I applaud the premier for wanting to revitalise the applications of those who have been waiting years for residency and belongership. I suppose this isn’t spurred on by the United Kingdom parliamentary committee’s recommendation that belongership be abolished in the overseas territories? Perish the thought!

However, the list of required documents necessary for the application is no shorter, and in fact it seems that those who have previously applied, and have been waiting a long time, will have to reapply again and resubmit all the documents. This does not encourage applications.

He mentioned that some unnamed people are against his wish to bring more people into the fold. What he didn’t mention, and what is probably behind all this, are the civil servants who deal with applications and who, for their own reasons, obfuscate and delay applications for years. Often the ministers do not know this has been going on.

Many times I have heard pillars of society saying, “Oh, I thought he/she was a belonger from long ago.” Personally, I found that getting the governor to gee up the Immigration Department to at least acknowledge applications helped a lot. Of course, things may be different now, but it doesn’t sound like it.

So let’s hope we can look forward to some more mass citizenship ceremonies. Having just had 160 new residents confirmed, it would be interesting to know how many more are in the pipeline.