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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Immigrant wives singled out


    by Rumbold on 2nd August, 2009 at 12:03 pm    

    I really don’t like the look of this. The home secretary plans to cut various benefits to spouses born in a different country, unless they “learn English, support British values and do voluntary work in the community.” It will also apply to husbands born abroad:

    “However, Mr Johnson wants to scrap indefinite leave to remain. He intends to force immigrants who use marriage to get into the UK to take a citizenship test. They will not be allowed to take it for at least five years and if they fail, they will be banned from receiving benefits.”

    In practice this is targeting brides from the subcontinent. On one level the reasoning is sound, as at the moment these women have less of an incentive to learn English and leave the house, while their husbands have little incentive to let them.

    However, there are three main problems with this plan. Firstly, native Britons don’t have to pass any sort of tests to get benefits. Why then the double standards? Either benefits should be given in return for something, or not. Secondly, how will these standards be measured? It is easy enough to measure a person’s level of English, but what about voluntary work; who supervises them? And how one assesses supporting “British values” I cannot fathom. Will there be lines of niqab-clad women furiously fiddling their expenses?

    The third and most serious problem is that there don’t appear to be any provisions for women (and men) who fall prey to abusive partners. Their only means of support is likely to be the husband, so can they leave them if they know that they will not be able to get benefits any more?

    The Daily Mail was salivating over the proposals, with its sub-heading reading “Crackdown on 80,000 immigrant wives with free pass to Britain.”



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: British Identity, Civil liberties, Cultural Relativism




    58 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Shatterface — on 2nd August, 2009 at 12:20 pm  

      ‘In practice this is targeting brides from the subcontinent. On one level the reasoning is sound, as at the moment these women have less of an incentive to learn English and leave the house, while their husbands have little incentive to let them.’

      Promoting the learning of English is sound but it’s the issue of compulsion and the misuse of the benefit system in order to enforce it. The benefit system should be entirely seperate, and based primarily on need.

      If the person is claiming JSA then an agreement to learn English might be appropriate as otherwise the failure to comply would mean that they are not job-ready but for other benefits there should be no LEGAL obligation, though the benefits of learning the native tongue should be obvious. ESOL courses should be free and widely promoted.

      Being compelled to do ‘voluntary’ work is a contradiction in terms. Whoever suggested it needs to learn English.

      As to citizenship tests, people born here don’t take them and ‘Britishness’ is not adequately defined and I think it would be unacceptable to do so. ‘Britishness’ should be felxible.

    2. London Muslim — on 2nd August, 2009 at 12:26 pm  

      “British Values?”

    3. damon — on 2nd August, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

      I saw this this morning and thought ”Oh dear”.

      It being the Mail on Sunday, and looking at the story and the photo of ”Humaiyun Islam with his wife Safiyah Begum” I expected there to be a flurry of readers comments coming in.

      And they are. Like this one:

      ”Make way for all the bogus voluntary organisations that will be set up just like the bogus colleges”.

      17,000 foreign spouses from the Indian Sub-continent alone (in 2006) is rather a lot though.

      A government trying to slow this flow down is bound to use illiberal measures.

    4. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

      1. The government is doing poorly in the polls; 18% behind Tories??

      2. The economy is in a poor condition.

      So such policies pander to populism. The image that the immigrants are scrounging on the welfare system is appeased.

      But we must always remember that immigrants from Third World societies ONLY enter advanced Western nations, because those Western governments (including sections of the powerful elite) desire the immigrant and his labor, and NOT because the immigrant had invited themselves in slyly, and illegally.

      The BNP, and thus the other right-wing parties of Europe, have it the wrong way round, when they campaign against immigrants around Europe. Fundamentally it is about dissuading powerful elites in the affluent West that immigrants do not have any economic usefulness (usually as cheap labor)……..that will be a tough sell, always, for any right-wing party in Europe.

    5. ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

      What do you expect? Labour needs to win back BNP votes- and the way to do it is to ape the BNP.

      And this government and Islamophobes in particular want to make Muslims embrace “British values” (whatever they are) and be “British” above all else, while making the demonisation of the Muslim community/Islam a central plank in Britishness and promoting the idea that Muslims are not truly British.

    6. Edna Welthorpe — on 2nd August, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

      The Bogus Voluntary Bodies scheme sounds like a nice little earner for someone; Baroness Uddin and Baroness Warsi are probaly figuring out how to make a few bob out of this even as we read this!

      A leading national newspaper - which need not be named - had a piece about dodgy driving tests and frauduently-obtained driving licenses and an oblique hint about terror networks without once mentioning a certain country between Iran and India - OOPS!

    7. Marcus — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:30 pm  

      Good and about time, well it would be if labour actually followed through with the policy.

      I also agree with the sentiments here that people benefits or lack of should be used as a way to force people to learn English.

      The question is why would someone come and settle in this country without learning English. There are women who have lived here for more 50 years who don’t know a word. This is the real issue and their husbands don’t want them to know any English. If they did suddenly they would realise that their husband is not allowed to beat them or take their postal vote etc.

      These men or women should simply not be allowed to travel here until they have learned English in their own country. If daddy wants his fourteen year old daughter to marry his nephew in England he can pay to get her some education before she arrives.

    8. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:33 pm  

      It will be near impossible for Labor to win the next elections in 2010, barring some revelations/scandal that rocks the Tories. The elites in the UK will install the Tories, and fundamentally the same state policies will continue, with a cosmetic Tory accent. The British people psychologically will feel that they have a “new” government.

      The 2 million Muslims, who are currently languishing at the bottom of British society in the ghettos have always been a soft touch for victimization and ridicule, either by the British state (MI5 et al) or through sections of the British civilian population (It rarely pays to be poor, disorganized and illiterate). Since 9/11, with the inception of the Zionist war on Islam, this negative situation has amplified unfortunately.

      C Subconsciously, whilst the British forces are battling the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Iraq…..the demonisation of that community is of course but a natural outcome………)

      In terms of pickled politics in the UK, one hopes Labor bows out of power gracefully, and does not indulge in silly gutter gimmicky gesture politics for the sake of maintaining power for the fourth time.

      Most elected governments are effective for about 10 years or two terms, after which they tend to loose direction, imagination, good ideas…..etc….thats why you have elections.

    9. ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

      Marcus

      The question is why would someone come and settle in this country without learning English. There are women who have lived here for more 50 years who don’t know a word. This is the real issue and their husbands don’t want them to know any English. If they did suddenly they would realise that their husband is not allowed to beat them or take their postal vote etc.

      This is grotesque racist stereotyping. How many White British immigrants to Spain know Spanish? When have white Britons ever learned the language and culture of the countries theyve settled?

      These men or women should simply not be allowed to travel here until they have learned English in their own country.

      While of course we want the Abdul and Rohits of this world stopped from bringing over their non-English speaking wives what do you do about 50 year old Colin and his 20 year old Thai bride who cant speak a word of English? Rather than just affect the darkies this policy will also affect white people and so is wrong and could be a vote loser.

      Maybe they can amend the policy eh Marcus- it only applies if your grandparents werent born in the UK ;)

    10. Don — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:39 pm  

      Since 9/11, with the inception of the Zionist war on Islam,…

      What?

      The rest makes perfect sense, but…what?

    11. ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

      Mostaque Ali

      It will be near impossible for Labor to win the next elections in 2010, barring some revelations/scandal that rocks the Tories. The elites in the UK will install the Tories, and fundamentally the same state policies will continue, with a cosmetic Tory accent. The British people psychologically will feel that they have a “new” government.

      You are dreaming. As bad as Labour is they at least have some ethnic constuencies. Things are going to get far far worse for Muslims under the next Tory government who dont have any Muslim voters.

    12. Amrit — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

      You mean:

      ‘there don’t appear to be’

      I totally agree with Shatterface. It’s a bit rich to bitch about people who come here having no/little English, and then try and charge them loads to do so.

      Also, why will they not be allowed to take the test for five years? I totally don’t get what purpose that serves.

      I think personally think that we should find the medium between ‘learn English’ and ‘citizenship tests’ and demand that ‘native Britons’ be subjected to English tests. :-D

    13. ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:50 pm  

      Though i dont like to diss a fellow Muslim and much of what he said was eminently sensible, I’d like to draw attention to the fact that Moshtaque Ali is clearly bonkers (or he is pulling someones leg):

      This is his description on his blog:

      “Currently a lecturer in law after qualifying as a Barrister. I have been under state surveillance and covert harassment in the UK since 1985, by MI-5 and their gullible friends where ever they are found, and overt harassment with surveillance since march of 1996, when I submitted my final year law degree dissertation, ‘The relationship between the state, the security services and the law’. Since January of 1999, they have been using micro-wave machines against me from the UK—-an ultra modern form of modern technology designed to destabilize the target object, and thus control the target. It basically makes you feel disorientated all the time—-and makes the practical day to day existence very difficult. Generally given the ‘unique’ nature of this machine, its targets tend to be high profile individuals which the security think is a real threat to the states interests in what ever way they define ‘national security’ which in the UK is very very broad.”

      http://www.blogger.com/profile/08055687211693059282

    14. Edna Welthorpe — on 2nd August, 2009 at 3:50 pm  

      So things will be vastly worse for Muslims under the Tories?

