What in Hell is The Guardian talking about now?

Brexit will cement disenfranchisement of millions of citizens

Err, what?

Brexit Britain will be home to 3 million second-class European Union “settled citizens” who have been fingerprinted, registered and issued with a residence identity document and with no vote in general elections.

That is the “between the lines” message of the British government’s offer on EU citizens’ rights after Brexit. The 3 million EU nationals will be joining the ranks of at least 1 million foreign nationals from outside the EU with “indefinite leave to remain” status who already form a largely invisible disenfranchised subclass in Britain.

Umm, those 3 million don’t have a GE vote right now either. Because, you know, they’re not citizens?

It gets worse:

The UK offer cements that disenfranchisement for the future. It means that together with those non-EU foreign nationals without the right to vote in Westminster elections, Britain now has a large section of its adult population numbering more than 4 million who are long-term residents but have no power at the ballot box to influence the national government.

It is true that Irish nationals and Commonwealth citizens do have the right to vote for an MP – but to have such a large group of disenfranchised citizens with a stake in the country is not good for Britain’s democracy.

Yes, the argument really is that non-citizens should get the vote.

Facepalm.

55 comments on “What in Hell is The Guardian talking about now?

  1. FFS. Another case of “Pro-EU people being outraged about something that’s totally normal in the EU27”.

    And let’s just look at “second-class citizens”. No, no they’re not. They’re not citizens. Punkt schluss.

  2. It verges on fifth columnism.

    Non citizens who have no obligation to this nation beyond obeying the law don’t get rights to vote without corresponding obligations. They can become citizens if they feel that the UK is their country.

    Anyone else encounter and find staggering the openness of some foreigners trash talking our country and decisions we make while living here?

    Does this happen and be tolerated elsewhere?

  3. @RobHarries, does it happen elsewhere? Certainly.

    Generally the response is “well why don’t you f*** off back home if you don’t like it here?”.

    But there are always some hand-wringers to talk about (reverse) integration.

    Of course if you really care about a place, and also want it to get better, you can knuckle down, integrate, do the paperwork, get the right to vote and “be the change you want to see”.

  4. There is no “verges on”.

    The Guardian and those who support it ARE traitors in every possible sense.

    They just want a few million more EU-sucking voters on the books.

    Instead the RoP and Subsahara need to join the ranks of the voteless..

  5. So nothing of substance will change, except maybe an extra bit of bureaucracy to prove status. This removes most of the worries residents like me have had. But the G wails a bout something that we’ve never had.

    Balanced and informed journalism, ho yusss…

  6. I recall the Americans making some fuss about “no taxation without representation”. So there is a precedent.

  7. Agree this is all totally ridiculous.

    Disenfranchised citizens…

    They.Are.Not.Citizens.

    How hard can it be to grasp this?

    Most of them can be, given they qualify by residency. They just need to apply if that’s the status they want.

  8. I am a UK citizen resident in Spain and I have a green A4 size official piece of paper certifying my status. Spanish citizens don’t have one. The have their National ID card.

    I never realised I was a second-class citizen. Making me have that green paper is tantamount to slavery!

    I can’t vote in national or regional elections, only in municipal and EU ones.

    I demand everything for ME! Now!

  9. “I recall the Americans making some fuss about “no taxation without representation”. So there is a precedent.”
    Quite.
    The colonists told the British Parliament to take its tax collectors & fuck off. Because they had no representation in the Parliament.
    The colonists regarded their country as theirs.
    Brits regard their country as their own.
    So, by analogy, if you don’t like paying the taxes, you know what you can do. Don’t let the door hit you in the back on the way out.
    Foreigners shouldn’t mess in the affairs of countries not their own.
    So why do citizens of the Republic get a vote in UK elections?

  10. It’s the ‘airport lounge’ model of a nation: if you are happen to be here, you are British. To insist that citizens identify with the UK’s territory, history and cultural inheritance – in something like the way people belong to their families – is discriminatory and anti-diverse. On this view, multi-culti diversity is a very good thing, of course – even though the lack of shared values threatens the politics of compromise and give-and-take in every day life.

  11. I was going to go into a bit of pendantry to say that I was not a citizen but a subject of HM. Better than being an object.
    Then I checked my passport, which says British Citizen. When did this change happen?

    As for the US, all the UK was doing was asking them to cough up a bit of dough for their own defence. The war of independence was basically a civil war. We took sides, stupidly enough.

  12. I was going to say I’ve lived in Thailand fourteen years and I can’t vote here, then I remembered we’re a military dictatorship and don’t have elections, so actually I have the same democratic rights as everyone else.

