Dear God Theresa May’s an obnoxious little shit

And Clegg goes along with this?

Nick Clegg has signed up to a plan drawn up by Theresa May to strip foreign-born terror suspects of British citizenship – a move that would render them stateless – if they are judged to present a threat to national security.
..
Clegg said he supported the home secretary’s proposal to strip naturalised British citizens of their citizenship if they are judged to present a threat to national security. It would even apply to those who have no other citizenship, rendering them stateless.

He said the current laws had become a “passport for endless games in the courts to prevent people being deported that should be.

“We are tightening up the way the courts can interpret article 8, the right to a family life, so it cannot became an excuse for unjustified legal procrastination.”

Speaking on LBC’s Call Clegg, he added he knew the plan to make some naturalised British citizens stateless was controversial, but justifiable in a very small number of cases. He said the revocation of British citizenship “would apply in cases where individuals pose a real threat to the security of this country”.

Condemning these twats to a life of weasel felching would be much too kind.

You can’t go around stripping people of their citizenship: not unless you manage to convict them, in court, with a jury, evidence given and examined, of having lied or fiddled to get their citizenship. Fraud in gaining it is indeed a valid reason for revocation. But nowt else is.

Because, once you’re a British citizen then you’re a British citizen. And you have all the same protections from arbitrary justice (or should I say obnoxious little shits posing as Home Secretary) as any and every other British citizen. That’s what it means: Abu Hookhand has, if he is a British citizen, exactly the same rights before the law as I do. This does not depend upon my lack of melanin, my native born status, my lack of desire to impose Islam on the cattle nor anything else. It’s the definition of being a fucking citizen.

Equality before the law.

Capisce?

Convict someone of trying to be a terrorist? Great, jail them. They’ve served their sentence? Then let them out. If they’re a British citizen then they’ve done their time and that’s that. If they’re not then fuck ’em out of the country. But as long as that citizenship was legally obtained then we all get treated the same way, as those citizens.

Now, how do we get that lifetime sentence of weasel felching onto the books for the ghastly little shits who would propose an abomination of a law like this?

81 comments on “Dear God Theresa May’s an obnoxious little shit

  1. Very progressive, isn’t it? Principles get in the way of outcomes, so we’d better abandon those principles.

  2. May is in the grand NuBluLabour tradition of fat useless cows as Home Secretary (if they dropped the “Home” bit she still wouldn’t be up to the job). The previous jobholder was light-fingered and deluded about her address, this one is heavy-handed and suffers from the delusion that is an attractive woman Hence the leopard-print shoes and endless photos of her posturing in the manner of a (thermal underwear catalogue) model.
    It used to be called “Care in the Community”–the community in this case being the arrogant, thieving,stupid and shameless.

  3. It’s the flip side of HM Government showering British passports on uninvited foreigners like so much confetti.

    Just as university degrees became largely worthless when every polytechnic and petrol station started awarding them, British citizenship doesn’t mean what it used to before every Tomas, Djamel, and Hookhands could get it merely for showing up in our country and asking for a publicly funded translator to point them to the nearest benefits office.

    Can’t see them getting this one past the ECHR though. Like the “go home” vans, this isn’t aimed at foreign miscreants. It’s aimed at convincing gullible voters the government is “doing something” to secure our borders.

  4. I don’t understand what’s un-libertarian about the principal of this.
    Presumably you don’t want to grant citzenship to those who intend to damage the society they’re saying they wish to become a part of. It is entirely possible to have people who have obtained Brit citizenship on false pretenses because that turns out to have been their intention. So what’s wrong with having a way of rescinding that?
    I’m not sure whether this should be a legal matter. At the start of the process, the individual is not a citizen & does not have the rights of a citizen. The decision should be a bureaucratic one. In the sense that if one is inviting someone into ones home, it’s at the discretion of the homeowner whether they gain admittance. Not whether the person asking admittance claims any rights to admittance. In a national sense, the bureaucrat stands as a representative home owner. And like that home owner, if the person invited in turns out to have misrepresented themselves & wants to trash the house, the homeowner should be able to eject them purely of his own volition.
    Tough to get chucked out of a place you’ve made your home. But it’s not unreasonable to require those entering to treat it as their home. Not try & pull the place down. And not have the ability to use your own generosity against you.

    That said, for this to work on a national basis, you do need bureaucrats acting in good faith as representatives of the public not to other agendas. It boils down to; can you trust them?

    @IanB
    What principles are we talking about? The right not to kick someone out who’s trashing the living room? Are you responsible for them getting wet when they’re dumped on the street with no where to go? that it’s not “fair”?

    “But as long as that citizenship was legally obtained”
    I’m pretty sure becoming a citizen requires an undertaking to behave as a citizen. If one makes a false declaration on a loan application, is it still a legal contract? Whether that contract was then still honoured by the lender wouldn’t be a legal but an arbitrary decision, no?.

  5. It’s the flip side of HM Government showering British passports on uninvited foreigners like so much confetti.

    Really Steve? How many?

    British citizenship doesn’t mean what it used to before every Tomas, Djamel, and Hookhands could get it merely for showing up in our country and asking for a publicly funded translator to point them to the nearest benefits office.

    Really, that’s all they have to do? Just show up at the benefits office?

  6. @ Mr Ecks

    She poses as a Conservative but she is also the ghastly creature that remorselessly tried to push the Snooper’s Charter, as if her life depended on it (perhaps it does!).

    In that case, we had (OMG) Nick Clegg of all people to thank for instructing her which folder she should file it in..

  7. Theresa May’s an obnoxious little shit

    This is just so wrong.

    She’s massive – have you seen her cleavage?

  8. yebbut it turns out (post-Snowden) the Snooper’s Charter was just to regularise / legalise what’s already going on and offload the costs to CSPs.

  9. What principles are we talking about? The right not to kick someone out who’s trashing the living room?

    The principle that a person deserves a fair trial, is innocent until proven guilty, that old fashioned malarkey.

    It must be added though that they are also introducing new “Might Be A Paedo Orders” which will similarly allow the State to adjudge somebody “possibly a bit funny that way”, impose upon them internal exile, and all without the bother of proving they’ve actually done anything wrong; because again outcomes (satisfying the baying crones at the Fawcett Society and Mumsnet) are more important than principles.

    The sad reality is that we are a barbarian culture, not fit to be considered among the club of civilised nations.

  10. bloke in spain,

    That said, for this to work on a national basis, you do need bureaucrats acting in good faith as representatives of the public not to other agendas. It boils down to; can you trust them?

    Which is why we have courts, to hear both sides of the argument – the state and the individual – look at the law and arrive at a decision.

    What you and Theresa May are suggesting (inadvertently or otherwise) is that a bureaucrat should be able to point the finger and punish someone without the bother of having to prove the case against them in court.

    In a national sense, the bureaucrat stands as a representative home owner. And like that home owner, if the person invited in turns out to have misrepresented themselves & wants to trash the house, the homeowner should be able to eject them purely of his own volition.

    It’s not analogous to a trespasser on someone’s property. The analogy would be a number of people sharing ownership, they gang up on a fellow owner, remove him and he has no legal remedy, that’s it, he’s out on the street and owns nothing.

  11. Best joke on the internet this week: “… bureaucrats acting in good faith as representatives of the public not to other agendas”.

    Very clever, very sarcastic.

    Please, please don’t tell me he was serious.

  12. “The principle that a person deserves a fair trial, is innocent until proven guilty, that old fashioned malarkey.”

    Ian. That whole “old fashioned malarkey” is based on the person getting the fair trial, subscribes to the system provides fair trials. It is consensual.

    It’s not so much our laws we have a problem with, it’s the people who administer them. To administer laws properly requires appropriate discression. The problem is the administrators replace discretion with enthusiastic enforcement of the letter of the law, irregardless of appropriateness.

    With the topic under discussion, one might want the ability to boot someone out with minimal fuss. But also want that ability only exercised in the most extreme circumstances. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be able to produce the sort of people who can exercise reasonable.powers in an appropriate manner.. You can mess with the law all you want. if the people operate the law are rubbish the whole thing’s rubbish, irrespective

  13. That whole “old fashioned malarkey” is based on the person getting the fair trial, subscribes to the system provides fair trials. It is consensual.

    No it isn’t, and the idea that one can simply exclude somebody from the system on the basis that you think they’re not a good citizen who supports it is farcical. Everyone who breaks the law is by definition in some sense a social defector.

    “Bob doesn’t deserve a fair trial because we think he’s a rum sort”.

    It doesn’t work that way.

  14. @UK Lib
    “It’s not analogous to a trespasser on someone’s property. The analogy would be a number of people sharing ownership, they gang up on a fellow owner, remove him and he has no legal remedy,”
    There was no analogy to a trespasser. if you want one, it’s someone joining a flat share, turns out, not to be the office worker they said they were, but’s using the place to deal crack. Would you consider they had tenancy rights?

  15. @bloke in spain, sure you have a superficially attractive system there, the problem is it creates a de facto two-tier citizenship between those who can be stripped of it and those who can’t. A necessary part of this will be defining that dividing line, and it’s clear that even those who would have no citizenship post-stripping may find themselves on the wrong side of the definition.

    The relevance of citizenship, in any case, in terms of the rights and obligations of a citizen compared to a non-citizen are pretty hypothetical nowadays. It pretty much boils down to the right to vote. The problem being that making people stateless makes it very difficult for them to travel. It’s not trivial getting any kind of travel document if you have no citizenship, and even less trivial getting other countries to recognise it.

    In doing this, you might score a huge own goal in making it difficult for bad’uns to voluntarily leave the country.

