Here is my column – published in the Ham & High on Thursday:

It seems only a moment since the election of May 6 ushered in the new government – the Coalition. This ‘new’ political title which was strange only a few weeks ago has now passed into the lexicon of daily political life. The Coalition this and the Coalition that.

The ‘Five Days that Changed Britain’ documentary by Nick Robinson (BBC political supremo) told the story of the negotiations – who said what to whom and when. But once that electrifying and uncertain period was concluded – and the Coalition was born – in one mad dash to the summer recess a new entity has been in play.

Listening to ‘phone ins on the subject – it would seem that the vast majority of people are giving the coalition a chance. It’s the same for me. That journey – from realising that the country had not given any party an absolute majority to recognising that a coalition was the only real way forward – to the agreement with the Conservatives – was undoubtedly a political roller coaster to beat anything I had ever been part of in my time in politics.

And a new entity it is – and giving new headaches to the old, traditional ways of opposing and reporting too. Neither the media nor Labour knows what to do with this new phenomenon. The media is obsessed with tensions and splits – but it is a no brainer that there are differences between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. And Labour’s scream of anger and entitlement is unimaginative and predictable. Given Labour spent their thirteen years of government blaming the Tories for everything wrong in this country – they seem strangely unwilling to acknowledge any contribution to the state we are in.

But old politics always looked backwards and I want to look forwards. One of the most liberating and energising parts of this new Coalition is that the future is far more open than ever before. The possibilities – as we come out of the recession – for growth nationally, as communities and as individuals is tremendous. The old and very tired, restrictive and stultifying era of Labour’s iron grip on everything is over.

There were some very good things that happened under Labour – Sure Start being one and the reduction in waiting lists for hospital treatment another. But there were also very bad things that Labour did – the Iraq war and detention without charge to name but two and closer to home – seriously underfunding Haringey schools and trying to close the Whittington A&E.

But more insidious than the obvious – the encroachment of control from Whitehall was disabling us. The former government issued thousands upon thousands of pages of bureaucratic instructions to teachers for example – inhibiting teachers from doing what they do best – teaching. Endless tick boxes for social workers to the point where filling in forms took the place of use of their critical faculties and their professional capability. We were going around in ever-decreasing circles with less and less freedom and more and more conformity. The loss of local and individual power was tangible. I saw it every week in my advice surgeries.

It’s very, very difficult to get that balance right – the balance between state intervention and freedom – between helping and enfeebling.

As the Coalition agreement forges ahead – yes of course – I have concerns that babies must not be thrown out with bathwater. I am still a Liberal Democrat and we are working with the Conservatives to an agreement. We are not joined at the hip! The pending spending review looms over us. The Big Society is undoubtedly a better idea than the nanny state – but the line between public service provision and what can be added by the Big Society is a critical one. The Coalition, in our haste to free ourselves from inappropriate shackles, must be mindful of this.

What sustains me and us – is the good that we can do. We will get the ‘pupil premium’ – money going into our schools following children from underprivileged backgrounds (e.g. those with special needs or eligible for free school meals) – that will help every school in Haringey. The tax threshold is raised and will go higher every year until no one pays any tax on their first £10,000 on earnings – taking the low paid out of tax altogether. The earnings link to pensions will come into force. The prison system will be renovated to be effective – not vindictive. Id cards are all but gone. The counter terrorism review will address control orders and detention without charge.

One of the best things about the coalition is the fact of politicians from different parties working together. People certainly seem to like that. I like it too.

0 thoughts on “Whoosh!

  1. Oh Lynne this is fantastic. I asked you for one of your funnies and you have surpassed yourself with this. I can’t decide if you’re a Ham or if you were just High when you wrote it. Giving some of the patchouli infused nonsense you have come up with before there are grounds for suspecting the latter.

    But let’s give this piece of journalistic genius a bit of respect and analyse it for what it is.

    Para 1. A new entity. The lexicon of daily life. Hmm you are right but it’s not been in good way has it?

    Parta 2. The documentary I watched showed your party as a bunch of relentlessly pathetic power hungry calculating monkeys. You clearly watched something else.

    Para 3. Phone in’s. Er have you been reading the comments on your very own blog?

    Para 4. A new entity. Not quite correct is it except that it is more right wing than we have ever ever seen. And the idea that the last lot spent 13 years blaming the last lot before one is a bit rich given your it’s all Labours fault mantra!

    Para 5. We are coming out of recession. No we aren’t. You are presiding over making it happen for a second time. I can’t wait for you to say it was world economics wot done it guv not us.