  13. On the 20th anniversary of the handover, the UK could do worse than look at the HK ID card system. Two types, one for permanent residents who are entitled to benefits, use of the health system, able to vote and do not need a work visa, the other for the rest who are entitled to none of the above. Grandfather in all existing EU residents to the second type and if they want to apply for the first type ,then after 7 years continuous residence and proof of working, paying taxes and not being a criminal they likely get one. Then going forward, anyone, from anywhere, needs a work visa to come here for more than 3 months. It shouldn’t be onerous, effectively just a sponsoring employer, no complex points system, but no benefits either remember. EU does the same for us. Big data kicks in with biometric ID and we know exactly who is here and who isn’t. Works brilliantly in HK (and makes immigration queue at the airport a matter of minutes) and I am sure there are some very efficient HK Chinese officials could help

  14. “no taxation without representation”

    Fine. So come to this country and pay no tax. Everything is free.

    Fine. Alan Travis can pay for my copy of the Guardian. (It’s absorbent and can easily be torn into quarters. It has a use.) In fact he can pay for everyone’s copy of the Guardian. It must be FREE!

    Bet Al doesn’t like stuff being given away for free if he has to pay for it.

  15. Avoidance of a government which will bring in price controls and more central planning and which endorses Chavism ( both kinds ) is the important thing.
    So residents here who pay taxes and abide by our laws should have the franchise extended to GEs ( which they already get it for council and Mayoral elections ).

  16. My late missus was Austrian and could vote in Euro and I think local elections, because her name was on the council tax register.

    So she paid tax and had representation albeit to a limited degree.

    She never voted in the Eiros because she thought that they were a shower of leeches.

  17. Alternatively no-one should get the vote, and let competition between city states and regions keep the political class in order.

  18. You’re definitely onto something here guys: if the ballot for the Scottish independence referendum had been limited to Scots-born citizens, rather than anyone who happened to be in the country and registered, the Yes campaign would’ve won.

  19. Fun parlour game is to tell Germans shrieking at all this that they’ll be treated as foreigners just like Aussies and Kiwis are here. (OK, we get the vote if we live here – but we need work permits).

    Watching them trying to say ‘we’re special because we’re German’ without actually saying ‘we’re special because we’re German’ gets them in knots.

    And you don’t even have to mention….you know what.

  20. @Adrian – I think the point works better if you pick a non-Commonwealth like the US or Brasil.

    Why should you be privileged over US or Brasilian citizens living in the UK?

  21. “disenfranchised citizens”

    I love this use of “citizen” that robs it of all contextual meaning. Yes, trivially everybody who’s not stateless is a citizen of *somewhere*, but referring to immigrants being disenfranchised (which is 100% normal) as “disenfranchised citizens” is just laughable.

  22. Brilliant! As an American expat with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, I’m part of ‘a largely invisible disenfranchised subclass in Britain.’ That’s my victim status sorted. Who do I see about compensation?

  23. if the ballot for the Scottish independence referendum had been limited to Scots-born citizens, rather than anyone who happened to be in the country and registered, the Yes campaign would’ve won

    Leaving aside the truth (or otherwise) of this assertion, for it to apply properly you would have to count the votes of “Scots-born citizens” not resident in Scotland.

  24. Brazilian citizens stand more chance of being shot in the head in Tube stations – is that a special privilege, I wonder ?

    I’ve said it here before : I usd to be asked, usually by Irish newcomers, when I lived in Germany whether I had any difficulties being a foreigner. I replied that I wouldn’t know, because I’m British, not foreign.

  25. “‘and Commonwealth citizens do have the right to vote for an MP – but to have such a large group of disenfranchised citizens with a stake in the country is not good for Britain’s democracy.’
    Yes, the argument really is that non-citizens should get the vote.”

    The right for Commonwealth citizens in n the UK is not reciprocal in each case. Maybe time to view the wider issue?

  26. Tim, you missed out a crucial bit – the argument is that non-citizens should get the vote because the Guardian thinks they’ll vote in a way the Guardian approves of. If they were all free-market radicals who had fled the EU because they despised it and supported Brexit then the Graun would be all for them being loaded onto boats and sent home

  27. These people who are not citizens here – they are citizens elsewhere? They can register to vote in the country they are citizen of?
    Not disenfranchised then. Merely choosing not to go through the rigmarole of stopping being a citizen elsewhere and becoming a citizen here.

  28. I’ve re-read the Graun article & I’ve had a revelation. My mind is changed. I now totally support EU citizens voting in UK GEs. I’d go further. I support them standing as candidates. Even further. I’d support EU parties contesting UK constituencies.
    Marine, cherie! Come on over. Our country needs you!

  29. bis,

    We’ve already had a German born MP and she was part of the Leave campaign. What’s more she managed come here before the first referendum:

    Gisela Stuart (née Gschaider; born 26 November 1955) is a German-born British Labour Party politician, who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Edgbaston from 1997 until stepping down at the snap 2017 general election. Born and raised in West Germany, she has lived in the UK since 1974.

    Stuart served as Chair and leader of the Vote Leave Campaign Committee as Co-Convenor with Conservative MP Michael Gove. The Vote Leave campaign was successful in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016. Since September 2016, Stuart has served as Chair of Vote Leave’s successor organisation, Change Britain.

  30. “It is true that Irish nationals and Commonwealth citizens do have the right to vote for an MP”: the opportunity should be taken to scrap that archaic nonsense too.

  31. Shouldn’t it be reciprocal?

    If Germans living in the UK get to vote in the UK GE, shouldn’t Brits living in the UK get to vote in German GEs? And in all the other 27 EU countries.

    Quite a few of the smaller countries might find they had a UK Conservative government all of a sudden. Which would be nice for them.

  32. Jack Hughes, it’d be nice if we had one here.
    Perhaps we will with the DUP in charge, now.

  33. @Philip Scott Thomas
    Brilliant! As an American expat with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, I’m part of ‘a largely invisible disenfranchised subclass in Britain.’ That’s my victim status sorted. Who do I see about compensation?

    And don’t forget that any dispute over your rights in the UK must be resolved by the US Supreme Court. You know it makes sense!

  34. @dearime
    ““It is true that Irish nationals and Commonwealth citizens do have the right to vote for an MP”: the opportunity should be taken to scrap that archaic nonsense too.”
    +1

  35. Flatcap Army:

    ‘Tim, you missed out a crucial bit – the argument is that non-citizens should get the vote because the Guardian thinks they’ll vote in a way the Guardian approves of. If they were all free-market radicals who had fled the EU because they despised it and supported Brexit then the Graun would be all for them being loaded onto boats and sent home’

    Absolutely right – as Ecks points out much of the Guardian writing staff comprises people who worked for the Soviets or have close friends and relatives who did so. How many of the older columnists were at , say Greenham Common? Anyone attending such a demonstration was guilty of treason. And in the wake of the likely Corbynite victory later in the year and the inevitable economic and societal collapse that will ensue, they will need to find a way of maintaining that hegemony – lowering the voting age to 10, allowing any non-citizens to vote, votes via email so lists can be hacked openly by North Korea or China. – all these policies and more are on the Corbynite slate…..

  36. I love how the proEU Guardian is using the term “EU Citizen” as automatically excluding those EU citizens who are British citizens living in the UK. It’s as though they’ve accepted that Brexit is actually going to actually happen and that it actually already has happened.

  37. In other news, the fact that Spudda decided to revive his cappuccino economy metaphor on the same day the BBC tells us coffee store ice is quite literally full of shit must be more than coincidental.

  38. MarkT: +1 to that. I still have my Hong Kong Resident’s Card. About 15 years ago I got a letter reminding me to be prepared to be called for jury duty. I wrote back saying I would need travel expenses. 😉

  39. “Anyone attending such a demonstration was guilty of treason.”

    Steady on, VP, steady on. They were “useful idiots”, but I believe such folk should be free to protest peacefully, if they so wish

  40. I was going to go into a bit of pedantry to say that I was not a citizen but a subject of HM. Better than being an object. Then I checked my passport, which says British Citizen. When did this change happen?

    That change happened on 1st January 1983, so some 34 years, 5 months, 27 days, 16 hours and 13 minutes ago (or thereabouts) when the relevant section of the British Nationality Act 1981 came into force.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Nationality_Act_1981

  41. PF>

    I’m aware of that. But non-citizens are already allowed to vote here, so I have no idea why Tim finds it such an outlandish concept.

  42. Theo

    I see your point but not sure those suffering in Soviet Labour camps would agree with such a charitable interpretation? Nor I am sure would the Corbynites would be charitably inclined to someone who in the same era was wearing a ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’ T shirt, for example….

  43. VP

    Peaceful free association is fundamental right in free societies. Soviet prisoners could hardly complain about their own incarceration if the West had locked up its own pro-Soviet ‘dissidents’. And Corbynites would use any such precedent as a justification for their own tyranny, if they were ever come to power.

  44. I replied that I wouldn’t know, because I’m British, not foreign.

    Splendid.

  45. “It is true that Irish nationals and Commonwealth citizens do have the right to vote for an MP”: the opportunity should be taken to scrap that archaic nonsense too.

    Nonsense. Bring back the British Empire.

  46. Too right, TIS
    Sail a gunboat up the Liffey & shell the shit outa the buggers.
    (Still haven’t forgiven them for burning the Embassy)

  47. Fen Tiger – re the Secession referendum of 2014 I can’t recall where but I do remember seeing info regarding the majority of Scots born voters backing secession and a possibility that the EU and rUK voters resident in Scotland being the balance that tipped it to No. Think it was someone called Henderson from Edinburgh University.
    Regarding Scots born voters in the rUK and perhaps rest of the world it would be interesting to see how that would have panned out. Sadly we will never know

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