Oral Questions

Today at the Dispatch Box – myself, Theresa May, Maria Miller and Andrew Stunell were all on the front bench together – in a change to how things have been done in the past. Instead of Questions to the Minister for Equalities being only for myself and Theresa – as part of mainstreaming – Maria Miller who has Ministerial responsibility for People with Disabilities (from the Department of Work and Pensions) and Andrew Stunell  (Minister for Communities and Local Government) who has responsibility for race – came together for joined up equalities questions.

The questions I got asked today were all on coalition commitments: the right for all to request flexible working; the extension of internships for Black and Ethnic Minorities across every department in Whitehall and the commitment to push equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans across the world.

These are all good news stories. The right to request flexible working for all will mean that lone parents, carers – anyone – will have the right to request flexible working. We have said we will consult with business about this and we will be doing so and then moving forward on that commitment. Flexible working is good for business and good for the employee. The  pool of talent is widened, retention and recruitment improved – and a better, happier workforce means a better, happier business. In my own department, the Government Equalities Office – 57% of the workforce work flexibly and all posts are advertised as open to flexible working.

On BAME internships in Whitehall – I am working with the Cabinet Office who lead on this. The Cabinet Office is assessing where we have got to with current programs which run across some, but not all, departments, and which are mostly summer internships only. When the status quo has been quantified we will be meeting to work on taking forward our commitment for BAME interns to be in every Whitehall Department.

As to LGB&T rights abroad – we are we going to use all our influence through the Commonwealth and Europe to pro-actively address the issues of the abuse of human rights in those countries where homosexuals and transgender people face torture or death. I have already had some dealings in regard of Malawi and Uganda – but look forward to driving this  agenda forward at every possible opportunity.

0 thoughts on “Oral Questions

  1. My respect for Theresa May has just increased massively.

    I totally wouldn’t trust you to answer the questions on your own either.

  2. I am hearted to hear there is good news on these fronts. However I myself and others like me are suffering from a much more blatant form of discrimination and that has to do with our right to be British citizens as descended from the female line as we are born abroad.
    I would like to para phrase the following which has been compiled:-

    British Nationality Act 1981 section 4C discrimination against children born abroad to British mothers

    Children born abroad to British mothers did not automatically acquire their mother’s British nationality until 1983. The government only recognised this injustice in February 1979, promising to legislate to abolish it but in the meantime giving British-born women the right to register their minor children born abroad as British Citizens. Children who are older ie born before 1961 have the right of abode if born in a commonwealth country and many live in the UK. Some refused the path of naturalisation out of protest that they were required to take a “life in the UK test” and “test of English” as its a bit rideculous to suppose children of English speaking mothers would be raised speaking some other foreign language other then English. Most of these persons who live in the UK are tax payers and are very integrated in British society through blood and family ties not only through their mothers but also established by themselves. Their children and indeed grand children are all British.

    In the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 limited steps were taken to address this, but these provide a means to remedy the situation by registration under what is now s.4C of the British Nationality Act 1981 only for those born on or after 7 February 1961. As a result, sibling groups may be divided. In 2006, a good character test was introduced for many categories of registration, including for children over 10 (see section 58 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, amending the British Nationality Act 1981). The original proposal was that all children, including babies under 12 months old, should be subject to the good character test. The Baroness Ashton of Upholland, who took the Bill through the House of Lords, took heed of the representations of ILPA and others. It was her own proposal that found its way into the law – that children only be subject to the good character test above the age at which they have criminal responsibility in UK law, 10 years old. You will be aware that there has been much criticism of the UK’s age of criminal responsibility for children as too low. Further concerns are caused by its having been imported into nationality law, where it breaks down the distinction between registration by discretion and registration by entitlement.It thus imposes a very harsh sanction, that of inability to become British where otherwise one would have had the right to do so, on those to whom the UK has special obligations and to children. The good character test should not apply in cases where, prior to 2006, people registered by entitlement.

