To date, we have been fortunate.
I say that because, given the consistently submissive nature of the British public, we have been blessed (yes, I do mean blessed) with a ruling political class that has been, relatively speaking, both modest in its ambitions and cautious in its actions. If they only realised how much more they could get away with we would, by now, be living in a hell on earth. This is why I say that we, so far, been very lucky.
But luck always runs out and I think ours is about to do just that:
Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade.
Passengers leaving every international sea port, station or airport will have to supply detailed personal information as well as their travel plans. So-called “booze cruisers” who cross the Channel for a couple of hours to stock up on wine, beer and cigarettes will be subject to the rules.
In addition, weekend sailors and sea fishermen will be caught by the system if they plan to travel to another country – or face the possibility of criminal prosecution.
The owners of light aircraft will also be brought under the system, known as e-borders, which will eventually track 250 million journeys annually.
Even swimmers attempting to cross the Channel and their support teams will be subject to the rules which will require the provision of travellers’ personal information such as passport and credit card details, home and email addresses and exact travel plans.
Another database for the sake of it? Well, possibly. But I think we all know that it will not stop there. This is, of course, a prelude and a ‘softening up’ process for the eventual introduction of a requirement for exit visas (Soviet style).
So, a word of advice to any of my compatriots who are planning to emigrate abroad: settle your plans as soon as practicable and make your move within the next 5 years. After that, you may well find that your escape routes have been walled off.