  16. There was no analogy to a trespasser.

    Someone a property owner invites in the property and then refuses to leave when asked by the property owner is a trespasser.

    if you want one, it’s someone joining a flat share, turns out, not to be the office worker they said they were, but’s using the place to deal crack. Would you consider they had tenancy rights?

    it’s a bit of an ‘involved’ question / answer that’s going off on a tangent (the person has tenancy rights, there are also his contractual obligations and the rights of the property owner). Your analogy doesn’t work for the topic.

  17. I agree with Tim that this shouldn’t be applied retroactively. But I wouldn’t have any problems with making “not attempting to destabilise the British state” a condition of granting citizenship, and thereafter convicted terrorists being found in breach of contract and their citizenship rescinded. Don’t have an issue with that at all.

  18. @BIG, this solution would certainly create a two-tier system. I’m assuming that this would be found preferable, by people who don’t intend to be terrorists, to the one tier system whereby you’re either born here or you’re not.

  19. UK Lib
    You’re getting into the conflicting ‘rights’ thing this sort of discussion usually ends up in. All based on the notion there is such a thing as ‘rights’ outside a strictly legal sense.
    X has a ‘right’ to sit in his house plotting to blow up Y
    Y has a right to sit in his house, not to be blown up by X
    You can’t square these ‘rights’. You can’t square any ‘rights’. Because they conflict.
    Legal ‘rights’ stem from laws based on morals. Morals aren’t based on ‘rights’ they’re based on obligations. Mutually beneficial obligations. If one obligation isn’t discharged the matching, reciprocal obligation is no longer valid..

  20. There seems to be an implicit assumption here that the subjects of this are people who have arrived, rather than natives.

  21. @sam,

    False dichotomy. Preferable to either situation is a one-tier system where you are a citizen according to the law or not. If the UK wants to be the only place on the planet where you can only acquire citizenship by birth then sure, they can decide to do that.

    Citizenship is a really nonstraightforward area, even if it seems simple to those who trace their British ancestry to the domesday book with no ambiguities. I held automatic dual citizenship of the country of my birth, jus soli, and of one other country (which I have never been to), jus sanguinis, until 18, when under the law of that country I was stripped because they do not permit dual citizenship in adults. I could get that citizenship back tomorrow if I renounced my current citizenship (i.e., not bloody likely). I am in the process of obtaining semi-citizenship of a third country, jus sanguinis, and full citizenship of a fourth country (which I can legally hold alongside the first and third) by naturalization.

    Which of my four legally-held nationalities is “first class” and which “second class”?

  22. Surely the “liberal” thing to do (if that is our primary concern) is to stop granting citizenship to terrorist fuckheads who preach sedition, travel abroad to receive paramilitary training and plot the indiscriminate murder of civilians. An Islamist preacher from Waziristan with dual-citizenship, who has lived here for five years and qualified to use a British passport and vote in British elections, is not as British as someone born and raised in the United Kingdom whose family has lived here for generations. I believe that this is precisely how it works in Australia. If you are a naturalised citizen and you are convicted of a major crime, they take away your Aussie passport and sling you out.

  23. There are two issues, first, whether or not a naturalized citizen is committing acts of terrorism. A lot of comments assume this, or assume it’s obvious, and so mixing up a fact with its proof. Some suggest a bureaucrat could make the determination, and that to me is dangerous nonsense. Making such a determination is what independent judiciaries are for, not some level 3 manager in fear for his pension, bending to the baying mob or some politico like the egregious May.

    Secondly, what to do if it is determined that the naturalized citizen has been committing terrorist acts, and after ordinary criminal law punishment is meted out. Deport or no? I dunno, but retro-activity should be carefully applied, almost never.

    Articles 30-38 of the Mexican Constitution make interesting reading.

  24. FredZ-

    There are two issues, first, whether or not a naturalized citizen is committing acts of terrorism. A lot of comments assume this, or assume it’s obvious, and so mixing up a fact with its proof.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m working on the assumption that these are for use against people who you don’t know if they’re committing acts of terrorism, but the government or Plod think are sort of the kind of person who might.

  25. @BIG

    only preferable if you think it’s okay to apply for citizenship of somewhere and then try to blow bits of it up. I don’t. So, to me, my solution is preferable,

    As for your many citizenships, I’d say the answer was given in the question: under the law of that country I was stripped because they do not permit dual citizenship in adults…I am in the process of obtaining semi-citizenship…[my boldface]

    In other words, it would seem it’s up to those countries to decide what level of citizenship you hold. But that notwithstanding it’s a moot point because, as the article makes clear, we are talking about naturalised citizens, so not those to whom jus soli or jus matrimonii applies.