    Para 6. Good things. Like say the minimum wage that the party you are collaborating with said would destroy the economy. Like increasing the number of nurses. Like building new schools.

    Para 7. Bureaucracy. That’s right Lynne that’s our number one problem. Unlike losing our jobs because of your vicious policies.

    Para 8. Balance. I feel one of your loopy bath time lectures coming on.

    Para 9. Public service provision. What public service provision? You are privatising virtually everything.

    Para 10. The good it will do us. These things are so unbelievably lame compared to the the bad things that are being done with your agreement. See your own blog comments.

    The final para. Spot many people here who like it? Seen the polls? Figured out what happened to the 640 odd people who had previously voted for your party but went away in in that by election leaving 52 duffers all saying how fab it all is?

    As it says in the Room on the Broom, my kids’ favourite book:

    “And WHOOSH they were gone”

  2. Found it interesting you commenting on Bureaucracy and Whitehall encroachment in our lives. When you wish to do the very same especially locally with the lib dems…

  3. Tell us more Jacob!

    And Lynne, if you are receiving such positive feedback from so many people why not hold that public meeting we have been asking for and you can bask in the glory….

  4. An equalities question for you Lynne.

    Here’s the introduction from a study published last year concerning dairy products:

    “Children who eat plenty of dairy foods such as milk and cheese can expect to live longer, a study suggests.
    Some 4,374 UK children from a 1930s study were traced 65 years later by researchers in Bristol and Queensland.
    They found those who had had high dairy and calcium intakes as children had been protected against stroke and other causes of death, the journal Heart reports.
    The findings appear to back the practice of giving extra milk to schoolchildren.’

    So how do feel about this morning’s news that the Government is planning to cut the free milk allocation for children while admitting that ‘it will affect poorer children’. (interesting word ‘affect’ isn’t it? Has anyone else noticed how often it is being used by the Government these days as a substitute for hurt.

    Your article talks about the ‘good you can do’ in Government but in this case surely the correct phrase is ‘the evil we can collude with?’

    Anyway, enlighten us – how will this policy help with the equalities agenda?

  5. The old politics

    Some idiot minister makes a stupid announcement. The PM panics at the public backlash. The policy is withdrawn.

    The new politics.


  6. Lynne has only been given the control of the Equality function. She should be judged on what she achieves on the equality front. As part of the government, she is required to toe and promote the coalition line else she will be out of office.

    As for ‘new politics’, the reality is that unelected civil servants have a little more power than they should (they should have none!). I have been told by one, on a particular equality topic, ‘what the minister is minded to do’ when the minister had not been consulted!

  7. Paula the tired old line on cabinet collective responsibility is just a demonstration of the old politics. But here it’s worse because it’s simply an excuse to paper over the likely cracks and hold together a govt born of political expediency and a disbelieving grab for power by Lynne and her amoral cronies.

    No one forced Lynne to join the cabinet. If she had radical disagreements with the policies she should have said no. However see her blog above- she four square agrees with and likes them.

    All this stuff about civil servants is a total smokescreen. This govt has already steamrollered thorough some very nasty stuff.

    Stop blaming faceless people and start holding responsible those who are signing their names to this. Lynne is a willing and voluntary part of everything going on not the little bits you want to section off- for which not surprisingly given her oft demonstrated utter lack of intellectual ability she hasn’t even been given sole responsibility for.

  8. And what is so telling about the milk debacle is that the LibDems were silent – they had no problem with withdrawing milk from nursery age children – it was David Cameron who found it a step too far….

  9. Lynne,

    I had a response from Ms. Savik your coordinator telling me your offices could not do anthing more and to go to the ehrc. If you recall I did do this before and found the ehrc would not help as they only deal with “stategically wide issues”.

    I had written to you so that you personally would have got involved with matters to help sort things out so am very disappointed at having to hop over yet more officious duckings from everyone. I really had thought for a minute there you might have helped.

  10. Gosh, yet more bitter Labour trolls. They had 13 years but they messed up. The country voted for change!

  11. Gosh, yet more imbecilic Tory trolls. They’ve had 3 months and they’ve already messed up! The country didn’t vote for this Coalition of right-wing nutters and LibDem sell-outs.

    Justin – you’re exactly the reason so many of us who are Lynne’s constituents regret voting LibDem.

