back to article Neighbourhood Watch 2.0: Your tensions are being monitored

Community cohesion? You know it makes sense. Once your local community starts to get the slightest bit incoherent you're on the slippery slopes - riots, meltdown of national institutions then global revolution are only a few short steps away. Fortunately, here in the UK we have the Department of Communities & Local Government …


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  1. dervheid
    Black Helicopters

    So, it's true then.

    The Lunatics HAVE finally taken over the Asylum.

    "And if the dam breaks open many years too soon

    And if there is no room upon the hill

    And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too

    I'll see you on the dark side of the moon"

    Orwell was right, he just got the date about 30 years too early.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Similarities with Nazi Germany?

    Is caring sharing Tony Blairing New Labour slowly crossing the line between socialism and national socialism? I visited the New Documentation Museum in Nuremberg a few years back and all this Community Cohesion stuff sounds awfully similar to aspects of the Nazi Project.

  3. Jamie Kitson

    And there I was...

    thinking that cohesion was what kept my molecules together. Always glad to be re-educated by the 2.0 people.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Can you feel the love ?

    We are so well looked-after it near brings a tear to my eye.

    Do these thrice-blessed carers get to have a fetching black armband and little red book for taking notes? Perhaps they could march through the towns on every Tuesday so people can gather and cheer.

    If I thought for one minute that the authorities would ever dare do more than pamphlet to death any perpetrator of "anti-cohesive activities" I'd be worried.

  5. Richard

    *Bad pun follows*

    Will the tension monitors be governed by Taut law then?

  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    "Citizen reminder: inaction is conspiracy! Report counter-behaviour to a Civil Protection team immediately."

    "Protection team alert, evidence of anticivil activity in this community. Code; assemble, plan, contain."

    "Alert community ground protection units, local unrest structure detected. Assemble, administer, pacify."

    "Citizen notice, priority identification check in progress. Please assemble in your designated inspection positions."

    "Individual, you are charged with socio-endangerment level one. Protection units prosecution code; duty, sword, midnight."

    "Attention resident, this block contains potential civil infection. Inform, co-operate, assemble."

    "Attention community. Unrest procedure code is now in effect. Inoculate, shield, pacify. Code; pressure, sword, sterilize."

    Where is Gordon Freeman when you need him?

  7. Chris Miller

    You couldn't make it up

    For a government that's heading toward record levels of unpopularity and lack of public trust, this has to prompt the question: "what have they been smoking?"

    Couldn't they confine themselves to something innocuous, such as an updated version of the Cones Hotline?

  8. Andrew Oakley

    What if there aren't any people from different backgrounds?

    I live in the Cotswolds. There AREN'T any people from different backgrounds. We're all white middle class.

    Does this mean our community is a non-cohesive society, despite having no crime and a well-attended village fete?

    It would be nice if the government would spend some money improving drainage and flood defences, rather than tosh like "community cohesion". There are still people living in caravans in the village up the road, nine months after the 2007 floods made hundreds of houses uninhabitable and cut off our drinking water for two months. Our community had to be pretty damned neighbourly then, because the government sure as hell didn't give a toss about us.

  9. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: What if there aren't any people from different backgrounds?

    They do to some extent cover the differences between multi-ethnic urban environments and rural communities. In the case of the latter, they suggest that the panic button threshold (not exactly what they call it) should be lower. Draw your own conclusions about what that's supposed to mean. City folks are used to minor rucks? People in the sticks reach for the pitchforks at the first sight of a "you're not from round here, are you?" Whatever... (-:

  10. 3x2

    Nice 'n' Cohesive

    <..>slowly crossing the line between socialism and national socialism<..>

    more likely end up in the nightmare world of "Demolition Man"

    Happy Joy Joy thoughts everyone.

  11. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Oh look...

    ... The Thought Police, coming to a Neighbourhood near you!

    Remember, sheeple, this is for your own good...

  12. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Labour NeoCon Death throes ..... CHaOS Mongers Meltdown/Crackdown*

    Spookily enough, this job advert ... .... was on the comments page of this story of Labour's Lost Controls.

    Tweak IT with a reference to Virtual Flight Fleets and AI Virtual Defense and IT would Blast Blighty into CyberSpace Control leaving the Labour NSA cloned Squib exhausted and spent and kicked into the gutter.

    Control CyberSpace and Global Communications Head Quarters and you will be in Control of Anything and Everything and you will have no Need to Suffer Desperate Fools

    * Crackdown with tones of Crankdown/Substance Abuse Withdrawal or Chronic Overdose Neural Brain Damage which is just what it is when Madness invades the Intellectual Space of Global Control of Capital Infrastructure Systems. The Bears are raiding the Poisoned Honey Pot and are Oblivious to the World Watching and Feeding their every Move.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Godwin's Law

    "..this Community Cohesion stuff sounds awfully similar to aspects of the Nazi Project".

    Before anyone invokes Godwin's Law, it is worth pointing out that the Nazis did indeed operate at a very low level within Germany. They had a very good understanding of precisely what was going on, but they were also very responsive to local problems. Street lights not working? The Nazis would fix them. Potholes? The Nazis would fix them. Disruptive neighbours? Well, they generally quietened down after a visit from the local brownshirts.

