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UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV 693

metrix007 points out a story in the Sunday Express with more surveillance-camera madness from the UK, where the government now wants to place 20,000 CCTV cameras to monitor families ("the worst families in England") within their own homes, to make sure that "kids go to bed on time and eat healthy meals and the like. This is going too far, and hopefully will not pass. Where will it end?"
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UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV

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  • Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:05AM (#28914947)

    This is an actual, verbatim representation of Orwell's vision for the future (today's present). There isn't any needed for interpretation, it's literally 1984. Wow.

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:08AM (#28914953)

    You just can't make hyperbole out of this shit anymore. Get the fuck out of England while there isn't a 30ft concrete wall preventing you from doing so. Either that or start killing your politicians.

  • by ttlgDaveh ( 798546 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:11AM (#28914965) Homepage

    For the love of jebus, ignore the Daily/Sunday Express just as much as the Daily/Sunday Mail. They are terrible, borderline-racist, reactionary publications with a fixation on Big Brother (Orwell, not the terribe reality show) and 'foreign types stealing our jobs'.

    There's a site [] dedicated to the terrible nature of these publications, which is well worth a read, if only for a giggle.

  • by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:11AM (#28914969) Homepage

    Other news sources (Telegraph, Daily Mail) mention "24-hour supervision", but no CCTVs. Without the CCTVs, it's not really that different from homes for the elderly.

  • And away we go... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 24-bit Voxel ( 672674 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:14AM (#28914989) Journal
    Children's secretary Ed Balls sure does have some.

    That they are even talking about this is nefarious indeed. What we the people should be doing is insisting on our legislators and lawmakers being CCTV'd 24/7 along with phones. (With exceptions for national security.)

    Imagine how much corruption would be uncovered this way. If the representatives choose to conduct business elsewhere it can be assumed they are guilty of something or at least worthy of voting out.

    Yes, that sounds much better.

  • Soviet Russia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:18AM (#28915007) Homepage

    No one is watching Big Brother in the UK anymore, so instead they're going to use the classic Soviet Russia twist:

    (takes deep breath)

    In UK, Big Brother watches you!

    Plus, Davina McCall needs something to do besides those hair colour adverts.

  • Re:Orwellian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RLiegh ( 247921 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:19AM (#28915017) Homepage Journal

    May not have been written with that intent, but it's serving that purpose rather nicely so far!

  • Re:Big Brother (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arogier ( 1250960 ) * on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:21AM (#28915019) Homepage Journal
    There is no freedom if everything is criminal.
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:27AM (#28915049) Homepage Journal

    First, they came for the paedophiles; and I didn't speak, for I was not a paedophile.
    Then, they came for the hoodies; and I didn't speak, for I was not a hoodie.
    Then, they came for the problem families; and I didn't speak, for I was not a problem family.
    Then, they came for me. But I was in Canada by then (please?!)

  • by AxeTheMax ( 1163705 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:32AM (#28915067)
    There's a scheme for CCTV watching people in their own houses, already in existence? I've missed it, obviously I've not been reading enough of the Daily Express.
  • by pennyloafer ( 1175025 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:40AM (#28915093)
    Around 2,000 families have gone through Family Intervention Projects, but ministers intend to increase its scope to 20,000 more in the next two years - each costing between £5,000 and £20,000. Are things that bad there?
  • by gerddie ( 173963 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:44AM (#28915113)
    In the UK, TV watches you!
  • by ( 302970 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:50AM (#28915135)

    Without the CCTVs, it's not really that different from homes for the elderly.

    Except it's "non-negociable2 meaning "forced on families" and highly invasive to their lifes. I'd challenge it in the european courts for breach of human rights in a heartbeat. Thankfully, the united kingdom is part of an organization that does recognize those.

  • by bmsleight ( 710084 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:00AM (#28915175) Homepage

    Err, you are aware that this scheme is already in existence?

    Where, citations ? Please a good source of truth not the Express.

  • by Nathrael ( 1251426 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:10AM (#28915205)
    If a family fails so much at parenting that they have to be supervised by the government to do their job, I really don't think that it would change anything. Sure, it might prevent the parents from beating the crap out of their children, but if they do that, taking away the children is a better idea anyways, or do you really expect them to turn into loving, good-citizen parents just because Big Brother is watching? I'm not as opposed to surveillance as most of the /. crowd, but this...they aren't just completely invading *private* homes, it's also completely stupid - that is, if it weren't just to increase government power. Yes, the UK is really becoming a Stalinist state, slow maybe, but they sure are. And like in every authoritarian state, they already disarmed their citizens. I'd get out of that country ASAP if I'd be living there.
  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:10AM (#28915207)

    Does anyone have anything original to say, or are we going to end up with 500 "OMG 1984!!!!1!1!1!1!" comments?

    Dude, we're talking about surveillance cameras to make sure the kids go to bed in time. What did you expect?

