We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

04 April 2007

big brother is talking to you..

So Zurich has received the award for the city with the best quality of life, and as I'vead, Switzerland in general sounds heavenly. If you've never been to England, or perhaps only on holiday, you might think that it is all green and pleasant, but you'd be wrong. Britain is the most 'spied' on nation in Europe, and I would think the western world at least. CCTV cameras can be found everywhere, for the purpose of deterring crime, or at least trying to catch the criminals afterwards. We don't actually have any cameras in our village, and the local council is pushing for them. I'm not sure what I think about that, considering if we had them then the perpetrators who stole our car last year, might have been caught. But then again, as it seems glaringly obvious, most people who intend to commit crimes are not deterred. Jail is not a deterrent. Police are not a deterrent.

So why then is the government introducing 'talking' CCTV cameras?
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20070404/tuk-spy-cameras-to-shout-orders-at-yobs-45dbed5.html They are convinced that the cameras are effective, after their trial run. The cameras shout orders at 'yobs' ( that's the collective group that most of this stuff is apparently aimed at..young anti-social people) in an attempt to publically shame them. And they are holding 'contests' at some schools, for children to be the 'voice' of the camera. That gives me a bad feeling. This country already has the ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) which can be 'slapped' on to anyone, but mostly young people (and drunk people), giving them a curfew if they are misbehaving. It doesn't seem to deter or shame anyone. Or quite possibly the shame is getting even deeper, with this constant governmental assault of ' look how rotten you people are, now we have to do this..' sort of thing. Makes people want to drink more, drown themselves out.

There is a real problem with anti-social behaviour in this country from what I've seen. I doubt this is the solution. This attempt at further 'shaming' seems to me like picking at an open wound. I have read in many different places, particularly among home educating literature, that this really isn't a child friendly country. Children are villified at young ages beginning in school, and then grow up with that feeling of not being good enough or whatever, so how can respect come into it?
Respect is a two way street. And that seems to be the crux of the problem, no respect, not for oneself or anything else. We are the first teachers of our children, what we model is what they will be - to some extent.

If you see someone littering, or not picking up after their dog, and you say something to them about it, are they going to be shamed? Well, my feeling is they will react in one of two ways, either they will pick up their mess, or they will get hostile with you. And it could all depend on how you approach them as well. Either way, I think that if they are going to litter etc.. in the first place, only a small portion might think twice if there is a camera watching (and shouting!). Most people seem to forget the cameras are there... which is why they are there, in such big proportions

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