Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday, 17 June 2004

Britain's immigration visa scandal

According to a National Audit Office (NAO) report, 9 out of 10 visas granted to immigrants from eastern Europe (principally Romania and Bulgaria) should never have been issued. The number of applications rose in those two countries from 63 in 2001-2001-2 to 8,034 in 2003-4.

The matter came to light after a British consular official in Bucharest (Romania) revealed what was going on. The visas continued to be issued on the instructions of London, despite local consular officials warning London privately of their concerns that massive scams were being perpetrated and recommending that the vast bulk of the applications be refused. As a result Beverley Hughes, the relevant government minister, was forced to resign.

Naturally, this being a Britain governed by Tony Blair's Labour Party, the 'whistle-blower' has been punished, by being recalled to London, his salary frozen. [The gentleman concerned, James Cameron, is for the record not a relative.] However, what is true is that this government has a lamentable, and sinister, record of attempting to smear or denigrate those who speak out against its policies and shortcomings. I hope there will be a public outcry to ensure that only legitimate matters of concern may be laid at this civil servant's door.

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