    Here's another application of cameras, which would've been unthinkable even 5 years ago. Pretty soon, you'll get used to it like you did with public cameras, and a bit later, you'll find it natural that everyone is monitored constantly for their own safety. Or you won't, and it will cost you dearly.

    How is that not 1984?

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lundse ( 1036754 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:11AM (#28915213)
    It bears repeating...
  • by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:25AM (#28915259)

    From the phrasing of that post, I'll have a stab and say you're quite left wing, and happily buy into the Labour spin.

    First off, there are sites saying how bad the news is on any given source (including things like the BBC and so on). This does not mean the site that decries the news sources is any more reliable themselves.

    Secondly, throwing in the word "racist" and expecting any argument to be over just doesn't work so much these days. Quite a few studies have shown that everybody discriminates (on just about every factor you can think of). Including the papers you read (which presumably you think are ok, because they say what you want to hear, and you don't feel like hunting down a site which says how bad the news quality is in it).

    Finally, and most importantly, show me the disputation that proves this isn't actually happening. You'll be hard pressed, because it is actually in place at the moment, merely being expanded upon.

    Classic spin tactics on your part. Really must applaud. However, wrong.

    Oddly, however, I've known families like the ones being watched. They're the kind that'll send their kids round to burn out your car because you told their dog off for savaging your baby. Playing the club music at full volume until 4am every night and generally making the neighbourhood a really bad place to be in (because, of course, it's a free country and they can do anything they want any time they want, nobody's allowed to tell them any different, otherwise they don't have any 'respeck', and thus deserve a knife in the gut).
    I'm stuck in the conundrum of absolutely hating surveillance with a vengeance, and thinking what the hell is anybody meant to do with people who act like that?
    You just know that as soon as any measure is put in place, it'll widen in scope to creep up to the point it encompasses everyone, and then what do you do?

    Much as my 'knee jerk' reaction is to say that this is awful, being surveilance, it's one that leaves me feeling edgy, but it's worth looking at. And keeping an eye on very closely to watch its creep.

    Like fixing anything badly broken in a system, sometimes you have to use extraordinary measure to fix a dire problem. Monsters we are, lest monsters we become.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by haifastudent ( 1267488 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:28AM (#28915277)

    OMG 1984!!!!1!1!1!1!

  • by u38cg ( 607297 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:34AM (#28915303) Homepage
    I agree with you; but my response is that if the parents actually need 24 hour supervision to look after their kids properly, then the kids need to be taken away. I can't really see how that's a worse outcome than growing up in such a messed up family.
  • Re:Big Brother (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:46AM (#28915335)

    Boy 1984 has in the news a lot recently. 15 years late?

  • by RotateLeftByte ( 797477 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:47AM (#28915339)

    El Gordo is off on his hols and the underlings feel they can let out silly proposals like this. Then the ministers get to keep their TV hours up by spending copious amounts of time saying that this is only a proposal knowing full well that it will never happen.
    The 'Comics', newspaper like the Daily Wail and Express need to fill their copy and stories like this are exactly the sort of thing to fill the 'silly season'.

    Besides if by some legal mangling, the cameras were ever to be installed, they would be:-
    (within minutes)
    1) Stolen and sold down the Pub for Drink,Fags or Drugs.
    2) Vandalised
    3) The house sublet to a nice family ensuring nothing for the monitors to see.

    Anyway, NuLab will get a real tanking in the next election and the Tories will have all their attention on getting the country out of the financial sesspit that Gordon 'prudence' Broone has got us into since 1997.

    Finally, as this is in a clear breach of the European Human Rights Directive I think many of the wailers here should get a life.

  • by santax ( 1541065 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:48AM (#28915347)
    I don't know mate. Putting up cams in my 13 year old daughters bedroom tells me they don't have a problem with paedophiles.
  • by toriver ( 11308 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:50AM (#28915351)

    As if the Tories are any less concerned:

    We cannot tackle crime unless we also address the causes of crime, such as family breakdown, drug abuse and binge drinking.

    All of which these cameras probably will help with. The Conservatives are very unlikey to remove them, at least, if set up before any change of government. []

  • Re:Good! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:20AM (#28915489)

    If those youths are victimizing people they can certainly be prosecuted under existing laws. A new invasive monitoring program is not needed to deal with that. The thugs you describe will still exist after your government implements this program. What do you think they'll try next?

    You need to have a line you aren't willing to cross, and you need to decide where that line is now. Seriously, sit down with a cup of coffee and some note paper and figure out what are the liberties you absolutely will not forfeit for any reason. Be at least mentally prepared to quit your job and move out of your home and country when those liberties are taken away.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nyctopterus ( 717502 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:24AM (#28915517) Homepage

    2. Youngsters don't get into crime because they have a chaotic family life. They do it, because it's cool, they have too much free time, and they live in a neutered society.

    I think you'll find this is flat wrong. The number of children from stable families that get involved with crime is dwarfed by the number who do have a "chaotic" family life--or no family life at all. Experiencing neglect or abuse, or worse, going into the care system, dramatically increases your risk of juvenile and adult crime. Something like half of the kids in care will go to prison.

