Creeping ever closer

Dominic Mitchell dom at
Wed Aug 23 13:28:54 BST 2006

On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 11:47:26AM +0100, Sue Spence wrote:
> Dominic Mitchell wrote:
> >From what I've seen, most government buildings are pretty poor inside as
> >well.  If it's not the awful 60's decor, it's the posters everywhere
> >with things you couldn't care less about.
> Yes, all true. On the other hand, I accompanied my spouse to the INS in 
> San Jose after he'd been naughty wrt his US permanent residency, and the 
> decor wasn't a million miles different from what I saw in Croydon. 
> Instead of broken plastic chairs and desperate West Indians yelling to 
> get their passports back because they wanted to go somewhere (etc), we 
> were searched by a security guard to make sure we hadn't brought weapons 
> so we couldn't (easily) take somebody hostage if they weren't prepared 
> to sort out his status. My husband had two small screwdrivers in his 
> backpack and these were officiously confiscated  for the duration of our 
> visit. :)

Sadly, this reminds me of Clarkson.,,12529-2252271,00.html

> Much more recently I went to the Home Office in Durham and it was quite 
> a bit more like it. It was clean, reasonably comfortable furnishings and 
> a rational queueing system that didn't completely suck the life out of you.

Good to hear.  Of course, it's probably a "pilot programme" which means
that it'll have changed back to the usual dreadfulness of local
government by the time it gets rolled out nationwide.


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