Wait, am I paranoid?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7656607.stm

Schools should have a named teacher to whom pupils can report any concerns of grooming by extremist groups.

Teachers should protect the well-being of pupils who may be vulnerable to being drawn to extremism, says the government’s "Learning together to be safe" kit.

Errm… thoughtcrime? A system placed in schools not unlike that enforced by the KGB or Stasi to allow children to inform that their playmates were harbouring counter-revolutionary, sorry, "extreme" sentiments?

I mean, in my teens I read very heavily on Anarchism. I dare say the books on it have now been removed from the school library, or left as a honey trap for independent minds for later reporting to the Village Concerned Citizens Committee ("Unmutual! Disharmonious!")*

Compare and contrast: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/10/the_seven_habit.html

We also need to pay more attention to the socially marginalized than to the politically downtrodden, like unassimilated communities in Western countries. We need to support vibrant, benign communities and organizations as alternative ways for potential terrorists to get the social cohesion they need. And finally, we need to minimize collateral damage in our counterterrorism operations, as well as clamping down on bigotry and hate crimes, which just creates more dislocation and social isolation, and the inevitable calls for revenge.

Does instituting teachers as the secret police of thoughtcrime strike anyone as likely to promote social cohesion? Sounds like the government is policing children in a way that tackles mythical terrorists that don’t in any way resemble the personal histories of actual terrorists.

PS – the accompanying "pack" for the goodthink institutes, sorry, schools, will, I trust, promote Britain’s long and distinguished history of freedom of speech, right to protest and assembly, habeas corpus, trial by jury… or maybe it’s getting ready for these to be finally phased out in the dying days of the Brown government.

Well done, New Labour. You’ve made me actively despise a Labour government. Well done.

*Required viewing; "A Change of Mind", The Prisoner.

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4 thoughts on “Wait, am I paranoid?

  1. Britain seems to becoming the ultimate police state. I think some MPs have been watching a little too Anime and wanting to emulate New Tokyo in 2050 or so.

      1. We’ve always left the door open to come back to the U.K. by me never naturalizing here in the U.S., but it’s this type of stuff that makes me consider never returning back because quite frankly it scares the bejeebus out of me. While I’m all for keeping the population safe, using terrorist boogeymen as a catalyst to allow you to do so isn’t kosher. If we ever move out of the U.S. it might be towards either Canada or down Austrialia/New Zealand way because things are quite corrupt there. Yet.

  2. “Teachers should protect the well-being of pupils who may be vulnerable to being drawn to extremism” if they actually cut class sizes and teacher paperwork to the point where we had enough time to interact with individual students to serve as “thought police”, they’d be too busy taking the credit for the resulting massive rise in educational standards and improvements in student behaviour to bother with crap like this.

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