A Cunning Plan ..... guest post by SBC

Hitting ‘em Where It Hurts

(a suggested ‘Plan Of Attack’)


My Boss was pissed at me. Again. Nothing new there; I was the only member of the detail who wasn’t ex-special forces/ex police and I have an ‘attitude’ towards authority.

So I drew a ‘punishment detail’. Instead of hi-end armed security work, I got to play ‘renta-cop’. Mind numbing, soul destroying and ,above all, boring work. Patrolling a hi-rise full of offices at night.

A couple of nights of doing that and I felt like taking a Browning Hi-Power orally.

Then I had an idea. I dragged out the A4 binder of  ‘Service Regulations’ and spent an hour reading up on EXACTLY what my duties were.

The next morning my Boss arrived at his desk to find over one hundred hand written ‘Incident Reports’.....in triplicate. I had, following the exact written instructions,  correctly reported every coffee machine that had not been unplugged, every computer not turned off at the wall, every unwatered pot plant, every light left on, every blinking light on every fax or photocopier.

A lesser bureaucrat might have simply have filed all my reports in the round filing cabinet marked ‘trash’ but not my then boss. As a former Oberleutnant in one of the nasty DDR ‘security’ units he was a true bureaucrat, a communist bureaucrat, a GERMAN communist

The word ‘Vogon’ springs to mind.

He dutifully sat at his desk reading and 'signing off' for the whole morning and that night I suddenly found myself back on the glamorous duties, doing the private planes of VIPS with the GSG-9 and Pizza Express on speed dial.

Ok, ‘nice anecdote’ I hear you cry but what’s my point?

Any bureaucracy has a weak point and that weak point is its own internal bureaucracy. Somewhere the UKBA will have written, legally binding, Regulations. Regulations written by ‘Experts’ who have never been at the ‘sharp end’, Pencil Pushers. Every UKBA officer will have detailed written instructions on how to make a seizure etc.

Just as an example I’ll wager that, when they make a seizure,  they are required to give you a receipt. But I’m guessing that usually that receipt simply says ‘10 kgs of Rolling Tobacco’ or  whatever. However the law and their own regulations probably require them to list every serial number....every serial number of every packet...and in triplicate...

The UKBA ignore complaints from the public when the public is the ‘injured party’ but you can be sure that a complaint that an UKBA officer has breached their own regulations, ie a  complaint to their own ‘Internal Affairs’ will get noticed and dealt with.

The Resistance needs to get hold of the official “UKBA Officer’s Guide To Being A Fascist Piglet” or whatever it is called and then INSIST they comply to the exact letter (make sure you open all the ‘ten packs’ before hand).

item: 1 50g pouch , Golden Virginia, sealed, Spanish tax stamp number XYZXYZXYZ Manufacturers S/N: 123456789

item: 1 50g pouch, Golden Virginia.....etc etc

... ad nauseum


  1. Thank you SBC, if they confiscate anything from us we shall certainly implement that procedure and urge all to do the same.

  2. SBC, you are one evil bastard! kudos

  3. @ Prop, if I were a truly evil bastard then i'd deed poll my unpronounceable Prussian (sur)name to

    "Johannes von Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch zu Gemmelshausen"

    ...and then insist on it be used in full and correctly spelt on every receipt, charge sheet and warrant.

    That's how you turn 'crats into gibbering, pencil chewing, anti-acids mainlining wrecks.

  4. 'ere, you better take all these serial numbers down right Occifer Goonie. l dont want any of that Chinese fake shit back when l win my appeal. Fuck, it could even be a bags of coke for all you lot know and what the fuck am l s'posed to do with that?

  5. XX Any bureaucracy has a weak point and that weak point is its own internal bureaucracy.XX

    Which was proved admirably in the 70s by some unions merely threatening to "work to rule".

    Even at ten years old at the time, I remember thinking "What are the rules bloody FOR, if...."

  6. "Sorry Officer, but UKBA Regulations;chapter two, paragraph 7 A to 9f state quite clearly that you MUST supply me with written questions as I have informed you that I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after my cat was run over when I was 7. Should you not comply I shall be emailing a formal complaint to Mr 'whatever-their-name-is' the head of your 'Standards' Commission"

    That's the position the 'Maquis' need to be in ie being able to quote the UKBA's own regs/Handbook/Guide Lines chapter and verse and knowing who they are frightened of.