      Does Baroness Warsi know about this?

      Will things get so dreadful that Muslims will pack and leave permanently?

      If so, the Tories ought to figure out how to put that in their electoral propaganda!

      Just a thought!

      [Sufis and Ahmadiyya heretics excepted, of course]

    15. Edna Welthorpe — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

      Mostaque Ali simply needs to line a trilby or similar headgear with a double layer of bacofoil; this effectively repels all attempts to read or influence one’s thoughts.

      Even the giant lizards who painted the murals at Denver International Airport [see Wikipedia and YouTube] are unable to get through to the Ayatollahs of Iran, for example.

    16. Don — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

      Thanks, ali. There does seem to be a bit of a mad glitch in an otherwise coherent discourse.

    17. Halima — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

      “I think personally think that we should find the medium between ‘learn English’ and ‘citizenship tests’ and demand that ‘native Britons’ be subjected to English tests. ”

      Amrit, i did the British Nationality test on facebook and failed it - so did just about everyone on my friends list - especially my white friends.

      We then concluded that if none of us can pass it , the purpose of it is perhaps not to pass, but fail.

    18. Boudicca — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

      By far the most sensible move would be to ban the entry of anyone who cannot already speak reasonably fluent English. If a husband/wife want to bring a spouse to this country, it should be a condition of entry that they can speak English BEFORE they come. A test could be carried out in their native country and failure to pass means no ticket to the UK.

    19. Rumbold — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

      Zionist microwaves. Lovely.

    20. Rajesh — on 2nd August, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

      If the government is serious about trying to encourage immigrants to take out citizenship then a more sensible provision would be:
      remove the right of commonwealth citizens to vote in general elections. This is out of date and does not reflect reality.
      Reduce the cost of taking out citizenship. I think this is now almost £1000 which is prohibitively high for those on average incomes.

    21. chairwoman — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:00 pm  

      “This is grotesque racist stereotyping. How many White British immigrants to Spain know Spanish? When have white Britons ever learned the language and culture of the countries theyve settled?”

      Ali @ 9 An excellent point.

      “Since 9/11, with the inception of the Zionist war on Islam, this negative situation has amplified unfortunately.”

      Mustaque Ali @ 8 Surely you would be better called ‘Mistaque’ Ali, as your statement above must surely be some mistake.

    22. chairwoman — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:05 pm  

      I assume ‘Mistaque’ failed to get either Pupillage or Tenancy, and wants to blame something other than his own inadaquacy.

    23. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:24 pm  

      Chairwomen

      Getting Pupillage or tenancy is not that difficult if you want to work for a lessor chamber, usually for nothing initially…….in London, or Brum.

      We are the product of our experiences.

    24. anobody — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:24 pm  

      “Since 9/11, with the inception of the Zionist war on Islam, this negative situation has amplified unfortunately.”

      Mustaque Ali @ 8 Surely you would be better called ‘Mistaque’ Ali, as your statement above must surely be some mistake.

      Very good chairwoman, that made me chuckle. I was thinking more ‘Microwave Ali’ after I read the ‘About Me’ section of his blog.

      Edna: hal tatakallam al lugah al-arabiya?

    25. damon — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:25 pm  

      From The Times twelve months ago:
      A total of 47,000 people entered Britain in 2006 as a spouse or fiancé(e), more than double the number a decade earlier. The measures will hit hardest 17,000 spouses and fiancé(e)s from the sub-continent.
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4387090.ece

      Ali said @ 5 ”What do you expect? Labour needs to win back BNP votes- and the way to do it is to ape the BNP.”

      That’s one way of looking at it. But if those figues of 47,000 a year are correct, you’d think that the whole thing would be bound to become tied up in bureaucratic measures to regularise and control this flow.

      Ask some overseas nationals who have work permits (in the NHS for example) how difficult and expensive visa renewal is.

      Also, and here’s the controversial bit, should any distinction be made between the kind of spouses that are being brought over?
      Whether they be brides from a Pakastini village, (or Thailand), or spouses from an equal ‘first world’ status?

