Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tell us something we don't know

An extraordinary piece from Polly Toynbee today, berating everyone for being silly and middle-class about surveillance, but showing a poor grasp of the real arguments. A shame she can't recognise her own screamingly middle-class bias in comments such as this:
Surveillance conspiracy mania is a symptom of something else - the wish for the middle classes to be victims too. This is a middle-class obsession by those who are least likely to be surveyed.
Well of course the middle classes are the least likely to be monitored. I have it on unimpeachable authority that a senior civil servant described the 'Every Child Matters' agenda as aimed not at the 'worried well' of the middle classes, but at the child of the mother 'who works in Tesco', who will inevitably be under-stimulated. And take a look at the myriad schemes to identify children who may become offenders: they target those living in areas of poverty and deprivation. When Blair talks about future 'menaces to society', he doesn't have in mind the babies of Altrincham or Hampstead

It's a breathtaking piece of spin to represent the age-old middle class preoccupation with turning the lower orders into 'People Like Us' as some kind of enlightened social reform, whilst dismissing those who object to the unwarranted interference in other people's lives as meddling, elitist know-nothings.

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