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]

Just curious?

It is a hallmark of all sinister government programmes that they are never advertised in advance as being sinister. Some might argue that this kind of deception is only to be expected, given the old ‘gently-boiling-frog’ theory. My own view is that the architects of these schemes genuinely don’t see them as the slightest bit sinister. In fact, quite the opposite.

For example, I have no doubt that the Whitehall mandarins behind this proposal regard it as a laudable exercise in sound administration:

“The Office for National Statistics has told the BBC it is planning the first official national wealth survey.

The new survey could include collecting data on a range of wealth indicators, from secured loans, investments, possessions and pensions take-up to house prices – and is aimed at getting a better picture of the country’s and individual wealth.”

A modern ‘domesday book’ listing who has got what and how much of it; a one-stop reference resource that will prove indispensable to the next generation of public sector wealth-grabbers.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps this is just another sterile technocratic exercise formulated for the purpose of providing lots of bureaucrats with years-worth of statistic fiddling, an exercise which they appear to love for its own sake. I certainly hope so but I can’t seem to get the word ‘sinister’ out of my mind, especially when the proposal is expressed in terms like this:

“It is believed the data could be used to formulate fiscal and social policies and to link the government’s policies closer to people’s real wealth.”

Management-speak or polite euphamism?

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