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Ponder the psychopathology of this…

There is an article in The Spectator which perfectly sums up the expression “The state is not your friend” that described the nightmarish encounter someone had with the officious little shits that are employed to police our borders and protect us from middle class Australian women.

It should be only under the most extraordinary circumstances in which an agent of the state should be able to legally refuse to give you their name and thereby avoid personal responsibility for their actions. Read the article and then ponder the thesis that the reason many people take jobs in places like the Immigration service is to satisfy a psychological need to exert arbitrary power over others. This is your tax money at work.

34 comments to Ponder the psychopathology of this…

  • madne0

    Meanwhile, you merry old Albion, a unknown number of Afghanistan terror camp trained illegal immigrants continue to merrily receive their dole money every month…

  • madne0

    Meanwhile, in merry old Albion, a unknown number of Afghanistan terror camp trained illegal immigrants continue to merrily receive their dole money every month…

  • madne0

    Oops, sorry about that. I should know not to push the “post” button more then once, even if it takes a while,

  • permanent expat

    It’s sad to see a once great country commiting suicide. I left, years ago, when I saw the unstoppable rot setting in.
    The death of the Empire was historically preordained & should be accepted with dignity. The death of a country is quite another thing & reflects badly on those who purport to govern it.
    Political correctness, drunken yobbery, bend-over-backwards liberalism, a totally incompetent judiciary, rights without responsibilities. These are but a few of the deadly ingredients in the final cocktail.
    It’s five past twelve. Resquicat in pace.

  • “many people take jobs in places like the Immigration service is to satisfy a psychological need to exert arbitrary power over others”.

    And you’re just realizing this now? Why do you think your local police officers are the way they are?

  • John Rippengal

    With the well heeled contacts that were mentioned is there not a reasonable chance that the incompetent scumbags that did this will not get away with it.

  • permanent expat

    Oh yes……….sorry I forgot to specifically mention the police in the cocktail ingredients…wichtige Bestandteil.
    Mr. Rippengal: Unfortunately the scumbags constitute the majority, are employed at your expense by HMG, are Graundien readers & will definitely not vote Conservative even if WSC were resurrected.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Isn’t it time someone argued for free immigration within the “anglosphere”? Why the fuck should our aussie cousins need a visa in the first place? Why the hell should it be illegal for me to get a job in the US Anyone want to help me start a campaign? Free movement of people now!

  • permanent expat

    Anonymous Coward: Absolutely right although why, apart from visiting distressed relatives, anyone would wish to visit the UK in its present death throes is beyond me.
    A while ago there was a competition in which the first prize was a week in the UK. The second was two weeks.
    As for our Aussie & Kiwi cousins, we jettisoned them in favour of the EU. If they never forgive us it will be too soon.

  • I will never forget the ordeal I had when an ignorant US immigration officer refused to believe I was British because I was from Northern Ireland. In the absence of a grasp on geography and history he scribbled over the part of the form where I indicated my nationality, saying, “Come with me.” For the next hour I was interrogated by officers who were convinced I was attempting to enter the United States illegally. They eventually let me on the plane just in time for takeoff. “Your tax money at work…..” – my sentiments exactly.

  • Nate


    I’m all for it and have been talking it up here in the States. We have a “compact of free association” with a couple of areas in the Pacific (the Marianas, I think) that includes more-or-less everything just short of full citizenship. e.g border commutivity, work-privileges without a “green” card, etc. This would be an excellent model to extend to other nations of the “English Speaking Peoples”

    So….if the UK, Oz, and NZ would reciprocate, I think it’s a splendid idea. Canada on the other hand…well….we already have NAFTA…. 🙂

  • Monty

    Does anyone else smell a quota at work here? It is rather redolent of the “screening” applied to obvious non-terrorists at US airports (babies, octogenarians,Catholic priests). Maybe the immigration nazis have to demonstrate that they are equal opportunity persecutors?

  • James

    You’re dead right Monty…they gotta be after a quota.

    I want to string them up for how they’ve treated my mum (Aus) and my wife (US). So rude and cruel and cowardly and horrendously irrational.

