Simon Carr:

The Sketch: So, Damian Green, who has 'personned' this fall in standards?

There's no way he'd get through security with a face doing that. He must be hiding something

Share
Related Topics

The investigative Vaz went to see for himself at Stansted over the weekend and he came back with a story that very many travellers will recognise with blood clot-forming fury.

In the two hours before midnight on Sunday, 6,000 passengers were disgorged into the airport – and half the immigration kiosks for EU nationals were empty ("unpersonned", as the feather-footed Vaz put it).

Three quarters of the foreigners' kiosks were unpersonned as well. The queues were so long they went out of the hall, down the corridors, out of the terminal, on to the Tarmac and back to the aircraft.

The length of these queues, the man from BAA said, could not be formally determined because the authorities couldn't "find the end of them". Finding terrorists is one difficult thing that occasionally happens – but the end of an immigration queue is an order of difficulty higher.

The minister Damien Green came to give his evidence. A thoroughly decent fellow, everyone agrees. His hands flapped and his face went into spasms as questions were put to him about the reputational damage to Britain, the Olympic problems, the fact that Britain no longer features in the top end of world airports. There's no way he'd get through a security procedure with a face doing that. He must be hiding something.

Especially as the famous e-gates aren't automatic at all – they have to be "personned" , and the "persons" go home at midnight.

There is a possibility, Green said, he'd be bringing back "risk-based" controls. That's profiling, in part. Profiling makes everyone very jumpy. It smacks of racism.

But it's an ideological triumph for equality campaigners that a group of 12-year-old Welsh choristers have to be treated with the same degree of suspicion as a twitching, sweating Middle Eastern male with a one-way ticket and a London bus pass in his pocket.

Julian Huppert observed that, two years ago, things were pretty good at border control. What changed, he asked? What happened? No one said: "Two years ago? Isn't that when you got into government?"

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: A widow’s tale with an unexpected twist

John Rentoul
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing