Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill - why should the Home Secretary have the power to revoke your British Citizenship on a whim, by order, without the involvement of a Court ?

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The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill currently in the House of Lords, is typical of a Home Office Bill these days, hugely complicated and containing some evil clauses which try to grab even more unchecked power for the Home Secretary.

For instance:

53 Deprivation of citizenship

(1) For section 40(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61) (deprivation of citizenship: prejudicing UK interests) substitute—

“(2) The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.

This carte blanche power (which would apply to absolutely anybody - "a person") exceeds that used by the Nazis in their infamous Nuremberg Laws of 1935 (which only applied to Jews)!

It would apply to even British borne UK Citizens, not just those who have been granted British Citizenship through naturalisation. Even in these cases deprivation of British Citizenship should require a conviction for treason (e.g. for for being involved in armed conflict against British military forces) or espionage, by a proper Court, and not just "by order" on the whim of the Home Secretary.

N.B. neither the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal nor the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. are proper courts with juries, full access to the alleged "evidence" against the accused etc. They are effectively Kafakauesque "Star Chambers" where much of the proceedings are arbitararily complicated and secret, designed to favour the power of the State over that of the individual.

How can any politician ever be trusted to to decide, in their own opinion, what is "conducive to the public good" ?

Instead of increasing the power of a NuLabour or future extremist politician Home Secretary, this Bill should be implementing more safeguards and checks and balances on such power.

So far, there have been no amendments tabled on this clause in the House of Lords.

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I think this "stripping of citizenship" applies only to people with dual nationality. I might be wrong, but that was my interpretation. Nevertheless, it's still a diabolical law. In effect it says that if you have dual nationality then the British component of it is not worth the same as that of someone who has solely British nationality.

Only our current depraved government could come up with something like this. As mentioned, it equates well to what the Nazis did.

The Explanatory Notes, as is so often the case with Home Office Bills, do not provide any reason or justification of any pressing need to change the existing law.

Clause 53: Deprivation of Citizenship

132. Clause 53 will replace an existing criterion for deprivation of British nationality that the person concerned had done something which was "seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory" with the criterion that it is conducive to the public good to deprive a person of his or her British nationality. The current limitation that a deprivation order may not be made on this basis if it would make a person stateless would continue to apply.

At first glance, if you only hold British Citizenship and depriving you of it would make you stateless, would seem to be a safeguard covering most people born in the UK.

However, there are many foreign countries which automatically give the children of their nationals the right of citizenship, even if they have never actually applied for it e.g. Japan or perhaps the Republic of Ireland.

It is not impossible to imagine a future Home Office jobsworth revoking someone's British Citizenship because they know or assume that a person can easily claim Citizenship from a foreign country , even if they do not currently hold two passports.

As you say, this clause creates an arbitrary "second class" of British Citizenship, without a word of public consultation or justification by the Government.

The impression given by Charles Clarke's Ministerial Statement on Counter-Terrorism last Thursday, is that all British citizens are at risk of having their British Citizenship stripped from them at the whim of the Home Secretary, without the need for any actual conviction for very serious wrongdoing:

4. To consult on extending the powers to strip citizenship, applying them to British citizens engaged in extremism, and making the procedures simpler and more effective.

Following consultation with opposition parties, provisions now included in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill will, if passed, replace one of the existing criteria for deprivation of citizenship—that the person concerned "has done anything seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom"— with a test of the public interest. If passed, the Bill will additionally confer on the Secretary of State a power to remove a person's right of abode in the UK, again on "conducive" grounds, where this right derived from citizenship of a Commonwealth country other than the United Kingdom.

I don’t think this law bad at all because indigenous people with Middle Eastern backgrounds have to wake up and realize that if they want to be British Citizens then they have a responsibility to be loyal to their country. When they came in the UK, they met other values and it is their responsibility to respect the British values. If they want to bring the Islamic fanatism and being tied up by their religion then they can leave. In UK there is a freedom of religion, but some people don’t seem to get, and some want to abuse that freedom. The United Kingdom has Western values, not Middle Eastern Values. I’m not saying that they have to assimilate in the British society, but they have a responsibility to adapt in the British society. In France this law has also been approved I don’t see anything wrong with it. There has been terrorism in England this year and I honestly think that those from the Muslim community have a responsibility to guide their youth. Those who have sympathy with terrorists around the world must lose their British citizenship. They chose to come in Britain and they have to respect the British and European values, also those who are in France. I think Australia, Germany, Holland, Austria, Italy and United States should do the same thing. The law is fair. I’m not a British, but I can understand.