    I will find cites if you think I'm wrong. Making stuff up, as I suspect you have, isn't a good way of diagnosing the causes of societies complex problems--yet it seems to be the most common method.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by matt007 ( 80854 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:30AM (#28915541)

    Being poor does not make you a criminal...
    Especially if the state helps you so you do NOT have to steal or whatever just to live.

  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:32AM (#28915543)

    You're only looking at the symptoms.

    This is your basic statecraft Judo; Tension is created to excuse the use of Gestapo muscle. In this case the tension is created through a mult-generational application of terrible education and terrible living standards so that people become frustrated fit to bursting. The youthful rage you're talking about is an honest and healthy reaction to slavery. The solution isn't MORE pressure.

    But people have been successfully dumbed down to the point where this is no longer as obvious as daylight, and so they welcome the Empire.


    "So This Is How Liberty Dies. . . With Thunderous Applause"

  • Re:Good! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:39AM (#28915585)

    No, they can't be prosecuted, because as you may or may not be aware, if you call the police, because someone has damaged you/your property/your familys property then it's like literally asking for your head to be kicked in. If they are being monitored then any victim won't need to call the police.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:39AM (#28915589) Homepage

    Wow a real Tory alive and living in England. Are you too young to remember the eighties?

    It's nice that you "remind" people that the Welfare state created this problem. And ironic given the 1984-slant on this story. I'm sure that as someone who lives in Britain you are well aware that the Sunday Express is a gutter-rag on par with the National Enquirer and so this story probably has no basis in reality.

    When you "remind" people about how the Welfare State created chavs do you also remind them that we have never had an underclass at any point in history before the 1940s? Do you also point out that the breakdown in social cohesion that we attribute to chavs living in sink-hole estates has never before been associated with poverty?

    Finally I hope that you "remember" to point out that the Welfare State "created" this problem by fixing other related problems - such as injury or loss of work forcing entire families out to starve to death in the streets.

  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:52AM (#28915659)

    The best example from that site:

    Public spaces should feel safe, welcoming and vibrant, and shopping areas and parades, city centres, parks and green spaces should be free from intimidation, harassment and anti-social behaviour. It is vital that we reclaim our streets for our communities. Begging - one of the most visible signs of a problem street culture - anti-social street drinking or prostitution can hold back the economic and social life of a community, as well as being intimidating and threatening to people. For example, 65% of the public resents being approached by people begging and 54% will not use a cash point if someone is begging near it; over a third of the public have cited teenagers hanging around in the street as being a problem in their area.

    In other words, the same miserable selfish fuckers who created a massive and expanding underclass in this country ought to be able to go to a shopping centre without seeing the consequences of all those spending cuts they loudly demanded so they could upgrade their cars earlier or have a slightly longer holiday.

    Begging is seen, to this government, as purely a nuisance to businesses and middle class shoppers. They don't see a beggar and think 'This person should not be so desperate' they look at a beggar and think 'This person is affecting the value of commercial and residential real estate in this area'

  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:55AM (#28915671)
    Social workers are leaving like rats from a sinking ship. Social care offices are horridly understaffed and what staff there are, are underskilled. The political culture since 1979 places a very low priority on any kind of social services, because everyone is assumed to be the sole architect of their own circumstances. This has led to the collapse of social mobility in this country, continuous under both Tory and Labour governments. It has also led to the systematic demonisation of the working class, an increased sense of alienation which would require more social services at the same time social services are being deliberately gutted in a conscious attempt to turn social democracy into social darwinism.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:02AM (#28915713) Journal

    Not compulsory? Please re-read your own sentence. Anybody who would willingly agree to this 'non-compulsory' treatment is somebody under serious compulsion. Like the fear of prosecution.

    Well, if you don't want the fear of prosecution, then don't set fire to your neighbours' cars and don't encourage your children to do the same. This is not compulsory. It is something that you can choose as an alternative to having to face the real consequences of your actions. It seems compulsory only because it is a lighter option than the sanctions that are already in place for criminal behaviour.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FourthAge ( 1377519 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:03AM (#28915723) Journal

    I disagree with your first point. Without the welfare state, they would have to work, because the alternative would be worse for them. If they couldn't afford beer, Sky, fags and takeaway, they would do something about it. Feel the power of capitalism, the only effective system for redistribution of wealth :).

    But I agree with your second point. Welfare won't ever be scrapped in Britain, but it does need reform. Unless you are a highly skilled worker, you actually take a cut in income when you move from benefits to a job! This is partly because British people who live below the poverty line still pay taxes when they work. Economically speaking, it actually isn't worth getting a job.

