"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.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Today's links

Space Girl.


A song about trying to find a way for you and someone you love to be together, whether in person or in your dreams, no matter where you are in the world.

Ebony Buckle's husband :



UKBA balls up: Readers reveal UK Border Agency visa horror stories.


Just days after launching our TNT UKBA Balls-Up campaign, we’ve had more than 400 signatures and we’ve been inundated with horror stories.

More tales of misinformation being handed out to applicants, or, equally as bad, no information being given, so people are left in the dark about their visas and passports. Weddings have been missed, travel plans put on hold and jobs nearly lost (see Courtney Sherwell’s story, below). In the same week as we uncovered a catalogue of incompetency, UKBA announced it was increasing its visa fees – rubbing salt in the wound for many.



Born British? Got a foreign parent or grandparent? UK govt don’t like you? Be very afraid.

How easy is it to lose British citizenship?



https://twitter.com/britcits immigrants of the day :
@CharlesSaatchi from Iraq, founded ad agency,@saatchi_gallery,patron of Young British Artists group http://tinyurl.com/364r5xj
Founder of iconic British dept store @marksandspencer Michael Marks, Polish Jewish immigrant from what is now Belarus.


Justice for Jackie Nanyonjo.


Campaigners are blaming the UK Border Agency for deporting an asylum seeker who has reportedly died in Uganda after she claimed she was at risk of homophobic persecution.


“Since Jackie was in hiding as a known lesbian, protected by relatives, every trip to a doctor or hospital involved a risk to her life and to the safety of her family. They were condemned to watch the agonising decline of Jackie’s health and strength over the next two months.”


How should Hope Not Hate respond to UKIP?


UKIP has not been on our radar. It is not a fascist party and it cannot even be considered a far right party. It might be right wing but it is embedded to the democratic system and largely been focused on the single issue of opposition to the European Union.

But perhaps things are changing. UKIP is growing on the back of increasingly hostile rhetoric over immigration. Nationally, it is whipping up racist scare stories, such as the nonsense that four million Bulgarians, out of a population of just seven million, could head to the UK next year. Locally, some of its branches put out material far more extreme than most BNP material. It's London MEP Gerald Batten is heavily involved in the anti-Muslim 'Counter-Jihad' movement and the party is in an alliance with right wing extremists in the European Parliament.

So is it time that HOPE not hate opposes UKIP or should we just stick to fighting groups like the BNP? Please tell me what you think.

My response, in a personal capacity :

Ukip have pulled British politics to the right. The Tories are scared of them on immigration, and Labour are scared of them. They whip up anti-immigrant feeling and in their own way are a bigger threat than the BNP.

The coalition has introduced truly draconian immigration rules in response to pressure from UKIP, and they need to be opposed. For stories of those affected - families broken up - read
http://www.britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/stories .

It would be great to campaign with Hope Not Hate on this issue!


Another petition to sign.


We, the undersigned support Eileen and Nusret Bora in their desire to return to England to live with their family and friends following the horrific attempt on Nusret's life in Turkey 10 months ago, We believe that the new rules are too rigid to be applied in all cases and some applications should be reviewed on their merits and decisions taken compassionately especially when it involves a British Senior Citizen who is married to a foreign national and have extenuating circumstances.

Their story : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-19004462


Limits of EU's ability to bring pressure on member states tested by Hungary.


"What all this has shown is that the assumption that once you become a member you are fully democratized and there's no going back has been completely questioned," said Stratulat of the European Policy Centre.

"Democracy and democratization are forever a work in progress."


Satirical insult of head of state should not be a criminal offence, rules Strasbourg.


During a visit by the President to the département of Mayenne on 28 August 2008, Mr Eon had waved a placard reading “Casse toi pov’con” (“Get lost, you sad prick”), a phrase uttered by the President himself several months previously when a farmer had refused to shake his hand at the International Agricultural Show. The utterance was widely disseminated in the media and on the internet, attaining the status of a slogan.


UCL bans Islamic group from campus in row over segregated seating.



Turkish migration, the EU and the UK.


