The Home Office wants immigrants to be afraid

The most authoritarian of the government departments also has an authoritarian twitter account.

The Home Office is running a Twitter campaign warning illegal immigrants "there will be no hiding place". It seems to have slightly misjudged the tone, though, coming across as more like "authoritarian police state" than "doing a tough but necessary job":

 

 

 

 

A quick glance at the replies to the first tweet shows that it didn't go down too well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What really sticks, though, was the disconnect between the reasons given for the raid in the video and the footage shown. While immigration minister Mark Harper is talking about "substandard, overcrowded accommodation", the camera pans over… a small messy bedroom.

It's certainly substandard and overcrowded, but it's also a bedroom in a shared house in West London. The Home Office is basically using the South East's broken housing market to justify going Judge Dredd on immigrants.

Some replies to the Home Office account.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Benn vs McDonnell: how Brexit has exposed the fight over Labour's party machine

In the wake of Brexit, should Labour MPs listen more closely to voters, or their own party members?

Two Labour MPs on primetime TV. Two prominent politicians ruling themselves out of a Labour leadership contest. But that was as far as the similarity went.

Hilary Benn was speaking hours after he resigned - or was sacked - from the Shadow Cabinet. He described Jeremy Corbyn as a "good and decent man" but not a leader.

Framing his overnight removal as a matter of conscience, Benn told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "I no longer have confidence in him [Corbyn] and I think the right thing to do would be for him to take that decision."

In Benn's view, diehard leftie pin ups do not go down well in the real world, or on the ballot papers of middle England. 

But while Benn may be drawing on a New Labour truism, this in turn rests on the assumption that voters matter more than the party members when it comes to winning elections.

That assumption was contested moments later by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

Dismissive of the personal appeal of Shadow Cabinet ministers - "we can replace them" - McDonnell's message was that Labour under Corbyn had rejuvenated its electoral machine.

Pointing to success in by-elections and the London mayoral election, McDonnell warned would-be rebels: "Who is sovereign in our party? The people who are soverign are the party members. 

"I'm saying respect the party members. And in that way we can hold together and win the next election."

Indeed, nearly a year on from Corbyn's surprise election to the Labour leadership, it is worth remembering he captured nearly 60% of the 400,000 votes cast. Momentum, the grassroots organisation formed in the wake of his success, now has more than 50 branches around the country.

Come the next election, it will be these grassroots members who will knock on doors, hand out leaflets and perhaps even threaten to deselect MPs.

The question for wavering Labour MPs will be whether what they trust more - their own connection with voters, or this potentially unbiddable party machine.