  • by Burb ( 620144 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:08AM (#28915733)
    Wrong on so many levels. Unless it's a troll in which case, hey you win. As has been pointed out elsewhere, most perceptions of WIlliam Wallace in popular culture are driven by that awful Mel Gibson film which could not have been more innacurate if it had a plasticene Grommit alongside Wallace. I can't speak for Quakers, but certainly a lot of settlers like the Puritans were intent on setting up their own theocracy in the new world as well as escaping persecution at home. Did Canada break free? I don't recall a Canadian War of Independence? No, it was done piecemeal and largely peacefully. I don't care if they have the Queen on their notes; at least no one pretends the British Crown is infallible like some of people in the US who believe the Founding Fathers were but a little lower than the angels. As to Civil War we've had ours thank you very much and it didn't solve much. Meanwhile the USA is full of far too many people who think that if you talk like Alan Rickman you must be the bad guy. Give me a break. We don't brainwash our kids every morning in school by making them worship a flag either. Polemic? Yes, of course. I've visited the USA many times and have found most people to be regular guys. I don't form my opinions of the USA based on the National Enquirer and one chap who emigrated to England from the States who I met in the pub. I suggest you take a broader look around. The UK is full of idiots of all political shades and colours just like any other nation. I don't want live in a country where you can't feel safe unless you have a gun. Fine. You do? Fine, your call. Just get a grip.
  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:18AM (#28915803) Homepage Journal

    It has also led to the systematic demonisation of the working class

    The chavscum this is aimed at are shirking class, not working class. Some of them are third generation dole bludgers, and most have never done an honest day's work in their lives.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FourthAge ( 1377519 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:18AM (#28915807) Journal

    My point is not that the chavs should be starving in the streets. My point is that they should help themselves.

    For example. We know that it feels good to send aid to help starving guys in Africa. But it's even better to help them get their economy started so that they don't need any more aid. Same with the chavs. By sending them aid, we actively discourage them from getting their lives together.

    We should be doing something other than giving them money. They're misspending it, and now we are apparently saying that we need to check up on them constantly, 1984-style. It would be better to not give them any money in the first place.

    The story may be bollocks, but it's believable bollocks from New Labour given the other things they've done. Incidentally, I'm not a Tory, the Tories are left-wing "progressives" now and basically agree with New Labour on every matter. Also, you should be aware that the scale of the chav problem certainly changes in response to welfare payments. When it doesn't make economic sense to work, hey presto, people stop working.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:24AM (#28915849)

    How is that not 1984? Well because it is never going to happen that's why. I guarantee this will never be heard from again. I also guarantee that their is nobody reporting this anywhere who has not got their information from the newspaper article in 'The Daily Express'. Newspapers like the 'The Daily Express' and 'The Daily Mail' provide Americans with lots of 'proof' that they have it better than the British. This somehow comforts them while their own country is turning to shit. The problem is these papers frequently print out utter lies. Not just selective truth or a creative take of the facts, they out and out make things up. What's more is they do so from an apparent position of respectability unlike 'The Sun', 'The Star' or 'The Mirror'. If you get suckered in by one of their stories you are no better than people who think Fox News is an unbiased news source, actually you are probably a little bit worse.

    And do you know what else? 1984 References make you look like an idiot. 90% of the people who make them have not seen a film version let alone read the book. All they know, thanks to pop culture osmosis, is 'Big Brother' and that makes everything into that the government does that they don't like into 1984. By referencing 1984 it simply marks you as the kind of pseudo-intellectual who has no way of articulating what you mean so you simply cry 'OMGWTF!! 1984!!!!'

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dna_(c)(tm)(r) ( 618003 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:25AM (#28915855)
    You are mentally ill, that book you refer to never existed. When you hear the knock on the door, go quietly...
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:39AM (#28915951) Homepage Journal

    Do you have any facts and figures to back up the notion that England has become a lot more violent in the last 25 years?

    See, I think that this is mostly utter bullshit spewed out by right-wing (or just moronic) redtops, and echoed mindlessly by the BBC, to give the government excuses to intrude evermore into people's privacy. Ever think that maybe there are more police in the UK because the people think they need them when in fact they don't? How many of those police were actively involved in quelling violence?

  • by OrangeCatholic ( 1495411 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:43AM (#28915977)
    It isn't obvious what the solution is either.

    I'm not entirely sure there's a problem. Apparently the reason to give pregnant girls their own flats was to prevent babies from being raised homeless. Mission accomplished.

    If by "problem" you mean that kids are now making this their goal...why is that a surprise?

    It's like opening a soup kitchen and being surprised there's more people now than last year. Well if you're going to give away free food, you should expect it to become more popular. It's not the soup kitchen's job to put itself out of business. It's somebody else's job to provide a superior alternative to welfare.

    For example, some good employment opportunities. Something that makes being on welfare seem crappy in comparison.
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:45AM (#28915989) Homepage Journal

    I still say putting cameras in their homes is a very bad 'solution'. Putting them in prison WOULD be better.