      When I googled the 17,000 figure about Subcontinent spouses, this Independent article came up first.
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/a-question-of-honour-police-say-17000-women-are-victims-every-year-780522.html

    26. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:37 pm  

      Getting pupillage or tenancy is not that difficult, especially in a lower profile chamber, where the numeration initially does not exist, or is very small.

      In addition as with my case, you can work as a Barrister in other Commonwealth countries……….so not bitter about not practicing as a Barrister in London. It would have been extremely “difficult” in the circumstances, where you have to be on top form always dealing with other peoples cases, and lives.

      We are the product of our experiences. Some of us have unique experiences, and it is good to share these different perspectives with others who are open to them……..this is what the internet is for.

    27. Marcus — on 2nd August, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      @ali

      ‘grotesque racist stereotyping’? mmm if you can’t make a decent argument it is always best to call someone racist. The fact of the matter is there are a percentage of immigrant women who lived locked up in houses and don’t speak a word of English. Sticking a large veil on them makes it even easier to make sure they don’t start interacting and get any silly ideas like western feminism.

      The only arguments you make are that British immigrants go to Spain and don’t learn the language. I agree they should learn the local language and culture. But we are not discussing Spain but England.

      Likewise some old guy who wants to bring in a Thai bride of course she should learn English before she arrives.

      These plans have been devised because certain Asian communities do not integrate. Just answer why many Asian men don’t marry British girls and but instead opt to marry their cousin.

    28. Amrit — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:05 pm  

      Halima - I didn’t mean that, I meant a test of people’s written English! They shouldn’t have to be perfect, but I find it ironic how so many immigrants speak better English and are more grammatically aware than ‘native Brits’ and I include myself in the latter camp.

    29. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      Ali at 3.41pm

      I haven’t been following British politics closely, but the general assumption is that a party that has been in power 3 times has a challenge on their hand to be elected a 4th time, unless they are exceptional as a party, with exceptional leaders…..

      Otherwise the British people overall, beyond the immigrant perspective (traditionally Labor biased)will elect a new party.

      The situation for immigrants and Muslims in the UK may be difficult for a number of factors……but one cannot say for certain that a Tory government will make life for immigrants significantly worse. I assume the Tory party under Cameron is the usual Conservative party.

      If you think back to the period of the mid to late seventies where MI-5 backed thugs attempted to destabilize the labor government, and the NF roamed the streets, making life for immigrants very difficult, AND then contrast that with the experiences of living as an immigrant under Thatcher and Major…..couldn’t automatically argue that a Tory government will make life a lot harsher for immigrants.

      Finally Ali………..again I am not sure what people from the immigrant community Labor has been promoting as I don’t follow UK politics for a number of reasons………but are ALL the individuals Labor choose the most appropriate and representative of the British South Asian community?

      Did Labor do the 2 million UK Muslims a favor by invading Iraq, behind Bush, getting involved in the slaughter of 1.3 million Iraqis, through lies and misinformation and deception (where there is no clear diplomatic benefit for the UK, save the privilege of looking like Bush’s poodle, OR any economic benefit……..Iraqi contracts go to American companies like Halliburton)????????????

      Did Labor do the 2 million UK Muslims a favor by invading Afghanistan, which is now after 8 years of “liberation” a failed narco-state. What that means is that the people who run Afghanistan now are criminal mafia whose main source of income is Afghan Heroin. There is persistent chatter from inside sources (serving personnel in the armed forces) and outside that the main purpose of Britain being there is protecting the Afghan Heroin, and making sure Britain gets a cut of the Opium trade……estimated at anything between 40-70 billion $……….nothing to do with finding Bin Laden and his merry men, if they exist.

      When you have a Labor government which follows that type of foreign policy, you may well ask……….are they any different from any criminal enterprises.

      The Wilson government did not participate in Vietnam, and Labor does not have to in Afghanistan.

    30. halima — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:24 pm  

      “Halima – I didn’t mean that, I meant a test of people’s written English! They shouldn’t have to be perfect, but I find it ironic how so many immigrants speak better English and are more grammatically aware than ‘native Brits’ and I include myself in the latter camp.”

      Hi Amrit, yes, agree … I just thought the facebook British Nationality Test was just too difficult for me..

      I’ve lost count of how many grammitical errors i hide as typos on PP…!

    31. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:30 pm  

      Chairwomen @ 20.

      Since 9/11, with the inception of the Zionist war on Islam, this negative situation has amplified unfortunately.”

      Mustaque Ali @ 8 Surely you would be better called ‘Mistaque’ Ali, as your statement above must surely be some mistake.