    One thing is clear : registration involving a good character test and/or fees, and/or bureaucratic hurdles is not registration by entitlement. In addition high fees have been introduced to discourage registration. These high fees are designed to put off from applying for registration. Registration by entitlement, giving rise to a choate right to nationality, not an inchoate right that depends upon negotiating a good character test, paying fees, and satisfying complex bureaucratic procedures, is the appropriate route those deprived of their rights as nationals without their consent and fundamental to recognising nationality as a matter separate from immigration status. Consideration could usefully be given to creating a single status for British nationals who do not wish to register as British citizens, so that they can continue to enjoy the limited rights (of consular protection) to which their historic connection with the UK has entitled them.
    Preferred method: All those who have another form of British nationality be given the right to register as British citizens, free of charge.

    There is also a further complaint:- UKBA SEHL line apparently is giving out advice not to employ persons who hold the right of abode if their passports have expired and are using Section 15 of the 2006 Act which does NOT apply to them as they are not subject to immigration control or permission.

    I hope you will kindly take these big inequality issues on board as this is not only an unfair discrimination based on our age (This applies to only those born between 1948-1961) but the statements that our rights have been equalised in not correct as we are subject to fees, test of character, etc unlike either our younger or older brothers and sisters or certainly unlike British males citizens who are married to foreign women who have children abroad.

    This issue has cut right across families and has allowed a variety of different rules applied to every one depending on which generation they are born and not withstanding it only happens to those children of female British citizens.

  3. Lynne

    Using influence to improve the life prospects/human rights of GLB and/or T folk abroad is an excellent intention. Perhaps, in parallel, the UK should first implement recommendations on trans discrimination made by Europe?

    The recent Committee of Ministers recommendations on combating discrimination …

    Member states should take appropriate measures to guarantee the full legal recognition of a person’s gender reassignment in all areas of life, in particular by making possible the change of name and gender in official documents in a quick, transparent and accessible way……

    Indeed, Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights publication of 29 July 2009 specifically recommended removing any restrictions on the right of transgender persons to remain in an existing marriage following a recognised change of gender.

    All people in the UK should be able to enjoy all human rights and this would add to our influence abroad, in matters of ending discrimination/bad treatment of minorities.

  4. Lynne,

    Do you hold statistical information regarding how many interns or paid staff (caseworkers, administrators, office managers) work for MPs that come from BME communities?


  5. Dear Lynne,
    Your sentiments are admirable but when I was your age the UN Charter condemned interference with the internal affairs of sovereign nations, so all you can legally do is talk – if you go round the Embassies and speak sweetly to the ambassadors, that is more likely to get a beneficial response than bullying tactics. Do you think that any legislation introduced by a “Third World” country in response to a threat of EU trade sanctions is going to be enforced?
    Secondly, quotas are in breach of anti-discrimination laws and would be particularly unfair on the Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Jewish ethnic minorities (among others). Or are you suggesting that criminal action should be taken against various Permanent Secretaries for racial discrimination against the best-qualified candidates in their hiring policies?

  6. A list of links to issues on age discrimination cases over passport and nationality

    The Guardian article on: Civil liberties immigration

    citizenship-discrimination Article in the Guardian Newspaper

    Crewe Teenager in Dilemma

    Baby born one day too soon

    MP offers to help in twins passport fight

    Our baby has no nationality

    The boy with no country

  7. Hi Lynne

    If you were asked the question at the Dispatch Box ‘how many cases had EHRC taken up in the last year to support transgendered folk’ you might be embarrassed by the reply that you would have to give. I asked this question at the Casework and Litigation Strategy consultation at EHRC (19 May) and the answer was ‘it might be two, we think, we are not sure’.

    Perhaps if we had a transgedered commissioner at EHRC things would be different?

    If asked at the Dispatch Box, ‘why is there no transgendered commissioner yet all other strands are represented?’ what would your reply be?

