What next? Intelligence tests for tourists? The British economy is, by common consent, going down the tubes, and the massively successful international education industry instead of getting government encouragement or even, gulp, support is being strangled. But it doesn’t stop there – we are also making it hard for anyone to come in who might help the economy by, say, walking round the Tower of London, Stonehenge, or Edinburgh Castle and spending their money here as tourists, and so developing a taste for and interest in the country and our goods and services. Whereas a Chinese tourist can get easy access to the Schengen group of European countries, if he or she wants to come to the UK
“At present, Chinese tourists are forced to have their fingerprints taken at a centre in China, face higher fees and have to complete a lengthier application form than if they want to visit most other countries in Europe.”
So not exactly a warm welcome.
But here’s the killer. When this cost to the British economy was put to the Home Office, The Telegraph reports, their spokesman said “We are open to the brightest and best”. I mean, would you Adam and Eve it? One fatheaded government minister (or lackey) after another trots out this formula as if it was some sort of saving grace and made sense. It would make as much sense, no, rather more in fact, if guards were posted at the door of the House of Commons canteen and applied the same criteria to any MP who wanted to enter. Not many would get their lunch.