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|Subject: Now that I come to think about it...|
Ed Harris (Venezia)
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Date Posted: 15:10:10 11/24/04 Wed
In reply to: Nick (UK) 's message, "Though his British subject status wasn't taken from him by Britain, remember...." on 10:43:43 11/22/04 Mon
The Commonwealth citizenship issue seems to me to be rather like a Commonwealth Midlothian Question. The lines drawn between Brits, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders were on paper - of which the renunciation of British citizenship is the prominent example. I say 'on paper', because it did not reflect the reality that the people of the former dominions were still essentially British and, amongst other things, fought in the British army, navy and air force.
So long as the theoretical change was not reflected in policy, there was no problem. But it was inevitable that at some point, bureaucrats and politicians being what they are, an attempt would be made to rationalise in policy a decision which was taken as a symbolic gesture of independence rather than a renunciation of all cultural and historical ties, not to mention practical ties.
Many of our best laws are the best laws precisely because they are not enforced. The laws on cannabis are a good example: their illegality reflects our beilief that its mental and physical effects are far from healthy, but our decision not to enforce it reflects our tolerance of people who realise this but are entitled to make their own decision anyway. But socialists do love to enforce laws, don't they, and that mucks up the whole system.
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