i Editor's Letter: Home Office raids
Oliver Duff was appointed Editor of i in June 2013. He was previously Executive Editor at The Independent, i and The Independent on Sunday, running the newsroom. Formerly a reporter, gossip columnist and news editor, he was fired as the magazine's bar critic after three weeks. A diver and surfer, he's interested in nature and science, politics and diplomacy.
Saturday 03 August 2013
Making newspapers is often surprising. Some good stories disappear into the abyss, barely remarked upon by readers or rivals; others that you don’t much care for suddenly take off. It was reassuring to see Doreen Lawrence, newly nominated for the House of Lords, on breakfast telly yesterday talking about i’s front page. “Why would you focus mainly on people of colour?” she asked of border guards’ immigration spot-checks on members of the public at train stations. “I think racial profiling is coming into it.”
I have no general beef with the minister for immigration Mark Harper – tough job – but his response yesterday was insulting to the public’s intelligence.
Mr Harper claims that when officers set up these street checkpoints, and started questioning commuters about their immigration status, they weren’t targeting black and Asian people but were merely “talking to people in the local area and, where there was a reason to do so, asking questions in relation to immigration status”. He added that the operations were “based on intelligence and reasonable suspicion” that each person had committed an immigration offence, and were not fishing expeditions – which are banned under the Home Office’s own rules.
Unfortunately for Mr Harper, the UK’s equality watchdog thinks there is a case to investigate whether unlawful discrimination has taken place.
Regardless of the result, hopefully the episode can prove salutary for the Home Office, and emphasise the importance of the word “intelligence” when it comes to the Border Agency’s next effort to tackle illegal immigration...
John Moore starred in Coca Cola and Morrisons adverts
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Former boxer recalls incident when he was seven years old
Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Want to ward off (or welcome) trick-or-treaters? Here's how
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party