  26. Anyone wishing to become a citizen of London or, until Labour decided to change the definitions, any foreigner seeking to become a British subject has/had to swear an oath of allegiance. In the context of the post “terrorist” does not mean someone trying to terrorize bongo-bongo land by wearing a gorilla suit (ineffectively since the natives know that gorillas are pacific creatures) but someone trying to breach the Queen’s peace to further a political agenda inimicable to her laws, so such “citizenship” has been obtained under false pretences and is invalid.
    The “citizenship” should be (and only be) stripped from those who obtained it by false pretences.
    It is still, under this plan, for the courts, not the Home Secretary, to decide whether the accused should be stripped of “citizenship” because it has been obtained under false pretences.
    If Eoin Clarke opened a bank account in the name of “Tim Worstall” in order to collect all the sales revenue from Scandium and the advertising revenue from your blog and your fees from Forbes and whatever else pays for your lost golf balls, I don’t suppose that you would be happy to be told that you cannot stop him opening that account because freedom of expression is a Human Right and it will take twenty years to process your claim to get your money back by the time you have gone through courts and appeal courts and further appeal courts in five countries.

  27. For avoidance of doubt – I should vehemently oppose granting power to the Home Secretary or, even worse, any of her/his bureaucrats to revoke citizenship. Most of New Labour’s appointees made Michael Howard look like a liberal (it seems no-one asked Ann Widdecombe her opinion of Blunkett, or possibly the interviewers were overwhelmed by the combination of garlic and holy water before they completed the interview)

  28. @ ukliberty
    The *court* has to decide whether they are a “threat to national security” – which implies that their oath of allegiance was fraudulent.
    Yes, it should only affect the guilty but criminal lawyers (as some other poster quoted “is there any other kind”) specialise in finding or creating quibbles that allow the obviously guilty to evade conviction while allowing the police to stitch up the innocent. Presumably Andrew Mitchell would still be in the cabinet if he had snorted cocaine?

  29. There are a lot of laws on the statute books that I think of as being “precisely vague”. They use precise words to imply precision, but in fact grant something rather arbitrary, as in this case of appointing a court to assess whether somebody is “a threat to national security”. It could mean anything. And, on past precedent, no doubt will.

    Which is why the only decent principle is that which used to underpin the common law, of dealing with objective actions, not subjective intentions and predictions. A court can only assess whether you have committed a burglarly, not whether you are in some essentialist sense “the type who burgles”.

  30. john77,

    The *court* has to decide whether they are a “threat to national security”

    You’re wrong, I have the amendment in front of me
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0128/amend/pbc1283001m.1649-1655.html

    and the legislation it amends
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61

    [original law]The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.

    The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2) if he is satisfied that the order would make a person stateless.
    [amendment:] But that does not prevent the Secretary of State from making an order
    under subsection (2) to deprive a person of a citizenship status if—
    (a) the citizenship status results from the person’s naturalisation,
    and
    (b) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the deprivation is conducive to the public good because the person, while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom, any of the Islands, or any British overseas territory.

    Where the courts come in is if the person appeals against the order.

    Indeed the courts tend to defer to the Home Secretary on whether a person’s presence is not conducive to the public good; the courts concern themselves with whether the exercise of this power was lawful. Sometimes it isn’t lawful, e.g. recent example Hilal al-Jedda, who the Home Secretary tried to deprive of citizenship, the Supreme Court said you can’t do that according to (1) English law (as above) and (2) Home Office rules (incorporating UN guidelines).

  31. @ ukliberty
    Thanks/Aaaargh!
    I take back most of what I previously said; I hadn’t realised that Tim was quoting verbatim a Grauniad reporter who lacks knowledge of the English language (sorry: I reacted without doing due diligence, because I was taking a few seconds off from a massive tedious task).
    Revocation in the case of fraud is justified but not by the Home Secretary (as I mentioned in a follow-up).

  32. If someone is to be rousted–in any way–as a terrorist, then evidence is needed–not fucking opinions–esp as the opinions of dim, arseholic losers such as political scum, the state’s hack lawyers and the bluebottle’s MENSA division are likely worth next to nothing.
    And we cannot assume that this measure, whoever it starts with, will end up confining itself to swarthy hookhands. There may come a time when commenting or even reading a blog such as Tim’s will be all it takes. As that little shite Babybush said “If you ain’t with us then you’re agin us”.

  33. Tell you what people. We’re all so keen on the law. Let’s make granting of citizenship subject to judicial review. Now you’ve got the thing nicely legaled at both ends.

  34. our host got it right – at the top of this page.

    tbh I’m pretty shocked there is support here for a politician being able to point the finger and punish someone without the bother of going to court.

  35. I don’t support it. I think there was some confusion about whether this was a provision to punish people who had been convicted. But, now that is clear (thank you!), I would certainly agree that the proposal to punish people without due process of law is abhorent.

    For the sake of clarity, I was referring to the suggestion that granting citizenship be made a subject for judicial review.

