Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

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

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?"