Didn't we all have a wonderful day at the march in Edinburgh on Saturday? I know I did. However I’ve decided I won’t blog about it as many others will and I reckon they will do it admirably. Therefore, back to the blog in hand.
No, the title is not a typo. The United Kingdom, David Cameron’s vaunted golden land, home to the latest Olympics, proclaimed as a beacon of democracy, the “Mother of Parliaments”, and a place of freedom and enlightenment.
What Westminster projects, acclaims and espouses continues to walk farther and farther from reality as each new initiative passes. Administration after administration, Labour, Conservative or coalition, the steps made to equalise society between 1945 and 1965 have been eroded.
When it comes to inequality, we in good ol’ Blightey universally rank in the top ten, it really doesn’t matter which indices are checked, the butcher’s apron is right there nudging the top of the list.
This is not the dream of the average person.
The latest raft of policies and proposed new immigration laws being brought to the legislative table proposed or under serious consideration includes such issues as special immigration lines for “high value individuals”. The only time that any individual should gain precedence in any system is for either a medical emergency or a credible threat to wellbeing.
Saving twenty minutes because your cheque book is fatter should never be a consideration.
Then there’s the new immigration laws, they amount to an obscenity of inequality. A system whereby Scots are additionally unfairly treated in comparison to the South East. In fact, this is a situation where everyone else in these unequal shores is treated in a discriminatory fashion with respect to London.
The laws appear equitable on the surface, setting basic income thresholds for certain immigration criteria. That appears fine at first glance until one understands that there’s no national or regional differentiation allowed.
The unequal aspects that need addressed, but will not be, aren’t those where someone willing to put £5 million into a UK bank gets two years shaved off their residency requirements, or 3 years off for really good behaviour, AKA a £10 million deposit.
No, the unequal aspect that really needs addressed is the effective marriage ban on anyone making less than about $22,000 a year. That’s right, meet, love, marry whomever you want, but if you make less than £22,400 a year you won’t be living in the UK.
This overall provision makes even the United States draconian immigration laws look positively benevolent.
Where it gets worse is that £22,000 isn’t the same dependent upon where you live. Londoner’s have much higher salaries, employeebenefits.co.uk notes that salaries paid to Londoner’s are £10,000 higher than those paid to the rest of the UK.
In simple English, or in Westminster speak if preferred, a mechanic in Putney can get married to his Sweetheart, a mechanic in Peebles, Powys or Peterlee can’t. A hairdresser in Southall has no issues with her beau, but stylists in Saltcoats, Saltney or Skipton are pretty much left without a hope.
These are real people, real lives and real discrimination.
How long will it be before the human rights act gets invoked over this legislation is a question worth asking, until one considers that the initiation of any legal action takes money, and in the case of human rights law usually a lot of money, and the legal aid budget is being decimated.
So the Tory, Lib-Dem coalition is again targeting those who are the most vulnerable in our society while effectively working to prevent them having the means to defend themselves.
The Cameron-Clegg message is clear, if you go on holiday, volunteer overseas, or simply like to travel, don’t date.
Democracy in action, equality in action, big society in action, Westminster style.