Picture the scene… Just another tired hack after a long flight, standing in a sweaty immigration office, searching your mind for your best lines and watching a power mad official scan your ‘nearly real’ accreditation papers from an oh-so-friendly publication you know he reads and respects.
It has been a good two hours of unusual questioning mixed with the usual bureaucracy and it looks like you are on the edge of getting that much needed entry visa.
Suddenly the official in the uniform that’s two sizes two small decides to plug your name into www.journa-list.com and you know all is lost.
Scratching your nose and slowly sneak a peak towards your nearest exit. Sleaving a damp forehead you calculate It would take about the same time to run to the door as it would for the greasier official to unclip the flap on his sidearm. Commonsense and rigid fear decide it’s best you stay put.
You know only to well that as soon as your name is plugged into that god-forsaken database you are rumbled.
Story after story will scroll down the screen emblazoned with your byline and the ever-so-difficult-to-hide phrases like ‘Fascist Regime’ and ‘Police State’. They will never let you in.
You watch as the border official repeatedly hits the keyboard, violently poking one key as if it’s all down to how hard you hit it.
Giving up he reaches for the rubber stamp mumbling “Systems down.”
You find it almost impossible to quell the smile erupting across your face.
WHAM!… the stamp hits a blank page and he hands you your passport.
“Thankyou!” you blurt.
“Yeah. ” He says, almost disappointed as you leave through the two way doors..
“Welcome to England.”