Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The thought police are in town. Again.

Did anyone see Terry Gilliam’s film ‘Brazil’, from 1985? It depicted a dysfunctional society ruled by departments of the Ministry of Information.

Information Records stored everything, although nobody read it. Information Dispersal put out propaganda. Among these departments, the most feared was Information Retrieval, the secret police who extracted information from suspects by any means possible. Torquemada would have been proud.

Everyone was classified, sorted, categorised and placed in a slot.

It seems the UK’s tinpot dictator, Tony Blair, has seen this film and evidently considered it a great idea .

Coming soon to an ex-democracy near you!


tom sheepandgoats said...


Even Geo Bush would never think of such a thing, and if he did, he would be drawn and quartered. But I doubt such an idea would ever occur to him.

I can imagine, however, various social service agencies coming up with such a notion, under the guise of helping at-risk youngsters. The demand and increased importance of a worker's social services role would be phenomenal, not to mention job security.

Scary Monster said...

Maybe iffin dey spend dat money on actually educating the students, there be no reason to check up on dem.

Bumbye, STOMP.

Romulus Crowe said...

When I was around 15 or 16, a few of us worked out how to make an efficient explosive with a particular garden treatment and a certain grocery item. Neither of the items would have raised any suspicions at the point of purchase. Neither can be easily traced and you need very small amounts of each for quite a big bang. We even made effective fuses.

Yes, we made it, yes, we tested it, and yes, it worked. We didn't blow anyone up, in fact we were careful to be safely away from any populated area for the tests. Now, all of us are in gainful employment and none of us have ever been arrested, much less imprisoned for anything. We also all still have a full complement of fingers, partly due to luck.

Under these proposed rules, we would have been labelled 'potential terrorists' or at least 'potential criminals'.

Imagine being told that as an impressionable schoolchild. The more intelligent the child, the more dangerous that classification becomes. Teachers would have given up on us. None of us would have made it into university with that stigma on our files.

If our group had believed we were destined to become criminals, and subsequently left with no other option, we would have been really, really good at it.

Yet that's what is proposed here. Children in the UK change schools at age 11. That's when they'd be assessed, that's when the teachers would give up on those they see as proto-criminals. The intelligent ones who were a little bit wild as children (there are many!) will be categorised and finally forced into the self-fulfilling prophecy of the Social Disservices.

This kind of categorisation will do far more harm than good. I hope it's thrown out, but Our Leader has a poor track record when it comes to common sense.

tom sheepandgoats said...

Now that you mention it, I can think of a boyish prank or two that might have put me there as well.

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