Daily Archives: May 17, 2013


Plus Ca Change

In 1816, in a “Big Bang” liberalisation, the commercial and financial restrictions on trading with India were removed. This account is from John Capper’s 1853 book, The Three Presidencies of India. I just wondered if it reminded you of anything?

The impetus which the Indian trade received on the opening of the ports of the East to all classes was not without its evils; the prospect of rapid fortunes which opened out to many of the newcomers paved the way to a reckless system of trading, and an improvident style of living, hitherto unknown…

In 1830 and the following year commercial affairs reached a crisis in Calcutta. The hollowness of the fabric reared by rash speculators, demonstrated itself with a convulsion which will not easily be forgotten by those who witnessed its effects. Indigo, silk, cotton, sugar, all had been dealt, or rather gambled in, to an extent that was only limited by the impossibility of obtaining any further means for carrying on the game. It mattered little whose funds were jeopardised…

The bubble burst, scattering ruin and desolation amidst the homes of thousands of helpless victims. None were prepared for the catastrophe, and least of all the harmless men who had caused the mischief. They were not moved; few of them had lost much. The storm overtook them steeped in princely luxuries, deep in selfish physical enjoyment. Bankruptcy stared them and their victims in the face, but how different the result! A month or two without their race-horses, their dinner parties, and their ducal establishments, and the Insolvent Court kindly enabled them to make a fresh start, as unabashed as ever; whilst their constituents (i.e. their victims) became pauperised, and dependent upon charity for subsistence.

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Free UK Entry for Illegals Only

I am furious to learn that Israeli settlers resident illegally in the occupied territories are allowed visa free entry to the UK, whereas Palestinians living legally in those territories require a visa (and won’t usually get one).

From Hansard
Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories require a visa before travelling to the United Kingdom, but Israeli citizens living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories do not require a visa to come to the United Kingdom for six months or less.[HL59]
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration has been given to changing immigration rules to restrict access to the United Kingdom by all Israeli citizens who live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.[HL60]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach):

Visa regimes are based on nationality, not place of residence. Palestinians are required to obtain a visa before travelling to the United Kingdom. Israeli citizens, regardless of where they reside, are able to visit the United Kingdom visa free for up to six months.
No consideration has been given to changing the Immigration Rules to restrict access to the United Kingdom by Israeli citizens who live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Visa regimes are kept under regular review.

In immigration cases, evidence of continuing engagement in illegal activity should normally lead to denial of entry to the UK. That is the supposed general policy. The Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, a fact not in serious dispute even by arch-Zionists Hague and May. On top of which, Israeli settlers should be denied entry because they have demonstrated a clear propensity to settle where it is illegal for them to settle. That plainly gives reasonable grounds to suppose that they will not leave the UK at then end of their visa validity.

90% of West Bank Palestinians refused a visa, are refused on the grounds that they may seek to remain and live illegally in the UK – despite the fact they have never lived illegally anywhere. Illegal Israeli settlers, on the other hand, can waltz into the UK without a visa.

It is hard to imagine a more stark double standard and abuse of power.

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