As if holding the title for most spied upon nation weren’t enough, CCTV cameras in England are to be updated to add something of a bark, according to the BBC. Arguing the new cameras remonstrating with petty offenders will help to prevent problems before they really start and reduce bureaucracy (by magic presumably), Home Secretary John Reid also mentioned that competitions would be run in schools in local areas to provide a voice for the cameras, which if it is true would presumably mean that the ‘talking’ ability would be limited to a choice of pre-set phrases. We can only hope that whilst these competitions are being carried out, it will be noticed how effectively such vocal coercion works in the classroom, without even a whiff of potential punishment to follow it up. After all, is that not where the problems of anti-social behaviour which these measures are designed to counteract originate?
Of course the opposition, whose main argument against such measures at the moment is that it avoids the principle totem of getting ‘more bobbies on the beat’, should well bear in mind that the ‘Peelers’ were no more popularly received on their inception either. Now they want more of them.
But wait—can anyone else hear something?
Smith! 6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade.