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Re: Fooled again?

From: "John Hughes" <pureneasy@xxxxxxxxx>

From the website you quoted ;

" At a minimum, the US VISIT system will utilize the existing fingerprint
and photographic technology. Other biometric identifiers, such as facial
recognition and iris scan, are still being studied."

information sufficient to be beyond the capability of the British Government
for many years to come. In any case, the UK government currently don't have
the power in law to collect fingerprint information from any person not
charged with a crime so that requirement will necessitate a change in the
law here. That may be difficult to obtain, as the Labour government here has
a lot of MP's who are not entirely friends of America.

OK, so they want a scanable picture and a fingerprint, which the US claims is "existing technology." I can see that there would be legal/privacy issues with fingerprinting, but "beyond the capability of the UK government?" You keep saying that. What is so hard, technically? Isn't this the same government that (most Britons seem to think) single handedly defeated the Nazis? They should be able to put a decent picture on a passport. We have standards here that passport photo's have to meet. As I recall, for a UK passport you could go into any photo booth in, say, Woolworths and use that. is that stiill the case?

My advice to you and Pete (Who content, Who content) would be to renew your passport before October. You don't think they'll have this sorted out in 10 years?

I'm afraid you've ignored the scale problem. Britain is very much smaller in
scale but in proportion, I'm right.

No, I haven't ignored the scale problem, it's my whole point. You can't compare travelling to the corners of Britain with travelling to the corners of America. A far higher percentage of the British populatiion live within a few hours of London or Belfast than Americans do to Washington, Seattle, or any two cities you could name. I live outside of Boston, within minutes of the major highway to New York, and it takes me four hours to get there. That's just one tiny corner of this country. In four hours you can travel half the length of Britain. America is a bloody huge place.

Still, I agree that, if this plan were to become permanent, it would be necessary to create centers north of Manchester for the, I'm guessing, 20% of UK population for whom travelling to London or Belfast for the day is impractical. But it's not going to become permanent, is it? It's a game of chicken between the two governments. And the way you can avoid it is simple; Renew your passport now. If you don't do that, don't blame me. That's three times I've told you.

Many people will simply say no, not going to America. I wonder if the
Florida tourist industry can make up the potential loss of up to 4 million
UK visitors a year from inside the US?

Relax and settle down (Who content). I'm sure the diifficulties you stated won't deter *every* UK Florida tourist (4 million, is that true? That's something like 7% of your population). Especially the ones who were lucky, or smart, enough to have passports issued recently. Hello, Mr. dead horse, I'm sorry for flogging you so much. As I said, I agree that it wouldn't be a tennable situation to have long term. The visa waiver program is highly valued by both countries. They will work it out.

No one here doubts the need for security - both in the US and UK. But we
manage security without the need to impose such inconvenient and expensive
conditions on Americans coming to Britain.

I had to jump through some pretty inconvenient and expensive hoops to get my immigrant visa to the UK. Granted, that's a different matter, but the truth is we're lucky to be living in a time when the visa waiver program is in place. I also hope that it continues and am confident that it will.

Imagine if you are one of the many Americans who will be coming here to see
the Who at the Isle of Wight festival ...

Aaaaaahhhhhhh. Picture a big grin on my face.

...and we imposed these same visa
conditions for Americans to come here.

Shit. Oh, wait a minute. It's OK. My passport's only a couple of years old. They'll have this whole mess straightened out before I have to worry about it. Phew, that was close.

You would now have to travel to Anchorage or Washington, be interviewed and
pay a $100 fee for a visa to attend this concert. Would you still come?

Well, I've never been to Washington, and I'd really like to go, but ignoring that? Sure I would! It's the bloody Who, innit? No, seriously, you're killing your own argument. You're saying that if America needed 20 visa centers to make this work, then so would Britain. *You're* ignoring the scale problem.

I still believe if this is introduced it will harm the relationship between
the people of Britain and America.  That's the perspective on this issue.

Well, not on my part. I'll always love Britain and its people.



Cheers. Make mine a London Pride.

Jim M

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