One of the endearing features of the British political system is that a constituent can always turn to their MP for help with any difficulties, particularly involving relationships between the individual and any organ of the State. Perhaps remarkably, in the vast majority of cases the MP does indeed do what they can to help.
Now read this reply which an astonished constituent received from their MP, Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of New Labour:
I am very sorry to hear of the immigration difficulties you have been experiencing . I have today written to the Home Office on your behalf and I will contact you again as soon as I receive a response. I am not prepared to make enquires or representations on behalf of constituents with criminal convictions. I have therefore informed the Home Office that if you do have criminal convictions, my enquiry should be considered withdrawn.
If you have not previously disclosed any criminal convictions on behalf of yourself or other individuals included on the same application, please contact me and let me know.
In the meantime if I can be of any further help or assistance in this or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact me again.
The constituent in question has no criminal convictions or associations whatsoever, but even if they had, that does not cancel your civil rights for the rest of your life, despite Ms Harman. Has she never heard of rehabilitation? Or of wrongful conviction?
This was in fact the third time this constituent had written to Harman on this issue, and the third time they had received this same standard reply. The promised future contact never happens.
New Labour really cares about individuals.