Tracking the troublemakers

At the Social Affairs Unit, Dalrymple proposes a better use for the UK’s ubiquitous CCTV cameras:

The government, apparently, is thinking of installing closed circuit
television cameras in the homes of the 20,000 worst behaved families,
or rather households, in Britain, so that they are under surveillance
twenty-four hours a day.

I have a better idea, in fact a far better idea: instead of the
20,000 households, government ministers should themselves be under
twenty-four hour video surveillance.

Read the essay.

3 thoughts on “Tracking the troublemakers

  1. Tayles

    As we know by now, the government reckons its own bureaucratic meddling can solve all our social ills. At the heart of this conviction lies a belief that the worst of all possible worlds will occur if people are left to their own devices. Unregulated human activity results in prejudice, inequality and mayhem. Regulation from on high brings peace, justice and order.

    This theory has been thoroughly disproved over the past twenty years. In fact, the 20th Century serves as a cautionary tale against the evils of big government. And yet it is a faith that many of those on the Left continue to hold, since to do otherwise would call into question the ideas that form the bedrock of their worldview.

    Their own sense of importance and virtue is tied up in the belief that people are victims of forces beyond their control – poverty, disease, prejudice, greed etc. – which can only be defended against through some grand controlling scheme, administered by people like them. They needn’t do the actual planning and administering themselves. It is enough that people who share their views are employed in this work to regard themselves as part of the benevolent ruling class by proxy.

    The attraction of this worldview is three-fold: it enables the believer to consider himself generous and compassionate, while simultaneously announcing his superiority to the recipients of his generosity and compassion. Secondly, it allows him to appear morally superior to those who he envies, who are portrayed as having achieved their success through greed and iniquity. Thirdly, it promises to the believer a degree of power and influence that would not be otherwise forthcoming. I suspect, also, that certain individuals are simply filled with dread at the idea of unregulated human activity, due to some deep-seated psychological problems (bullied at school, perhaps) although I can’t be sure.

    As long as this mindset is commonplace among the government, its agencies and their cheerleaders in the media, the micromanagement of our lives – of which CCTV cameras are a symptom – will continue unabated. My concern is that we have become so used to having our lives managed and draw so much comfort from the left-wing conspiracy theories that justify this nannying, that we will be reluctant to give them up.

  2. Kate.

    Interesting article, with mixed messages.
    If life expectancy in Britain is higher than say Americans, then they must be doing something right. I’ve been told the French system is excellent too.

    In this article the doctor appears to be advocating that the seperate states of the U.S. be responsible for the health of people who live within those states. Let fifty flowers bloom the doctor writes, but within Britain this is exactly what is happening , as I mentioned before under devoloution. It is not a total uniform stystem nation wide, as it once was up until the last decade or so.

    I think the dog analogy is used merely as satire, and the doctor does tend to fall into his own complexities. It’s an attemt to enlighten on the dangers of a uniform system of health care free at the point of use, (not free, only free at the point of use). But its written by a doctor not an economist (or even a vetenarian).

    It’s a good article and well written, and he does point out the dangers of a cash only system. I’ve read some horrific stories from Americans who have paid for surgery where it was either un necessary or had gone wrong and of both combined. Look at Michael Jackson for example.

    There is a certain adulation of America from British and European commentators on the right that can draw a wry smile on certain occassions and this is one of them.

    I do agree with the doctor that it is a matter of organisation rather than a totally uniform free at point of delivery vs cash driven system. It’s finding that balance I think.

  3. kate

    (not for publication.)

    Hi I think I may have posted my reply in the wrong thread, can you put it into the right thread, dog vs mutt: I’m sorry about that.


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