Friday, 9 July 2010

Let her back

The Mail reports that the Home Office is looking at ways of denying Anna Chapman - who has British citizenship thanks to her four-year marriage to kiss-and-tell husband Alex - from re-entering the UK, as is apparently her wish. They hope to declare her marriage a sham - although by all accounts it was regularly and enthusiastically consummated - and categorise her as someone whose presence is "not conducive to the public good".

This is typical of our Home Office, vindictive and pointless.

Firstly, her presence is very much conducive to the national interest. There are many people here who would be very much inerested in having her back. She also deserves the opportunity to "set the record straight" by selling her own story to the News of the World - which, no doubt, already has its chequebook open.

Secondly, there is no evidence that she has ever done anything contrary to British interests. Her so-called spying activities, evidence for which was always extremely weak, involved no state secrets and seem to have amounted to little more than a hobby. She pleaded guilty only as part of the spy-swap deal, and seemed confused when asked to describe her espionage. And whatever she may have done she did entirely in the United States. The notion that her sojourn in London was part of a plot to groom her for a future as a real-life Bond girl is a fanciful piece of speculation that may excite the juices of some of our more ridiculous newspapers, but Her Majesty's government should be above such nonsense.

Not to mention the hypocrisy of acting as though there have never been any British spies in Moscow.

Thirdly, at a time of austerity and recession, she has already done so much to cheer us all up.

Please, Home Office, stop this macho posturing, and stop treating border controls as a means of scoring cheap political points. New Labour is over.