A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fit for Purpose?

It makes me wonder sometimes. How on earth some people get to keep the jobs they do, when it is plainly obvious they are incapable. Some characters in the Foreign Office have no clue as to how many Pakistani citizens hold British passports. It could be between 32,000 and 80,000. Not exactly accurate statistics. It gets worse with Bangladeshis. This guestimate is between 10,000 and 100,000.

Now I don't blame the holders of these passports, unless they obtained them fraudulently. No, I blame the dozy penpushers who seem to be oblivious of the facts. Currently, it is a bit of a bore travelling to and from the USA. No books allowed, personal stereos, etc. Travellin' lite is the new norm. Now the US authorities are getting jumpy about these passport discrepancies and are thinking about the visa waiver program.

Douglas Carswell, the Tory MP who obtained the information, claimed the US is right to see British passport holders as a potential threat because of the ‘reckless way’ passports have been issued by the Government. He said: "In light of the alleged transatlantic terror plot, this is extremely disturbing. If the Government does not even know how many people in Pakistan hold British passports, how can they possibly know who they’ve handed them out to? The Americans are talking about reviewing the visa waiver programme because they fear Islamic extremists with British passports pose a greater threat to the US than those in Iraq or Afghanistan."

I know that John Reid, on becoming Home Secretary, said the Home Office was not fit for purpose, but I really think this government is not fit for purpose. Did Tony Blair mention this fiasco to George Bush? Hardly! Good thing we have some MPs and a press able to highlight this shameful inadequacy.

Not only will honest and decent travellers be put to more disadvantage, but the hardpressed Muslims of Britain, who wish to have nothing whatsover to do with terrorism, will be drawn further into the circle of suspicion.


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