No more python at Google

Dirk Koopman djk at
Wed Apr 4 13:11:52 BST 2007

Ovid wrote:
> --- Dirk Koopman <djk at> wrote:
>> Nice try. However, some of the other aliens (within the meaning of
>> the 
>> eponymous act of 1949) will have seen right through it straight away
>> :-)
>> The clue being "they finally noticed". They wouldn't - they really 
>> wouldn't.
> You know, that's not terribly reassuring.  When I apply for "Indefinite
> Leave to Remain" in about three years, I don't want to find out then
> that I'm an illegal.

I have a nice lady contact (she comes from Seattle), who has been 
through the mill, should you want to discuss the issues involved with 
staying over here.

What I find moderately amusing is that the tabloids constantly whinge 
about how porous the UK borders have always been and how we need to "get 
tough". When I arrived with my family in 1957 (I was three at the time) 
from the Netherlands. My father had to report to a police station once a 
week for two years and once a month for another three. If he forgot (or 
was away on business and had not told them in advance), a policeman came 
round to see *us*. We don't exactly see *that* requirement anymore.

I actually turned 18 (just) before the UK joined the EC and, 
technically, I could then have been deported - but by then the rot had 
truly set in and nobody, in authority, even knew I existed.

However, just to show that they were still "in charge" (even after 
joining the EC) everytime I returned from abroad, I used to get a little 
white card with my (Dutch) passport giving me "leave to remain" for six 
months. It was never clear to any of us what precisely would occur after 
that period. I once remonstrated with an immigration official (I was 
last off the plane and it was a slack day) and he said that it didn't 
matter whether I had lived there (by that time) 30 odd years, I would 
still be  given the card - "policy" you know. He could not shed any 
light on what should happen after the six months were up either.

Then the Dutch have also recently started getting anal as well. Our 
passports only last five years and, before my current one, I hadn't 
bothered to renew it because I wasn't going abroad (as they are also 
fairly expensive [I told you was Dutch :-]). So when I came to renew, I 
trolled up to Kensington and filled in all the forms and was told that, 
as I had let the passport lapse for more than a year, I now had to get a 
letter from the Home Office to say that I had not taken UK nationality 
in the interim! Were that a simple process! It took nearly four months 
and (eventually) some deep digging in the HTML source of the IND website 
for some hidden phone numbers (in the comments that they had left in).

If any of you find yourself waiting (and waiting) for the IND to reply 
to correspondence, the trick is not to ring any of the enquiry lines 
(they are always busy from the moment they open at 09:00 until they 
close at 16:00), ring the complaints line instead (or find any other 
phone that answers and ask to be put through to complaints). They are 
obliged to have someone phone you back within two hours. A very 
efficient and courteous man did just that and I had my letter the next day!

In the meantime I am going on a fact finding mission to Oz soon, to see 
whether I would like to live and work there.



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