Immigration is making people and governments anxious around the world. The UK is also plagued with – often negative – debates on immigration. The largest and visible immigrant groups are taking the lion share of this scaremongering discourse.


Assault against immigrant causes outrage in Spanish town.


Moulaye Ndiaye, a street vendor and native from Senegal, was thrown from a bridge on the eve of the 2012 Tomatina [es] Festival in Buñol, Valencia, Spain. Moulaye was selling his products at the festival when a young man stole his sunglasses. After asking, without success, for the man to return them, Moulaye decided to leave, and then he was shoved and pushed over a bridge more than six metres from the ground. The backpack which he was carrying and the reeds growing in the area where he fell saved his life. He spent a month in intensive care at the Manises Hospital with traumas, several broken ribs and a spinal injury. The assault has caused him to lose sight in his right eye and a very serious neck and back injury has prevented him from working since.


Japan's jaded public pushes for truth post-Fukushima.


Two years after the powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami off the northeastern coast of Japan triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Japanese people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the government's reluctance to come clean on the risks associated with nuclear power.

A Japanese citizen advocacy group called Let’s Decide Together organized a large protest on March 10, 2013 [ja] to call for a national referendum on the future of nuclear power in Japan, the latest of many citizen-led efforts to shape the country's energy policy away from nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster, the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.


Quote: In order for a country to be considered a core country nominee, the country must possess an independent, stable government and potential for growth in the global market and advances in technology. Although these three factors will not completely decide where a company chooses to invest – they do play extremely large roles in such decisions. A main key to becoming or remaining a core is determined by the country’s government policies to encourage funding from outside.


Prosperity depends on openness to the outside world - free movement of capital AND free movement of people.

This is to be understood in light on the government's restrictions on skilled workers/professionals, students, and family members moving into the UK.


Cambodian blogs to read.



The state of torture in the world 2013.


“A report called A World of Torture in 2013, assesses torture practices that continue to be alarming, from Pakistan to Italy, by way of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Bolivia. From authoritarian regimes to democratic countries, none are exempt from criticism on the topic. In 2013, torture remains as endemic, omnipresent and multi-faceted as ever”.


Video: Greek austerity protests teargassed.


A reportedly peaceful attempt to revive the mass anti-austerity ”indignant protests” of 2011 on the evening of March 10 in Syntagma square, Athens, was met with teargas and police brutality, as shown in this video of an arrest, uploaded by Eleftherotypia daily:


A writer challenges the Kremlin.


Kittens aside, there is nothing your average Russian blogger loves better than a juicy spat about politics or literature, except for a combination of the two.


Why is Vietnam S-shaped?



Beijinger: “We Beijingers are the most fortunate, we can open the window and have free cigarettes.” Shanghainese: “That's nothing, we can enjoy pork soup simply by turning on our faucets!!”



A loyalist, who has already served a life sentence for a sectarian murder, has been sentenced to 16 years for killing a Catholic girl in 1973.




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  2. "Born British? Got a foreign parent or grandparent? UK govt don’t like you? Be very afraid.
    How easy is it to lose British citizenship?

    Mahdi Hashi was born in Somalia with Somali parents. He was brought to UK age 5. He returned to Somalia. He married a Somali and lived in Somalia.
    He was not born British!!!!

  3. Anon - thanks for pointing that out.

    As the article says - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21783475 - 'it was not necessary for the person to hold another nationality before losing UK citizenship, provided they were deemed eligible to seek a passport from another country.'

    I.e. - This isn't just the case for dual citizens, but for those eligible for citizenship of another country, a far larger number of people.

    This could indeed apply at some point to many with a non-British parent or grandparent (To give a silly example - Bradley Wiggins, for instance, could be eligible for Australian citizenship because his father was Australian. This means the Home Secretary has the right to strip him of his citizenship, with no apparent oversight or legal way of challenging this, should she deem it necessary).

    The lack of oversight and checks and balances is a concern here.

    It would be interesting to know more about those who have lost their citizenship. On the basis of this Freedom of Information request : http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/british_citizenship_border_secur - this doesn't seem to be the easiest thing to discover.