Aliens from outer space arrive at passport control. But they’re stumped by the British citizenship test

Janice Atkinson for The Daily Mail
2nd July 2012

The ‘For Mash Get Smash’ family of aliens arrive in Britain from outer space, land at Heathrow, park the family’s spaceship and toddle off to find the welcoming committee.

The UK Border Agency officials wonder what to do with them because they do not have earth type passports and do not seek asylum.  They are polite and they speak English. When they ask to be taken to our leader, the official scratches her head and says she doesn’t know whether that would be Mr Cameron, Mrs May, Mr Clegg, The European Court of Human Rights or the European Parliament because they had varying conflicting views on new aliens and she wasn’t sure who was in charge.  While she ponders the question the border agency official asks the aliens to take the new Home Office immigration test.

They pass with flying colours as they have taken it upon themselves to research the important historical dates, figures and events in this great earth country called Britain. They know all about Florence Nightingale, the Battle of Trafalgar, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and William Shakespeare. They researched these events because they wanted to learn about British culture and what made Britain great; how the citizens of these great isles lived in the past and how that had impacted on how they live now; they did this before they applied because it was the right and polite thing to do.  And because they have chosen to live here and respect our way of life and culture.

They are, however, perplexed by the following questions:

  • Which of the following TWO types of people get their prescriptions free of charge?
  • Which TWO of the following places does the European Parliament meet?
  • A quango is …
  • The governing body of the EU is the Council of the European Union/the governing body of the  EU is the Council of Europe?
  • In which two of the following places does the European Parliament meet?

They didn’t understand why people would get free prescriptions if they hadn’t paid tax in this country for a certain amount of time. They didn’t understand ‘quango’ – a quasi, autonomous, non-governmental office.  These organisations are not answerable to the electorate and as far as they could see are a totally, useless, expensive waste of money that politicians usually hide behind in the guise of autonomy and to have someone to blame.

They didn’t understand why questions were raised about the European Union. They understood that the British people had signed up to a single trading market but their research had shown that over 40 years the British people’s trust in their politicians had been abused by various treaties that passed power to a place called Brussels. They couldn’t understand why this should happen when the British had a perfectly good Parliament and elected representatives. Why would they pass their sovereignty to a foreign body? They understood that the European Parliament also met in Strasbourg once a month, costing around £200m per year.  Again, they were perplexed about the governing body of the EU and why one was needed and why they were expected to know this as new aliens who expected to live and be governed under UK law.  They began to wonder whether they wanted to stay in Britain.  Would it not be better to live outside this EU, given the cost, the bureaucracy, the failure of its economies and currency?

Before they left their planet they had researched the GB entry requirements. They went online and were staggered to learn that they shouldn’t have bothered researching and learning about GB.  All new aliens had to do was to learn by rote some easy questions to pass the new Home Office immigration test. They found to their amazement that there was a booklet available for £9.99 or you could download for free all the information they needed to pass a test. They thought this rather rude as it was a crude way of measuring one’s commitment to a new life in a new country, a bit like the current GCSE system. You can’t fail really.

They also started to worry about their children’s education. They read that most British children had not been educated to understand British history but a new man called Michael Gove was trying to ensure that not only new aliens understand Brunel, Shakespeare, Nightingale, Trafalgar, etc, but GB’s children too.  However, he was up against decades of left-wing drivel on history and culture that seemed to be endemic in the teaching profession and cemented under someone who also looked like an alien, Tony Blair.

They also discovered that under Tony Blair new aliens were given advice on how to claim free money from the government so you didn’t have to work to provide for your family; you could claim free healthcare when you hadn’t even paid taxes; your children were educated for free and you were even provided with a house.  They thought this was wrong but Mrs May was trying to delete this information for new aliens.  She was also trying to delete something called the Human Rights Act but Mr Clegg and his friends were blocking this.  They couldn’t understand why it was right that newly arrived aliens had more rights than the existing Britons.  And those aliens that committed crimes were given free legal aid and could stay here indefinitely abusing the system that had sheltered them.

They were also troubled when they read that the new alien guide said: ‘Britain is proud of being a welcoming country but all residents, regardless of their background, are expected to comply with the law and to understand that some things which may be allowed in other legal systems are not acceptable in the UK.’  They also read that fundamentalist views are not welcome in Britain.  Again, our friendly aliens couldn’t understand why this was written.  Isn’t it a given that if you apply to live in a country you would be polite enough to live by their rules?  And what is this ‘fundamentalism’?  They researched the terms and found that ‘fundamentalist’ groups generally refuse to participate in events with any group that does not share its essential doctrines.  They didn’t understand this either.  Why would you seek to live in a country that was tolerant, fair, open and liberal and refuse to integrate or share your life with anyone that did not agree with your narrow outlook?  Wouldn’t it be better to stay in your country of origin?

Our alien family quickly re-assessed GB as a place to live and thought Mr Gove might be a good future leader (well, he does look a little alien himself), fell about laughing, quickly re-composed themselves, thanked the lovely perplexed lady from the UK Border Agency and jumped back in their space ship to go where no man has gone before.

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