Sunday, 2 August 2009

Another load of round globular objects from our Ed

According to today’s Sunday Express, the Children’s Secretary, Ed Balls, has announced that thousands of “the worst families in Britain” are to be put into ‘sin bins’ in a bid to change their bad behaviour.

The government is to spend £400 million to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV surveillance in their own homes. They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time, and eat proper meals. Private security guards will be sent round to carry out home checks.

Around 2,000 families have already been subjected to these ‘Family Intervention Projects’, it seems. But ministers want to target 20,000 more over the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000. Pupils and their families will have to sign behaviour contracts (‘Home School Agreements’) every year setting out parents’ duties to ensure their children behave and do their homework.

Balls wants every local authority in the country to fund them. He describes it as “pretty tough and non-negotiable support” for problem families. Other descriptions spring to mind. And – wait for it! – the Conservative Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling calls the scheme “much too little much too late”.

So there you have it. Both this proto-totalitarian government and its likely successors think it’s absolutely OK in 21st century Britain to place citizens who haven’t been convicted of any crime under round-the-clock CCTV observation in their own homes. Presumably this will include the bathroom – a likely place for a wank and some furtive drug use – the children’s bedrooms, their computers, the attic, the cellar, the garage, the garden and everywhere else. As always, I wonder who will do this snooping, how will they be selected and trained, and who will supervise them?

Personal privacy and dignity no longer exist in this country. If it is permissible for the authorities to inflict this outrageous system upon ‘problem families’ (as defined by whom?), it won’t be long before they do it to everyone deemed socially unacceptable, out of the mainstream, or politically incorrect. It will swiftly escalate first to unpopular minority groups such as gypsies, gays, prostitutes, animal rights and anti-nuclear campaigners, and then to religious groups and minority political parties. Ultimately it will happen to every citizen, and Orwell’s Big Brother will have well and truly arrived.

On the television this morning Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, was glibly declaring that in this country everyone is innocent until they have been proved guilty. She can tell that to the marines. I have no love for problem families on sink estates who plague the community with drug turf wars, knife crime, and general yobbishness. But to place them or anyone else under constant CCTV monitoring in their own homes at the say-so of some government or local authority jobsworth is a negation of every principle of justice and it is to be hoped that the courts will in due course rule that such practices are illegal.

What is really frightening is that they should ever have been contemplated, let alone deemed tolerable by any responsible agency. Civil liberties apart, brute compulsion and humiliation without any attempt to convince children and their parents of the benefits of learning will only breed sullen resentment and runs counter to all sound educational theory and practice.


anticant said...

Hot on the heels of this chilling proposal comes the unsurprising revelation in this morning's 'Telegraph' (3rd August) that the number of errors by the Criminal Records Bureau has more than doubled in the past year, resulting in fictitious or inaccurate criminal records being pinned upon 1570 people who have thereby faced career problems and stigma in their communities as a result, and are obliged to go through an appeals process to clear their names.

Many of these people were intending to take up jobs as teachers, nurses, child minders, or youth volunteers. Their predicament is bound to deter others from taking up such work for fear of being wrongly branded as criminals.

Almost 4 million certificates were processed by the CRB last year, and ministers want that figure to increase to over 11 million when the new 'Independent Safeguarding Authority' comes into being next year.

With government over-reliance on such pisspoor procedures, is it any wonder that social cohesion and individual confidence is becoming ever more fractured, and that fewer and fewer well-motivated men and women are willing to involve themselves in any way with children? The people who most need effective monitoring - or maybe brain scans - are those like Brown, Balls, Johnson and their colleagues who set up and administer such incompetent bureaucracies.

Jose said...

The world is becoming every day more and more Orwellian. Brain-washing at its best.

zola a social thing said...

Look on the bright side of life.

Free Porn.

anticant said...

Who do you think I am? Jacqui Smith's husband?

Bodwyn Wook said...

Aunty, this sort of thing is especially saddening to those of us at least old enough to remember our dads' and neighbours telling about the second war and what they felt they were fighting for, even when they quite correctly saw that "most officers were complete sonsofbitches" and the "God-damn 4-Fs at home were all chasing pussy and stealing the place blind." Even so, the fight for them was against tyranny, and rightly or wrongly many were ready in 1945 to "go and bomb the piss out of those Red bastards" and quite willing to use the A-bomb to do it. Needless to say, this attests the brutalisation of it all, and the fact that a whole combat generation later in power got 'the lesson' wrong, namely to do the automatic opposite of the Tory party and Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s, in foreign affairs in the 1960s and, indeed, early 2000s. By then the children of the victors were 'in power', a particularly slimey situation for a load of credentiallised relativistic moralists being led by their snouts by gung-ho christian pot-lickers & fundamentalists...against made-mad-for-Tee Vee mohametan mullahs.