    They always say you shouldn't hit a child for punishment because it teaches them that violence is a reasonable solution to relatively minor problems. I agree, and the government putting CCTV in these people's homes teaches a lot of impressionable people that CCTV in homes is a reasonable solution to antisocial behaviour, or other misdemeanours. It is not. Put them in prison if they're that bad, or find another way to deal with the problem.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dna_(c)(tm)(r) ( 618003 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:53AM (#28916041)

    Scary though it it, the government thinks what it's doing is best for the people - which is a marked difference from the novel.

    • Cromwell's dictatorship
    • Robespierre's terror in the French revolution (Committee of Public Safety - how ironic in this context)
    • the Spanish Inquisition
    • the Crusades
    • Hitler's "Final Solution"
    • Communism

    were all motivated by "doing the best for (their own) people".

    Orwell fought in the Spanish civil war with the republicans against the fascists. In his time there were dictators like Mussolini, Franco, Stalin, Hitler,... so it is easy to understand where the inspiration and fear came from.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:01AM (#28916087)

    Saying "it's 1984! 1984!" isn't useful. Then why did we all read the book if not to use its name as a quick reminder of what should not ever be? It really is 1984 over there assuming that England's "National Enquirer" is being truthful. It's a bad result no matter what the reason is.
  • by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:01AM (#28916093)

    It has also led to the systematic demonisation of the working class

    The chavscum this is aimed at are shirking class, not working class. Some of them are third generation dole bludgers, and most have never done an honest day's work in their lives.


  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dna_(c)(tm)(r) ( 618003 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:07AM (#28916143)

    Is it?

    So you give one (1) anecdotal example that says "welfare state does not create the problem" and from there draw the conclusion "welfare state does create the problem"? I think you just introduced a whole new class of logical fallacies.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NonSequor ( 230139 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:17AM (#28916241) Journal

    So you're saying England is more like A Clockwork Orange than 1984?

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:19AM (#28916247)

    I disagree with your first point. Without the welfare state, they would have to work, because the alternative would be worse for them.

    Nice theory -- when there is work. But I don't think unemployment is rising in the UK at the moment because fewer people want to work, or because not working has been made more attractive. It's because their services are not wanted by anybody -- at least, not enough to pay them. And if they have no legal way to support themselves a few will commit suicide and the vast majority will turn to illegal ways. That would be a pretty certain way to make this a very dangerous place to be.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kevingolding2001 ( 590321 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:48AM (#28916477)

    Do you think crime has quotas?

    When the crime is 'thoughtcrime', the quota is 100%

  • by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:48AM (#28916483)

    Remove the defacto right that everybody is supposed to have to children - a lot of the less intelligent people will never make good parents, and shouldn't be allowed.

    So who gets to decide in a culture where your right to vote is among the most sacred? Oh, and this very discussion is about how bad it is when governments just decide things.

    Not to mention how easy it is to take this idea futher, but I don't want to be Godwinned.

  • by rohan972 ( 880586 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:50AM (#28916495)
    Yet another eugenicist. You get to decide who is worthy to breed, compulsory sterilisation or prison camps for the rest.

    You're the type of person that makes it necessary for the rest of us to maintain the right to keep and bear arms.

    Too many people on the planet as it is.

    Show us you have the courage of your convictions, kill yourself. Oh, that's right, it's the others who are the too many, you'd be one of the chosen ones, correct?

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @10:08AM (#28916625) Homepage Journal

    The problem is we don't pay nearly enough to social workers, teachers and other people working with children. Who wants to do a difficult job with a very demanding workload and with the potential for children to end up dead if you screw up and your career to be ruined, when you are unappreciated and underpaid?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @10:12AM (#28916661)

    Unfortunately the NSA just sent you a gag letter forbidding you from discussing this story with anyone.

    At least in the UK, we don't try to hide our surveillance culture.

    In the US, these people would already be in prison, so watching them 24/7 is a moot point.

    Much like in Orwell's 1984, In the UK, the underclass are permitted to endlessly cycle in and out of revolving-door police stations, since we reserve our prisons for people who can be made an effective example of, rather than people who are a drain on society.

    As a side-note, I'm sure anyone from the UK would agree the main problem with this story is that the scum are being watched, instead of lined up and shot.
    Throwing money at problems like these won't fix them, some people can't be helped to help themselves.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Acer500 ( 846698 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @11:06AM (#28917093) Journal

    I disagree with your first point. Without the welfare state, they would have to work, because the alternative would be worse for them. If they couldn't afford beer, Sky, fags and takeaway, they would do something about it. Feel the power of capitalism, the only effective system for redistribution of wealth :).

    Over here (Uruguay), welfare hasn't gotten to the point where it can afford someone what you describe.

    You know what happens? They do "work", in a sense, but not the kind of work we'd want them to have: families have chariots (litterally, with horses pulling them), and go scrounging around the trash cans. They are now supposedly authorized by the government (after some tense protests), there are an estimate of 50.000 of them (Image: [] ), they live by classifying the refuse, trying to separate metals and cardboard and plastics.

    And those are the ones that do work. There's also another kind, who send their children to board buses and ask for charity, or to ask for money at the street lights (basically every significant street light has its beggars). Children are beaten if they don't fill the "quota" set by their parents. And they do get enough money, more than what's usual for a day's works at minimum wage.

