Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

I get to be as self-indulgent as I want without wasting anyone's time. Guilt-free solipsism -- excellent!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Keeping a Who's-Naughty List

London police are planning to register children who exhibit criminal potential in an effort to prevent them from developing into full-fledged lawbreakers.

Kids who tag buildings with graffiti, skip school, or even talk back to adults run the risk of being entered into a database program that will be used to monitor their behavior as they grow up, according to police sources.

I'm always shocked by the UK's disregard for civil liberties. If this database had been around when I was 7, Headmaster Flashman's false accusations that I was leading a playground gang -- and my subsequent ill-advised flight from the premises when faced with the sheer terror of a summons to his office -- might have led to stigmatisation as a "problem child", educational discrimination, an unstoppable downward spiral into a life of petty crime and Dickensian squalor, and a permanent sullying of my name. I mean, more than there would have been otherwise.

It's also a really stupid idea. Most of England's great personages -- not even counting me -- would have been in that database if it had been around during their childhoods.


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