Our various lords and masters (and ladies and mistresses as it were) have decided that the nanny state is not enough and hence are going for "Super-nanny" state. My wife, who is Japanese, recently read George Orwell's 1984 and when she read the Torygraph stuff today (editorial and news) she said she thought England reminded her of Big Brother.
I agree. I think it is worse. The government, particularly the current ZANU labour one but with a certain amount of earlier work by the Major one, treats its subjects are children. We (they) are treated like kiddies, and we have to depend on the grown ups in government to tell us what to do and what not to do. This refers not just to the Super Nanny idea and the child database but to their proposed ID card scheme too and the "Polly Toynbee" school of thought that we should tax everyone and then give some poor suckers a tax credit or other benefit so that they can actually live. Not to mention the related Toynbee-esque ideas that we should let the government decide what sort of house, education, healthcare etc etc we should enjoy (if that is quite the right word for a life under such strictures). Essentially all this is saying "you can't be trusted and that for your own good, we in government are going to tell you what to do". I'm not the only person who's figured this out - the Outside Story blog says the same in regard to a gun-crime incident:
My belief, stated here before, is that the government's mentality is that we are children. One expects to have to tell a child how to behave but not to severely punish misbehaviour. Instead of asking whether a party is tough on crime we should ask whether it treats us like adults. A party that will treat us as adults won't respond to this story by proposing more gun control but less. It would recognise that the means to self defence is a right and that the murderer is responsible, not the gun.
I believe that, finally, the penny is dropping and the worms are turning. While earlier books like "The Welfare State We're In" set the tone, I suspect it is the emergence of books like the "How to Label a Goat" one and associated blog, are going to drive the point home. The deal here is that humour kills ideas better than almost any rant and a book like How to Label a Goat will make us laugh while it points out the follies. On that note I hope that my "Official Zombie" gets spread far and wide and helps to put the boot in on that idea.
It isn't alone of course. I'm positive that one reason why Matthew Taylor got so annoyed at bloggers and the like is that we continually point out the fatuity and idiocy of big government ideas. So far it seems to me that British public has tolerated these ideas because they can mostly ignore them. This is remarkably similar to the way that our European neighbours ignore those tiresome tax laws and EU red tape. Fortunately the time appears to be approaching where the Super-Nanny state over-reaches because it makes everyone do something they dislike - I believe that the ID card brainfart will be the point at which the UK decides enough is enough. There are plenty of places such as defy-id where active planning is going on. The Englishman also noted that there is a place where they are looking for 1001 ways to crash the I.D card system.
[I believe the best way to kill this idea will be to flood it with updates, queries and reports of lost cards. Combined with adding minor errors (typos, switched digits) in all updates so that they are continuously almost right and you should end up with a system that drowns under its own paperwork (even if many of them are electrons).]
Unfortunately even though the Cameroon did promise to kill the ID card his Nouveau Conservatives do not seem to be providing a real opposition, nor are the Lib Dims. We have three major parties all of whom want big state and continued infantilism of the population. This will lead to more support for extremists because with the electorate doesn't have a better choice. I believe that most European extremists such as Le Pen in France, Haider in Austria and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium are growing in support primarily because the major parties are failing to address the real issues of the voters (or at least a significant minirity of them). With the BNP wins in East London and other places I suspect the same could occur in Britain.
The question I have is how hard will it be for an infantilized society to learn how to be grown ups again?