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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james higham

And this is where we're headed.


That's two perfectly sensible comments in a row.

Who are you, and what have you done with our Mark?


Our liberties are not gifts of states or superstates. Our rights derive from being human and laws can only take away from, not add to them.


with respect to the court of human rights - I find it odd that criminals have a right to a family life in the UK, while law abiding British citizens do not.
I sometimes wonder what the governments are trying to achieve with their grossly unpopular laws which make no sense - is there some hidden agenda or are they really just as stupid as they seem?


I would say that being given British citizenship as an adult is a privilege - the problem is that they give out citizenship far too easily.
On the other hand I think that once you have that citizenship the government shoukdn't be able to take it away.

Furor Teutonicus

Well, for all those that say they want the ECHR and the Human rights act abolished, LIVE with it.

Because it is THAT, that garuntees they can NOT make you stateless.

Or are you going to cut your noses off to spite your face?


The way it's being presented and accepted is what shocks me. Sometimes I doubt my own judgement simply because my fellow men seem so relaxed about something like this that shocks me. How anyone can know any history and yet believe government will only use new powers as advertised is beyond me.

James Strong

You are right.
But I bet that is not how it will be presented in the press and on broadcasts.

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