Note: This is not one of my most sparkling performances. I was got out of bed by the BBC to argue against a proposal so bizarrely evil that I was almost lost for words. SIG
Sean Gabb, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on the 11th September 2012.
Sean was got out of bed and wheeled on unprepared to debate with Claude Knights of a charity called Kidscape, which is calling for omnipresent CCTV surveillance in schools – including in toilets and sports changing rooms – to make sure bullying can be prevented.
He argues that this is unacceptable for the following reasons:
CCTV surveillance of law-abiding adults changes their behaviour by letting them know that they live at all times under the watchful eye of authority. Putting children under such surveillance is morally corrupting.
Some of the images captured of children will necessarily be indecent. These will, just as inevitably, be passed round by people of a certain inclination. It is not uncommon for state-registered childminders to be found guilty of possessing and publishing such images – see here, for example.
Further worth noting:
Kidscape is a registered charity which had an income of £523,625 in the year to 31st March 2012, of which £112,481 came from the Department for Education. As such, Kidscape fails to qualify as a “fake charity” – this being an organisation funded by the State to lobby the State to do things the State wants to do but cannot until it has been able to show that there is “independent” support from the public. Even so, it cannot be seen entirely as part of civil society as reasonably defined.