Wednesday, 18 November 2009

UK Health Department to Require Snooping Into Private Homes

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Just when they thought they could not be under more surveillance or monitored more often, English people discovered Sunday that inspectors from the Department of Health will soon be permitted almost unrestricted and completely unprecedented entry to the homes of parents whose children are reported to be “at risk.”

The supernannies in the English government, specifically the Department of Health, have ordered local councils (government bodies with authority over small geographic areas) to “collect data” on families thought to be displaying behavior likely to cause “unintentional injury.” Shockingly, the data will be collected by sending agents into the target homes — without warrants and without warning — to determine whether the parents or guardians of the children have provided them with the necessary safety precautions such as smoke alarms, door locks, stair gates, proper temperature in the hot water heater, etc.

Prior to promulgation of these new guidelines, councils would rarely inspect a house for any reason other than building code violations or extreme risk of serious harm to public health.

The recent regulations also recommend the establishment of a nationwide database wherein the information gleaned from these searches can be collected and published. This database will be the largest of its kind in the world, according to reports in British newspapers. With the officially mandated storage of information, no matter how insignificant, councils and other government agents will have access to the most traditionally private of zones — the family home.

According to laws passed previously, doctors, midwives, teachers, and others with professional contact with children must report any “nagging doubts” they have regarding the health and safety of children in their care. Under the dictates of the new proposal, these caregivers will be afforded access to the database and will be able to amalgamate the results of their own observations.

In reports published on politics.co.uk, the universe of those required by law to report possible exposure to risky situations will be expanded to include bus drivers and parents who volunteer to participate in carpools.

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While not yet the law, the scheme has been delivered to parliamentary committees for consideration and if approved, it will be enacted next year.

One of the most incredible and untenable aspects of the directives is the instruction to inspectors to “supply and install home safety equipment” in any home they deem to be inadequately protected. Such intimate interaction into the personal lives of Her Majesty’s subjects has rankled even a few normally unflappable Britons.

Matthew Elliot, spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, sagaciously summarized the ineffictiveness of the proposal when he told the Sunday Times of London, “Good parents will feel the intrusion of the state in their homes and bad parents will now have someone else to blame if they don’t bring up their children in a sensible, safe environment.”

Despite promising pockets of opposition, a statement made to the BBC by U.K. Children’s Minister Delyth Morgan demonstrates the general acceptance of such an obnoxious desecration of the most sacrosanct of edifices. “It’s not quite as radical as it sounds,” the Minister claimed.

Actually, Ms. Morgan, if the parliament of the U.K. passes this plan, the result will be a law that is more radical, more inexcusably presumptuous, and more dangerously invasive that any law enacted in recent memory, even in the cradle-to-grave, ever-and-over-vigilant nanny state that is the modern United Kingdom.

Photo: AP Images