As a liberal free trade internationalist and speaking personally, I have always been suspicious of the state paraphernalia that goes with increasingly endless attempts to centrally plan where people can or cannot live on this planet. Passports, ID cards and point-based immigration visa systems all seem pretty potty to me – as do the massive state welfare systems that are required to legitimate their draconian deployment (“we can’t allow foreigners here to take our (nationalised) schoolsnhospitals” – http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin061.pdf – and the like!).
Recently, I was working with an organisation in London that wanted to hire a US intern for a while but found that it could not do this because it could not afford the time and effort now required by the Home Office to fill in all its forms. And even if they did, they were pretty sure from the outset that their request would be turned down. What sort of national and socialistic craziness is this? Why turn away the money, know how and potential of bright eager people?
Now, while this concerns me, it is not really my bag. I don’t obsess about this issue day to day. But I am pleased that other people do. For example, I am really pleased that Jose Appleton and her excellent Manifesto Club- http://www.manifestoclub.com/about –
have just produced this marvelous new report, Fortress Academy – http://www.manifestoclub.com/files/FortressAcademy.pdf – which shows how the Home Office is insanely barring thousands of students from coming here. It is also mentioned in the Guardian here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/feb/11/clamdown-overseas-student-visas-funding.
Bravo, I say people of the world unite!