    Of course it's not exactly the same. The Nazis tended to ship people with "different backgrounds" off to camps. And they didn't really object to "extremist candidates", assuming those candidates were Nazis.

    But the point is that the Nazis did understand that ABSOLUTE control required more than just someone at a high level sending out decrees, it had to involve and engage local communities in a meaningful (and pretty mandatory) way.

    Perhaps HMG's intend is a good one, but as ever the danger is that some future government could take these measures and use them in exactly the same way that the Nazis did.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Street Seat Day

    You know in some countries they have 'street seat days', on a particular time, on a particular day of the year you are encouraged to take a seat and sit outside to meet your neighbours.

    Then there's the organised street parties, where local community groups can organize parties to promote whatever they promoting (oh and they sell booze & food without the local safety nazi's making a thing of it). And the bicycle tours, and the local dance clubs, picnic parks days, street barbecue day (that's always a fun one), beach party day (they cover the street with sand and we play beachball in teams, and drink and dance to music till late.....)

    Fat ugly bitter old ladies are encourages to become less bitter, cycle to become less fat, and we drink to make them less ugly.... rather than become local stasi monitoring agents.

    Is it just me, or has Labour basically killed the idea of women in government? Jacqui Smith wants to lock everyone up for things she professes to have done herself and hires a women only committee of experts to provide evidence of how men are sex attack monsters. Hazel Blears is behaving like the local neighbourhood bizzybody... it's like the Blair Babes have become caricatures of women. Not fit for government, but fit for sitcoms and comedy shows. I just can't imagine any future government stuffing their ministerial positions with women again after NuLabour.

    I think the blog is right to call it toxic. Look at the police campaign.

    "Thousands of people take photos each day, what if one of them seems odd".

    That in turn led to arrests of photographers in UK for no particular reason and with no particular legal basis, e.g.

    A simple demand for information poisons people's thinking. MET should be ashamed. Blears should be too.

  15. kissingthecarpet
    Paris Hilton

    Brave New World

    As I've commented here before - has no-one read Brave New World?

    Because that's far more likely than "a boot stamping on a human face forever" being implemented in the UK anytime soon.

    Of course, there's a good film version of 1984 but not Brave New World, because I bet most people who say things like "Orwell was right" haven't read any of his books either, just seen the film

    Paris, because she's probably never read a book either....

  16. Shabble

    OK, admit it - who voted for New labour?

    It was obvious that this was going to happen years ago, but stupid voters still picked Blair. Well, thanks a bunch so called 'electorate' for scr*wing up Britain.

    I'm just hoping Scotland gets independence before The Great Leader forces any of these neo-conservative thought-control ideas onto us (and don't think voting Cameron in England will help, 'cause it won't).

    P.S. Does this post count as 'social tension'?

  17. ImaGnuber


    Your politicians seem to be looking through the histories of every repressive regime that has ever existed and saying to themselves "That looks like a good idea. And that one. And that one! Who knew that history was so full of great ideas!!!"

    I think it's time that Brits stopped making fun of the U.S.

  18. Anton Channing

    re: Brave New World

    I may have only seen the film 1984 (original black and white with Peter Cushing mind you), but I have read Brave New World.

    The reason they haven't let Brave New World have a good film is because it is a Distopia based on American Capitalist values, whereas 1984 was is a Distopia based on Soviet values. And history is always written by the victor.

    Since China has turned capitalist whilst remaining a dictatorship, and the democratic west is increasingly not only in their debt, but also increasingly dictatorial, they provide a real life example of where we are heading if we can't change direction...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ""Extremist" candidates ... standing at local elections"

    So, the council will form a group that will monitor election candidates in elections for the council that gave them the job?

    Is that not a bit open to corruption?

    What do they intend to do with the data?

  20. Lickass McClippers

    Das Leben der Anderen... it someday.

    I'm now thinking, that little old man I see coming and going from my block isn't there to see Bert & Ethel in 12a downstairs. He's actually disappearing through one of the many doorways in the hall and entering some dark, dank loft space in the building. Once there, he'll be plugging in a set of headphones, firing up some screens, and monitoring all internet activity...

  21. D

    I would like to be the first to welcome our new community warden overlords

    and point out that the guy in number 37 regularly overfills his bins, shoot the bastard. I'm glad that I don't have to think any more for myself and that this is all now done for me by the council, like schools and roads.

    Mine's the one with the "Nightwatch" armband.

  22. D


    "P.S. Does this post count as 'social tension'?"

    That's something that you'll have plenty of time to reflect on as you gaze out of your cell window between waterboarding treatments. Don't think we haven't had our eye on you for a while....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brave new world is just another leather for the boot

    Sure we are going down that route and Aldous's dystopia is perhaps more accurate.

    But, I think that is due to Brave New World Revisited a collection of essays on actually how to achieve it. BNW appeals to the scientific mind, and 1984 more to the literary.

    Though the boot remains in both, one it is just asked to be imagined, and in the other it is replaced with a whip for self flagellation induced by society.

    And Brave New World does have a film - I think there maybe several.

