e-democ / e-gov

A quick trip to Canada

Canadian High Commission, London

The lovely people at the Home Office managed to lose my passport, my wife's passport, our marriage certificate and a whole lot of financial paperwork. Enough for a really comprehensive identity theft I'd say.

The package was sent to the wrong address and somebody signed for them. You can see their signature (and hence proof of delivery) on the Royal Mail website. But e-government is not a concept well understood in our wonderful Home Office. They wouldn't accept the Royal Mail website as proof. No, I had to write to Royal Mail and procure written proof. On receipt of this proof (which took weeks to arrive) I now have to forward it to the Home Office in Croydon who will stew on it before hopefully getting somebody to do something about it all.

Being Polish my wife at least has her ID card that she can travel with (not that I'm advocating ID cards, oh no) but not I. Thankfully I'm also Canadian but my passport is about to expire. So I zipped up to Trafalgar Square to visit the Canadian High Commission. Goodness they were so friendly and efficient – and the forms were so clear and easy to complete. How wonderful… I love visiting Canada.

Everything I hear on the grapevine from current and former people involved in Home Office activities is that we are only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to the trouble the department is in. It is very seriously dysfunctional and its ever expanding remit only makes matters worse. How on earth will they ever deliver ID cards?