British Bureacracy

Apologies if you've seen this before. Sums up British Bureacracy!

Subject: Passport application

Dear Minister,

I'm in the process of renewing my passport but I am a total loss to
understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of T.V. Rentals Basingstoke has my address
and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them
back in 1994, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was
born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round every
Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film or video
I have had out since he started his business up eleven years ago, yet
you still want me to remind you of my last three jobs, two of which
were with contractors working for the government?

How come the T.V. detector van can tell if my T.V. is on, what channel
I am watching and whether I have paid my licence or not, and yet if I
win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won or where I
am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail to claim in
good time. Do you people do this by hand?

You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me, including the
one with all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30-odd years.
It's on my health insurance card, my driver's licence, on the last four
passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've
had to fill out before being allowed off the planes and boats over the
last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done
every ten years and the electoral registration forms I have to
complete, by law, every time our lords and masters are up for

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in
Maidenhead on the 4th of March 1957, my mother's name is Mary, her
maiden name was Reynolds, my father's name is Robert, and I'd be
absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I

I apologise Minister. I'm obviously not myself this morning. But
between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the application
to my house, then you ask me for my address. What is going on? Do you
have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at my damn picture. Do
I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to activate the Fifth Reich for
God's sake! I just want to go and park my weary backside on a sunny,
sandy beach for a couple of week's well-earned rest away from all this

Well, I have to go now, because I have to go to back to Salisbury and
get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the last one.
AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would it be so
complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the
issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo, that'd be too damn
easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the
place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some tosser to
confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know... the
one where we're not allowed to smile in in case we look as if we are
enjoying the process! Hey, you know why we can't smile? 'Cause we're
totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over ten
years at the Ministry of Defence in London. I have had security
clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats
away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first
Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red Cross
ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone
'important' to verify who I am -- you know, someone like my doctor...
who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN

Yours sincerely,

An Irate British Citizen.

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