  8. Paula,

    The EHRC does not take up any issues of any form unless it suits the government politically. They have something called “strategic wide impact” as a policy whatever that means. The EHRC is a toothless organisation that defends the government’s position rather be an active agent for change for the better. It would be better to go back to having several commissions dedicated to each area as in the past as they were far more effective that way. Under the current grouping its noting more then an arm of the civil services

  9. Hi James

    Yes, you are right and I know that EHRC has done nothing to help the trans community and is a ‘barrier’ rather than an enabler for the trans community to obtain fair treatment. That is not Lynne’s fault but will be if nothing changes.

    However, she has an opportunity to do things differently at EHRC, embracing the Big Society concept if she so chooses, to work together with the community to forge solutions to pressing problems.

    Many in the trans community have given up on EHRC who hold consultation events and pass upwards only aspects that do not rock the boat. However, they get a tick in the box for consulting!

    EHRC should only get a tick in the box when that have achieved an effect on behalf on the downtrodden community. People are getting angry!

    I heard a suggestion recently that married post op trans women (without Gender Recognition) and hence legally male should do a topless demo in Whitehall (with a non trans male also topless in the vicinity as a comparator)!

    Of course, the (assumed pre-briefed) press would have a field day but that could be one of the factors that forces change. Something different has to happen to get things moving.

  10. Hi Paula
    Not just the trans community but a lot of things they think they have done justice towards are shoved under the carpet. When I start campaigning for equal rights in citizenship for British Female citizens specially those born before 1983 I also ran across a set of bizzare poicies in most of our laws. If redress is done then its done from that date onwards thereby injecting in age and date clauses that will continue to the discrimination. Its a fudge and I suspect given the number of government changes we have had over the last 50 years that the persons who are discriminating are inside the institutions themseleve such as the civil services who will do their utmost to negate any new law so it becomes pointless. Its this that ministers need to watch out for as this is what ends up happening. For instance when the law on discrimination on female British citizens was recognised in 1983 they fixed it for situations from then on and left the people who had actually suffered the discrimination to continue to do so! When we campaign for anything we need to guard against ageism as well otherwise whatever you think you will achieve even for what you are fighting for will leave you out in the cold !
    I hope Ms Featherstone does read all these blogs and comments as she needs to be aware not to be led by the nose by the unelected civil service men and women who will no doubt surround her!

  11. There is no justice for children of British citizens. They are not considered to be of no consequence and there isn’t one minister or mp across the gambit that cares about this situation. I had hope that the liberals would have heard us out and helped in over turning this injustice done to us

  12. For anyone who believes Lynne is doing fantastic things with government departments and equality on the lines of her blog above that 57% of my team work flexibly and it was me, I, the gilded one who introduced it all in only 10 weeks and in no way was it er the previous government- see Jane’s blog in the what did the coalition ever do for us in only 10 weeks stream.

    Anyone see Newsnight and if so please can someone explain the difference between Willets and the apparently uber right wing lib dem councillor, other than Willets is a bit of a wet?

  13. What James said is correct – the power is actually with the unelected civil servants. About now they will now be telling Lynne just why all the recent legislation (for which they were responsible for drafting) is perfect the way it is as, to admit otherwise, could be a possible career inhibiting action.

    The civil servants ‘filter’ any consultation from any minority group before informing the Minister. Something different must happen……….not yet more study/research and reporting sometime before the end of the next century!

    There is money to be saved by working with each disadvantaged minority group on defining what action is required.

    A consultation on each ‘equality disaster’, involving the civil service team responsible, chaired by Lynne, would certainly get things moving!

    Start with the trans marriage issue and ensure that the non-trans spouses are also invited (many of whom are women, hitherto ignored by the previous Minister for Women) with their partners!

  14. Hi Paula

    I really think one good reform all the politicians should consider is not just to have a shadow ministry but also a shadow secretariat to shadow the various cabinet secretaries and under secretaries so that they can and I mean this for the Conservatives, Liberals, and Labour to have independent consultations.

