"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.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Today's links

Couples torn apart by UK family migration rules.


 It has been almost a year since the introduction of new draconian immigration rules relating to family migration. We shared some of our concerns about the changes in a previous blog, ‘New rules for family migration – unrealistic specified documents’, and evidence would now suggest that these rules continue to result in partners being split up.

Some of the more shocking victims of ill thought out rules are starting to make waves in the media.

The financial requirement, intended apparently to reduce the risk of migrant spouses having recourse to public funds, cannot be said to be fit for purpose, as the following examples clearly set out....


'This doesn't just affect "other people" - it could affect us all. Don't allow governments to separate families. '



Home Office: Statement of intent outlines new requirements for settlement and naturalisation.



From 28 October 2013, there will be two parts to the knowledge of language and life requirement, both of which must be met by all applicants for settlement unless the individual is exempt. Applicants will be required to:
 pass the Life in the UK test; and
 to have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.

Previously one or the other was acceptable. Now BOTH are required, adding more time, expense and stress to the whole process, for no real end except to make lives difficult.

Or to put it a slightly different way... From 28 Oct settlement visa applicants and those applying to be citizens will need to pass Life in UK test, and have B1 language speaking and listening. Dislike!

“We want to hear from you” (or how informing works in a liberal democracy).


For someone like me who grew up in the Soviet Union, and who has spent the last decade engaging in analysis of socialist legacies and post-socialist transformations, it seems paradoxical that government institutions in a liberal democratic state like Britain rely on citizens informing on individuals living in their community. How is it that the informing machinery that the Communist Party deployed is commonly thought of as a feature of a totalitarian state, whereas the informing apparatus crafted by the UKBA is an acceptable technology of government? How is it that in the Soviet Union individual informers were either victims or collaborators, whereas in Britain they are virtuous citizens? Is it because the Soviet state is thought to have governed through arbitrary power whereby everyone was living in fear that tomorrow they too could be informed on, whereas the British state is thought to govern through transparent power whereby the public receives clear guidelines on how to inform and on whom?

To put it another way, is it because the Soviet state used informing to govern its own, whereas the British state invites citizens, that is, “us”, to inform on foreigners, that is, “them”? However, what if one tried to think about informing as an ethical and political practice without the benefit of border-thinking distinguishing between those within the liberal ethical horizon and those without? Is informing not informing, regardless of who is informing on whom, as Ivan Krastev has argued with regard to spying (Krastev 2013)? In what follows, I draw on my observations about post-Soviet re-bordering practices to raise some questions about liberal democratic migration regimes and the politics and ethics of informing.


Former army chief Gen Sir Mike Jackson has appealed to the government to not abandon Afghan interpreters who have helped the British army.

Sir Mike and others, including former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, said Britain has a "moral obligation" to offer the interpreters asylum.

They said the 600 interpreters who have served British forces in Afghanistan live in fear of Taliban reprisals.



Still a travesty : Justice in immigration bail hearings.


https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day :
Brit Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Indian heritage. Journalist and face of @Channel4

https://twitter.com/19pst tweets :
More foreigners in strange clothes, importing new foods, not speaking our language. Entire streets, full of Romans:

https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Integration two ways! RT "@mryahbut: Colour fight at Indian Holi Festival welcomes Glasgow's Spring

https://twitter.com/HomeInEurope tweets :
"I don't like to take benefits...I want to take care of my family" #UK #Somali org. bypasses language barrier to jobs

https://twitter.com/MuslimCouncil tweets :
Vive la différence: how Britain and France deal with Islam

https://twitter.com/1759MaryWol1797 tweets :
My father's family were silkweavers in Spitalfields. We knew the https://twitter.com/Huguenots_E1 well. Friends, visit their festival!...

https://twitter.com/MDRNelles tweets :
Fascinating article on the 18thC bodies exhumed from the crypt at Christ Church Spitalfields

https://twitter.com/MigrationUK tweets :
This is a brilliant @BritishLibrary online resource on the history of Asian people in Britain -

https://twitter.com/HuffPostUK tweets :
Regions in Romania, Poland and Slovakia are now richer than parts of the UK, including Wales and the North East

https://twitter.com/BritCits tweets :
More shambles from #UKBA (renamed UK Backlog Agency) as experienced by Kiwis #newzealand

https://twitter.com/Ziya_Meral tweets :
Finally, a noble development: UNHCR hails move by United Kingdom to end legal limbo for stateless people

https://twitter.com/JCWInews tweets :
We're looking for a Communications Intern - interested?
Anonymous hacks N Korean sites, reveals S Korean users.

28000 rivers disappear from Chinese map.

Tweeting from the front line in Aleppo.


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