THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
A disappointed idealist
What happened to legal tender?

Citizenship 'is a privilege not a right'

Minister says citizenship 'is a privilege not a right' - ITV News.

To call something a 'privilege' sounds flattering. Those of us lucky enough to be citizens of rich, relatively free nations may - in everyday terms - feel privileged. But the way Mark Harper is using the term is rather different. 
 
If citizenship is a legal privilege rather than a legal right then it can be revoked at the will of the state without consequences. Scarily, he is talking about revoking that of 'suspects' - i.e. people accused, but not convicted, of a crime. These people are innocent until proven guilty. 
 
If citizenship can be revoked without proof of guilt, where does that leave us citizens? It leaves us jumping when the state says jump. It leaves us in craven submission.
 
I am all for less state, but not so much for being stateless. It's not really a tenable position in today's world, where every square inch of soil - alas - is under the control of one state or another.
 
The state's legitimacy depends upon the will of its citizens and not vice versa. No man prepared to make such a shocking a proposal as to cancel the citizenship of innocents is worthy to be a Minister in a free nation. No journalist who reports upon it without explaining its legal consequences is worthy of the name.

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