    The civil service has a vested interest in continuing the same game and it gives them more power then the government will ever have. To go against them is a career downer for even ministers as they can scuttle things by releasing “leaks” of correct or incorrect information. For us to have real reform we must reform the way government works other wise no mater what political platform you take on they meaning the unelected officials will find a way to get around it. I use to think Sir Humphrey from Yes minister was a comedy until I began to realise it is a true reflection of what goes on. Ministers need advisers as its a lot to do then is humanely possible but their reliance on the Civil service is the one that is the make or break of governments. If they wise up they will form their own independent counsels and we may yet have better government and I dare say it will be a lot cheaper in the long run.

  15. Hi Lynne – do you actually read these blogs? Or are they just a PR stunt?
    I can understand James Moore’s last comment but the answer is “No, No, No”
    Any civil servant who selectively briefs against his/her minister is in breach of contract and should be sacked, losing pension rights. We do not want to adopt the US system where all the postmasters are replaced by a representative of the new ruling party – we just need Civil Servants to be honest! Maybe someone deliberately sabotaged Michael Gove, maybe the Department of Education is just totally incompetent but I cannot believe the country would be better off if a million or so people with first class Oxbridge degrees were sitting there doing nothing except shadowing the civil servants appointed by the current Libdem/Lab/Con government

  16. Hi John77

    Lynne probably does have time to read blogs, run a family, and be a minister. That is my whole point. Ministers are humans and they will be helped along by someone. I would much rather that someone be open to public scrutiny and accountability then a person who sits in the shadows. For all we know this site may be run by someone. Certainly my experience has been that Ministers don’t even answer their own correspondence be it Teresa May whose email usually is answered by someone in the home office or Lynne Featherstone’s whose emails and letters are answered by nobody! So I can’t really excuse her of being surrounded by civil servants or if they are then they are a d**m sight more inefficient then the ones Ms. May has!
    I do think there needs to be a serious overhaul of the administration systems in the country as I cannot see how true and lasting reform will ever happen without a renewal of the archaic neocolonial system which has not changed for well on over a hundred years.

  17. Hi James,
    Thanks – my comment was due to the contrast between this blog and that of Tom Harris (Labour) and the immaculate record of my local (Tory) MP in answering constituents’ letters – including a copy of the reply from the relevant minister when my autistic younger son wrote to him on an autism issue. Should there be a “not” after “does” in your first sentence as that would make your argument seem more logical?
    As to ministers answering correspondence – I grew up assuming that they did so and when, as a teenager on a walking holiday, I found a quarry threatening Hadrian’s Wall I wrote to the local MP (not mine – the Wall’s) and he took it up with the minister and sent me the reply (the damage had been done before I was born and the current government had made sure no more damage would be done to the Wall) as well as an earlier polite acknowledgment of my query.
    Granted that ministers are human and that I probably should not expect her to be more than one-quarter as competent as my mother or either of my sisters, I still query why she bothers to have a blog to which she does not reply.

  18. Hi John

    Sorry I missed the “Not” out of my first sentence. I was being somewhat cynical hoping that my statement might prompt some attention from Lynne. I did at one time think that MPs and Ministers for that matter would take the trouble to listen to us but sometimes being a historian I see the faults all to clearly. I sympathise with you for having to raise an autistic child but at least today its a recognised illness which I remember friends of mine had problems with their two children during the 90s when it was not.
    I am willing to wait for Lynne to settle down from the rush of things that comes with a massive unexpected change and see why she has the privilege of being placed where she has been. I’ hoping and praying that she will soon come down to earth and begin in earnest the process of change that is badly needed, however I half suspect this marriage between the Tories and Liberals has a lot more going on underneath then meets the eye and only time will tell if it is system through which much will be achieved or little or nothing achieved and be the experience banished to obscurity. All I am saying is we need to give Lynn and everyone at least six months before the jury goes out:)

  19. @Julie
    Agreed. I am hoping that she will find the time, but have nothing to do with her actions if she doesn’t reply as I too am waiting to speak to her over several issues 🙂

  20. In support of Lynne, she did call a meeting with the gay community at The House yesterday, to take soundings from gay campaigners on allowing civil partnerships to have a religious content. Although many in that community consider a religious context to be a red herring, at least she was consulting.