      ________________________________________________

      The issue of 9/11 is “topical” especially in the USA. About 40% of the American public are skeptical of the government explanation around 9/11……..that translates into 60 million adults. These good people are not “mistaken”, but have the good sense to question events which from their logical perspective does not make sense.

      In the UK ex government ministers such as John Meacher, and others have questioned 9/11……Not all of them see it is a Zionist conspiracy……the 9/11 Truth movement is divided into different camps.But read the outlne of the “Clean Break” 1996 document from Israeli policy makers, and link the authors with “the Project For a New American Century” 2000 document …..and those who signed onto that document…..and you have your answer of who did 9/11, pure and simple.

    32. Soso — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:31 pm  

      The 2 million Muslims, who are currently languishing at the bottom of British society in the ghettos have always been a soft touch for victimization and ridicule, either by the British state (MI5 et al) or through sections of the British civilian population (It rarely pays to be poor, disorganized and illiterate). Since 9/11, with the inception of the Zionist war on Islam, this negative situation has amplified unfortunately.

      Oh for fuck sakes!

      If it’s that bad they’re free to try their chances elsewhere.

    33. Don — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

      Mostaque Ali,

      This site is not really receptive to 9/11 ‘truthers’. As for what 40% of the American public think, via polls…well, guardian angels, creationism, psychics, horoscopes, literal truth of Genesis, Roswell, Bigfoot? Probably Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. A significant number probably think Horton heard a Who.

      You have made some quite reasonable points, but you do yourself no favours by indulging in tin-foil conspiracy mongering. Believe me, it won’t end well.

    34. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

      For those who are amused by micro-wave machines:

      http://www.whale.to/b/rifat.html

      The Soviets were the first to develop a crude type of the machine in the 1960’s, and often trained it on the American embassy for observation. The British company Marconi possibly further developed the machine for the UK security services in the 1980’s, Cold war response.

      For a first world countries security service such devices are useful, because they can be used at a distance and leave no mark. They are like a laptop, and are very portable.

      The UK is a leading nation in the field of science/technology.

    35. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

      Don, Don’t know who you are, or your background…….but I think it is OK to be skeptical of governments and their explanations. This enables us to be more critical of their policies, and thus allows us to take a more balanced perspective of their overall agenda’s …good or bad.

      No I don’t intend discussing 9/11, its not my specialty. It is off topic.

    36. Don — on 2nd August, 2009 at 7:03 pm  

      That’s cool, Mostaque.

      But the site you linked to is … not reputable.

      http://www.rvscience.com/

    37. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 7:08 pm  

      Soso @ 31

      The 2 million Muslims apparently are happy living in the UK according to a variety of surveys……….but does make sense, in that thats why they came to the UK in the first place. It would be difficult for them to leave as many of them have developed extensive social, economic and other roots in the UK. Many of them are also probably born in the UK, and see themselves as British……so they wouldn’t readily see themselves moving out of their country…why should they.

      Having said all this the disadvantages they face doesn’t disappear or lessen as a bottom of the basket community, which I prefer to think is a statement of fact, and that I am not being subjective if I say that they face considerable “challenges”….or the solution to the challenge is that they leave the UK.

    38. Mostaque Ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 7:14 pm  

      Don, alas…….the problem with highlighting secret government operations, unless you are a very lucky top notch investigative journalist, is getting clear access to the relevant information. To date I have yet to get a good site which deals with microwave machines…….and thus the information must appear as dodgy as a government dossier on SADDAM and his alleged WMD programs.

    39. Don — on 2nd August, 2009 at 7:47 pm  

      If you don’t have clear access to the relevant information, then what do you have? And if you know it is not a good site, don’t cite it.

      You are clearly an articulate, educated, intelligent guy. Have you talked over this micro-wave theory with people you trust and who don’t hold that view?

      The problem with highlighting secret government operations lies in having credible evidence. We know the bastards are probably up to no good in often wierd ways,

      http://www.jonronson.com/goats_04.html

      But that’s mostly just a waste of money. If you seriously think that spooks are messing with your mind by micro-waves or anything else, then I suggest you have a long chat with some of your more grounded friends.

    40. Edna Welthorpe — on 2nd August, 2009 at 8:01 pm  

      #23 Anobody - No, certainly not! And I’d deny the charge instantly. As here.

      #24 Damon - 47,000 is an interesting figure to compare with the [alleged, second-hand or third-hand and by now very out-of-date] figure of 4,000 foreigners granted Japanese citizenship in a year

      #26 Marcus - Yes, we all get the hint about the new Thai bride’s former profession. However, that profession requires several skills, including quite a good basic vocabulary, snappy verbal skills and fluency of expression. The ‘bad’ news is that Thais have very very sensitive antennae about class and a ‘posh’ Thai - someone in the Thai Embassy in London, for example - would suss the new bride’s former profession within half a sentence.