    Other people "work" as "car minders" (?).. they stay at the block where you park, and ask for money in return for "caring" for your car (and god help you if you don't pay them..). Don't think that just by paying them they won't steal if they have the opportunity (I've personally seen the one in my block steal, and now I'm in a kind of cold war with him, and can't park in my block anymore), and they're no insurance against having your car stolen either.

    In all, the "refuse classifiers" (the guys on chariots) at least try to do something. Though the municipal government complains that they make the trash cleaning job a lot worse, because they leave a mess behind after they go through the trash cans.

  • by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @11:26AM (#28917249)

    "Why did you shoot the camera?"

    "Skynet. It's everywhere sir. The resistance is already forming. Which side are you on--Man, or Machine?"

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @11:41AM (#28917375)

    How is his argument any more flawed than the unsubstantiated speculation that he is replying to? Maybe the problem doesn't come from the first people forced on the dole, but I would think that there is a much greater likelyhood that those who grew up with their family getting provided for by the government would learn to expect it.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by canadian_right ( 410687 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @12:06PM (#28917579) Homepage

    The rest of the community, ie "society" doesn't have any rights. Only individuals have rights.

    Every argument in favour of group rights is an argument against individual rights. It is always someone try to subvert an individuals rights in the name of "the greater good".

    So while I support paying taxes to fund universal education, and health care, I don't pretend my supporting these taxes doesn't infringe on the rights of people who don't support these taxes. I am subverting individual rights to support my point of view. A very popular point of view where I live, but I don't pretend that imaginary "group rights" makes it all morally wonderful.

    Yes, there are laws that are in place to make society better, and some of these laws infringe our individual rights. Society may decide to infringe basic rights for the "greater good", but don't pretend it ISN'T infringing individual rights. When you admit you are infringing individual rights I would hope you would be much more careful about infringing rights.

    In this case I would say that installing these cameras goes way too far. It infringes basic rights to privacy, it involves a whole family, most of whose members are innocent of any crime. Group punishment is generally against the law. This is a case of a government wanting to show "it is doing something" and deciding camera's are a lot cheaper than hiring and paying social workers and police. They don't really expect this to help. They just want to be able to say to the voters, look, we tried.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Oyjord ( 810904 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @12:07PM (#28917589)

    The purpose of welfare is to keep the poor poor, and thus ensure that there will always be jobs for Socialist politicians, who can offer to solve the problem.

    This is arguably the single stupidest thing I've ever read on Slashdot. Ugh. Congrats on such an acclaim.

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Sunday August 02, 2009 @12:16PM (#28917661) Homepage Journal

    "There will soon be laws stating that minors must wear clothes inside the house..."

    Fixed that for ya!

    Seriously, that could readily be the upshot of such surveillance -- new laws requiring modest dress inside the home, lest your children be exposed to adult bodies, or worse, adults get to see children's bodies. Because after all, only someone who loves CP could possibly object! It's for the children, didn't you know!

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by canadian_right ( 410687 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @12:22PM (#28917701) Homepage

    Numerous studies have shown that kids that grow up in families "on the dole" tend to grow up to be adults that collect "the dole" much more than other families. The most popular theory for this is a lack of good role models. If you grow up with parents who do not work, do not try to teach you the value of work, who are not well educated, and do not teach their children the value of education, often, not always, the child grows up thinking that going on "the dole" is just the way things are. Work is for some other class of people they can never belong to. Many children DO escape this life, often due to the influence of teachers, or relatives that do work.

    In many places it has been found that working hard to break this cycle can work. Set welfare (dole) rates low enough to live on, but just barely. Anti-poverty activists will yell about a lack of dignity, but I'm of the firm opinion dignity comes form working. Do NOT make getting on welfare easy for children. Where I live you can't get on welfare as a child if your parents are alive and you are under 25. There are exceptions for cases where the parents are abusive. You have to do work training, and / or actively look for work if you are able. You cannot stay on full welfare for more than 2 years if you are able bodied. Then the welfare payments decrease.

    Welfare should exist to help people out when they suffer a string of bad luck, or are handicapped and can't work. The rules for welfare should encourage working. For example, if it pays more than the minimum wage why would you work? If welfare rules claw back all your wages when you start working part-time, why would you work part time? Make it hard to get on welfare when people are young. Have separate systems that give extra support and training to break the cycle for young people.

  • by Savior_on_a_Stick ( 971781 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @01:14PM (#28918079)

    Quite a lot of people actually.

    I've never heard of a shortage of applicants for social worker positions.
    Or teachers, for that matter.

    I guess that means that either they are working under duress, or are not actually underpaid.

    The problem as I see it, is that once in these positions, few positive results are obtained.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by misexistentialist ( 1537887 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @01:28PM (#28918185)
    Infecting yourself with HIV to get additional money is not because you "expect handouts", but because you are fucking desperate.
  • by Ex-MislTech ( 557759 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @01:34PM (#28918235)

    Do not buy the left right paradigm, it is a game to divide and conquer
    the different groups with different agendas.