  12. After reading the telegraphs article on the 7th most of the issues began to look cynical to me!

    “The news article has a sense of irony for me when I see statements such as “Tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers given right to work” dated the 7th of August 2010. I am the child of a British born mother and historically I have always been discriminated against even those of the rights of my own siblings. I was born before February 7th 1961. Over the last few years because of security fears, id card laws, and also the UKBA seeking funding for their staffs salaries a variety of measures have been taken against all a specific group of children born abroad to British mothers. This group have had some rights in the past and in theory these rights still exist. They were not allowed to be automatic nationals but instead had a statutory right of the right of abode which gave them equality in status inside the UK as does to British citizens and the right not to be subject to immigration control and permissions. A few years ago the UKBA dreamt up a need to charge fees for these people by inventing an excuse that these people were somehow a security risk. They have also had to bear the price of having to reapply for new certificates that allow them to prove their rights. Year on year these fees keep going up and the use of this method has amounted to indirectly controlling this groups right to work. Apparently they cannot block my right to work only the evidence that I am free to work!

    So when I read the news report about asylum seekers given the right to work one cannot help by feel ironic about the fairness of Britain today.
    Last year I watched very carefully the passage of the 2009 immigration bill as it was brought in January of this year. To me it heralded a long outstanding grievance as to why I was not British and be treated the same way as my two younger sisters. The fact was I was older from them by eleven months and for that I have forever been treated differently by the UKBA and the nationality laws. It does not matter to me that thousands come in as Tier 1 workers and within five years they become naturalised British citizens, Nor does it matter to me that thousands of asylum seekers have the human right to work. It does matter to me however when I let my passport expire owing to being unemployed and ill and on benefits that I could not pay renewal fees for a new certificate that the UKBA were able to use this as an excuse to prevent me from working, even though the actual right to work has and cannot expire but apparently the evidence to do so does!

    Strange as it may sound this is in effect what has been done to many of us who are the children of British mothers, often older, and have a commonwealth parent who for the most part met our mothers while living here in the UK in the 1940s and 1950s. The new law that was suppose to remove this long standing discrimination and finally came in on January the 14th 2010. I had long waited for this as I thought finally I would be able to end this long journey of discrimination that has haunted me ever since I was a sixteen year old boy. But my hopes were soon dashed when I realised we would not be treated equally with those born after 1983 or those born before but to British males. There is a charge involved, it costs £540 currently and requires my having to undergo civil and criminal check of my background and attendance of a citizenship ceremony. I was crushed how could this be the law was suppose to remove the long standing discrimination we have suffered and now I find we are still being discriminated now on the basis of our age. Together with the imposition of fees and by adapting and misrepresenting the law the UKBA have in effect established control over persons they are not suppose to be controlling.

    So when I see Asylum seekers have the right to work, and ILE holders can use their expired passports to evidence their ongoing permission to work, and I cannot evidence my on going right to work inherited through my descent from a British mother I cannot help get cynical as to why we seem to be continuously be treated in this way by what is after all our own country !”

    If you care for liberty and for equal rights specially for those of us who have the closest of closest blood ties with the country then please show your support by going to the petition and signing. Thanks


  13. Oh Lynne it’s so delicious isn’t it.

    I mean there isn’t a single person on here who lives in your constituency and who voted for you last time who intends to do so again so I got all excited (well ok not very) that you had secured your first vote when Justin came on. But of course he is a bona fide Tory so even the sole supporter on your own blog won’t be voting for you.

    You must be swelling with pride at how pleased he is to have you.

    I will be signing off for a while. I know it’s so middle class isn’t it to have a thing like a holiday Lynne. But I know how lucky I am and don’t worry Lynne I will be back.

    Much respect to fellow posters especially Jenny on another section of this blog who is fighting and fighting. You all rock! We will see this despicable crew off even if it takes a while.

    PS you know we could organise a public meeting at Lynne’s surgery. Shall we see if she has us arrested?

    PPS Justin you couldn’t even beat outright the man who was the lamest PM the country has ever had and a party at the lowest ebb of popularity. I wonder how it will go next time.

  14. “I don’t have a phobia about Tories. That would suggest an irrational response. I hate them for a reason. For lots of reasons, actually. For the miners, apartheid, Bobby Sands, Greenham Common, selling council houses, Section 28, lining the pockets of the rich and hammering the poor – to name but a few.
    I hate them because they hate people I care about. As a young man Cameron looked out on the social carnage of pit closures and mass unemployment, looked at Margaret Thatcher’s government and thought, these are my people. When all the debating is done, that is really all I need to know.”
    – Gary Younge

  15. Lynne,

    Lynne, you say that the journey to the Coalition was a rollercoaster – wasn’t it more of a headlong descent as the LibDems abandoned their principles and scrambled for power? You also say that the Coalition was the only option. Well, you can re-write history all you like, people will still remember that it was, in fact, one option. A minority Conservative administration wouldn’t have the gall to push forward some many punitive measures as it is doing with your backing. And don’t give me the ‘strong Government so necessary for the recovery’ line. Today’s news? House prices falling as an indicator that you are pulling us back into Recession.

  16. “Right-wing nutters”?” What’s ‘right-wing’ – whatever that is – about scarpping ID cards, stopping the sending of children to immigration detention camps, taking people on £10k or less out of the tax system and ring-fencing the NHS and International Aid budgets (to name a few)? These are things Labour would have continued with or implement if they had won a fourth term.

  17. Justin,
    ID cards – Labour offered to scrap them in coalition talks
    Immigration – Lib Dems have gone from amnesty to BNP-style cap
    You’re not taking anyone out of the tax system, you’re clobbering everyone with 20% VAT – remember Nick’s poster?
    NHS budget ring-fenced? Don’t make me laugh. No increase in budget and privatisation by the backdoor thanks to spineless Lib Dems

  18. I think it says a lot about the Coalition that the only person defending the LibDems on here is a Tory – and one who once suggested that London’s homeless should try fishing in the Thames to feed themselves.

    Where are the satisfied LibDem voters? The silence is deafening.

  19. Although I welcome lively debate on this site, including from people who don’t agree with me, one of the lines I draw is at someone pretending to be lots of different people and posting fake comments under these multiple guises. There has been an outbreak of this on the site recently and I’ve removed the fake comments. You can drop me an email if you spot any other comments you think are suspicious or if you think your own comment may have been caught by mistake.

  20. That’s a bit rich Lynne! No further comment required.

    This is a comment from David Cameron:

    “It’s quite wrong that there are people in our society who will behave like this. But we will not shrug our shoulders and let them get away with it any longer. We will take the necessary measures to stop fraud happening in the first place; root out and take tough action against those found committing fraud; and make sure the stolen money is paid back.”

    Was this about MP’s expenses? Was it the city bankers? Was it about the evasion of VAT? The evasion of taxes maybe? Or was it about benefit fraud?

    To quote you Lynne, ‘it’s a no brainer’.

  21. No it’s not a bit rich Oldtimer. I trust people to post comments without moderation – as critical as they like (to which you can bear witness) and I continue so to do. However, fake posts under multiple names is, as I said above, where I draw the line.

  22. Fair enough Lynne. Name them and shame them. I would like to name and shame Michael Gove who has just scrapped the Playbuilder playground scheme, robbing communities of the chance to develop areas for local children to play.

    How much is this saving? At what cost to the health and wellbeing of our children? Surely there are better ways to cut costs – for a start, we could save millions of pounds by getting the Pope to fund his holiday in the UK himself. I think the Vatican can afford it, don’t you?

    Interesting set of priorities. Is this what the Big Society is all about?

  23. Lynne

    Are you directly concerned with the drafting of the Human Rights Bill?

    Specifically, and for example, who is ensuring that equality issues for trans folk are being handled appropriately?

    Is there any risk that the Human Rights Bill might seek to override European Human Rights?

  24. Paula – no am not involved – but will look into.

    Jamal – as I have said to you before – have asked for more information on the issue and will look into when am at Home Office. I cannot deal directly with you as you are not a constituent – which is why my consitutency office refers you onto the EHRC when you contact them directly. You should contact your own MP to represent your situation for you.

    Kemlyn – I know you would wish me to comment on everything that the coalition does – but that is not possible. I do what I can where I can.

  25. Lynne, whilst I appreciate any sort of reply from you, and thank you for it, I don’t understand why you cannot comment on the scrapping of Playbuilder when you are a junior minister in the government which has scrapped it. Do you not have a view? If I had put the question to you in front of the cameras on Question Time, would your reply still have been “no comment”?

    This looks like an attack on a soft target to me. Mind you, the about-turn on the scrapping of free milk shows that some soft targets are softer than others. Personally I’m not sure its better for a government to be known as a playground-snatcher rather than a milk-snatcher.

  26. Hi Lynne

    I, unfortunately, have a very negative view of the government, however, that’s probably because I am someone who’s terminally ill and becoming progressively disabled (my kidneys are starting not to work), I can’t walk, am in excruciating pain – from my bones, I’ve just spent another week in hospital having special infusions and my future is uncertain.