      #32 Don - Concerning belief and gullibility, this is a social construct. Plenty of fine sane people in Ireland believe[d] all that guff about the moving Marian statues; and the U.S.A., in terms of religio-superstitious belief, is far more readily comparable to Bangladesh or India than to any West European country.

      #33 Mostaque Ali - There is a slim novel by Evelyn Waugh called ‘The Ordeal of Gordon Pinfold’ which you must must must read. I will give NO clue here but I truly believe that you will find it of value.

    41. Don — on 2nd August, 2009 at 8:20 pm  

      Obviously something got deleted which threw all the reference out. Can I again suggest a ‘comment deleted tag’. I know you just heroically wrestled with the edit monster, but while you are in the mood….?

      Edna, whatever you are referring to, yeah, I know. What point are you making? Please don’t waste my time by telling me about social constructs.

    42. Dalbir — on 2nd August, 2009 at 8:53 pm  

      If it effected the those middle class white men in their 50s who seem to have a fondness for 22 year old oriental brides, I doubt the law would have been passed.

    43. Marcus — on 2nd August, 2009 at 9:53 pm  

      @ali

      Well apart from name calling you don’t have any arguments.

      I am aware the veil is only worn outside the house. But many when they leave the house wear total covering with only a small slit to see through. This I do have a right to judge. My personal opinion is this kind of behaviour does not belong in an enlightened western culture. How can anyone dressed like that interact with the British society that they are living in.

      The fact that many of these women further don’t speak a word of English leads me to ask myself why are they in the UK at all.

      Perhaps you can answer me?

    44. ali — on 2nd August, 2009 at 10:19 pm  

      Marcus

      Well apart from name calling you don’t have any arguments.

      So you dont think you saying Asian men all beat their wives and steal their postal votes is racist?

      What if someone said all working class white men beat their wives, are drunks and steal their wives benefit cheques?

      I am aware the veil is only worn outside the house. But many when they leave the house wear total covering with only a small slit to see through. This I do have a right to judge.

      Do Asians for example have the right to judge white women who dress scantily then ? Judge not lest ye be judged.

      And Im talking about the headscarf - “many” do not cover their faces as you claim- its a tiny minority

    45. Roger — on 2nd August, 2009 at 10:59 pm  

      If voluntary work is compulsory is it voluntary work?

      The phrase “immigrants who use marriage to get into the UK” is revealing about the attitudes of Mr Johnson and the government- disgracefully revealing. It obviously hasn’t occurred to them that people might choose to marry someone who happens to be a British citizen. If people are not allowed to become British citizens will they be deported, regardless of their spouse’s wishes? If they do not receive- uspecified- benefits will their spouses have their taxes refunded or will they be given a permit to beg instead? Will children also not be allowed to become British citizens if their parents fail the Great British Citizenship Test?

    46. Marcus — on 2nd August, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

      Ali

      I am afraid you still are still not answering any of the questions I set out for you.

      As far as I know about language skills, the whole reason for this article is about the government trying to address the fact that women who have lived here for years don’t speak English.

      Secondly I don’t want people drinking too much and throwing up in the street either, but what has that got to do with people immigrating here and not wanting to learn the language.

      You still haven’t answered why certain second generation immigrants feel they have to marry a cousin from the other side of the world, rather than finding someone from this country.

    47. Shamit — on 3rd August, 2009 at 12:12 am  

      Rumbold -

      The policy has various clauses and as far as I know it has not even cleared Home Office policy procedures - and there are very good points in this policy. And I My think this is jumping the gun a bit.

      Let the government come out with the legislation and let’s analyse the actual policy then.

      The article seems to be a lot of hocus pocus with unnamed sources. And for starters any policy Anjem the idiot opposes must have some good points.

      Let us not forget that the objective of the policy is to drive more integration in our society — rather than discrimination. So could we wait before we condemn a policy completely.

      Why is it also so wrong for British citizens to have more rights regarding benefits than non citizens? I don’t see the problem.

    48. Halima — on 3rd August, 2009 at 2:30 am  

      How many Daily Mail and Sun readers would pass a British Nationality Test……

    49. damon — on 3rd August, 2009 at 2:34 am  

      Why wouldn’t governments of western countries be thinking about legislation to control chain migration through imported spouses? (Or is even the term ‘chain migration’ a loaded one?)