    She was urged to initiate a government review and public consultation on the ban on gay civil marriage and apparently responded by saying that the government needed to take one step at a time, beginning with giving religious bodies the option to hold civil partnerships, if they wished. I hope that she will do a more detailed account in her blog.

    I look forward to Lynne taking the time to initiate a similar meeting with the trans community on marriage related topics.

  21. Lynne please deny the report in the Law Society Gazette that your government is proposing to cut legal aid in human rights cases. You may like to comment on the hypocrisy of your party in proclaiming itself as the defender of human rights within a govt which is just about to make it impossible for individuals without means to take human rights cases.


  22. And also please refute the story in the Sunday Times that your govt is also about to withdraw legal aid for the parents of children with special educational needs who need to challenge local authorities in tribunals. Some commitment for parents who want to secure appropriate schools for their children.

  23. Well, well, the truth is finally surfacing. I really enjoyed watching Nick being taken off the rehearsed page and questioned about the discussions that led to the coalition. His discomfort was made obvious by his constant stammering and his involuntary facial contortions. Priceless.
    ‘Dithering’ David fared no better. It couldn’t be more obvious that they’ve both lied through their back teeth.
    The DRA is a gem! Do people really think that this is going to be a one-way street? Not on your nelly! It’s the thin end of the wedge. It opens the door for employers to demand a stake in the decision making process, then we’re all in trouble.

  24. Jim Mortoza wrote: “There is no justice for children of British citizens. They are not considered to be of no consequence and there isn’t one minister or mp across the gambit that cares about this situation. I had hope that the liberals would have heard us out and helped in over turning this injustice done to us”

    Very true. Which is why I am planning to break the law and marry only for the purpose of gaining UK citizenship. I am in one of the “worthless” categories, in the government’s opinion, as I was born illegitimately to a British father. I am unable to acquire British citizenship, by descent, through my father. Every single child born to a British citizen is allowed UK citizenship by descent, except for those born illegitimately before 1 July 2006 to a British father.

    However, it seems that fighting for equality outside the country is the Equality Minister’s main objective, but us useless half-breeds suffering so we can be with our families in Britain are nothing to even bother fighting for. Speaks volumes, if you ask me.

    A simple DNA proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who I belong to, but former Home Secretary David Blunkett’s own illegitimate child through his affair with a married American woman has British Citizenship, not through Blunkett, but through a man who is not the child’s father. You can’t make that up! However, since myself and others weren’t born to a government cabinet member, we are ineligible. How is THAT fair?!

    Who cares that I lay under a man I despise for three years until ILR and then freedom. Don’t worry, I’m illegitimate, it’s not like the government cared in the first place.

    PS: Marriage visas, especially the unmarried partner’s visa, are the easiest scam going in Britain. I know of Brits moving back to the UK and taking their former roommates and friends into the UK through the unmarried partner’s visa. Without the legality of marriage, the “relationship” can end without too much formality once ILR is achieved.