    Whilst I had always worked, now it’s not possible so I’m dependent on benefits – I’m really sorry, I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to.

    As someone receiving welfare, I feel under attack from your government…. yesterday it was David Cameron talking about getting information about us from credit rating agencies previously there have been all sorts of other unreliable methods announced in the press at ‘getting us’, checking to see whether we’re sick enough, making sure that we’re not malingerers. It’s like a special ‘surveillance operation’ aimed at checking every bit of our lives out.

    There’s no need. If I’m not at home, I’m in hospital or at the hospice – they can get me there. My GP, in conjunction with specialists and the palliative care team, I’m sure would be more than happy to provide you (the government) with any information about me. What’s more, I can always send you my bank statement – I only have one and I don’t have any credit facilities because I’m going to die.

    As for fun, I don’t have much, I can’t do fun anymore, I am past having ‘good’ days. It’s not all bad though, I feel still have much in my life…. a loving family who I look after me, close friends and much happiness although I’m sad knowing that I will leave them soon and leave my dear parents with the death of a child.

    Could you please ask David Cameron, George Osborne et al to be fair and stop these attacks? Just as I was an honest taxpayer, I am the same honest person claiming benefits and find all these attacks just make me fearful…. how can I defend myself if they make mistakes? The last government made mistakes when they targeted innocent young muslim students time after time.

    Once again, I’m sorry that I receive benefits but they’re the last resort, my only chance at paying bills.

  27. Kemlyn – if I critised the policy – any policy – my comments as a minister (even a junior one) break the ministerial code. I support the coalition government. I signed up to this coalition. Yes, of course, there are things that we don’t support – but we have agreed to as part of the coalition agreement. I dare say the same is true for the Conservatives who wouldn’t necessarily agree with some of the measures we got into the agreement. I haven’t changed, grown a tail or succumbed to a Conservative mindset. I continue to fight the fights – just from a different place and in different ways.

    Bob – as before – am terribly sorry you are in such distress. The ‘attack’ on benefits is not aimed at you or anyone who is in need. If you are my constituent and anyone tries to take away anything from you – just let me know and I will fight your corner.

  28. Lynne – thank you for the reply. It is encouraging that you will enter into dialogue with constituents on here, even if it is only to say that you can’t criticise Tory policies while you are part of the government….

    Bob’s comment highlights the biggest problem this government is facing – so far, its most high profile policies appear to be direct attacks on the most vulnerable. Less than one per cent of benefits are given erroneously, and most of those as a result of administrative error rather than criminal intent. But the tough talk makes the innocent 99% feel under suspicion. That may play well to a Tory audience, but to LibDems it smacks of betrayal.

    I fear you will be fighting a lot of corners over the next five years.

  29. Sadly, Lynne, the person you’ll be stuck in the corner fighting is – yourself! You are part of the Government which is attacking the weak and the vulnerable. You don’t get ‘Feelgood Fridays’ where you can take the air in Muswell Hill and revert to being nice Lynne Featherstone. Well you could…if you were to resign and stand as an independent. And reading some of Bob’s posts and comments and stories from other people how can you resist taking the only honourable route open to you?

  30. Hi Lynne

    I had contacted your offices and they referred me back to the EHRC who said they cannot help individuals who do not meet their strategic wide objectives. I have been chasing the EHRC over 10 months with no effect, have complained to both my present and past MP Humprey Malins and Jonathan Lord to no effect and even have a complaint to the parliamentary ombudsman’s offices. I am at the point of writing directly to the European Court of Human Rights as there seems little option. I have been sent in and out through the whole beuracratic process from Last November when I contacted Phil Woolas and Alan Johnson and Harriet Harmon. Excuse me for sounding desperate but my heart is bad and my health condition is in severe depression aside from all the medications I have been put on because of my health. I just feel desperate and neglected by the whole system. I am not out to harrass you in any way simply trying to find a fix to the problem that has been created and have become desperate due to health and financial pressures all this discrimination has caused me.

  31. I have sent you details of my medical records to your email address so you can see how the effects of the last few months have taken their toll on me. I cannot help but say I am really dependent on you to bring this case up as its been totally and completely unjust the way I have been treated despite my statutory rights.

  32. Jamal – you have to go through your own MP where you live. I can look into the generic issues you have raised and have already said I am doing so. However, in terms of your own case – it has to be your own MP. I understand you are in need – but it is your MP who must take the individual case up. Where do you live? If you send me your address I can find out who your MP is for you.

