A while back I wrote about how irritated I get when a state calls its sales tax a "transaction privilege" tax, and piously tells me that free interchange of goods and services is not a basic right but a privilege that can only be granted by an accommodating government.
Today, via Reason, we hear that "priviledge" word again, this time from Britain's Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, and again it is used in the context of "Kiss your rights goodbye"
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to make public the names of 16 people banned since October so others could better understand what sort of behaviour Britain was not prepared to tolerate. [...]
"I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country," Ms Smith told GMTV.
"Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can't live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what's more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded. [...]
Ironically enough, among the banned is American conservative radio host Michael Savage. I don't enjoy Savage's schtick, but my sense is that he would very much share Ms. Smith's view on borders, that we need to filter those we allow in the country based on various ideological and cultural screens. In fact, my sense is that Smith and Savage are very closely alligned on this, and differ only in how they would define the filters.
I must say that it is deeply depressing to see the UK implementing content-based speech screens on immigration and even visitation.