The tragedy is especialy acute in the case of the nominally more introspective generation-members, many of whom tend to be leftists and -- in an oddly lindberghian way -- think sincerely we should stay home and sweep our own steps.

They are as much horrified by our own wrong past as that of any other nations' and, as far as that goes, to their credit they do want to 'escape History'. Clearly the need /is/ for 'better' human beings. Wretchedly, this leads to the state-saecularist attempt of to-day to replace the older religions with what passes for behavioural 'science', 'PC'
'thought' -- and, trying to take Heaven by storm by throwing barrels of money and hecatombs of 'professionals' at social problems that are intractable, and remain intractable because of the complete absence of any kind of human love and respect for one another anywhere whatsoever in the public by-ways.

Obviously it is become necessary after sixty-some years 'on benefit' to survey continuously these statistical and sociological 'clients' who are no longer human beings in the full public sense, least of all in any meaningful constitutional way, and to keep an eye on them at every point of the compass, wanking in solitary or not.

They remain men to be sure, but, now, men like rats....

anticant said...

"The complete absence of any kind of human love and respect for one another anywhere whatsoever in the public by-ways" just about sums it up.

Two staple political terms which are no longer permissible, because deemed 'incorrect', are "tyranny" and "barbarism". In WW2 we knew that we were fighting both, whatever the imperfections of our own systems. Now they are rampant in our midst, but we are no longer allowed to call a spade a bloody shovel. The current official weaselling around the issue of torture and terrorist suspects is a case in point.

One of my earliest memories, by the way, is of the Lindbergh baby kidnap and murder. In the UK he was generally regarded as a personally amiable US upper class 'toff' and brilliant air ace who was sadly simple-minded about Hitler. But so were many rich and influential Americans.

Jose said...

Indeed, anticant! You are sooo right! We aren't officially allowed to acknowledge that tyranny, absolutism and barbarism are a main component of our life, but the fact is that they are there for anyone to see.

Wars are declared for anything those who declare them find suitable, but he main fact is that those who declare wars are absolutists, tyrants and barbarians themselves.

Dialogue is boosted by them but their short tempers do not permit them to prolong that dialogue too much.

Respect for the human being is limited to what the human beings' leaders' behaviour suit those who must respect them.

Everything is just hypocrisy. Feelings are not feelings but simply conveniences.

What is inside the cauldron is just another revolution, that the-powers-that-be (whatever that may be!) want the burning fire go on or not is simply their choice.

That I say this is sad, that I cannot trust what 6 billion plus people decide is even sadder. That what finally comes out of this is anybody's guess.

Crossing fingers has really no importance.

anticant said...

For all the empty prattle about democracy, the fact is that in every country tiny tails wag huge inert dogs. What - apart from grumbling - can the people do without inconveniencing themselves?

As Tom Paine memorably said in 1776, "these are times that try men's souls".

zola a social thing said...


Whatever next?

Bodwyn Wook said...

The Oily Stark Fist of Disembodied Public Ire & Removal lashes down out of The Secret & Hidden Neosophist Parasphere, and it takes out Gordon Brown, Barrack Room Obama and the Whole Load & Boiling, sending these "pet sonsofbitches" of rural American Squawbunion County farmer Judson Andersen's all flying and squeaking, men like rats, through the air and into the audience, who jeer delightedly as is always their wont when they behold gentlemen (sic) in difficulties.... (pace Kenneth Grahame)

Anyway, I just want to stick in the fact that the shadow /always/ reveals itself -- what else is the current faddish pop-therapeutic jabber about 'bullying'? For instance 'in the schools'. What of 'the schools'? Surely /these/ places, /the/ devoted concern-object now of state liberallists for going on three generations, should, by /now/, be entirely free of such passions, nicht wahr?

Nay, not so -- and, however might they even be so, when the very schools are the pit and damned epicentre of it all, of all the ill-disguised and tyrannous, mad, /therapeutic/ disingenuous bullying.

NuLayabout AND these pikey Tories looking to perch ANYWHERE and shit on our heads are a load of demented Public Sanitarians who have become embroiled in projected the emotions of hatred and scorn of The Sour Chronic Uplifter & Methodist Teetotaler, for their very clientle!

Only see these liberals, of all parties, see them as they preen and squawk and defecate and sneer at us from their wire full of InterPorn, because we -- we? -- are not...'compassionate'!