Balthazar N.Balenda
Native country: France
Country of origin: Republic of the Congo
Student at the University of Southern Denmark

People need to deal with some facts here, and it’s not me who found the word Islam. Britain has other values and if they don’t want to respect it than I’m sorry then they don’t like Britain at all. I agree with Tony Blair’s law it’s just and it’s fair. I have nothing against Muslims or people with Middle Eastern Backgrounds, but the society is not going to do it for them, they are the one to start taking initiatives.

Balthazar N.Balenda
Native country: France
Country of origin: Republic of the Congo
Student at the University of Southern Denmark

@ Balthazar - so why should the criterion for revoking someone's British Citizenship be reduced from "has done anything seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom"

e.g. being convicted of treason or espionage

to the far more general criterion of

“(2) The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.” ?

Why should this sort of decision be within the power of a politician like the Home Secretary, and not be made be made by through a proper Judicial proceess, after the hearing of actual eveidence against someone in a Court ?

This law does not apply to just Islamic immigrants, it also applies to say, Irish people with British and Irish parentage as well.

It also applies to anyone who have been born in the United Kingdom.

An open letter to the Right Hon. Charles Clarke, MP, (UK Home secretary).

Dear Mr. Clarke,

I am writing to you in connection with what is to my mind the vexed question of British nationality, and the current sorry state of the UK's terrorism legislation.

I was involved in the protests against the G8 in Gleneagles, Scotland in the summer of 2005. I supported the disruption of the meeting as I felt that the decisions that were being made were decisions that not only should be subject to democratic scrutiny, but also they were too important to be made soley by the powerful and wealthy.

This kind of thinking was exactly what led to the barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. It is still a cornerpiece of this country's political system.

Nevertheless, I was arrested because I was by the side of a motorway dancing. I was charged with Breach of the Peace under Scottish law, but this was later thrown out of court.

However, I am writing to you as I now realise my crime was far more serious than either the police or I had first thought.

Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000, terrorism is defined as "the use or threat of action where ....... the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause."

The action of dancing by a motorway, in my view, makes me a terrorist without question. I therefore strongly urge you to take steps to secure my re-arrest on this charge forthwith.

However, it gets worse.

My father was an immigrant. He came to this country from Hungary during the Cold War. As a terrorist, it is abundantly clear that under the 1981 British Nationality Act, I have done something "seriously detrimental to the vital interests of the United Kingdom."

You would be entirely within the remit of your powers granted to you under this legislation to deport me immediately. It would, however, also be your decision as to where I would go. I was born in Glasgow to a Scottish mum, I was brought up in England and I have been living in Cardiff for four years. In fact, if I stay another year here I will technically be Welsh.

Your call.

I would also point out that if I was deported to Hungary, under UK legislation I would be able to also legally able to come back and work here. You never know, I may even nip round to sort out the plumbing in your constituency residence.

I look forward to your swift resolution of this matter. Particularly as my pseudo "career" in the music business is not going too well, and I could do with the publicity.

Yours sincerely,

Sandor Dus

aka citizensmith

>>I don’t think this law bad at all because indigenous people with Middle Eastern backgrounds have to wake up

Why does everything have to be morphed into a racial one? I do have a problem with a Home Secretary deciding to revoke my citizenship without any good cause. Hey, for all we know it could be a way of reducing the population: Give everyone who has a dual nationality 30 days to leave the country...

Start with those over 60 as it reduces the pension bill. Then withdraw passports from anyone who's unemployed, disabled, or otherwise claiming benefits. In due course the PSBR will come down and budgets will balance.

OK, extreme scenario, but a slippery slope nonetheless.

i`m from Egypt born in saudia arabia to an egyptian father after ten yrs he divorsed my mother so i lived in Egypt then he took the british citizenship and also my 5 brothers , do i have the right to have the british citizenship. thank u

Conducive to the public good does not necessarily refer to terrorists or their supporters. It would in fact be more commonly used in cases of serious criminal conduct such as in the cases of N Kenya or Allen Samaroo. The former was a rapist who kidnapped his victim and raped her over a number of days and the latter was a drug smuggler. The criterior for coducive deportation has been laid down over a number of years in a variety of test cases.

