16 October 2009

The UK Border Agency

The innocuous-sounding UK Border Agency seems to have become in several respects a police service something akin to a combination of the Staatssicherheitsdienst (Stasi) and the Grenzpolizei (Grepo) of the former GDR.

Formally one used one’s passport to show on entry to the UK that one had a right to be in the country, and on exist to prove that you had a valid passport because you would be wasting everybody’s time if you didn’t have one. Today the philosophy is entirely different: you are entered on a data base on entry and exit, detailing who you are along with the time, date, place of travel plus any other information elicited from you.

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