A couple of questions about Syria

The first one is slightly odd. Yes, I know the Assads are murderous thugs etc.

However, they are the de jure and de facto government. So under what provision of what law are they not allowed to impose public order? Put down an armed uprising?

Isn\’t that what de jure government means? That you are indeed allowed to use violence against a violent uprising?

If, to take an absurd example, the SWP captured a few tanks and started to attack HMG in Bristol, wouldn\’t HMG have the right to call out the military to deal with them?

Onto something less obviously trollish.

As a British citizen, the 36-year-old former investment banker will, however, be free to travel to Britain, though William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said that was unlikely given current circumstances in her adopted country.

“British passport holders do obviously have a right of entry to the United Kingdom,” said Mr Hague.

Quite right too. However:

However, The Daily Telegraph has learnt that the Home Office is in the early stages of examining the possibility of revoking Mrs Assad’s British citizenship, which was gained by birth.

Eh? When the fuck did that become possible?

Sajid Javid, the MP for Bromsgrove, has asked Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to consider using her powers under the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act, which allow the deprivation of a person’s citizenship if it is deemed “conducive to the public good” and doing so would not render that person stateless.

Err, no, that should not be possible, not in anything approaching a liberal or just legal system. The government gets to jail citizens who have done something naughty once they\’ve been tried and found guilty. The government gets to frame the rules about who gets to join us in winning that lottery of life in being British. But it shouldn\’t have the power to strip someone British by birth of being British. Simply because that\’s not a power the Govt should have.

For it is us who select the government that we wish to have, not the government who selects who it wishes to rule: that\’s far too Brechtian a system.

This little known provision of the 2006 Act seems to be another piece of Soviet style law that Blair et al smuggled into our system.

13 comments on “A couple of questions about Syria

  1. “For it is us who select the government that we wish to have, not the government who selects who it wishes to rule”

    True, and in complete contradiction of the first point. The Syrian government is illegitimate because it lacks that democratic mandate. It has no right to assault people calling for a properly constituted government to replace it.

  2. Yes.But it might come in handy if we had a goverment who wanted to de-select some peeps

  3. But it shouldn’t have the power to strip someone British by birth of being British. Simply because that’s not a power the Govt should have.

    I agree the Minister should not have the power, but I am struggling to see why the government as a whole should not.

    After all, most people on this blog tend towards a contractual-sense of nationhood. We are all British because we have all freely agreed to be part of this community. Not a race-and-blood type of nation, but a liberal one based on an almost literal social contract. Contracts can be made void in the way that blood ties cannot.

    As I see it, if we accept that being British is not about race, but about community values – any person can be British if we accept them – then once they violate those community values, why should they continue to be British?

    I would rather see Parliament do it by Bill of Attainer or the like, but this is surely the logical consequence what many on this blog have argued for a long time? British nationality should not be about genes or blood, or even long-time residence, but simply about being part of the community. People who don’t want to adhere to that community anymore don’t have an obvious right to continue to be treated as such.

  4. Er, stripping of citizenship can actually be done by most places – the “provided it doesn’t make you stateless” is because of some international/UN agreement post second-world war that arose from (I think) the consequences of the removal of German citizenship from German Jews (hence making it hard for them to travel to somewhere they were safe).

    In fact, removal of citizenship is routine in some cases – it happened to me once.

    I was stripped of the citizenship of a small and unimportant African country I’ve never been to. When born, I was a citizen of that country by descent and the UK by location of birth. That country only recognised multiple citizenship up to the age of 18 – the UK doesn’t care how many other citizenships you have. Losing the non-UK citizenship when I turned 18 was a no-brainer.

  5. If we can strip her of her British passport how about the British passport of all who call for Sharia?
    After al Sharia would not be for the public good.

    Although I am worried that this would be a slippery slope.

  6. Bill of Attainer

    Attainder, I think you’ll find. Not much used since 1700. Even Queen Caroline was subject to the civil equivalent, a “Pains and Penalties” Bill.

    I think it would be not unreasonable to require Mrs Assad to choose citizenship of one country or the other.

    As our Septic colleagues insist for their citizens.

  7. Bill of Attainer

    Attainder. Not much used since 1700. Not even for Queen Caroline (who was subjected to the civil version – a “Pains and Penalties” Bill). I’m not sure giving our current mob of politicians the idea of resurrecting some of the C17’s more extreme ideas is a good thing.

    not unreasonable to require Mrs Assad to choose citizenship of one country or the other.

    As the Septics do.

  8. I was stripped of the citizenship of a small and unimportant African country I’ve never been to.

    I can almost imagine the Great Gatsby saying that.

  9. Re. Citizenship, the better point is this: I am not a subject of her Britannic Maj because she has said so (although de iure I think I might be a citizen of the EU because the Maastricht Treaty says so), I am a subject of Her B Maj because I am.

    Only in a world of grants and licenses – oddly enough, a world of despots – is it imaginable that I might cease to be what, among other things, I am.

    And only a brute would argue that we should be defined by the benefice of a grant.

  10. Many countries have adopted a policy that any of their citizens who voluntarily take up the citizenship of another country lose their original citizenship.

    That was the USA’s policy for many years – dual citizens were not obliged to give up their other citizenship, but would lose their US citizenship if they made any positive act to confirm or retain their other citizenship.

    I think it’s not outrageous to say that the UK could say that someone who has chosen another country over Britain loses their absolute right to remain British – after which, the questions are (a) are the rules for deciding who loses their citizenship fair, and (b) is due process applied.

  11. All the above points are literally true, but why *should* the UK follow the example of assorted ex-colonies that adopted draconian citizenship rules in order to oust people with loyalties to the former colonial power? Why not say “unlike various less stable and secure countries, we’re confident enough in ourselves to treat British citizenship as a right”?

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.