    I figure the reason for the concentration of petty sadists in the immigration service is that the peope they abuse cannot easily find redress (because they are not citizens and are often deported) and so the bosses of these creatures never get to hear about their behaviour.

    They are a cess pit.

    If they worked anywhere else they would get sacked.

    (I have met two nice ones)

  • “protect us from middle class Australian women.”

    I’ve dated enough of them to suggest that’s not such a bad idea…

  • Chris Harper

    As an Australian, in the early 90’s I had been living and working in London as a permanent resident for ten years when I had to go to Copenhagen for a couple of days on a business trip. My passport had expired and I had been given a new one, this being the one I picked up as I hurried out of the house to catch the plane.

    When I got to Heathrow I realised that I had no evidence that I was entitled to come back into the country, my new passport having never been stamped with my status and my old one, with the stamp, was sitting in the drawer at home. I explained my predicament to immigration control and was told that if I continued, and went to Denmark, on my return I should explain to the immigration officer who would then ‘probably’ give me a two week entry permit, and that this would allow me time to regularise my situation.

    Feeling nervous I left the country, did what I had to do, and then flew back.

    At immigration control I explained the situation, told the officer that I really really was a permanent resident but had no evidence and threw myself on his mercy. His response was “I believe you” and he stamped my passport “Given indefinite leave to enter the United Kingdom”.

    In other words, he stamped my passport confirming my status as a permanent resident on no evidence other than my word for it.

    I understand the problem this woman went through, but my experience was marginally different. It also happened about a decade earlier.

  • Mike Borgelt

    Didn’t Robert Heinlein cover this in “Friday”. In a comment about customs and immigration people the character says about them: “having no self respect, they demand a show of respect from others”.


  • Davepm

    My wife had the same experience as Chris, only much more recently.

    I’ve also had great experiences at immigration in the US, something I do pretty month every month. I’ve also had utterly awful experiences.

    Go figure, government officials are inconsistent! Shock! I must tell my friends.

  • John Rippengal

    Permanent Expat.

    These scumbags are not employed at my expense.
    I left England during the war the beginning of 1945 and apart from a year or two in the intervening 60 years I have been resident abroad.
    Most of theese scumbags are all part of zaNUlabour constituency, pinko, politically correct, anti white, etc etc packed in by Blair and Co by the hundredthousand to ensure his re-election time after time. Like the Nazis zaNUlabour have succeeded in demolishing our democracy.
    Get out while you have time.

    Even more permanent exile.

  • Julian Taylor

    Well, not that I’m defending the INS at all but in this case the woman was right and she is not obliged to give her name to anyone, for security reasons. Also babysitting in the UK does actually count as employment, whether paid or unpaid. On the one hand we scream at the INS and the government for its lax immigration rules, yet once they start to tighten up those rules we scream ‘foul’ so it’s very much a case of taking with the rough with the smooth.

    Unfortunate, but there it is I’m afraid.

  • guy herbert

    Also babysitting in the UK does actually count as employment, whether paid or unpaid.

    I think you might find a lot of tax inspectors and officials of various other sorts to disagree with you there, Julian.

    (I’m currently reluctantly contemplating whether the law actually requires me to have employment contracts for unpaid volunteers, or whether it might nonetheless be better to be safe than sorry because the absence of such contracts might cause us problems under certain circumstances.)

  • John Rippengal

    As a matter of interest some many years ago there was a strike or at least a go slow by immigration and I believe customs officers. This would have been in the early eighties. I discussed this with a top and I mean ‘top’ legal authority who had recently had to advise those responsible for the immigration department as to the legal position of immigration officers causing obstruction to normal passage by virtue of the ‘go slow’ action. The legal advice was that those responsible could well be legally liable for any damages or inconvenience. They could perform their statutory functions but definitely NOT hold up travellers as a result of ‘go slow’ and get away with it if it caused any ‘damage’.

  • Snide

    yet once they start to tighten up those rules we scream ‘foul’ so it’s very much a case of taking with the rough with the smooth

    Huh? So you mean if we want mad muslim cleric who want us all dead booted out of the country, we have at accept Australian babysitters who worl for free being booted out? I don’t think so.

