The rush to push through DRIP reminds me of the accelerated Immigration Bill, which, as it turned, out, also introduced powers to effectively turn doctors, lecturers and others into de facto border agents.
Sunny Hundal wrote a blistering piece today on Miliband’s civil liberties credentials and makes the point that “civil liberties are a social justice issue”:
“Civil liberties are a social justice issue too – a point some Labour MPs and activists don’t seem to have quite yet grasped. When the police or security services abuse their ever-growing powers, the victims are invariably ethnic minorities and/or the most marginalised in society. From stop-and-search to 90 days detention and even the Malicious Communications Act – it has always people from minority backgrounds or those with unpopular opinions who get harassed, spied on or arrested.”
The Immigration Bill extended the policing of the national border into private life – and who is more likely to be considered foreign? To be stopped and questioned? To be suspected (because this is basically what we’re being asked to do, make a snap judgment on who might not belong) of being a foreigner?
Invariably, undoubtedly, overwhelmingly ethnic minorities.
What Sunny highlights so elegantly is how everything is connected and how efforts to compartmentalise lead to contradictions. (like how Theresa May can decry stop and search on the one hand, and champion immigration spot checks – which open the door to similar discrimination for ethnic minorities – on the other)