Thursday, June 08, 2006

Roll of Shame

Via Norm, we learn of yet another person to add to the roll of shame (combined credit to the Home Office, the IND and the police) which represents the ill-considered overreaction to the foreign prisoner deportation scandal. This time the "victim" of the close attentions of a large number of a police officers taking him back into custody is a 23 year old man of Thai origin, Sakchai Makao, who has lived in Shetland for 13 years, and has never lived in Thailand (his parents live in London), who was convicted of fire raising and sentenced to fifteen months in jail. So successful has been his rehabilitation that he has been given his old job back and is now receiving significant local support. In contrast, unless the campaigns of a small number of MPs are successful, it would seem that if you are a (British) member of the House of Lords and you serve time for fire-raising, you get your old "job" back automatically and by definition cannot be deported. In fact, you will be relieved to know that the "apologetic" "Lord" Mike Watson thinks that he is still fit to govern, after spending some time examining the inside of Edinburgh's Saughton jail after being convicted of arson at a dinner held at one of Edinburgh's more sumptuous restaurants (which I shall be having the privilege of visiting for the first time this evening, by strange coincidence).

In contrast, as the cases of Sakchai Makao and Antonio Guarita show, no matter how much you seek to atone for your past sins, or show a changed orientation towards society through your life and your work, if you lack the passport, you could be out on your ear in discipline and punish world of John Reid and Tony Blair.

For earlier comments on this topic see here and here.
Update: for further an update on this see also here, and for comment on another case see here.

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