member of the family. While it was painful missing her son’s wedding, the financial and practical constraints of Anne’s husband’s disability meant that they couldn’t travel.

They do, however, expect their son to be able to live in his home country, with his new family.

£18,600 is a lot of money for him and Anne, on top of the daily expenses of living and substantial visa application fees (as Anne sees it, we do not all have parliamentary salaries, generous expense accounts and cushy pensions – Anne pays for and travels in standard class).

Anne’s son has been saving money for a spouse visa and paying rent in the UK while also maintaining and paying for accommodation for his wife and child. Babies are expensive, as anyone with a child will tell you. Yet he managed for a long time.

Until these rules came in.

The stress of being apart from his wife and child is, in itself, difficult; but the impact of the rules, which suggest to him that he may never be with them, were he also to be here for his parents, caused Anne's son to become very ill, leading to the loss of his job. So, overall, this is now a worse situation for everyone, her son, his wife, their granddaughter, Anne’s husband, Anne and the entire extended family and community.

They now can’t even afford to fly to America to see the child unless friends and family help.

Are these the family values the government wants us to adopt?

Meanwhile this whole situation is taking a very bad toll on everyone's health. Anne is now on antidepressants and blood pressure tablets. Their fifteen-year-old daughter is feeling the stress of the situation – she can't understand why she can't see her little niece and sister-in-law. Their other daughter has their son living with her as he has now also lost his home, so has no choice but to move in with family.

The government needs to realise there are real people affected by these changes, not just government statistics. The rules were already hard to meet in the first place, the fees of hundreds of pounds were already a lot for the majority of working people.

Anyone from the EU can move to the UK with their spouse and children without having to satisfy any income criterion.

Yet now British people, in their own country, are being torn apart from their families! What has
this government done to our country and why? Who will look after us as we grow old? Who will look after us when we are ill? And who will answer the questions the next generation asks about why discriminatory and racist policies were allowed to be put in place, policies preventing Anne's son's daughter getting to know her father and grandparents?

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