Britain's new slaves  

Sunday, 14 October 2007

My good lady wife took her Life in the UK test last week, and thankfully passed. I think this is a trememdous achievement, and has paved the way for us to hand over another £1000 to the government for the privelege of remaining in the same country as each other. Makes you really proud to be British.

I had an email this week from a lady in Bradford who is helping me research case studies of people affected by these new laws. Some of the stories are quite shocking. It appears that women in abusive relationships, many of whom were forced to come to the UK by arranged marriage, have been relying on the fact that they would be able to escape after a couple of years. That is now not possible: Their feckless husbands naturally refuse to pay for the tests or the courses necessary to gain Indefinate Leave to Remain, and thus these women are effectively held in bondage.

In principle I agree that people who come to this country to settle permanently should be encouraged and supported in their attempts to become integrated. But these new regulations do neither - penalising the law abiding, persecuting the vulnerable while doing nothing to restrict the actions of men in some immigrant communities who cloak their stone-age attitudes behind the veil of cultural tradtions.

It seems to me that the real problem of a failure to integrate lies not with recently arrived immigrants, but in the attitudes and entrenched practices of the communities that are already here. It is here that the pressure of legistation needs to be applied.

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