Will the Foreign Ofﬁce aid a British subject?
My worst fears were conﬁrmed today with my Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card (PIC). I went to the consular services’ department at the Red Chinese “embassy” on Glenmore Street (only two Falun Gong protesters this morning) and was told by the chap there that he would not renew my card without my becoming a comrade.
But as blogged earlier this week, I am proud to be British and I am not giving up my nationality on principle.
And the PIC is mine by right, even under Red Chinese law. It was the subject of a Sino–British Joint Declaration and this was ratiﬁed by both nations. It is, therefore, a matter of law in Great Britain.
There are no legal grounds for forcing a British overseas national to change his nationality to get something he is entitled to.
I drove to the British High Commission afterwards and the security guard, an expat Brit, agreed that this was indeed something that HM Government needed to help me with.
Unfortunately, my contact there at the High Commission, with whom I went to high school and had a business venture for a brief period in the early 1990s, has left, and his colleague, Nicky Baughen, was in a meeting. But she was the person I had to contact, and I had to write to the passport section at the High Commission.
I have since done this and await their response.
One only hopes that the Foreign and Commonwealth Ofﬁce sees a duty to help a British subject living abroad, because as noted in that earlier post, a problem with my passport and HM Government’s practice of apartheid was ignored by the High Commissioner in 2001. It was then ignored by the Foreign Secretary, and his Tory counterpart in the Shadow Cabinet. Only PM Tony Blair’s ofﬁce saw ﬁt to respond. I trust it will not come to this, but I have briefed at least one journalist on this matter just in case.
I never had this problem in John Major’s day and sometimes detest having to be this forearmed in dealing with the Foreign Ofﬁce. Posted by Jack Yan, 11:52
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