  7. "Procedures
    UKBA will:

    undertake border fiscal activity in accordance with agreed operating
    procedures, including, e.g. National Operating Protocol between UKBA and
    HMRC Referred Investigation Teams (RITs);"

    That's taken from the Partnership agreement between HMRC and The UKBA. Its those National Operating Protocols we need to know.

  8. "Border force operations manual

    Guidance and instructions

    This manual, which provides guidance and information for our officers who deal with passengers at the UK border, is currently being updated."

    The manual has so far been offline for a year or more, SBC. One must assume it is being updated by rewriting it in every language past and present known to mankind.

  9. SH, it can be found here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100104192616/http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/guidance/borderforceoperationsmanual/

    however that is no use to us, it deals only with Immigration.

  10. I found this fascinating:

    "ANNEX A
    Key outcomes
    UKBA will:

    Undertake a balanced range of border activity in response to agreed fiscal risks
    designed to ensure that excise tax gap targets for the CSR ‘04 years are met
    and at least maintained through the CSR ‘07 years, in particular by:
    _ helping restrict the size of the UK illicit cigarette market to no more than a
    13% share by seizing at least 20% of the illicit cigarettes targeted on the
    _ helping reduce the size of the illicit Hand Rolling Tobacco market by 1200
    tonnes against 2003-04 levels by progressively raising the proportion of
    HRT seized to 15% and beyond;
    _ helping reduce and then maintain the UK illicit spirits market to no more
    than 3% of the market and help prevent growth in fraud against other
    alcohol duties;
    _ providing assurance that all modes of fiscal smuggling and fraud (e.g.
    freight, maritime/air passengers, postal) and all entry points are adequately
    covered through effective detection and deterrence techniques.
    Key outputs
    In 2008-09 UKBA will:

    seize in the range of 1.4 to 1.9 billion illicit cigarettes targeted on the UK;

    seize in the range of 175 to 375 tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco targeted
    on the UK;

    increase by 5% over 2007-08 totals the number of frontier interceptions of high
    risk alcohol consignments which are referred for sanctions;"

    ...especially the bit about 'deterrence techniques'...ie terrorizing legit shoppers!

  11. True SBC, that is why it is somewhat of a problem for UKBA ever since they integrated Customs into their secret organisation. They must be at a loss as to what and how to add to the manual ... they certainly can't put the truth!

  12. From HMRC's current Charter :-

    "3 Treat you as honest
    We know that the great majority of people want to get things right.
    Unless we have a good reason not to, we will:

    presume you are telling us the truth

    accept that you will pay what you owe and only claim what you are entitled to

    explain why we need to ask you questions and why we have decided to check your records

    only question what you tell us if we have good reason to."

    Note a 'good reason' ... not a 'reason', that's not enough. It has to be a 'good reason'. :)

  13. Unfortunately the 'good reason' is a matter of 'operational security' and not 'in the public interest' to divulge...as you yourself have found out on several occasions (ie 'do you have reason to think I am in bringing these goods for commercial purposes and if so, WHAT is that reason').

    They will ignore both the law and any complaint of yours if you are the 'injured party'. What they can't ignore is their own Red Tape. Like I said I don't know but i'd guess it'd go something like this:

    SH: "Do you have good reason to suppose I am bringing in these goods for commercial purposes?'

    UKBA-Stormtrooper: "Yes"

    SH: "and what is that reason?"

    UKBA 'Agent': "I am not required to disclose etc etc"

    SH: "Can you assure me that you will however list that 'good reason' in your incident report that you will be submitting to your Section Chief in accordance with UKBA/HMRC N.O.P guideline 2010 edition,Section 17 A and also note in the same that I have warned you of the consequences of failure to comply with your own guidelines and further that that incident report must be made available for any subsequent appeal?"

  14. Some good quotes from Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

    Harry Tuttle: Listen, this old system of yours could be on fire and I couldn't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27b/6... Bloody paperwork

    Arresting Officer: This is your receipt for your husband... and this is my receipt for your receipt.

    Sam Lowry: Sorry, I'm a bit of a stickler for paperwork. Where would we be if we didn't follow the correct procedures?

  15. Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your RSS feeds also, Thanks.

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"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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