Those cases have established some basic principles that have to be observed and an established set of principles which must be met in order for the Secretary of State to establish that a deportation was the correct decision.

Of course there are people who beleive that drug smugglers and rapists should not be deported, but the Secretary of State for the Home Department is an elected representative of the people with a duty to protect citizens of the UK.

If a naturalised British Citizen commits a very serious offence it is in my opinion only right that under the current conducive deportation criterior they could be stripped of their citizenship and returned to their own country.

We have enough problems dealing with our own borne and bred citizens who resort to criminal activities, why should we be required to adopt criminals from other countries.

With regards to the aspect of depriving a British citizen of their citizenship on unproven assertions that they are a security risk this would I think be going to far. There should be a proven offence behind the stripping of naturalised citizenship or we are indeed in danger of becoming too much like a Nazi dictatorship.

@ Joe Blogs -

"There should be a proven offence behind the stripping of naturalised citizenship or we are indeed in danger of becoming too much like a Nazi dictatorship."

That is exactly not what this power is about.

The Home Secretary may well be alerted to a serious case via a conviction in a Court, but he currently has the power to act on the without anybody having had any convictions proven against them in a British or even a foreign court, subject to

the existing criterion for deprivation of British nationality that the person concerned had done something which was "seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory"

This Bill is proposing to broaden the scope of this test to the far weaker, and still entirely subjective

"that it is conducive to the public good" to deprive a person of his or her British nationality.

Deportation or even extradition does not necessarily come in to it at all, since the Home Secretary might revoke your British Citizenship whilst you are abroad, where you could not appeal against his decision in a British Court.

It seems that this could seriously curtail the range of acceptable political participation of a dual citizen--conceivably, being an active supporter of UKIP or even a foreign party like Groep Wilders could arouse some suspicions...

@ Mike - there are a lot of people in Northern Ireland who would be under threat from this change in the law.

The Third Reading of this Bill in the House of Lords was scheduled for today Tuesday 14th March 2006.

We will check Hansard tomorrow
to see if the Opposition Amendment which retains the still dubious status quo is accepted or not:

Clause 57


13 Page 31, line 31, leave out from "State" to end of line 33 and insert "is satisfied that the person has done something seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of—
(a) the United Kingdom; or
(b) a British overseas territory"

The Immigration "scandal" is an excuse to repeal all of our human rights and lumber us with Compulsory ID cards.
And on the other edge of their sword is the fact that each immigrant is worth about £1,000 in good old council tax p.a. Add to this the fact that the country and the councils are run by solicitors, barristers and judges (T.Blair, C Blair all the way down) and you acquire an appreciation that it is the council tax which feeds the monster. Council tax is otherwise known as "the public purse" and this purse must be constantly filled as it is being emptied at an ever increasing rate by these lawmakers to the point where "There isnt enough money for the hospitals" is the standard "whine from the same political prostitutes who made sure they kept the courts on a revolving door system of spurious cases both by them and against them in order that they can attach the council tax revenues directly to their bank accounts.
Did you know that?
Check it out for yourself and see.

@ matey -

Council tax is otherwise known as "the public purse"

Surely there is a lot more burden of tax on the public than just the council tax ?

it doesn't just refer to people with 'dual nationality' - it applies to everyone!

@ sonia - it does, but the principle that the UK Government is not allowed to make someone stateless also applies, something which was spelled out in the Explanatory Notes to the Bill.

"The current limitation that a deprivation order may not be made on this basis if it would make a person stateless would continue to apply."

Can a British person be deported from one of the British Overseas Territories?

@ David - of course they can.

Which countries and alleged offences are you particularly interested in ?

My British citizenship application has been refused for more than 15years now by the British High Commission in Ghana.
The reason according to them is because my father was a foreign diplomat in the UK at the time of my birth in the UK on the 13th May 1968.
The question is that I know perfectly well that under subsection 1b of the British Nationality(No.2)Act 1964, I am entitled to British Citizenship by birth and registration in London.
Please I need your intervention in this matter.
Thank you in advance.
Yours Sincerely,
David Yankyerah.

My letter for your assistance appears above.

@ David - what makes you think that we have any influence with the UK Home Office or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office ?

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OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

Justin Wylie's political blog

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

Georgetown Security Law Brief - group blog by the Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law , at Georgtown University, Washington D.C, USA.

Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
Mayor of London Blog
London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

Cool Britannia


Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid_150.jpg - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."


Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

wblogocrop_150.jpg - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers