Category: Policy

30 Reasons

30 reasons is a month long email poster campaign that aims to encourage people to vote for Obama. This is one of my favourite amongst the lot, although there are *so* many great ones. Well done 30 reasons for helping re-elect President Obama. What a relief that is.

Limited Leave to Remain …

I’m not having a great time navigating my way through UK immigration (read: it’s ridiculously unorganised and contradictory).

Legally, I’m allowed to remain in the UK by exercising treaty rights as a family member of someone who is from the European Economic Area. The process for me to apply has been a farce. It’s amazing how little information is available (aside from in forums where people tend to share their experiences or frustrations) and how the information available from the Home Office is contradictory – like that immigration officer that told me to apply under the wrong category.

After venturing down to Croydon to submit my application, the immigration advisor told me that I had to come back with additional documentation. When I asked a question about where I could find the information, he told me to “google it”. When I asked if he could write down for me a specific link, he said “Miss, stop being aggressive with me!” That’s the first time EVER I’ve been told I’m aggressive, and it was simply for asking where I could get more information.

Another example of misinformation: the application form. On page 2 in the guidance notes, there are details on the specifications for the photos and it reads “Do not staple…”

Three pages later, on page 6, you are instructed to staple your picture to the page. Which guidance to follow? How likely is it that my application for will be rejected if I do use a staple?

I also spent 47 mins on hold to cancel my following appointment at the Home Office, as responsible people do. 47 minutes just to say I wasn’t coming. Surely they could automate this or let people cancel online? I could have just not turned up – it would have wasted less of my time to be honest.

This whole process has been a joke and while I’m usually an optimist, I’m doubtful that I’ll actually receive my application back within the next six months (as the Home Office’s website says).

Biobanking

This week saw the launch of the UK’s first conservation credit scheme. Conservation credits work very similar to carbon offsetting. If an area of land or water is to be developed, the developers can offset their impact by buying credits in biodiversity. Areas of biodiversity will then get developed in designated locations. Biobanking is becoming a really big emerging market.

While the idea of need to compensate for environmental damage seems like a good idea, you can’t manufacture biodiversity. Letting builders or developers essentially pay for environmental degradation, is not doing anything for conservation, if anything it’s just showing that everything has a price tag.

By issuing conservation credits, it inherently implies that a price can be put on biodiversity- but how can you measure and value this? And can it work retroactively? What about damage that’s already been done?

Like carbon offsetting, you are paying to alleviate guilt, pressure, bi-laws. But you cant really put a price on biodiversity. You can’t pay £500,000 to create a panda reserve because something that you want to build just might happen to obliterate a wild turkey population.