The bottom of depravity:
Want a British passport? Just stand on a picket line or canvas for Labour
- Whatever it takes: there is no bottom to SocialistÂ cravennessÂ and depravity:
ByÂ JAMES SLACK/Mail online
Migrants will win fast-track passports if they stand on picket lines or knock on doors asking people to vote Labour, it emerged last night.
The Home Office says trade union activism and political canvassing should count towards the planned new system of ‘earned citizenship’.
Migrants who complete 50 hours of voluntary work will be entitled to receive British citizenship after six years – two years earlier than if they do nothing.Â
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Migrants will win fast-track passports if they stand on picket lines, such as those set up outside Tube stations in London this week
Ministers had originally given examples such as running a local scout group rather than helping unions such as the RMT, which this week inflicted crippling strike action on London.
Critics will point to the historic relationship between Labour and the unions. Migrants cannot vote until they become citizens – so, by using union membership to speed their applications, Labour is potentially swelling its own support.
The details emerged in a Home Office document circulated among MPs this week. It reveals that employers will be expected to give people time off, where required, to complete the service.
Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘This Government seems to think that standing on a picket line or handing out political leaflets should give people a fast track to a British passport.
‘These are half-baked ideas which show that at best Ministers are making up policy as they go along.
‘This sort of proposal threatens to bring the whole idea of earning British citizenship into disrepute.’Â
The list of activities which count towards earned citizenship includes trade union activities and canvassing for a political party – which also covers the Tories and Liberal Democrats.Â
Even aiding the BNP would count – if it was willing to accept help from an immigrant.
The document says: ‘We are keen for migrants to participate in our civic and political life and we recognise the important part that political parties and trade unions play in our democracy.’Â
It says canvassing and handing out leaflets will qualify as active citizenship because they include interaction with other party members. Simple membership of a party or union will not count.
Under the earned citizenship system, a migrant will be able to obtain a passport after living legally in the UK for six years, provided they complete the 50 hours of community service.
If they do not, they will have to wait for eight years. Full access to benefits is granted once citizenship is approved.
Community service claims will have to be endorsed by a referee who could be fined Â£5,000 or jailed for three months for lying.
Local councils will be in charge of checking applications.
A Home Office spokesman said last night: ‘We are asking more than ever before. As well as paying tax, speaking English and sticking to the rules, we are asking newcomers to get involved in making their communities a better place.
‘This could be done in many different ways, including through conservation work or helping out in a primary school or hospital.’
The document also reveals that the introduction of the earned citizenship scheme has been delayed by nine months, to December 2010.