  25. @ R Collins
    Actually Lynne Featherstone has replied and is looking into this issue so I am hopeful that something may happen. Lord Avebury who is now ill has spent a whole decade fighting for these issues as has Lord Hylton and Lady Gardner de Parkes. I don’t think the problem has ever been with the politicians I think the problem has been more to do with some of our civil servants and their views and by that I am not accusing anyone presently having such archaic views with the exception of one or two individuals. With regards the discretionary powers the Secretary of State has a lot more could be done to apply it specially to those born out of wedlock. In this day and age illegitimate is something most people are including my own grand nephew so don’t worry about antiquated ideas which have long since become unfashionable. We are doing what we can to get this noticed and I am sure Lynne Featherstone will champion this cause once she has read all the facts and background. A lot of people are not aware this is even happening so it is down to making more and more people aware of it.
    Keep in touch I am on facebook if you want to connect there and also you can sign the petition from the web site at jmortoza.publishpath.com/default.aspx

  26. @ R Collins
    In my own family my mother had five sisters, two lived here and four married a person from within the commonwealth during and soon after the war. One in Canada, One in Australia, One in New Zealand, and One in Bangladesh. Most of my cousins live in different countries but they are all descended from British parents mothers and fathers alike. Nearly everyone has been through this bizarre policy towards children of British citizens. Even Europeans today (and I have nothing against the EU) have more rights then most of us do. I still have kept the right of abode as I have refused to naturalise or pay any fees for processing the same birth certificates I would have to show to register. The biggest problem with our nationality laws is when they are fixed then they for some reasons do not apply retrospectively because that way prejudicial views come into play ie male gender based views, Views about legitimacy, and so on. I think a lot of this is to earn money at our expenses by the UK Border Agency who go on making wide spread remarks such as “Its only fair, and its right, etc” to justify their making money to keep them in jobs. Since they no longer control EU citizens for visas their revenues must have fallen but the size of their empire never does. I also think Ministers are too reliant on these people for “expert” advice and so each time a law is reformed they put their own “spin” on it. Keep fighting we will be heard and justice will be done.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and finally you win!

  27. Mr. Mortoza, Lynne specifically mentioned looking into the issue of discrimination against children born illegitimately to British fathers, or was she addressing only your concerns with children of British mothers? She contacted you after reading your above post?

    Either way, looking into is not the same as doing. So, in that respect, my marriage to my fiancée, a man who makes my skin crawl, will go forward, until I can have the government’s assurance that this discrimination will come to an end.

  28. Firstly I am not fighting for just the children of Women citizens born before 1983. I am fighting against the age discrimination in all the laws and that includes illegitimate children born before 2006. The issue isn’t about gender but its about age as being the main factor that prevents both you and I from being automatically British.
    If you want to marry someone who is going to make your skin crawl then I suggest you rethink that as it is going to be a high price to pay for you and at least give us a couple of months before you do something like that. I lived in America many years and thought about settling there but I could not marry someone and use them for the sake of papers not matter how much I wanted to live in America, but I am not going to give you a lecture on morality however I will suggest you give us a chance to bring this to attention. This is a new government and they have only been in power for a short while and I hope that they will have far better good sense then others did.

  29. You didn’t answer my question, did Lynne address you personally? And to what issue did she express concern?

  30. She has answered me personally and said she is looking into the background and I hope that once she has understood and digested the information that she will move forward on it. I will let you know when and if I hear anything more 🙂

  31. J Mortoza, well that’s promising news, at least. Still, tradition has shown that equality is handed down in piecemeal, so my fear is that *if* (still doubtful) this birth status discrimination is addressed, it will be loaded down with cut off dates and special rules that will be impossible for some groups, while benefiting other groups, both of whom are suffering this same discrimination. We saw it in 2002, 2006, and in 2009. It just seems as if the government can’t fix things in a one off measure.

    As for the government being new, one of the articles above, posted by James Moore, is about an illegitimate woman presently experiencing discrimination. How come the government isn’t seizing the opportunity and doing anything to address her problem currently? The Home Secretary can confer automatic citizenship upon someone at any time. I don’t see it happening for that girl, so I fail to see what this new government will do for her later on when it’s clear that she’s suffering now!

  32. I do not know if the young lady has applied for discretionary consideration of the home secretary. She has to apply for it first and bring it to notice officially. I am sure that is what her MP is doing and others who will be helping her to overcome the problem but she must make the application for consideration. In the meantime we have to work on the secondary rules and the make sure a primary legislation comes into effect that will set right all past legislation by amending them and dropping all cut off dates.
    All I can suggest is campaign and write to MPs and try and make as many people aware of the situation and then the change will happen. I for one will only vote for those who are going to be supportive of this and I encourage those who are in a similar boat and their families and friends to do the same.

  33. J Mortoza, you certainly are a more optimistic person than I could ever be about this! Perhaps it has to do with gender. You are discriminated against because of your British mother, I because of my British father. I can tell you this, more has been done to remedy the position of children of British mothers than that of British fathers. The same decades long fight, with drastically different results.

    Forgive me for saying this, but I doubt many reading this could comprehend what birth status discrimination feels like, especially from the perspective of being illegitimate. That and the fact that no equalities minister wants to be seen addressing British men’s rights (which this is all about) only makes it harder on their kids who are seeking citizenship rights through them. Men are not worthy of fighting for and their useless illegitimate spawn are not welcome on British shores.

    I’m not holding my breath on any MP to really care about changing the law, especially after reading some of the nasty things they’ve said about illegitimate children in Hansard. Just watch this You Tube clip where the House of Commons roars with laughter over Nick Clegg mentioning a single mother. You can clearly hear an MP shouting “Daddy! Daddy!”. Even members of Lynne’s own party are giggling.

    You meant to tell me THAT element is going to stand up and support illegitimate kids? No way! Not ever!

    Lynne has got her work cut out for her, but since she’s never addressed unmarried father’s rights and the effects it has on citizenship rights for their children, I doubt she even wants to go there in the first place.

  34. I forgot to mention, I wrote Lynne a few months ago and never received a response. Of course she’ll reply to concerns regarding children of British mothers, but nothing for children of British fathers. Again, speaks volumes about how she feels about illegitimate dirt entering the UK on an unmarried British father’s coattails.

  35. She has replied about the concerns about age discrimination. She is not playing favourites over anyone. Give her the benefit of the doubt and we might get somewhere before making hasty judgements 🙂
    You are not the only person(s) I know and am dealing with whose parents were not married and you have my every sympathy for the plight and discrimination you face. Believe me at first it was pretty much the same even for those who are children of British citizens. It was not until 1976 I learnt about the certificate of patriality of course the British High Commission in those days kept information from us and it was fortunate we had a friend who worked in the HC who told us of the rules otherwise none of us would have been wiser 🙂 I have had to wait till I was 50 this year to see the law finally change with regards even registration and it still has its issues around it mainly payment of fees, checks, etc.
    I suggest a bit more patience would be good. I don’t know how old you are but for me its been a 34 year journey and for my brother 38 🙂

  36. @ R Collins
    I have gone and watched the u tube video. I think you may have been over sensitive about the laughing. They were laughing at Nick Clegg’s promiscuity and I did not see him and the liberals laughing! If you wish to make a difference then please sign the petition or contact me on facebook so we can have a constructive dialogue on how to bring things to the attention of the government and law makers.

  37. I’m not oversensitive. I know why they’re laughing and I can take a joke. My point was that they certainly wouldn’t have been laughing if the subject were about Blacks, Asians, Jews, Muslims, or any other group, regardless of any interview Clegg gave. And yes, Vince Cable and Jeremy Browne are laughing (00:43).

    As for years of waiting. I don’t have the time to wait. Why wait, when I can have what I want in three years through a fake marriage. The legal route isn’t being offered to me, due to discrimination, and it never will be.

    I doubt Lynne is giving all age discrimination a consideration, and certainly NOT Theresa May. Children of British mothers are golden eggs to politicians. Illegitimate children of British fathers are rotten eggs to politicians. Historic legislation only supports this fact.

  38. Something tells me Lynne doesn’t bother to read the comments on her own blog, just like she doesn’t respond to people’s letters.