Fortress Britain

These are the images that currently decorate the home page of the UK Border Agency website:

Someone being handcuffed:

UKBA website image of a person being handcuffed

And someone being fingerprinted:

UKBA website image of a person being fingerprinted

This is not acceptable. Border control does indeed entail arrests and enforcement and all that nasty stuff. Sometimes. But it is not and should not be the core business of the UK Border Agency.

This kind of imagery is horrible, authoritarian, and dehumanising, and I’m appalled at the kind of mentality that it implies. It’s not the way that we should be presenting ourselves to visitors.


  1. Xiangdian

    Wrote at 2010-06-23 15:33 UTC using Firefox 3.6.4 on Windows 7:

    The way we treat other people reflects the way we treat our nature. People (the UK border agency) see danger or opposition from strangers (foreign visitors) before they see friendship. This is sad. It’s time calling for revolution, widely, in the way of our thinking. Otherwise, it would be sadder…
  2. Craig

    Wrote at 2010-07-06 10:42 UTC using Firefox 3.6.6 on Mac OS X:

    You’re absolutely right. This kind of imagery is there to placate rabid Daily Mail readers…

    I’m living in Beijing and it’s very peculiar how China can present itself as being far more welcoming and open than we can manage! It’s really important that we Brits are able to step outside and look back sometimes… we’re still lucky enough to have a frankly charming stereotype doing the rounds (especially in Asia; it’s all “oh you’re a gentleman!”) but we’re slowly replacing that image with one of almost overwhelming negativity.