|Anthony Bryan, who faced being deported to Jamaica despite not having been there since he was eight.|
If you wish to see an example of what a class privileged society the UK has become, you need look no further than the letter below from Sheila Hale. She highlights the predicament of Anthony Bryan and others who have lived in the UK almost all their lives but now face deportation to a country they have not lived in for decades. By and large these people have overwhelmingly been working class, all the easier to be trashed by the Home Office as they are about as far from the ruling class elites as it is possible to be.
Unbeknown to the Home Office gophers Mrs Hale was not.
Her letter highlights once again the rules, regulation, and laws of the British state are only for us little people.
In her letter Sheila Hale writes:
The Home Office’s treatment of Anthony Bryan (On notice to be deported after lifetime in Britain, 2 December) and many other vulnerable long-term residents in the UK is shameful, but it is not limited to the disadvantaged. I am white, middle class, and have lived in the UK for all of my adult life. I am privileged in every way apart from having been born in the US.
In 1996 I was granted a certificate of naturalisation on the grounds that I had been married to an Englishman for 30 years. And yet when I tried to renew my British passport in November 2016 I was refused on the grounds that the name on my American passport is Sheila Haynes Hale, while my expiring British passport has just Sheila Hale. I was told that to qualify for a renewed UK passport I must prove my identity with a recent utility bill or bank statement showing the name Sheila Haynes Hale. Since I had not used my full name in this country for many decades this proved impossible. The bank wouldn’t change my name without a utility bill and vice versa. I returned to the passport office with my certificate of naturalisation and my will, drawn up by a solicitor who had insisted that it should carry all three names. Again I was refused the renewal: it must be a utility bill or a bank statement. The certificate of naturalisation was apparently no longer valid.
On my third visit to the passport office I appended a note to the documentation saying that the reason I did not use a middle name in this country was that my husband had been knighted in 1984. Since it was his title, not mine, I could not, according to the custom of this country, be “Lady Haynes Hale”. I was on my way home when I received a text: “Dear Lady Hale, your passport will be sent by special delivery within the next few days.” It arrived the following morning.