Racial issues have been making headlines in the UK this last couple of weeks. The latest headline relates to ill-thought out Home Office vans trawling the streets of London, as part of a pilot-scheme, with a message for illegal immigrants. The pilot scheme involved six vans touring the capital this week to get the "message" out. The vans are daubed with a question which asks, "In the UK illegally?" and supplies the answer "Go home or face arrest?". There is a contact number also supplied.
Are these vans a step too far. It seems many think that they are. Deputy Prime Minister, and Liberal Democrat, Nick Clegg has tried to distance himself from the latest Home Office tactic on immigration and he has gone so far as to criticise the pilot scheme. There may be many reasons that the Tories have opted for this scheme and electioneering should not be discounted. Grassroots Tories tend to be against immigration and want numbers reduced. PM Cameron has said that the scheme was a success, however the actual figures are not collated yet. Time will tell.
The UK has enforceable laws on racism but a few of the many race related news reports may make you wonder who is enforcing them, and when.
First there was news that police had spied on family and friends of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence when they should have been finding his killer or killers and bringing them to justice. Then there were reports that the family of former Falkland's veteran Christopher Alder, who died in a Hull police station some years were also spied on by police, in an effort to discredit them. Mr Alder was let down by the "system" in the UK and race issues were central to many of the failings.
There was a little good news this week when Doreen, the mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence, was awarded a peerage, which will give her the right to sit in the House of Lords, give her the title of Baroness but importantly will enable her to highlight racial issues in the House of Lords, Westminster.
In separate news Baroness Lawrence, Doreen, has condemned racial profiling by police. It is widely known that a person's skin colour features prominently in police stop-and-check operations in the UK, more so in some parts of the country.
Unite Union leader has slammed the home office scheme vans calling them "vans of hate" and the Union is seeking legal advice about whether or not the vans could "incite racial hatred".
Spot checks have been carried out at train stations and other such places this week leading to some arrests of "illegals". The checks however have used racial profiling singling out non-whites for checks.