Britain Officially Orwellian State

I have previously commented on the descent of Britain into a soft totalitarian state, so I suppose I should have been prepared for this.

But I wasn’t.  I have spent the last half hour walking around the office in a stupour, wondering just how we got to this point.

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.

I am speechless. Just speechless. I was convinced it was a hoax, but it seems to be quite genuine.

It would seem 1984 is no longer a mere instruction manual for the British government, it’s the blueprint for their entire state.

(H/T: Questing For Atlantis)

33 thoughts on “Britain Officially Orwellian State

  1. But it’s only those who deserve it- those who didn’t vote Labour at the last election!
    Just don’t visit Britain, at any time! And help Britains flee to France, or Switzerland, or North Korea.
    I wonder what Camoron and the Cons are doing about Big Brother? (P.S. In ‘1984’, the telescreens worked both ways, so the authorities could hear you, and give you orders. I bet that won’t be long in coming!)

  2. Tim,

    When you regain your composure – think about a longer piece on all the ramifications of this. eg:

    20,000+ families officially considered so dysfunctional they need 24/7 supervision !? With HOW many people employed to then sit in front of the monitors ???

    They have to send security guards in to the houses for spot checks !!? Why ?

    Well 20,000+ family units that exist in spite of serious drug and/or alcohol issues seems to be a clue why the social workers aren’t walking in unescorted.

    How amazing is it that family units, as opposed to desperate individuals, can even be sustained under these circumstances !

    Have we not got the same problems here in ‘stralia and across the developed world where social security safety nets grow ever bigger and wider and allow more doofuses to grow and thrive ???

    And if they weren’t existing like this – what would we do with all the – leave them to it until their kids starve or get eaten ?

    I know – nonintervention IS an option, but probably won’t play out too well in the 24 hours political news spin cycle. I don’t foresee Kevin747 announcing a policy that ‘any child still in poverty in 2020, is just their own damn bad luck !’

    Have you seen some of those UK reality shows – there are families in Britain who do not know how to make toast ! Probably not far off this useless reality in other places too.

    And the best part is – in spite of all this, they get to vote !!

    I am sure heaps more can be added.

    And of course the real Orwellian dimension is – what happens if the State decides other groups need close and constant attention due to perceived dysfunction – like those damned non-statist libertarians !?

    Yup – another nicely greased slippery slope on the way to the ‘One-way Ride into the Countryside on the Cattletrain’ predilection of the political class to deal with dissent.

  3. An expected progression of the welfare path…

    Next the kids will be taken away from their parents for their own good.

  4. This is good. We need a few modern western nations to collapse as an example to the rest of us. I say we watch Britian destroy itself and point it out to everyone who will listen, and remind them that it could be their future if they take the same path. It was only a little while ago that Britian was the centre of the civilised world. What better example to show the world what soft socialism and out of control government will do.

  5. Michael Sutcliffe,

    People will listen. However large numbers of them would blame such a collapse on rampant capitalism and trace the decline back to Thatcher and the subsequent rise of Tony Blairs neo-liberalism. The market is to blame, time for a workers revolution. Time to set aside selfish individualism and adopt decent socialist principles. End globalisation. Bring out the cliches for no man is an island. Eat the rich.

    Anyway you get the picture.

  6. Some hope:

    “In Davenant Foundation School in Loughton, Essex, pupils walked out of classrooms that were fitted with CCTV cameras – on the grounds that their civil liberties were being breached – and refused to return until the camera system had been turned off…The school, a mixed comprehensive, is at the cutting edge of surveillance technology and has already drawn criticism from parents after introducing finger-scanning technology it its canteen….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/henryporter/2009/may/22/children-classroom-cctv

  7. I live in a privatised ex-council flat in SE1, London. I naively assumed upon moving in that the entire estate was privatised considering its proximity to the city. Instead, it’s full of welfare dropkicks that I imagine are likely to end up in this kind of surveillance in the future. These people need to yell at each other to have a conversation and are happy to do it right out the front of other people’s flats at any time of night. We’ve had to call the cops to get fights broken up in the courtyard. Kids regularly play unsupervised for the entire day outside, scream and cause a nuisance. This is what the welfare state breeds, and now we see the typical over-reaction of a government who refuses to deal with the root cause. We’re moving out in two weeks to a (hopefully) more civilised part of London. I love this city but it’s got some serious issues with welfare and socialised housing.

  8. I’m still hoping I’m wrong, and it turns out to be, but the story’s been out for a few days now, and no-one has made any effort to refute it.
    I suppose when you have cameras in schools, cameras that talk at you when you’re doing the wrong thing (yes really), and cameras pretty much everywhere, cameras inside the home just aren’t a big deal anymore.
    *sigh*

  9. “A very small number of families who need further intensive support are placed in residential units with project workers living with them – this does not involve CCTV.”

    Um… this is an improvement…?

  10. Same with “FIP workers spend time observing families in their own homes, helping them to recognise that their anti-social behaviour is unacceptable” for that matter

  11. I’ll make it really clear that I don’t agree with ALL of the FIP program (before people jump up and down suggesting I support it) but you have to take the spokespersons comments in context.

    I have been reading the FIP program guidelines and it is purely a voluntary program. Sure a referral comes from a government agency (obvious privacy/freedom issues here) but the recipients have the choice to sign the non legally binding contract. And this section, i.e. the “extra intensive support” is voluntary as well.

    I leave it up to someone else to read the policy rather than media spin to further point out the obvious flaws in this policy.

  12. This is actaully quite a good idea..

    A) It will stop children being abused to death in some cases. See recent stories relating to Baby P.
    B) It could stop the state having to intervene fully in some instances and break families up
    C) Encouraging nutrition and education where it is often lacking.
    D) It will create employment in the post-industrial economy of the failed ideology of capitalism where tonnes of useless cars and car plants lie idle.
    E) Bird could install a cam at home thru a similar network and charge Jason Soon and other ALS members a monthly webporn fee.

    The type of alarmist notions you guys attach to this concept are typical of Alex Jones who is a messianic monger..

  13. In fact, this story with its Orwellian frame was lifted from Alex Jones’ monger central website prisonplanet.com

  14. Yes Parkos… the State is your friend, go and hug Big Brother warmly. Of course, history has decisively shown us that the State never takes innocent government programs too far and always respects our civil liberties. Voluntary programs never become mandatory and the government clearly always knows best.

  15. Parkos,

    No. You are incorrect. This is a true story reported in the real press and it scares the pants of any normal person.

    On the other hand, your mind is positively Orwellian and your fantasies belong on rense.com

  16. Rense does have a point, I bought a domicile away from mobile phone base stations in the safe range according to the global (academic) Salzburg standard (ironically, after living directly under a base station in a penthouse with ballerinas in Salzburg).

    However, now I have terrible phone reception and I cant nuke all the Orwellian nightmares in thee brain. So offshoring completely again would be the best option for the ALS banana boat crew.

  17. Today, you have my gratitude Mark, it is wonderful to feel the full range of human emotions..
    Do you like the Easybeats?

  18. One point of clarification. And don’t get me wrong I am also in shock that in my lifetime “1984” actually came true.

    But I wanted to know, do these people under surveillence have a criminal conviction? Or are they simply welfare recipients?

    This is actually yet another problem due to state programs such as welfare. You see this all the time eg/ The problem of teaching creationism in schools in the US. It wouldn’t be a problem if there was no such thing as a state school and if private property rights were applicable.

    Anyway, at the moment we have the ankle bracelet system for those on parole or on suspended sentences. Perhaps there could be some application of video cameras for criminals?

    The reason I thought of it was because recently an Adelaide man on parole breached his parole conditions. He then stabbed a policeman, stole a police car and sexually assaulted an elderly women.
    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,,25760278-953,00.html
    It seems to me that this bloke was a serious danger to the community and was not adequately detained by our department of “corrective services” who did a real great job of correcting this guy.
    The police were unable to do anything about this guy when he breached parole until after the damage was done. The policeman that pulled him over didn’t even know he was out on parole.

  19. I was wondering Parkos, are you actually a libertarian in disguise? Your comments are always ones that would attract anyone who reads them to libertarian ideas because they are so badly thought out.
    Your comments also usually descend into absurdity. This comedic approach is funny but it is counter productive because it tells your audience you’re not really serious. It’s like the literal skeptic who argues against something, then claims knowledge itself is impossible and thereby renders his previous claims worthless. I’m surprised you don’t you feel dirty by betraying your beliefs (assuming you are actually anti-libertarian) in this manner.
    But it’s good to see your still out there in your corner of the internet, I always have a good laugh anyway.

  20. Actually re-reading my comment #26. I think that there are situations where the optimal approach is that “private property” rights should still be applied to state run institutions. This approach may be the carbon tax, I mean lesser of two evils. But how do you know when to give the state pseudo property rights and when not to? Any ideas?
    ie: Perhaps whatever bureacrat or board that has authority over say a university, or hospital should be allowed to do what they want (within the rule of law). eg/ Should a union be allowed to shut down a state owned construction site that’s building a train station? The real problem is of course the state construction of train stations. But the lessor of two evils would be to allow the construction manager to order the trouble makers off the state property and to call the police. In this case pseudo private property rights would be optimal. In the case of teaching creationism at public schools, pseudo property rights are not optimal because we understand the idea of separating church and state. Once the state has commited a rights violation, things get very confusing and perhaps utilitarian analysis must be applied. Although this in itself is not satisfying because what’s a good utilitarian result for some is not for others and analysts would have to overcome the short term / long term problem and the issue of unitended consequences, the seen / unseen.

    If the agency supporting these families was a private charity, could they legally impose these Orwellian conditions to some degree (not that I’d donate money to them)?
    Perhaps not because I think there’d be a strong case for them violating the right to privacy? But I suppose the right to privacy is something you could give up in some contexts such as reality TV shows.

    Anyway, just to be clear – I oppose welfare altogether as a violation of innocent people’s (tax payers) right to their life and their property.
    And therefore this situation simply should not arise to begin with and it’s yet another example of why the state, as a monopoly agency of force, simply shouldn’t be involved in not for profit services (welfare) or the provisions of goods and services. Force is incompatible and will always have bad results sooner or later.

  21. This is an astounding idea! I love it inf act! SS relentlessly take kids out of homes where there is NOTHING wrong so they can pretend to do their jobs! They did this to us – they do it to hundreds of others too!

    I ASKED/TOLD them to put cameras in, land when they like and they would never find anything wrong!

    Of curse, they didn’t, but bring it on – I can’ty imagine the number of social workers that would lose their jobs if parents could ask for cameras in. This should be a right to ask for them cos SS workers notoriously lie and the profession attracts the most damaged of people!

  22. While I don’t think it right for the state to mandate the cameras, I agree that people should have the right to ask for cameras to be installed over having social workers crawl all over their homes and be able to act without actual proof of neglect or mistreatment of the child.

  23. You mean the parents install the cameras themselves Tim?

    In an ideal world, that’s fine. But realism means there are many parents out there couldn’t dream of affording such things for one room, far less several.

    Top that with the fact that SS don’t target rich families or families were children ARE abused, they like to target highly non abuse families, big families – and single parents. The better a person you are, and the more sane you are, if you are all 3 of that former list too, the more idea a target you are for them! HTH.

Comments are closed.