    As long as you keep thinking your politics are a soccer match
    you are going to continue to be gamed.

    Both sides are bought and paid for just like they are here
    in the USA with a very few exceptions.

    You can tell by their voting records which ones are the parasites
    that do not represent their voters.

    We no longer have a representative democracy, we have
    a hybrid of a Corporatocracy, Plutocracy and Kleptocracy.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iserlohn ( 49556 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @01:54PM (#28918377) Homepage

    Trying to apportion blame onto New Labour for plans such as this waters down the argument of good governance and the emphasis that should be placed on civil liberties. This is a struggle that transcends party politics; whoever is in power has to answer to the people, accountability is the key.

    It doesn't equate to civil liberties being lost, and there should not be a knee jerk reaction to it pretending it is something it is not. It actually does a disservice to the cause of civil liberties because of introducing fringe issues into the discussion.

    To be honest, I do not believe that the Tories would have done any different than Labour if they had been in power. Think back to the Thatcher years, it was the state that had to absorb the enormous number of claimants to the disability benefits and welfare because of Thatcher's restructuring of British industry. This is the legacy we are actually seeing now, the people that had been so dependant on the welfare system has largely been those that are made unemployable structurally by poorly thought out free-market policies.

    Now, I am not a Labour supporter by any stretch of imagination, but I believe that for the Tories to market themselves as the alternative is the biggest joke of all. Under Major, the problems we are facing now would be more serious or at the very least, be of the same level of severity.

    What we need in politics is a voice of reason, to temper the tendency of government to over-react. The British press has a history of sensationalism, but this problem has been exasperated in recent years by quality journalism found in the like of Daily Mail and the Sunday Express. What we need are politicians to say not that they are addressing the issue whenever some scare story pops up, but to say that after analysing the issue, it is not at all an issue that needs to be addressed.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by religious freak ( 1005821 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @02:22PM (#28918591)
    Dude, have you ever READ 1984? Maybe you're a little jaded because lots of things get compared to 1984 (which I could understand)... but this is truly, literally one of the most chilling and, at the time of the writing, outlandish aspects of 1984 British life brought into the real world. Literally.

    Yeah, I can see a certain amount of 'OMG!! its 1984zz' exhaustion, but this is not hyperbole when compared to the book. It's scary.
  • by Bragador ( 1036480 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @02:26PM (#28918615)
    Since when is a nude child considered child pornography?

    Main Entry: pornography
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Greek pornographos, adjective, writing about prostitutes, from porn prostitute + graphein to write; akin to Greek pernanai to sell, poros journey -- more at fare, carve
    Date: 1858

    1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
    2 : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
    3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

    Nudity is not pornography and pornography does not require nudity.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @03:09PM (#28918933) Journal

    I love how you are all saying "they would HAVE to work", as if there is some infinite job market with jobs for everyone willing to work.

    What planet are you people living on? Because it sure as hell isn't this one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @04:45PM (#28919705)

    There are currently no laws stating that minors must wear clothes inside the house, so tell them not to. Then, the government records CP and they all burn at the stake!! It's flawless!!

    Wouldn't that be nice!

    No, what would actually happen is, the government would argue that the parents knew there were cameras in the house, so that by allowing their children to be nude in the house, they were complicit in the production of CP. Oh, I almost forgot! The kids knew it too, so they were also CP producers. So, they can pretty much throw the lot of them in jail, which is what they wanted in the first place, what with those being "the worst families in England." The government gets off clean because they can just argue that the purpose of the cameras wasn't to make CP, but was to rehabilitate those families, and part of rehabilitation is hiding their filthy, nasty, disgusting, sinful bodies at all times. So it's a double-strike against the families, and the government are heroes!

    The one I'm waiting for isn't government sponsored. It's the biggest troll the world has ever known: A worm set up with a payload of hardcore CP, that sends emails to the FBI (truthfully!) alerting them that the host computer contains CP. I'm actually surprised this hasn't already been done several times now, let alone ever! You know, if your motive is mischief rather than money, why ruin mere data when you could ruin whole lives?

  • by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:20PM (#28920025)

    There is a huge difference between a shortage of applicants and a shortage of hired workers.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ydrol ( 626558 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:27PM (#28920505)

    "white-trash" - I really hate that phrase. To me the adjective implies that this is a notable kind of trash. Whereas "black trash" - well that goes without saying doesn't it? Not that this is a reflection upon the person that says it. (as it is uttered by all hues), just a sad reflection of our perceptions of society. Some of which might be justified, but much not.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:28PM (#28920515)
    Unfortunately, your government is corrupt, and has created systemic corruption that makes it almost impossible for the market to function to the benefit of all, as it does elsewhere, such as in Singapore. What the government has done to those people is to create a sort of dead end job from which there is no escape. Because they get paid more than market wages, there is no incentive for them to take a lower paying job that has a future.

