Almost all of us have experienced neighbors with dysfunctional families and their out-of-control kids, and we’ve wished someone would do something about it. Well, in Great Britain, someone is: the government plans to install 24-hour CCTV cameras in 20,000 homes to monitor families that can’t behave.
THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.
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.
That’s right. Not only will the government be spying on the families in their own homes, but they’ll send guards around to check on them. Should mother now fear a knock at the door if she gives her child a Twinkie? And just how many rooms of the house are under surveillance? Are the bedrooms off-limits? The bathrooms?
There’s no doubt that there are a lot of families that need help and counseling, but to be placed under the all-seeing eye of government is an appalling step toward the Brave New World or Orwell’s Oceania, as are the Anti-Social Behavior Orders,the Food Police, the arrest of a Member of Parliament for daring to keep the public informed, or local councils paying people to dig through their neighbors’ trash bins in a “waste audit.”
It used to be a feature of English Common Law that a man’s home is his castle, that his (or her) privacy could not be subjected to unreasonable invasions. (See, for example, the discussion of the origin of the fourth amendment search and seizure provisions in Levy’s Origins of the Bill of Rights) If that principle isn’t altogether dead in Britain, they’ve at least scrubbed any meaning from the word “reasonable.”
And I don’t think it unreasonable to worry this may a vision of the future here if Obama and the progressives have their way.