Zola Budd, my wife and 1984’s doublethink | Letters

Letters: Unlike Zola Budd, my wife continues to live in Britain; unlike the owners of the Daily Mail, she pays full British taxes

Your piece on Zola Budd, who in 1984 was fast-tracked to British citizenship in a matter of weeks at the behest of the Daily Mail, having never set foot in Britain (Zola Budd passport caused rift in Thatcher’s top team, 24 August), reminds me that at the same time my wife, who is Canadian, was applying for British citizenship. By this date she had already lived in and paid taxes in Britain for 10 years and we had started a family. She was told she would have to wait a year for the application to be determined. When she learned of Budd’s fast-tracking, she tore up her application in disgust.

Since then the cost of applying for British citizenship has risen to almost £1,300, with a requirement that applicants must pass a test including questions such how many seats are there in the House of Lords (“too many” is apparently not the correct answer). Unlike Zola Budd, my wife continues to live in Britain; unlike the owners of the Daily Mail, she pays full British taxes.

She has never reapplied for UK citizenship and remains a proud and egalitarian Canadian.
David Cooper
Newbury, Berkshire

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