Friday, November 26, 2021

Today's rant, plus a plea

I've been musing on all the documentation required these days to go abroad and come home again, much of which is digital. I told you of my struggles with the Verifly app which you must use of you want to check in online to BA. I realise now that it recognises faces and QR codes and nothing else. 

Everything is automated and high tech and sometimes it gets a bit much. If you’re travelling these days you need a barcode or a QR code on everything and when you get to any particular portal, either online or real, you need to know which bloody code they’re asking for. The instructions are either absent or opaque. Yes, it's slick if you're in the know: but if you're muddled-headed after a sleepless overnight flight, it would be lovely to have a smiling official being friendly and checking you out or in.

Do you remember the film Pretty Woman? There’s a scene where Richard Gere is trying to open his hotel door and is fumbling with the card, and he says sadly ‘I miss keys.’ That’s how I feel.

I don't use supermarket self-checkouts because I object to them. For one thing they steal jobs, and for another, the supermarkets make enough profit to provide staff to do the the checkout. At W.H.Smiths in Heathrow there is now no option: you have to use self service. And Dave even had trouble with the car park at Manchester airport when he came to pick me up. He had to ask another customer why the entrance barrier hadn’t given him a ticket. The answer: because it reads your number plate on the way out or in. But why was there no notification of that?

But you know what? 

I am lucky. I got out of the country and I got in again.

The refugees who died in the channel got in that boat because this government has closed down safe routes into this country for people fleeing war and terror. 

Under international law they had a right to seek asylum in the UK because we are signatories of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. It was not incumbent on them to seek asylum in the first country they came to. They had the right to claim asylum here. 

This week Beth Gardiner, CEO of Safe Passage said this:

"The tragic truth is that these deaths could – and should - have been prevented. No one should have to risk their life to reach safety. Every day, men, women and children are having to make extraordinary efforts to reach safety, sanctuary and loved ones here in the UK because there is no other way. To prevent a repeat of this tragedy, refugees urgently need safe routes to reach their loved ones, find refuge and have the chance to rebuild their lives. 

More and more people are risking the freezing, frightening journey across the Channel in small, unstable boats since the Government closed safe routes to the UK last year. Choosing to play politics with people’s lives, the Government has failed to prevent people risking the crossing and this is the result. The Government must act now to save lives by opening safe routes to the UK, and scrap their unworkable plans in the Nationality and Borders Bill which will only make the situation worse."


If you would like to sign a petition in support of safe routes, click here.


diana mcdougall said...

signed the petition

Christine said...

Me too. And I have made a donation to Safe Passage.