    Government intervention inevitably introduces inequity in the system, and reduces efficiency. They do this merely by the fact that they employ people to do things that would be taken care of naturally in their absence (think "Department of Education"--didn't we have schools before the formed that bureaucracy? Weren't we ranked higher relative to other nations in student quality before they came in? Wasn't it cheaper to send kids to school back then?).
  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:40PM (#28920615) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure I cannot fully appreciate how bad it is for abused and neglected kids since I fortunately was not one of them. I can, however, see that however bad it is, if the outcomes are WORSE for the care system (or in the U.S. the foster care system), then it must on average be even worse.

    I'm not exactly sure where the dividing like in the U.K. is between social workers and foster care. In the U.S. when the problem is serious enough (at least in theory), the child protective services remove the children and place them in foster care.

    In any event, if social services CAN be a strong positive influence, why don't they visit the kids in care and keep them from becoming statistics? Surely in that situation they would face much lower legal barriers to helping the kids in need since the carers don't actually have parental rights?

    One thing I do wonder, there seems to be a long-standing assumption (quite in evidence in this discussion) that the characteristics that lead to being in a lower social class also lead to child abuse and neglect. Yet, I see no evidence presented ANYWHERE that it's not the other way around, that is, being in a lower social class leads to unemployment and then child abuse/neglect.

    Perhaps the best thing that can be done to curb the problem is to create better educational and employment opportunities.

    I don't know exactly how the social programs in the U.K. work, but I do know the ones in the U.S. are practically perfectly designed to make absolutely certain that once a person is in the system, they won't get back out. Just as soon as someone shows signs that they might get back on their feet they hit the program limits and end up worse off than when they were unemployed. To show the extent of the problem, just having $300 in the bank is enough to get services terminated, even if it was a one-off windfall or an attempt to save for a car so you can get work.

    The people who get out are the ones who just had a spell of the worst sort of luck and were then able to resume working for considerably more than minimum wage. If you expect the worst of people, then punish them for doing anything but the worst, it's not hard to guess what will happen.

    Put another way, how many people of ANY social class will be inclined to work more in order to have less? Or even to just stay where they are? I don't think very many would.

    Meanwhile, many HR departments are not terribly interested in a 30 or 40 year old with a family applying for an entry level position. That is, a person who did exactly what society said they should and improved their education to get out of a dead end situation then finds that the window has closed.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:56PM (#28920755)

    I disagree with your first point. Without the welfare state, they would have to work, because the alternative would be worse for them. If they couldn't afford beer, Sky, fags and takeaway, they would do something about it.

    If by work you mean assorted criminal acts. Then yes Britain would be much better off without this welfare rubbish. *sigh*

  • by Lucractius ( 649116 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:33PM (#28921281) Journal

    3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

    By this i suppose that technically a significant proportion of modern news is in fact pornography.

  • by Brain Damaged Bogan ( 1006835 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:00PM (#28921439)

    ...and pornography does not require nudity.

    ...but it helps :)

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @09:05PM (#28921489) Journal

    I am not persuaded by ad hominem (against the name) arguments. They are a logical fallacy which prove nothing.

    Reason Magazine's studies are just as valid as any study Obama might quote. If you don't think the $11/hour welfare earnings is accurate, than get the study and demonstrate where it is flawed. Alternatively quote a different study from a different think tank which estimates how many dollars/hour welfare benefits are worth.

    Either of those would be a valid argument. The ad hominem attack is not.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @10:23PM (#28922015) Homepage

    The chavscum this is aimed at are shirking class, not working class. Some of them are third generation dole bludgers, and most have never done an honest day's work in their lives.

    Sounds to me like either your dole system is broken or there is a caste system rejecting these people. Either way, fix the system. Your broken system doesn't give you the right to put people in a surveillance based modern equivalent of debtor's prison.

    Hate poor people? Figure out how to make the system not produce poor people. Or don't, and tolerate them. Turn the dole off, or keep it, or change it. But creating an unter-class without civil rights is not a reasonable option.

  • Re:Holy shit. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DiamondMX ( 1147759 ) on Monday August 03, 2009 @07:12AM (#28925085)

    Solution: Minimum wage increase - if benefits are supposed to cover the minimum acceptable level of income for someone to live on (and that's certainly what they represent here in Oceania - erm, the UK) then full time employment should not be permitted to pay less than that.
    Of course you could argue that would hurt the economy or some bullshit like that, but the fact is that $7/hour is a piss-poor wage and *that* is what makes people sit on the dole for a lifetime. Some of them probably are too lazy to work - but most of them are too lazy to work for less money, significantly less respect, and much more effort. Plus there are costs involved with working such as travel, eating at work, etc - in other words it's not the benefits that create the problem, it's the lower-class worker exploitation that $7/hour represents.
    Plus, how much enthusiasm can you have for a job where the manager might fire you just because he's in a bad mood that day?

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings