We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Read the whole thing

And then ask yourself: What is to be done? What can I do? How far am I prepared to go?

John Osimek reports for The Register:

The government obsession with collecting data has now extended to five-year-olds, as local Community Health Services get ready to arm-twist parents into revealing the most intimate details of their own and their child’s personal, behavioural and eating habits.

The questionnaire – or “School Entry Wellbeing Review” – is a four-page tick-box opus, at present being piloted in Lincolnshire, requiring parents to supply over 100 different data points about their own and their offspring’s health. Previously, parents received a “Health Record” on the birth of a child, which contained around eight questions which needed to be answered when that child started school.

The Review asks parents to indicate whether their child “often lies or cheats”: whether they steal or bully; and how often they eat red meat, takeaway meals or fizzy drinks. [...]

12 comments to Read the whole thing

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    “Ginny Blackoe, Head of Family and Healthy Lifestyle Services”

    I think the best bet is for someone rather better at using the Interweb than I to find out everything there is to know about this individual, and publish it (in a comment here, perhaps).

    If this were to include her home address, the good people of Lincolnshire could then write her some supportive letters.

  • And if you answer the questionnaire with “None of your fucking business”?

    I guess the at risk register is an horrendous threat to any decent parent.

  • John K

    I imagine if parents refuse to go along with this bullshit, Ginny will sadly have to inform them that their child can’t be accepted at their first choice of school. The child will be punished because its parents have been naughty, something which in the past we associated with totalitarian states. Then again, the crazed rise of the database state shows which way our society is heading.

    This is one of the best arguments for getting on with independent schools, and getting rid of expensive and dangerous apparatchiks like Ginny, who no doubt has an office, car and final salary pension paid for by the peons.

  • RRS

    Would it not be so much more effective in focusing on the sources of the problems if all would cease reifying “The Government” or “The State” with lead-ins such as:

    The government obsession …

    .

    People (not some instrumentality) form obsessions and use the instrumentalities of governments (at all levels, town councils up through quangos and into the oddly named “public service” units of any administration).

    It is those people, and how they attain the direction of the instrumentalities which make up the major problems of both the U S and U K today (tho’ all other societies have similar problems of greater or less degree).

    In past eras, and to some extent in “backward” societies today, one solution has been assasination, which generally has limited amelioration until others establish the force of direction. But, it can slow things, and in some cases change direction.

    The answer may be to select or allow only the “perfect” to serve in the functions of the instrumentalities. But then, WE are all too busy and concerned with other things to make ourselves available.

  • Paul Marks

    In many schools (including private schools – due to the changes in charity law and other statutes) teachers are being told by government officials to make a report on every pupil.

    AFTER EACH AND EVERY CLASS.

    A moment’s thought should tell anyone that this both leads to a great wave of paperwork (which no one can ever read properly) and an impossible burdern for teachers.

    Guy Herbert is quite correct – the British state has reached the point of insantity, this can not be tolerated any more.

    And remember that it was Guy Herbert, measured man of reason, that brought this up – not hot headed, bad tempered me.

  • Maz

    From the article: “[Ginny Blackoe] also explained that as part of Lincolnshire’s softly-softly consensual approach to data gathering, this initial communication will be followed up with a reminder and then a third letter and a potential home visit from the School Nursing team.”

    Holy shit! This woman says with a straight face that an intrusive 4 page questionnaire from the government with two written follow ups and a visit to your house from a ‘team’ is a “softly softly consensual approach to data gathering”?

    This is terrifying, scary stuff. And coming a couple of posts after the remembrance of the evils of communism, profoundly depressing.

  • Stonyground

    I am troubled by the fact that only a minority of people who follow blogs are concerned about this kind of stuff going on. Most people that I talk to seem to be blissfully unaware that we have a problem. I have to say that I find this one particularly frightening.

  • Dom of Lincs.

    She’s pretty easy to track down, 192.com gave up her home address and phone number in 3 clicks, as did the BT phone directory, although given the publicity she’s getting in the blogosphere I imagine she’ll be unlisted within a few hours.
    There’s only one entry for that family name in the whole county so it’s probably safe to assume it’s her.
    If folks do call/write her and she doesn’t respond to the initial communication, perhaps a reminder, then another firmer one followed by a potential home visit would be in order.

  • John K

    This sort of shit is great makework for bureaucrats. Ginny won’t be in this on her own, she’ll have a team of administrators, facilititators and negotiators. They will need offices, secretarial support, coffee machines and laptops (for them to lose along with the personal information of every child in the county).

    This bullshit information, which never needed to be collected in the first place, will be indexed, correlated, filed, lost, found agian, and reported upon to central government, which will establish working parties to index, correlate, file, lose and find it. There will be conferences, and presentations, and journals to write in. It’s a career path for Ginny, unless Mr Cam has the balls to sack her and everyone like her. No? Thought not.

  • John K

    This sort of shit is great makework for bureaucrats. Ginny won’t be in this on her own, she’ll have a team of administrators, facilititators and negotiators. They will need offices, secretarial support, coffee machines and laptops (for them to lose along with the personal information of every child in the county).

    This bullshit information, which never needed to be collected in the first place, will be indexed, correlated, filed, lost, found agian, and reported upon to central government, which will establish working parties to index, correlate, file, lose and find it. There will be conferences, and presentations, and journals to write in. It’s a career path for Ginny, unless Mr Cam has the balls to sack her and everyone like her. No? Thought not.

  • Monoi

    The problem as alluded in an earlier comment is that people will fill this questionnaire, idiots that they are.

    Nobody fills it, what is blackhoe going to do?

  • John K

    Monoi:

    I am sure that parents will see this form as the bullshit it is, but will fear, probably rightly, that if they do not fill it in, their children will be made to suffer.

    This is standard totalitarian practice the world over, and there is no reason a British local authority will not stoop to it. The only answer is to get rid of local education authorities, free the schools, and get a scheme of education vouchers up and running. Which won’t happen, so Ginny’s final salary pension is safe. more’s the pity.