Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let's Be Like Europe: And put your family on government-cam 24/7

It's embarrassing to have just written a post (which Tyler, damn him, immediately upstaged) ruminating among other things on the changing definition of privacy, only to discover that Great Britain has already made my own paranoid musings obsolete by putting thousands of families on government surveillance inside their own homes:

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision 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 also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.

Ministers hope the move will reduce the number of youngsters who get drawn into crime because of their chaotic family lives, as portrayed in Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless.

Sin bin projects operate in half of council areas already but Mr Balls wants every local authority to fund them.

He said: “This is pretty tough and non-negotiable support for families to get to the root of the problem. There should be Family Intervention Projects in every local authority area because every area has families that need support.”

But Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is all much too little, much too late."

If I thought this was funny, I'd make a comment about My Name is Earl meeting George Orwell.

But it's not funny.


Tyler Nixon said...

I saw this over the weekend. Was too flabbergasted to process it.

I mean, good God almighty...

Shirley Vandever said...

I saw this yesterday too, but was too tired to blog it. It almost seems like an "Onion" headline.

Anonymous said...

the Brits are subjects, not citizens.

Anonymous said...

Plan to monitor all internet use

BBC News ^ | April 27, 2009 | Dominic Casciani
Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics. The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services. The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites. The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database. Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single...