Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Story's Out

It seems that courtesy of the efforts of the excellent people at ARCH, the press are finally catching up; eg from the Telegraph:

"Family life faces State 'Invasion'

Government surveillance of all children, including information on whether they eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, will be condemned tomorrow as a Big Brother system.
Experts say it is the biggest state intrusion in history into the role of parents."

Quite right too but further down, the ptb reportedly try to fob us off with their claims that innocent families in the UK will be protected by the Data Protection Act. This idea met with a burst of derisive laughter at the talk at LSE entitled
Children: Over-Surveilled, Under Protected, which is well worth a listen, despite the crisp packet at the beginning.

The BBC also carried the story "Concerns over new child database". Here in response to accusations that we are turning into a surveilled society, the government claimed that the database would not include details of whether children were eating their five portions of fruit and veggies, but why this should be obvious to us is not clear, particularly after hearing recently that a teen was rather shocked to learn that his Connexions file not only included the standard information about him, but also remarks such as "was seen walking in the high street at 12.30 on Monday". Yikes! The Securitate may have been disbanded 16 years ago in Romania, but if any of them are still out there looking for jobs, it seems the UK may be the place to come.

The Daily Mail and The Guardian also join in on the right side of the argument...finally.


4 girls and 3 boys said...

I think parental rights and attitudes to parental rights are already been eroded. From my own dealings with the ptb I felt like they did not understand my insistence that my children and how I brought them up was none of their business. This was after I had a S.S visit for - wait for it -someone phoned the LEA who referred to SS the allegation my children did not go on trips. Since when was outings a welfare issue? This was their only complaint and a waste of time and money and should never have been followed up. Are we going to have veg police as well?

Carlotta said...

I am so sorry to hear that 4Ga3b...
there seem to be more and more of these sort of stories popping up both on national and local lists. I am beginning to get very scared.

What often seems to be happening is that someone will suddenly be discovered by the LEA, will be given the go-ahead to carry on HEing, but then will get a call from SS, apparently because someone (ie: not the LEA) has reported them for things like children going to bed too late...(That's us done for then). I cannot help suspecting that this is evidence of the lowering of the level at which the state imagines that it has a right to intrude upon our families. ie: no longer do they have to suspect that there is evidence of abuse or neglect, they now believe themselves to have a remit to interfere to make sure that our children are meeting the 5 targets set out in Every Child that they should be enjoying themselves.

It is truly terrifying and rather looks as if the only hope atm, is that they snow themselves under with irrelevant detail, but the sad thing about this is that children who actually are being abused will be missed under this mountain of data.