Apparently the 1981 British Nationality Act allows the Home Secretary to deprive a person of their citizenship if it would be “conducive to the public good” – provided they wouldn’t become stateless.
But if I travelled to France and committed a crime there, I would not expect the Home Secretary to attempt to revoke my status as a British citizen.
Is this because I have no particular connection with any other country, and therefore would be thrown into limbo? My father was born in India, and my husband’s mother in Northern Ireland. Maybe that would be enough? Might the Indian government take me?
My lack of meaningful outside connections is of course because all my ancestors for several generations have been domiciled in Britain, and therefore, like me, have been white.
This legislation looks racist to me. Maybe it’s even worse, and the fact that all my ancestors… etc, means that no one would even think of depriving me of citizenship. We only do this to Other People.
I don’t normally think of citizenship as a kind of Olympic medal that can be removed if I’ve cheated or otherwise misbehaved. I think of being British as part of who I am. People can be good British (you, dear reader) or bad British (Fred West or some other mass murderer of your choice.)
Anyone can be a disgrace to their nation, and perhaps Shamima Begum is. A British woman, I suggest, who may be a disgrace to the British nation where she was born and brought up.
Unless this woman and her baby are to be executed or assassinated, someone needs to take responsibility for them. At the moment this role has fallen to a refugee camp in Syria.
The suggestion that it be Bangladesh, for no reason except her family’s ancestry, I find repugnant on several grounds. (Oh, of course they’re all Muslims in Bangladesh. Not normally supporters of IS, as far as I know, but a Muslim is a Muslim, and Muslims belong in Asia. Is that the unspoken implication here?)
…The above is one aspect of the case. There are others. I can’t lay my hand on the quotation from Saki which goes something like: “There’s a lot to be said on this subject, and as far as I can see there’s no danger of any of its going unsaid.”
Love from the PPI Blogger