  33. Hi Lynne

    I have gone through my own MP in fact two of them both Humphrey Malins who is unfortunatley gone and was a good MP albeit a Tory backbencher and now Jonathan Lord whom I have met. He has taken things up from where Mr. Malins left off but the issue has gone to Damine Green from him back to the UKBA and then all sorts of excuses and one department blaming the other and even changing stories. The latest from them is that although my rights have not expired my ability to evidence them has. That is the issue. A person who has the right of abode under the law is not subject to immigration control or permission however by expiring my travel document they have managed to do just that. They have used a Secondary legislation 3145 to over ride the primary legislation Section 2(1)(b) of the 1971 act.
    Jonathan Lord has been kept upto date with everything and all I have got from him is an email saying he will help me but absolutely no news from then on which has led me to feel let down.

  34. “But old politics always looked backwards and I want to look forwards.”

    If this is true, then please explain why Damian Green responded to my father that children born illegitimately to British fathers before 2006 still will not be able to derive citizenship by descent through them? Children born to British mothers are eligible to register their births but, somehow we are “different” (read: useless). How so Lynne? You are an equalities minister. Please explain why an illegitimate child has lower and “less-equal” status than the exhalted child born into wedlock?

    Labour were a bunch of birth status bigots, and sadly, the Coalition is proving to be as well. Green is certainly changing his tune from last years BCI bill where he stood up for us. That must have been a lie so he could challenge Woolas and look the caring part.

    I’ll be marrying only for citizenship sake, divorcing once I get what I deserve, and will definitely make sure to rub my UK passport in your party’s faces. Can’t wait to see the look of disgust when you see a lowly bastard has what every other child of a British parent is able to have.

  35. Oh and Lynne, don’t go saying the issue is complicated. The ILPA have proven otherwise. If you can offer adult registration to children of British mothers, you can most certainly offer it to children of unmarried British fathers. Just admit it, we are an embarrassment to your country.

  36. I went to my MP last November, He stepped down a new one got elected, I even support and worked as a teller helping him to get elected! I have met him but he has not done anything other then state in his letter he is supporting my endeavours. This has gone on for 10 months being fobbed off by and nobody actually doing anything as they do not think its worth their time to give justice to those of us who are suppose to have rights. This is exactly how most of the civil services also work with nobody interested. I have tried my bit and won’t be bothering you again.

  37. J Mortoza, perhaps you should move to Uganda and say you’re gay or trans gendered. I’m sure the Equalities Ministry would then consider your situation urgent enough to fight for.

    Lynne, you should take a page out of Lord Avebury’s book. He’s been fighting for citizenship equality for over thirty years. Just a mention in the press about this gross injustice in the same manner you mention other inequalities could put pressure on the Coalition to do something. It’s definitely an equalities issue when both age and gender discrimination are involved. How are you not seeing this? You have illegitimate females marrying for UK citizenship all the time. Do one of us have to get murdered by our spouses for you to do something? Which one of us will be your Baby P?

  38. R Collins, yes I know. I have been discriminated against on both areas with my right of abode statutory rights and also my long overdue rights to be British because simply of my age, my mother’s gender, and now even my right of abode. The right of abode is suppose to confer the same rights as a British citizen has which is not be subject to immigration control or permission. It is a statutory right based on descent from an English parent that those of us who were born before 1961 born to British mothers have. It does not expire. The documentation has now been expired when my passport expires and thereby indirect mechanism of control has been imposed. Its in fact a discrimination on the basis of my father’s nationality and actually breaks the law. It also discriminates against me on my nationality and is denying my basic human right to work freely. This is the state of the country. We allow immigrants who have Indefininte leave to remain to use expired passports to evidence their on going rights but not the children of British citizens whose rights don’t expire but their evidence to prove that expires. If that is not immigration control then the authorities and the government are completely blind to human rights and human justice! I am not the only one who has suffered this. Anyone from any commonwealth country who has a mother or father or both as British citizens born before 1961 are treated in this so special way. This includes Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Indians, and so on. Its as if the British Empire never existed and we the children from the empire ie born across the globe are nobody today even in the land of our ancestors. I do not see why people have trouble understanding this and keep treating us like we are immigrants when we are in fact partials. For me I think I have had enough trying to educate and draw attention to this with the politicians who think British citizenship comes with the right of abode status. It is the one thing in common we all have that gives us rights and a right not to be treated as aliens in our own countries.

  39. Lynne, how can you read those news stories above and not be affected by the sheer age and gender discrimination those children are experiencing? Tell us how this is acceptable? How long will you stay silent on this issue? It’s your job to question such gross inequality!