Home Office
China (re Golden Shield)


UK Border Control by Bertholt Brecht
13 April 2009

Let's say that you are the head of a government agency whose job is to protect the UK's borders.

Let's say that in the four years you've been in post three Home Secretaries have come and gone.

Let's say that 1,000 foreign prisoners are released onto the streets of the UK without being considered for deportation, even though the judges in their cases recommended that they should be.

Let's say that the records of 27,500 criminal offences committed abroad by UK citizens are left unchecked on a desk in the Home Office.

Let's say that Interpol have publicly derided your practice of banning people from taking a bottle of water onto a plane while you fail to use Interpol and EU databases to check immigrants for criminal and terrorist connections.

Let's say that you are given a billion pounds to spend with Raytheon, manufacturers of the Cruise missile, and a few hundred million to spend with a couple of other companies, to make the UK's borders safe.

Let's say that some of that money has been spent on high-tech facial recognition equipment that can't distinguish between Osama bin Laden and Winona Ryder.

And let's say that 11 suspected terrorists have managed to get into the UK, one of them in the past week, even though his visa documents are "all over the place".

Question: what happens to you? Are you:

(a) fired (sent to work in the Cabinet Office)?
(b) named Public Servant of the Year?

BCSL's latest report takes you on a 15-year eOdyssey through the UK's border controls:


About Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL):
BCSL has operated as an IT consultancy since 1984. The past 6 years have been spent campaigning against the Home Office's plans to introduce ID cards into the UK. And against the useless plans for eBorders. It must now be admitted that the government are much better at convincing people that these plans are a bad idea than anyone else is, including BCSL.

Press contacts: David Moss,