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So there’s going to be this database. Meant to work alongside the national identity register, the Children’s Index will carry the details of every child born from 2008. This is, variously, a way of ensuring child tax credit is paid correctly, a method of monitoring for early signs of child abuse and a detection system for suitable recruits into the world military under the United Nations’ New World Order. All right, probably not the last one, but why, time and again, whenever New Labour cheerfully blurbles about its latest plans that are apparently entirely for our own good, are those plans really fucking creepy?

And oh God, it’s all so well-intentioned. The index is meant to flag up any confluence of warning signals, like “low birth weight, poor exam results and a parent’s depression or addiction. Two warning ‘flags’ on a child’s record may trigger an investigation”. That’s a lot of detailed information, and between 300,000 and 400,000 users will have access to it. How can that possibly go wrong?

Someone’s clearly been spending their summer holiday catching up on old Hansards, because yesterday the Telegraph's lead story, headed “Celebrity children will get database privacy”, was based on this quote from Lord Adonis, but didn't mention that he actually said it on 20 March:

“Children who have a reason for not being traced—for example, where there is a threat of domestic violence or where the child has a celebrity status—will be able to have their details concealed”.
We can sleep easy in the knowledge that not just anyone will have access to, for example, Rocco Ritchie’s most intimate details. However, everyone else’s will be freely available to—those numbers again—between 300,000 and 400,000 people.

So it turns out the only way to guarantee privacy is to become a celebrity. No longer a frivolous pursuit for its own sake, life in the public eye will, paradoxically, be the only guarantee in future of security from intrusion, as it will be the only way of ensuring your children’s most private information isn’t widely available. The only way to protect them from prying eyes will be to parade them in front of the paparazzi. Your kids will have to be brought up as spoilt, warped Beckhamlets to avoid the dumb, oblivious invasiveness of the British government. Hoik them onstage for a duet as you honk your way through your “X-Factor” audition. Make them take part in “Britain’s Next Top Model”. Bring back “Minipops”. They’ll thank you one day, or at least they would have done if you hadn't had to raise them to be such awful brats.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2006 10:04 am (UTC)
I think all children should be fitted with GPS transmitters. Or big magnets in their heads, so they can be picked up by those crane things that are user in car crushing yards.
Sep. 1st, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
This would be for what, other than sport?
Sep. 1st, 2006 10:09 am (UTC)
Which bit, the GPS thing or the magnets?
Sep. 1st, 2006 10:18 am (UTC)
Well, the GPS thing would mean that children could be traced, whereever they go. And adults too. It's the future, face it.

As for the magnets things, convicted paedophiles could have magnets of the same polarity fitted to them, so that should they attempt to approach a child they will instead be repelled by the magnetic fields. You know it makes sense.

Top five things to fit to a child:
1 - GPS System
2 - Magnets
3 - ABS
4 - Air bags
5 - Leather seats

The child in front is a Toyota.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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