Lantern Swinger
Subject: Passport Application

Dear Minister,

I'm in the process of renewing my passport but I am a total loss to
understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of T.V. Rentals Basingstoke has my address
and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from
them back in 1994, and yet, the Government is still asking me where
I was born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round
every Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film
or video I have had out since he started his business up eleven
years ago, yet you still want me to remind you of my last three
jobs, two of which were with contractors working for the government?

How come the T.V. detector van can tell if my T.V. is on, what
channel I am watching and whether I have paid my license or not, and
yet if I win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won
or where I am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail
to claim in good time.
Do you people do this by hand?

You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me, including
the one with all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30-odd
years. It's on my health insurance card, my driver's license, on the
last four passports I've had, on all those stupid customs
declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the
planes and boats over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable
census forms that are done every ten years and the electoral
registration forms I have to complete, by law, every time our lords
and masters are up for re-election.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in
Maidenhead on the 4th of March 1957, my mother's name is Mary, her
maiden name was Reynolds, my father's name is Robert, and I'd be
absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I

I apologise Minister. I'm obviously not myself this morning. But
between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the
application to my house, then you ask me for my address. What is
going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at
my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to activate
the Fifth Reich for God's sake! I just want to go and park my weary
backside on a sunny, sandy beach for a couple of week's well-earned
rest away from all this crap.

Well, I have to go now, because I have to go to back to Salisbury
and get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the
last one. AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would
it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to
assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo,
that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us
running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off,
then find some tosser to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn
picture - you know... the one where we're not allowed to smile in in
case we look as if we are enjoying the process!
Hey, you know why we can't smile? 'Cause we're totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over
ten years at the Ministry of Defense in London. I have had security
clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats
away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first
Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red
Cross ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone
"important" to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor...
who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN

Yours sincerely,
An Irate British Citizen. :threaten:
Here in Spain when you are born or become a citizen you get a personal identification numnber that remains with you for life. It is your national insurance number, your passport number and everybodys knows theirs off by heart.
It helps avoid confusion due to the manner is which Spanish people are named.
It beats me rigid in the Uk that you have a different number for everything, even when you renew your passport the number changes (flummexes the Spanish authorities no end this one, they simply cannot understand it) yet all UK citizens have an individual national insurance number which could be then used for all other official documents. Why on earth this does not happen is totally beyond me. If the national insurance number was given at birth then the entire system could be complete.
Sometimes the faffiness and fudginess of UK bureacracy is almost beyond belief.
Tas Ape, sir, I would laugh my nuts off, if it wasn't so damn true.
One time coming through Thiefrow, I had an Asian Imigration Officer question my right of entry back in to Britain! His English wasn't that good either.That set me up for the day I can tell you.
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