  • Heinlein often wrote negatively about customs and immigration officials. “Podkayne of Mars” comes to mind. The roots of his feelings and of one scene in “Podkayne” can be found in “Tramp Royale”, his memoirs of a round the globe jaunt he and Virginia took in 1954.

  • Julian Taylor

    Guy Herbert, how the Inland Revenue looks at it is different to how the INS look at things. The Inland Revenue does not particularly care if you do unpaid work, whether voluntary-style work or work where you might get paid ‘in kind’. The INS regard any form of employment – paid or otherwise – as a direct breach of the conditions of a granted tourist visa and thus grounds for eviction from the UK. As an example – an Australian writer coming over to the UK to work on his memoirs would be regarded as actually working, even though it is something you would think that does not necessitate his applying for either a work permit or ‘leave to remain’.

  • veryretired

    I’m afraid too many people here are falling victim to the “sensational exceptionalism” often used by the press. Of course there are a certain number of fools and officious twits in the immigration service, as there are in the newspaper and magazine business, as there are in the political/legal business, as there are in academia, as there are….ad infinitum.

    The ordinary people who work in this, or any other similar line of employment, handle hundreds or thousands of situations and personal contacts every day. Invariably, there are some that are not handled properly, or clumsily, or with a grumpy attitude. To turn this into a characterization of ” their all little hitlers” or some such is nonsense.

    What I am seeing here is a variation of the common complaint against the police—“they should only arrest the bad guys”—as if these low level employees made the policies they work under, or are somehow required to be perfect in all things at all times, (ya know, like bloggers).

    I would be quite happy if a large percentage of government employees at all levels and in quite a few different areas were given their notice, and told to go find productive work. I would also be happy to see a thorough discussion of any number of management practices, employment philosophies, or work rules at all levels of government.

    I am not interested, however, in playing “gotcha” and beating up on some floor level employee whose trying to make an honest living performing a legitimate service. If there are disciplinary actions required, for poor performance or bad attitudes or whatever, that is up to the supervisory staff of the agency, and it should be done in an open and transparent fashion.

    If this discipline is not occurring, then that is a management failure, and the issue should be that, not whether some poor sod’s bad day invalidates the concept of immigration screening, as some anonymous fool suggests above.

    And finally, the guy who mentioned his dating experiences with Aussie women gets my vote for best comment of this thread.

  • Verity

    It seems clear that, no matter in what middle class terms they mantled it, the lady was doing some babysitting, and perhaps light household chores, in informal exchange for the cost of being a guest of the family. The Immigration officer is paid to listen alertly and to persist if she feels there was something that was not being mentioned.

    The Speccie writer also writes, with lip curled, that the Immigration officer read his friend’s diary and notes “without her permission”. But why not? We either want the rules applied, or we don’t. We cannot have the rules waived for “people like us” who have holiday homes overseas and would welcome some light help around the house in exchange for being included as a guest, yet insist they be imposed for an illiterate Pakistani grandmother who is coming to stay with her son’s family in order to provide exactly the same services, less opinions on the quality of the plonk.

    I think it must have been a horrible, devastating experience for the lady, who thought she was providing a friendly helping hand to offset being a guest, and my heart goes out to her, but the rules must apply to all. I voted that I did not agree with the article.

  • Robert Alderson

    Verity, absolutely right the rules should apply to everybody. I rather think that if this lady had thought a little about her situation said as little as possible just sticking to the line of “I am a tourist staying with friends.” She would have been allowed in.

    British Immigration officials are, for all practical purposes, above the law. This brings the advantage that they have broad lattitude to exclude people who might be a danger but also means that they can abuse their position to be deliberately obnoxious to anybody they don’t like (and I would agree with the comments about the personality type that is attracted to this job.) Worse still a corrupted officer could admit somebody who is a known danger solely on his own say-so.

    I will add one anecdote to this thread. Back in the 80s I went on a post A-Level break in France with a group of friends. On returning by coach through Dover one of our number accidentally left his passport in the bag of another person in our group who got through immigration first. Luckily for my friend the immigration officer admited him without passport or any other ID.