  36. I don’t think it entirely helps if it were a matter of going to court, if it’s judges making the decision. Same problem as a Home Secretary. A court is useless if there isn’t a criminal charge, and a random citizen jury. Without them, it’s a kangaroo court.

  37. Sure, citizenship 3 is second class by its nature. But what about 1 and 2 in the pre-18 me? Under your scheme, if the Home Secretary took a dislike to me they could have stripped my birth citizenship and shipped me off to a country I’ve never been to. Can they do the same to the adult me once I bag number 4? Or does country 4 get the right to ship me to country 1? Or, even more interestingly, since I can hypothetically reclaim #2 any time I like, can either of country 1 and 4 force me to renounce theirs and reclaim country 2 (which I’ve still never been to)?

    This is all populist nonsense that might, morally, apply to a tiny handful of people but will cause difficulties to far more.

  38. Of course 99% of the problem with this kind of argument is that, in the eyes of the likes of Sam The Voice of Public Opinion you are defending terrorists rather than civil liberties. This kind of issue will simply never affect your typical salt of the earth WASP Brit, so it’s like obvious, innit?

  39. UK Lib
    Your shock is of profound disinterest to me. You’re part of the problem not the solution.

    Ian
    That’s what I’ve been trying to get at. Judges & courts are as poor a solution as politicians.

  40. Citizenship is a NuLabour figleaf for their atheist republican programme.
    If you wish to belong to the *United Kingdom* then you have to choose to be a subject of Her Majesty, the Queen, which implies loyalty to her. If you choose not to be loyal, then you have no moral right to claim the benefits of being a British subject.
    Elementary logic.
    That does not mean that an extremist like David Blunkett is entitled to deprive you of your rights.

  41. I’m with Tim on this one. Once the law of the land has made someone a citizen, they get all due process – so no removal based on frickin ministerial fiat. In addition, making people stateless is an absurdity that we should not countenance. The ECHR is massively expanded beyond any reasonable interpretation (as noted by Lord Sumption*), but no reputable jurist would side with this travesty.

    * Also notable that the incredibly thick Lady Hale is on the other side of this debate

  42. For those who think we should strip citizenship from those who are “bad”, the problem is always about what represents “bad”. Should we strip citizenship from anti Monarchists? Or from those who think we should live under a caliphate (even if they believe in peaceable means)? What about Irish Republicans? Or Scot Nats? What about people who think that we should replace the fifth republic in france with a monarchy?

  43. ukliberty – “tbh I’m pretty shocked there is support here for a politician being able to point the finger and punish someone without the bother of going to court.”

    You must be easily shocked. As virtually the entire Left is agreed that virtually the entire Third World has the right to declare that Africa is for Africans and Asia for Asians and expelled anyone they don’t like. Watch them do it in Zimbabwe to the sound of silence from the Left.

    There is another option though – we enforce Treason laws. They are on the books. We should execute those giving aid and comfort to Het Maj’s enemies abroad. Add a few Bills of Attainder and we have solved the problem within the liberal British tradition.

    As long as we stop new immigration.

  44. For those unhappy with the moderate BiS and SMFS proposals, here’s a third: the Home Sec nominates candidates for un-favourite house mate and the British people vote on it.

  45. Problem is May is making a leadership bid using the weapon that’s come her way: being nasty to immigrants.

  46. DBC Reed – “Problem is May is making a leadership bid using the weapon that’s come her way: being nasty to immigrants.”

    Our ruling elite has ignored what British voters have wanted on immigration for 50 years. Enoch Powell was never unpopular with the voters.

    Why would anyone be surprised that when the voters finally get fed up with being ignored, they are likely to lash out in brutal and blunt ways?

  47. You must be easily shocked.

    ISTM there is a distrust of politicians among commenters chez Worstall, generally speaking (and across the nation, although there is less distrust of local MPs). There is a distrust of bureaucrats, the state, officialdom. Most if not all commenters here seem to share the view that many politicians, bureaucrats, the state are incompetent, mendacious, corrupt or evil. But that flies out the window when a politician mentions “terrorism”. We can trust them on terrorism and must give them all the arbitrary power they demand. On this topic – but no other – they are perfectly competent, trustworthy and incorruptible.

  48. Nobody asked me if I should share 1/62,000,000th of my UK citizenship with Captain Hook.

    Citizenship is a 2 way deal and those who decide they owe no loyalty whatsoever to the country and did not gain it by birth have no entitlement to be citizens.

  49. @UK Lib
    ” Let’s make granting of citizenship subject to judicial review.
    later,
    Judges & courts are as poor a solution as politicians.”

    I thought you might possible have detected, the first selection was intended as a wind-up. The second wasn’t.

