Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Welcome to Britain

By Edwin Tan (c) 2009

I wish I could say that the above is a comical exaggeration of the truth. Unfortunately, it is not. I really did have to wait in a massive queue with the other non-EU citizens because of my Australian passport. I wouldn't usually complain about this except for the fact that:
1) There were at least five manned counters for the EU passport holders and only ONE for the non-EU passport holders
2) The queue for the non-EU passport holders was obviously exceedingly long
3) A second plane load of passengers had arrived and were dealt with BEFORE us because they held EU passports
4) The EU sucks

I will now elaborate on the fourth point.

The EU is like some big exclusive country club where only certain people are allowed to be members. And like any good country club (yeah..coz I know all about country clubs), these members get benefits whilst non-members do not. For example, at many museums and art galleries across Europe, EU citizens below a certain age or who are students or pensioners are allowed free or discounted entry. Whereas non-EU citizens automatically have to pay the full fare. So what they're basically saying is, if you're not from a particular country of the European variety, you're not entitled to the rights and privleges of someone who is European. To put it bluntly, they're being racist.
Now, before you start tuning off and mumbling "oh...he's in one of his 'everything's racist' kind of moods again", let me justify this statement. Think about it. Does Australia have some policy where only Australians and people of the Oceanic/Pacific/Asian region are allowed discounted entry into it's museums, galleries, theatres, parks, cinemas and sporting grounds? Do we go up to tourists and say "Oh, you're a student from France eh? Well, that's not quite in the correct region of the world required for a 30% discount into the Ian Potter Gallery" or "Oh, you have a German pension card? Well it looks like das ist nischt gut for the MCG".

No we don't! Aussies are better than that! We treat overseas visitors* with dignity and respect, and give them the opportunity to pay ridiculous amounts of money to see a koala at Healesville Sanctuary no matter their colour, race or creed.

Oh, and don't get me started on how EU citizens can pretty much just waltz into the UK and start working here whereas I have to do another year of pre-reg and exams if I want to practice as a pharmacist. Let's just say, would you rather have someone who knows English dealing with your prescription medications? Or some Spanish guy asking you, ' ¿QuĂ© significa “Not for human consumption”?'

*visitor, not immigrant

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