    Immigration officers are truly powerful individuals. I don’t think that it is healthy that they have such unfettered powers. People who are delayed from entering should be informed of the procedure to which they are going to be subjected and their rights (even if this amounts to “you have no rights.”) It is understandable that immigration staff have the right to withold their name but they should be obliged to provide an ID number or case number so that complaints can be made and investigated properly. I suspect that if this Australian woman attempted to complain the immigration service would deny anything happened.

  • Verity

    Robert Alderson – Yes, perhaps they should have an ID, but given the incendiary nature of their work, it should be untraceable, if that’s possible.

    “I suspect that if this Australian woman attempted to complain the immigration service would deny anything happened.” Well, I don’t, because she was sent back on an airline and that will be in the computer. I think this woman’s experience must have been sickening and frightening, but if we want Immigration officers to police our “official” ports of entry, this is what it takes. Especially while, under Tony Blair’s criminally inept administration, once they’re in, they can disappear.

  • guy herbert

    if we want Immigration officers to police our “official” ports of entry, this is what it takes.

    Not all of us do; but even then I don’t think it follows by necessity, although perhaps it is inevitable. There’s no need for officials to behave in a bullying manner, it is just universal that they do. Hence the word officious.

    The more arbitrary power they have, the less they fear exposure and discipline, the worse they tend to be. I have a strong suspicion the woman in the example would have had a worse experience had she not been from an English speaking country.

  • Alice

    These customs officers are only the pupils of a society that is ashamed of its preferences and has been diverted by its masters towards class conflict. Doesn’t this Australian woman – who put her children to a renowned private “public” school – have a syntax and a vocabulary that excite this hatred? (This is what it takes to be graded middle class by that class of journalist, another example of Western politically correctness). And doesn’t her ability to manage house-keeping and friendship is the wrong devil for these civil servants? The later should be convinced that if they don’t identify the right enemies now, their own friendships, holidays and house keeping will fade away. More than fighting among ourselves (private vs public, left vs right, etc.), Westerners should define their enemies: people trying to cost them as much as possible (allowances, bombing, drugs, births, incompetency, harassment, distrust, wounds, depression, waste of time for each civil servant and colleague, and “probability time cost” of expulsion, because at war, the crippled weight more than the dead) and want to replace their population before taking the power. Customs officials are paid to fight them. But they probably have no idea how much inadequate people can diminish their own standard of leaving : silence, leisure, aesthetic, level of state schools, quality of NHS services, employment, productivity, patents (drugs, electronics) etc. Before rejecting this provocation, remember your less popular schoolmates, cousins, and neighbours that you’ve ever disliked and wonder how much their family has cost to your community. Compare.

    If all Westerners learnt about these costs by daily examples and figures, and discussed them often, their work would be more efficient and most of the neurotic custom officers would exert their power on potentially ruinous people rather than on their cousins. This rediscovered mentality would probably lead to a legal definition of UK’s favourite immigrants: cousins first, then non-English speaking Westerners like me and rare qualifications workers. And that’s all. Because Europe and other attractive lands (attractive only because there are attractively peopled and maintained) are already populated and polluted.

    Each western country should be proud of its preferences because their human capital is their true fortune, and each parliament should make them official to discourage its enemies. Even if it includes a ban on some blue cheese and an arbitrary choice of technical standard, let time and market make voters sorry for it if necessary.

  • Snide

    I think this woman’s experience must have been sickening and frightening, but if we want Immigration officers to police our “official” ports of entry, this is what it takes. Especially while, under Tony Blair’s criminally inept administration, once they’re in, they can disappear.

    So the logic here is that we cannot get rid of Islamic nutters unless we also throw out Australian women and act officious and unreasonable. Weird.

  • Verity

    Snide – “logic” was your word; not mine.

  • Verity

    Mark Steyn has a good sidebar on his site about this episode: (Link)

  • Julian Taylor

    Couldn’t the Yank torturers have been more culturally sensitive and read from The Collected Works Of Robert Fisk? Ten minutes of that and I’d sing like a canary.

    Priceless …