      I think that a society does have some right to have a preference to how it develops and who comes into it.

      The numbers are huge, and I can’t see how governments could avoid sticking their noses into people’s private business (as to who they marry). If they didn’d, then the numbers would be higher and the ages of imported spouses would get lower.

      How the law works in practice I’m not entirely sure.
      The guy across the road from me is an Indian national working in the health service. He went back to India a few years ago to get married and now his (gorgeous) wife and son are living here (I presume for good).

      I thought that originally he was here on a particular visa that was specific to his employment. But maybe you get more rights the longer you are actually living in the country, and eventually get the right to bring a spouse over. (not sure).

      I saw this in The Australian newspaper:
      ”Indian brides lead migration surge”
      http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24443928-2702,00.html?from=public_rss

      Professor Birrell said once a country had a “pioneer community from a place like Bangladesh, where there is enormous pressure to get out, the spouse numbers can rise dramatically”. “Mostly it is men going back for a bride.”

    50. Halima — on 3rd August, 2009 at 2:37 am  

      Good point by others above. Anything compulsary isn’t voluntary work anymore.

    51. qidniz — on 3rd August, 2009 at 4:43 am  

      In that Australian article:

      Mr Puri, 30, originally from Cawnpore,…

      Cawnpore!?!?

      Chota peg and damn the natives!

      Only in Oz, folks, only in Oz.

    52. Shamit — on 3rd August, 2009 at 8:19 am  

      Now, anyone living here in the UK legally for 5 years can apply for indefinite leave and within 2 years after that can apply for citizenship.

      That is unsustainable and people need to look beyond their ideological dogmas and see that this rate of immigration cannot be sustained especially since we cannot legally stop immigration from EU countries.

      However, I am not in favour of government trying to determine who British citizens should marry or not marry - on the other hand, requiring people to learn English and integrate with British society cannot be termed bad.

      While all British citizens should have equal rights we must also bear equal responsibility towards making this a more cohesive society.

      And at the same time, I don’t see any problem in the Government demanding more responsibilities from those of us who are non-citizens. Therefore the argument that many Sun or Daily Mail readers may or may not pass the citizenship test is simply not a valid argument.

    53. Rumbold — on 3rd August, 2009 at 9:59 am  

      Shamit:

      I think that you can only have two types of benefits. Either you hand out benefits on the sole basis of need, or you set certain tasks to be completed. If you choose to set certain tasks, then they should equally to British citizens. Speaking as a taxpayer, I don’t have a problem with that.

    54. NielsC — on 3rd August, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

      #9 Ali, funny you mnetions the thai bride’s.
      In Denmark at least the employment rate for thai ‘brides’ are about the same as for danish women ( about 80%, when you look at muslim women, it’s not even half of that.Because thai brides comes to work ( and not so much love). Of course benefits should be bundled with language, active job search and so on, the problem is when they have born their 2-4 children they are in their thirties, with no knowledge of danish or the danish society, and therefore it’s very difficult to create jobs for them.
      I don’t mind immigration, but I can’t se why I should finance their way of living.

    55. Carmenego — on 3rd August, 2009 at 12:37 pm  

      Hello all, once again, I’m coming into this debate a bit late but me and a friend of mine were having this exact same discussion yesterday.

      I’m not 100% but another friend of mine was an ESOL and EFL tutor for a while and she confirmed that asylum seekers and refugees are entitled to free English courses (at least in Croydon they are) in order to make integration easier for them. The thing that my mate and I were debating was that it’s all well and good to sit in a middle class pub listening to jazz and talking about it, but why should the onus be solely on them to integrate with us? Why can’t it be a two-way process?

      I’m aware that because they’re “coming into our country” there is an element where they should integrate, and my local council are really good at bringing people together (the Croydon Mela was on this weekend and we had a banging time) but instead of seeing it as a polarised “them and us” situation, a bit of empathy wouldn’t go amiss.

      Or am I being naive?

    56. MaidMarian — on 3rd August, 2009 at 12:43 pm  

      Marcus (various) - Whilst your expression may be unnecessarily provocative, your sentiments are, on balance, right.

      I do take the point that Rumbold makes in the article. There is indeed an entirely good argument that when it comes to something like marriage the state should bug out - as should Sun/Mail readers.

      But the stark reality is that this idea (and as I understand it, that is all it is) is a response to a problem. Sure, it throws up iniquities and can be seen as targetting particular communities. I’m sorry, I really am and wish that there were a better way - but I can’t see it.

