"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.

Saturday 10 August 2013

Freedom of Information, and Wayne Pearsall's campaign

Freedom of Information requests are a great tool and probably underused in our ongoing campaign. But they are yet another crucial weapon in the armoury of any campaigner.

Tony Blair (whose government introduced freedom of information legislation in the UK) himself said :
"For political leaders, it's like saying to someone who is hitting you over the head with a stick, 'Hey, try this instead', and handing them a mallet."

Which is really another way of saying that they are a fantastic way of holding those in power to account. Blair also described the D as "One of the biggest mistakes of his career", which is also a great vindication of the act. Freedom of information requests can be tricky - government departments (and especially those dealing with immigration) can be tardy, evasive, and hard to pin down unless the FOI request is worded just right, but practice makes perfect.

You can create your on FOI requests very easily using the website https://www.whatdotheyknow.com . You can also track other users and other requests here, and people can track you. So tardiness of the government department being chased for answers will be very obviously.

BritCits has a few FOI requests outstanding, which you can read here :

This person - Wayne Pearsall, a campaigner for immigration justice - has clearly put a lot of effort into his FOI requests, in a way that's most commendable :

He also runs a couple of sites campaigning for his wife's right to reside in the UK :

So, it comes to something when a family is restricted to when and how they can live together.  It becomes even worse when the family consists of British Citizens and wish to live in Britain.
Therefore, I am now fighting for my wife's right to reside in the UK.

And here :

As Wayne says here :

I have therefore filed numerous FOI (Freedom of Information Requests) to UK Border Agency to help clarify a number of issues.  Now, the responses (where there have been responses) have not always been so helpful.
However, if you can read between the lines... there is some useful information in many of the FOI requests.


Freedom of Information in different countries, and some tips on how to write a good one :

Hat tip to https://twitter.com/bold_laura for the pointer to Wayne's site.

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