Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 24 November 2008

Watching Us In Bed

So the State has finally done it – they’ve got cameras into the bedroom.

The Daily Telegraph reports today that a local council – not named, doubtless to protect the guilty – put cameras into the bedroom of a couple “with learning difficulties” to look for evidence (there wasn’t any, as far as I can make out) that they were maltreating their baby (who sleeps in a separate room).

Say what you like about the Human Rights Act, but it does have its uses. It can – and did in this case – provide people with some protection against grotesque State intrusion. It shouldn’t have to, of course. Firstly there should be other legislation laid down with gives us recourse in cases like this, and secondly the State shouldn’t be allowed to install CCTV in our own homes in the first place.

In the wake of the Baby P case there are going to be all sorts of calls for closer monitoring of people by the State. They are calls we should resist. Without wishing to pre-empt the Balls Inquiry (or whatever it’s called) what appears to have happened in Harrngay is that officials could have spotted the signs of abuse, but missed them. In other words, it wasn’t the frequency or the extent of the surveillance that let Baby P down, but its quality. That is quite definitely not an excuse for invading the privacy of thousands of other families.

The arrogance with which some government officials go about their work is breathtaking. I can just imagine the smugness and voyeuristic excitement of the snooping Stalinists as they watched the first pictures coming back from this poor couple’s bedroom. I thank God that they’ve been told where to get off but mark my words, they’ll be back; spying on someone else’s bedroom or bathroom or toilet. And they’ll keep coming back until we as a nation decide we’ve had enough of it and make plain to our dear, elected leaders that they’ve gone too far. Or, better still, change our dear elected leaders into ones who don’t need telling.

It’s high time we fought back.

1 comment:

Dick Puddlecote said...

It reminds me of the V for Vendetta Graphic Novel where the Ear are listening in on the dirty Bishop. But worse.

Thanks for pointing this out. Will be joining you later tonight. ;-)