  50. “There is a distrust of bureaucrats, the state, officialdom. Most if not all commenters here seem to share the view that many politicians, bureaucrats, the state are incompetent, mendacious, corrupt or evil.”
    That is unfortunately, all too often correct. The trouble is, there are decisions need to be made about the requirements & safety of the wider community that require good quality, competent government. What we elect & appoint these people to do. Passing the buck over to the courts because we don’t think they come match up to the job isn’t the ideal solution. Courts interpreting law as applied to individuals doesn’t necessarily answer wider needs. Different agenda.

  51. Why bother with the courts at all? Why not have the police chuck anyone they want in jail and the border police throw anyone out of the country?

    This isn’t about “passing the buck” (what an incredibly facile view) it’s about the system of checks and balances required to have a less unfair society than would exist in their absence.

    Yes we elect and appoint people to make such decisions – we also have systems or should have systems to make sure they do it properly and held to account when they don’t do it properly.

    There is plenty of evidence that politicians don’t always get it right, whether it’s genuine error or corruption or whatever.

  52. “This isn’t about “passing the buck” (what an incredibly facile view) ”
    It may be. But it seems to reflect the actualité. On the granting citizenship end it’s a very low hurdle. Then when the granting turns out to have been inappropriate but the ‘rights’ issue comes into play, it’s let the courts sort it out.

  53. I’m acquainted with only a few people who have tried to gain citizenship as spouses of British (born-and-bred) citizens, but they all report that it is a non-trivial exercise.

  54. Believe it or not the state’s agents cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy 100% of the time. We grant citizenship to some people and deny it to others.

    Years later, some of those granted citizenship are designated as “not conductive to the public good” (according to the state). That is the hand we’ve been dealt.

    We can play that hand unfairly and myopically (leave it up to politicians, no appeals) or as fairly as possible / less unfairly: a neutral party – the court – hears both sides of the dispute, looks at the rules and delivers a decision.

  55. “Believe it or not the state’s agents cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy 100% of the time.”
    Well ain’t that f#####g amazin’!
    “a neutral party – the court – hears both sides of the dispute”
    But courts are not neutral parties. Are not intended to be neutral parties. They’re deciders of law.
    So someone who turns out to be very much different from what was described on the tin gets the benefit of laws they’d otherwise not be entitled to.

    If recent governments hadn’t been so keen on scattering citizenship around like confetti citizenship, there wouldn’t be the problem. But maybe there’s a solution. Make citizenship probationary for ten years. If they keep their nose clean for the period, no problem. And an inducement to keep said nose clean. Any objection?

  56. “Believe it or not the state’s agents cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy 100% of the time.”
    Well ain’t that f#####g amazin’!
    “a neutral party – the court – hears both sides of the dispute”
    But courts are not neutral parties. Are not intended to be neutral parties. They’re deciders of law.
    So someone who turns out to be very much different from what was described on the tin gets the benefit of laws they’d otherwise not be entitled to.

    If recent governments hadn’t been so keen on scattering citizenship around like confetti , there wouldn’t be the problem. But maybe there’s a solution. Make citizenship probationary for ten years. If they keep their nose clean for the period, no problem. And an inducement to keep said nose clean. Any objection?

  57. ukliberty – “Believe it or not the state’s agents cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy 100% of the time. We grant citizenship to some people and deny it to others.”

    Yes they can. They know that the more Third World people we give citizenship to, the more we will pay in welfare, in rapes and murders and in suicide bombing. That is not only entirely predictable, with 100% certainty, they were actually told at the time. If magically the non-White population was reduced to zero tomorrow, we would not face any more suicide bombings. This we know.

    “Years later, some of those granted citizenship are designated as “not conductive to the public good” (according to the state). That is the hand we’ve been dealt.”

    No, that is the hand that our Elders and Betters chose over our objections and without telling us. Without giving us a choice at the ballot box either.

    “We can play that hand unfairly and myopically (leave it up to politicians, no appeals) or as fairly as possible / less unfairly: a neutral party – the court – hears both sides of the dispute, looks at the rules and delivers a decision.”

    It is absurd to think courts are neutral parties. They are not.

  58. bloke in spain,

    But courts are not neutral parties. Are not intended to be neutral parties. They’re deciders of law.

    Courts are intended to be independent of the disputing parties and impartial. Neutral is shorthand for that.

    So someone who turns out to be very much different from what was described on the tin gets the benefit of laws they’d otherwise not be entitled to.

    No, someone who is claimed by the state to be different has the benefit of the laws. You keep tacitly assuming the state is in the right – or you think it doesn’t matter as it will never happen to you and yours.

    No-one here is arguing against punishing people found to be involved in terrorism, the argument is about the process of finding them guilty and determining what happens next in the framework of rules constructed by lawmakers.

    You suggest letting politicians point the finger and have people carted away, presumably because you are panicked about terrorism. Don’t be scared.

  59. smfs,

    Without giving us a choice at the ballot box either.

    Our version of democracy doesn’t work in that granular way. How we grant citizenship is not among the very top concerns at general election time.

  60. UK Lib
    It’s because it very much concerns me & mine I take this subject seriously. It’s either going to be me seeking citizenship of a foreign country or my nearest & dearest.
    You only see it as a ‘rights’ issue. And like most ‘rights’ enthusiasts, you think in terms of the ‘rights’ of the individual. Well i’ve news for you. Those ‘rights’ don’t exist without the folk granting them feel an obligation to do so. And those folk are starting to feel mighty stretched on obligation thing when it comes immigrants & their ‘rights’. So unless someone starts looking at those ‘rights’ & maybe doing a bit of fine tuning, those folk will take all of the ‘rights’ away because they’ll no longer feel obliged to grant them.
    That will happen.
    And as I have an interest in seeing it doesn’t, I don’t have your absolutest viewpoint. i’m pragmatic.

  61. Footnote to above,
    Always amazes me how libertarians, who are supposed to be able to hack economics, can’t appreciate there’s just as much of a market operating in things like competing rights & other social issues. It all happens at the margins & it’s about what people think they’ve to personally gain. If it gave a good standard of living & a comfortable life, most people would throw over democracy in favour of absolute dictatorship tomorrow. Freedom’s a means to an end. not an end in itself.

  62. You only see it as a ‘rights’ issue.

    ‘natural justice’ or the a duty to act fairly, if you want to label it.

    And like most ‘rights’ enthusiasts, you think in terms of the ‘rights’ of the individual.

    In fact I’m thinking more about the centuries of history that suggest it’s a bad idea to give arbitrary power to our beloved leaders.

    And those folk are starting to feel mighty stretched on obligation thing when it comes immigrants & their ‘rights’.

    It is indeed unfortunate that some people are panicked and don’t see the larger problems.

    i’m pragmatic.

    In this thread that means “let a politician point the finger and have someone taken away – it will never happen to me or mine”. You’re entitled to your view but I suggest it’s myopic.

  63. ” ‘natural justice’ or the a duty to act fairly, ”

    Have these concepts ever been spotted in the wild? Ever?

    “It is indeed unfortunate that some people are panicked and don’t see the larger problems.”

    That it’s unfortunate doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. it just means it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate it rains at weekends.

    “In fact I’m thinking more about the centuries of history that suggest it’s a bad idea to give arbitrary power to our beloved leaders.”

    Well yes. And I’m thinking about the history of when the mob take arbitrary power. Or put someone in power shares their views.

    I can’t say I’m particularly keen on ““let a politician point the finger and have someone taken away” but unless you can see a way to placate folk’s fears in other ways, it’s better than nothing. And folk really do not appreciate being “re-educated” about their fears. They’ve had years of it, mostly bollocks & it no longer works.

  64. bloke in spain,

    Have these concepts ever been spotted in the wild? Ever?

    In ant colonies or wolf packs, for example? Are you stuck on the ‘natural’ bit? I’m sure you’re aware of the term so you must be trying to score points I guess.

    I don’t claim ‘natural justice’ exists in nature. It’s a well known term that covers particular processes / ideals about how people are dealt with in legal disputes including criminal cases. It would be redundant – and possibly annoying to our host – if I copy+pasted say the Wikipedia article about those processes instead of just using that two word phrase that a reader can look up if he’s ignorant of it.

    I can’t say I’m particularly keen on ““let a politician point the finger and have someone taken away” but unless you can see a way to placate folk’s fears in other ways, it’s better than nothing.

    Our beloved leaders might consider not making such a huge fuss about a few individuals who seem to occupy a vastly disproportionate amount of Parliamentary time and media attention (which is not to say nothing should be done about those individuals, but rather how it is done). It’s a cynical exercise intended to distract people from the significant problems in their lives and make it look like the politician is doing something good.

    I’m not talking about re-educating the public – see, the vast majority of people wouldn’t know and therefore wouldn’t care about this kind of procedural speedbump if Theresa May hadn’t tried to break the rules and then whinged that the Supreme Court said she’s not allowed to break the rules. What she could do instead is just get on with trying to change the rules by persuading our lawmakers they need to be changed – do that democratically and make sure the suspects get a fair hearing. We don’t need the hoo-ha.

  65. “It’s a well known term (natural justice) that covers particular processes / ideals about how people are dealt with in legal disputes including criminal cases”
    Oh I’ve no doubt it does. But is there any evidence of it existing outside of the realm of ideas? Or is it more, as I suspect, a case of starting with preferred outcomes (by those who prefer said outcomes) & working backwards towards a cause. Pretty well anyone is going to define “natural justice” as that which produces the result they want.

    “Our beloved leaders etc…” All for large doses of cynicism when it comes to our ruling classes. But. Even the most libertarian society will produce a ‘ruling class’ because most people have more important things to than manage society. It’s politics all the way down.
    And politics gives a clue of how these things work.

    “What she could do instead is just get on with trying to change the rules by persuading our lawmakers they need to be changed”
    And run slap bang into the shouty civil liberties mob. So, yes “making such a huge fuss about a few individuals who seem to occupy a vastly disproportionate amount of Parliamentary time and media attention” gets a sector of public opinion shouting in the other direction. Which gives the balance that’s maybe needed to do something constructive.
    You see, I’m rightly cynical about our politicians. But i’m just as cynical about all the other players. Complaining about tilting the playingfield is a bit strong coming from those tilting it themselves as hard as they can.

  66. But is there any evidence of it existing outside of the realm of ideas?

    Does any legal principle exist outside the realm of ideas?

    Pretty well anyone is going to define “natural justice” as that which produces the result they want.

    Its meaning is not in terms of the result but the procedure leading to the result. And we can each define any word how we want but communicating would be difficult if everyone defined words differently. The ‘correct’ meaning of words is defined by consensus. The consensus is that ‘natural justice’ means a particular set of things. E.g.

    trials are conducted on the basis of the principle of natural justice. There are a number of strands to this. A party has a right to know the case against him and the evidence on which it is based. He is entitled to have the opportunity to respond to any such evidence and to any submissions made by the other side. The other side may not advance contentions or adduce evidence of which he is kept in ignorance. … Another aspect of the principle of natural justice is that the parties should be given an opportunity to call their own witnesses and to cross-examine the opposing witnesses. … etc

    Departing from that would mean you depart from ‘natural justice’. That may or may not be a good or necessary thing, but it would be incorrect to call that departure ‘natural justice’. e.g.

    unlike the law relating to PII, a closed material procedure involves a departure from both the open justice and the natural justice principles

    http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2011/34.html

  67. UKL
    I’m not surprised definitions of a ‘natural justice’ would be what proponents of ‘natural justice’ would want it to be. That’d be the point wouldn’t.it? Bit surprised they don’t go into what a justice system is & work from there.
    Barring those imposed by absolute rulers, justice systems are the way societies consensually arbitrate disputes within them. Simple as that. Operative word’s consensual.
    Now those natural justice rights your talking about are the obligations you think society should have. In the particular cases we’ve been discussing, what are they getting back to preserve the consensus? The high rates of immigration in recent years have been very much without society’s consent. Surely you’re not going to argue it hasn’t? When was it asked? It’s been consistently lied to. So the justice system you’re talking about has been undermined in cases like these. There’s no consensus to extend those rights. There’s no sense of obligation
    That’s what politicians have to deal with. Can’t say i have much sympathy for them . They’ve brought it on themselves. Carry on the way they’re going they’ll bring the whole thing down. It doesn’t work without consensus.

  68. ukliberty – “Our version of democracy doesn’t work in that granular way. How we grant citizenship is not among the very top concerns at general election time.”

    No it doesn’t. It doesn’t because the main parties made a conscious choice not to give us a choice. And screamed racism everytime someone brought it up.

    In the end, none of the immigration since 1945 has taken place with popular support or the agreement of the voters. In fact it took place over their objections. It is therefore not legitimate. Any more than French settlement in, say, Algeria was.

  69. bloke in spain,

    I’m not surprised definitions of a ‘natural justice’ would be what proponents of ‘natural justice’ would want it to be.

    Ultimately, you support procedural unfairness when it suits and I support procedural fairness. Shall we leave it there? Because all we’re doing is repeating our position at each other.

    The high rates of immigration in recent years have been very much without society’s consent. Surely you’re not going to argue it hasn’t? When was it asked?

    What is the mechanism you think exists or should exist to ask society what rate of immigration should be allowed? ISTM there are many things that are done absent society’s consent. Our version of democracy does not work in that granular way – perhaps it should.

    At our parliamentary elections the most important concerns by far, according to polls, are the economy, education, health and law and order. Immigration is fifth-most but elections turn on those four concerns – the candidates we trust most / distrust least with them. To that extent we are ‘asked’ every five years.

    Perhaps we should be more like Switzerland. On 9 February Swiss voters will be asked to vote on a federal decree about railway infrastructure financing and expansion, a ‘popular initiative’ on the funding of abortion and a ‘popular initiative’ on quotas for immigrants and asylum seekers.

    popular initiatives in Switzerland
    https://www.ch.ch/en/popular-initiatives/

  70. Look, I agree there is a ‘democratic deficit’ in this respect even if might disagree about support for a particular outcome. I’m likewise tired of the argument from some mass surveillance supporters that the electorate must be in favour of it because we haven’t voted for a government that’s against it (I do realise many people aren’t bothered). It’s just not how our democracy works.

    On gauging support or opposition to immigration, it’s as nuanced as the questions asked. For example there is a majority unhappy with current levels or want fewer unskilled immigrants, a majority in favour of current levels or more of skilled immigrants, a majority in favour of current levels or more of foreign students.

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/category/immigration

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