So that's Santa Claus scuppered then
unless he has a biometric passport and a visa.
The UK's Border Agency has brightened the pre-Xmas season with a delightful e-card which nicely sums up the values of goodwill to all men: The UK Border Agency Xmas card Lovely. We're obliged to the readers who forwarded us this piece of festive cheer, and bah humbug to the blogger who described it as an "obnoxious piece of …
Could you elaborate, would these Albanians be plainly roasting their/our swans in a conventional oven, or spit-roasting them over an open fire?
Perhaps some slavic footballer who reads El Reg,could inform this ill informed native of the differences, without raping our heritage/culture/women, God Forbid.
"Technically Albanians are not Slavs. They are probably descended from the ancient Illyrians, whereas Slavs arrived in the area in the early 6th century."
True, as Albanians have different language, customs and facial features.
And we love it here. Except for the Italians on the west, Magyars on the north, Greeks to the south and Romanians to the east.
But at least we don't have the French as our neighbours.
...Gawd bless us, one and all![/CRATCHETT] Because there's no better way to show the Christmas spirit than trying to prove how far you're willing to pander to xenophobic arseholes by getting tough on the weak, vulnerable and desperate. And it's ugly. Really, bag-of-spanners, bulldog licking urine off a thistle, ugly. And probably expensive, to boot.
Pineapple, because this piece of crap makes me feel like attacking our borders from THIS side.
It's a pity they can't back date some of their powers then over half the government would be repatriated.
All the twaddle about improving security efficiency and effectiveness really gets my back up. Every time I enter the UK on a full British passport I get stopped and asked how long I am planning on staying? "FFS, I'm British, I'll stay as long as I effing well like", is what I'd like to say to them but experience tells me to stick to my best montone voice and respond politely. I also get stopped and searched upon leaving, last time they actually asked me if I had any guns or explosives.
Would the border agency come up with a greetings card for non-Christian festivals by printing their rhetoric into the shape of icons associated with Muslim, Jewish or Hindu festivals? Most definitely not. So why do they think it's okay to do that for a Christian festival?
The card carries absolutely no spirit or joy. It was yet another exercise in vanity and political correctness paid for by us tax payers.
If the Government banned these type of trees from being sold (for example) then everyone would think it was an assault on Christmas and Christians. Children make cards in xmas tree shapes, trees go up in town centres around xmas time, and most families put up a tree and decorate it at xmas. Of course it's an icon of Christmas. It may not have a direct religious connection but it has become a tradition. There are Muslim icons that are part of their tradition that aren't actually part of their religion. There is a difference but the dividing line is blurred and offence can still be caused by disrespecting an associated icon.
I think the connection between pine trees and Christianity is because the Christians hijacked an old winter solstice festival.
I mean, think about it - Joseph, Mary, camels, shacked up in a stable, Bethlehem....
...exactly which part of that says pine trees, blinky lights, snow, fat-bloke-in-a-red-suit, flying snowmen, reindeer, and coca-cola?
It's an uneasy clash of different winter festivals taking place at the same time.
Flame icon because in Sweden they celebrate Saint Lucy's Day (or "Lussinatta" pre-Christian) where a cute girl gets to wear a crown with candles of her head. Lit candles. Can you imagine the Health & Safety chaos that would cause in the UK?!?! But, anyway, ouch much! Melted wax in the hair? Flame icon self-evident?
The Police & the Prison Service should both do one.
BTW, @ AC 13:29, this quote is from Wikipedia:
"While the Christmas tree is generally associated with Christ, it predates this religious figure by many centuries. In the Bible, Jeremiah the prophet admonishes those who dare to erect such a pagan artifact: "Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen...For the customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (Jeremiah 10:2-6)"
I expect it's probably fine to print political rhetoric in the shape of pagan artifacts.
AFAIK the only uniquely Christian icon is Jesus on the cross, which I highly recommend the Border Agency uses at Easter :)
First of all, IANARN. I am an agnostic atheist. I just like to debate.
