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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Thank fuck I left the UK, in association with Ealing council

This is one of the most stupid things I've ever heard.
Children as young as eight have been recruited by councils to "snoop" on their neighbours and report petty offences such as littering, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The youngsters are among almost 5,000 residents who in some cases are being offered £500 rewards if they provide evidence of minor infractions.
One in six councils contacted by the Telegraph said they had signed up teams of "environment volunteers" who are being encouraged to photograph or video neighbours guilty of dog fouling, littering or "bin crimes".
The "covert human intelligence sources", as some local authorities describe them, are also being asked to pass on the names of neighbours they believe to be responsible, or take down their number-plates.
Ealing Council in West London said: "There are hundreds of Junior Streetwatchers, aged 8-10 years old, who are trained to identify and report enviro-crime issues such as graffiti and fly-tipping."

Aside from the creepy nature of using impressionable children and dangling large (for a pre-teen) amounts of money at them as an incentive, this is another example of a nasty snitch society developing in the UK to partner the surveillance society. On top of which they're children for fuck's sake! Eight and nine year olds aren't even legally responsible for their actions but Ealing council are happy to use them as trainee secret police. What fucktard dreamt that one up? And I think children are sometimes brighter than adults give them credit for. Eventually some enterprising young soul will see the financial opportunity here. You report your mates that are also under 10 and you'll get 500 quid for each one you shop, but since they're too young the law can't touch your mates and you can split the money. What sort of person is naive enough to think this couldn't possibly happen? Only the sort of prize winning gold plated cunt who'd think it was a good idea to use children under the age of criminal responsibility to gather evidence of crime in the first place.

Whoever is responsible for this needs firstly a promotion to the human race, and secondly a fucking good slapping.

UPDATE: Also in the Telegraph's Comments section. It's worth quoting the lot.
It has become a cliché to describe many of the developments in modern Britain as ''Orwellian": the CCTV cameras, the databases, the cloying bureaucracy. Yet the news that children as young as eight are being recruited as local authority snoopers really does come straight from the pages of 1984. In Orwell's dystopian nightmare, the children are encouraged to denounce their parents. When Winston Smith, the book's anti-hero, is being interrogated in prison, his work colleague Parsons is brought in for shouting ''Down with Big Brother".
''Of course I'm guilty!" cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ''You don't think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?"
''Who denounced you?" asked Winston. ''It was my little daughter," said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. ''She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don't bear her any grudge for it. In fact, I'm proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway." Using children to shop adults to local bureaucrats is the hallmark of totalitarian despotisms down the ages. In East Germany - as in 1984 - it was considered a sign of ideological purity rewarded with elevation in the ranks of the party. Here, children are being offered £500. It is grotesque. Orwell's novel was meant to be a warning, not a policy document for a future Labour government.

There's really nothing to add to that except to note, as has at least one person commenting on that piece, that the phrase about 1984 being a warning not an instruction manual has been used for quite a while in the blogosphere, including many of the blogs I like to read. That noise might be the sound of a penny dropping with the mainstream media.

1 comment:

The Duchess of Downing St said...

Couldn't think of a better place to put it, so :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMi776jah1w

Courtesy of Guido

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