      Rumbold - If you have any idea for controlling the problem they would make an interesting read.

      damon (52) - difficult to hazard a guess without knowing what sort of a visa this person is on or what what nationality/visa his wife holds. If he is a UK and Indian citizen he has as much right as anyone else to marry subject to Home Office procedures for either immigration or Certificate of Approval if they married in the UK (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visitingtheuk/gettingmarried/certificateofapproval/)

      As I understand it, individuals do not get more rights the longer they are here - you either have an entitlement or you don’t. In any case, the bride still needs the right to be here.

      The bigger problem here is legislating for motive. It may well be that ‘arranged marriages’ work out really well and the couple go forth and be good citizens. Legislating for motive is a mugs game and marriage immigration is one of the very few times I would even entertain it as an option.

    57. Soso — on 3rd August, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

      Having said all this the disadvantages they face doesn’t disappear or lessen as a bottom of the basket community, which I prefer to think is a statement of fact, and that I am not being subjective if I say that they face considerable “challenges

      The disadvantages they face are largely self-imposed and of their own creation.

      The penchant in islamist circles for segregation and for keeping interactions with the larger society to a minimum is what’s holding some back. The attitudes promoted by certain strains of islamism are a barrier to progress and integration.

      Perhaps they could engage in a little honest introspection and critical self-examination rather than always blaming the ‘other’ for their plight.

    58. damon — on 3rd August, 2009 at 10:38 pm  

      Chota peg and damn the natives!

      That’s something I learned about today using Google.

      Carmenego, I agree with what you say. I’m happy to integrate with anyone. But driving past Whitechapel market again today I wonder how much integration and fratenisation would be welcomed with some of the people I see (who wear very Isalmic dress for example).

      Maybe that area is a bit of an exception (and a bit of a cultural ghetto), and maybe Croydon is more typical and more normal. Although that bit of London road at West Croydon station is a an interesting place.
      It’s so diverse that it’s fun sometimes just to stand at a bus stop and take in the scene.
      I’d like to get to know some of those young Afghan guys who hang about there.
      I’m sure they have some interesting (and harrowing) stories to tell, but they seem to be very much just into themselves and give the impression of being wary of someone just talking to them out of the blue.
      One time siting next to a couple of these lads in an internet place there, I asked one of them where the @ symbol was on the keyboard as it wasn’t coming up.
      They seemed uncomfortable to speak to me, but maybe they didn’t speak English well.
      You know that two thirds of the children in care in Croydon are unacompanied asylum seekers don’t you?
      http://www.clearsprings.co.uk/news/view/Majority_of_children_in_Croydon_Council_care_are_asylum_seekers/

      MaidMarian, whatever the visa status of my Indian national friend across the road, he and his wife are an asset to this country (she, all by her self makes it a nicer place).

      With the amount of males coming to Britain by whatever means, (whether by student visas, or asylum or even in the backs of lorries from France), the fact that there is a culture of going to the home country to select a bride is something that I think that the government couldn’t help get involved in.

      I remember reading a few years ago how in Sri Lanka, richer (higher cast) Tamil girls were facing the dilema of there not being enough eligible young men around for potential marriage. Those that weren’t off with the Tigers and getting killed, were overseas.
      And the families of these young women were faced with the unenviable prospect of having to marry their daughters ”down”.
      That, or pay the huge dowries that young Tamil men with western residency permits were asking for in the matrimonial ads in the newspapers.

      Driving through central London in the evenings, I can’t help but notice all the people who are giving out the free London newspapers. They are nearly all it seems (almost to a man) guys in their 20’s who look like they come form India.
      I reckon that not many of them were born in the UK.
      (I know that is pre judging as I don’t speak to them)… but I think that going up and talking to them and finding out who they are is a job for Sunny.

      I mention it here, as I wonder if they are the kind of guys who will be going back to marry as soon as they have passed whatever qualification they need (UK visa wise).

      Ali, NielsC gave an opinion, and has a right to make it. Danes have a right to decide how fast or slowly they increase their population and it’s ethnic and cultural make up don’t they? I know Copenhagen a bit, and they have taken in quite a number of Palestinians and Somalians as asylum seekers, and it takes time to integrate people. The district of Nørrebro is an interesting one. Very central, with much ethnic diversity.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B8rrebro
      Denmark raised it’s legal age for spouses to have the right to live in Denmark.

      Btw, on Muslim women in the workforce. As a delivery driver, I visit a lot of factories and there are many middle aged Asian women to be seen in some of these places. (Like in the big laundry in Balham south London where I was today).



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