Second of all, what is it with people thinking Religion is the be all and end all? (j/k)
Thirdly, the 'Christmas Tree' is not actually anything to do with Christianity... Do you see the Bible saying Jesus was born under a Christmas tree? Or that presents were stored under trees before being given to the unaware newborn? The Christmas tree is part of an older celebration, celebrating the soon coming of spring.... that was hijacked by the Christian faith.
Everyone needs to have more tolerance. Those who do not share your beliefs are entitled to their own, and the same protections for their beliefs. The fact that diametrically opposite beliefs are commonplace means that you can either be offended and unhappy about lots of things, a lot of the time, or get used to it and ignore what people believe that doesn't affect you.
Seem unable to stop the tide of illegal immigrants into this country, but seem quite able to question UK residents on their intentions when arriving back in the UK.
As a quick anecdote... I was travelling via Stena Line from the UK to Ireland and under the apparent misunderstanding that both the UK and ROI were in the Common Travel Area. I mistakenly put my passport in my baggage which was stowed in the hold. Upon arriving at Dun Laoghaire, there was a single Garda giving a cursory look at Passports, I explained that I did not have mine and was given a "your fine sure, on you go". Very pleasant.
After my stay and on returning to Holyhead, I was sure to have my Passport to hand, which was very wise as the UK Border Agency were en masse at the customs point. 2 officers checking and scanning passports, and no less than 4 armed police officers. I got questioned on why I had been in Ireland (my father lives there), how long I had been there and where I was travelling to upon leaving Holyhead. I really wanted to be cheeky, but then I remembered that it is UK police policy to shoot you five times in the head before asking questions.
"As a quick anecdote... I was travelling via Stena Line from the UK to Ireland and under the apparent misunderstanding that both the UK and ROI were in the Common Travel Area. I mistakenly put my passport in my baggage which was stowed in the hold. Upon arriving at Dun Laoghaire, there was a single Garda giving a cursory look at Passports, I explained that I did not have mine and was given a "your fine sure, on you go". Very pleasant.."
Ha, love that Irish attitude. As a further anecdote, my brother was living in Japan and he travelled to Ireland with his Japanese fiancée. When she got to the passport control, he went through the EU chute, then waited for her. As the passport control officer went to check through her passport, he noticed my brother, and said "Is she with you?". He said yes, and got "Go on so", her passport was stamped and off she went :)
Heathrow, on the other hand... the staff were very pleasant actually, but the queues in Terminal one are always huge and I've never seen more than three metal detectors open at the same time. After a long flight, waiting in line for multiple hours is the last thing you want to do, and, of course, you can't take your duty free through the damn place. No "Go on so" there...
On an unrelated note - it would be nice to get basic styling in comments - bold and emphasis would be nice.
Please select one of the following...
1. I don't like the colours
2. I don't like text art
3. I am not wild about Christmas trees
4. I don't like the message
5. I just don't like the border agency
It seems to me that the card is inoffensive and simply states quite clearly and unequivocally what the agency does. Turn your sensitivity detectors down a notch or two and stop looking for something to bitch about. They do a good job in difficult circumstances.
So that's why you can't walk 5 yards in some city centres without tripping over a "homeless" eastern european refugee? Great job, keep it up there boys.
WTF are they fleeing from anyway, bad hospitals and lack of government handouts? Surely, with the way things are going the sane thing to do would be to flee *from* the UK?
I, too, have often wondered why immigrants want so badly to come here when so many Britons seem to want out ("I'm sick of all these illegal immigrants -- first chance I get, I'm leaving this country" seems to be a common theme around here).
All I can assume is that they have been reading discarded celebrity shag rags and picked up the impression that stories such as Kerry Katona's brave struggle against the odds to change the light bulb in the back bedroom or Peter Andre leaving the oven on and nearly spoiling the Yorkshire puddings describe the lives of normal British people.
"We have introduced ID cards for foreign nationals". Takes me right back to my childhood in apartheid South Africa, where there were the human whites and the sub-human non-whites. The sub-humans had to carry "pass books" with them at all times regulating their movements.
But I must be mistaken, surely in the 21st century first world any parallels to apartheid must be purely coincidental?
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