    It is about control and always has been, just as technology moves forward it can empower the individual it can also just empower the status quo at the expense of the individual. No society has ever achieved real democracy, and all of the political systems are currently gearing towards more control by the few of the many, sad really, but who is fighting back?

  24. g e

    RE I think it's time that Brits stopped making fun of the U.S.

    Quite right too. All the 'new' gags are just rehashes of the old ones anyway.

    It's also about time we joined the EU properly and got the Euro in to move London Brent Crude off the US Dollar. I wonder if that would get *us* bombed next? (Saddam got bombed for the fictional WMD's not long after he wanted oil payments in Euros, now Iran is 'building nukes' since they made the Iranian Oil Bourse)

    Was in Paris for the Xmas office party (good bash). While wandering around the middle of Paris at 1am looking for the next decent bar to explore I noticed the complete lack of drunks rolling in the gutter, fighting and chavs.

    Is it me or is the UK just a shithole these days? I should check French property prices, seeing as I quite like the French and speak the lingo too...

  25. Elrond Hubbard
    Thumb Down

    Sieg Heil!

    It's difficult to say which is worse; those who instigate this sort of fascism or those who tolerate it. I imagine the hundreds of thousands, who died defending freedom, spinning in their graves.

  26. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Midlife Crises ......Very Few/Hardly Any survive them Discovering the Real Meaning of Life

    I wonder when we can expect T5 Tales and Heathrow Blues, such as this ...

    Such shenanigans certainly makes flying a perverse adventure ..... and I wonder if fondler travel is a growing segment of the market place.

    And what about the BAA Jobs profiling for ... Experience Body Cavity Searchers. I wonder if they are volunteers, which would be somewhat disturbing :-) or whether they are paid extra for the stressed working environment/elementary conditions of service.

    I wonder what the compensation is for a fruitless and therefore unwarranted, speculative search?

    It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, in Deed, indeed.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ge

    Nope it's not just you,

    You should try checking out Italy too, no chavs here either.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @g e

    "Was in Paris for the Xmas office party"

    yes, I wish I were, too.

  29. RW

    The Truth

    Chris Miller: "what have they been smoking?"

    They haven't been smoking anything. They are just an especially stupid ideologues. The ideology is so half-baked that it must have been found on the back of a box of Weetabix. The only guiding principle I can perceive in all this nonsense is a touching, but totally unrealistic, faith in mankind's essential goodness. Talk about Pollyanna!

    Current example: The Brown entity babbling about "people power." Does it ever cross his dim little mind that if the people have less power after 11 years of NuLabour, maybe the problem is with NuLabour?

    At the same time, NL keeps foisting ever more intrusive nonsense on the long-suffering electorate!

    "Community tension monitoring" reminds me, not of Nazi Germany, but of post-1948 Czechoslovakia where the citizenry were expected to cohesively join in maintenance of public spaces on weekends and those who didn't join in in a spirit of true socialist solidarity were noted as possible opponents to the regime.

    I'm awfully glad I live in Canada where the main interest of national politicians is lining their pockets with cash, legislation being mainly window dressing to distract the press.

  30. ImaGnuber


    "'I'm awfully glad I live in Canada where the main interest of national politicians is lining their pockets with cash, legislation being mainly window dressing to distract the press."

    Me too and two thumbs up regarding that assessment of our situation.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You should try checking out Italy too, no chavs here either."

    You're having a laugh aren't you?

    Italian cities are bloody awful.If you must go, try stay in the countryside or the south where it's a little improved.

    You're too late anyhow, the pound has crashed against the euro recently and you can't sell your house anymore so everything is quite steep..

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Mr Bush

    Can we have a regime change too, please?

  33. heystoopid

    So it's true then

    So it's true then the 419er's have finally taken over the entire western style democracy as we know it !

    "Idiocracy" has arrived !

  34. Rab S

    I too will welcome our nosy annoying overlords

    I just need to finsh etching "fuck off you nosy bastard" on a baseball bat...

  35. Alfazed

    Your tensions are being monitored

    Does this mean that there won't be any more gangs of uniformed thugs busting up our free, all-night parties up on the Ridgeway, where we like to practice our very well attended, community cohesion dance routines. ?

    Bye the way, these parties are usually located miles away from where anyone lives that we could annoy.

    Maybe we'll once more be free to gather again at Stone Henge, like we used to in the 70's - for three glorious summer months of community cohesion.

    Perhaps community demo's will be welcomed on the streets of our fear capital, without the tensions created by heavy handed policing.

    And as many of us will soon be forming into local action groups of our own, UPOC, comprised of Unemployed Professionals On Cannabis, perhaps we too will be welcome to contribute our pennies worth of suggestions on, "which local miscreants (twats) ought to be rounded up next".

    Straight away I'll (finger) point to the small gang of PCSO dick heads, who are constantly harassing my kids with stop and search procedures each lunch time, on a main shopping street in Oxford.

    Brown shirts, where ?

    Oh, you mean Gordon Brown Shirts then.



  36. shay mclachlan

    Perfect balance?

    Maybe they are just trying to achieve that magic point where one half of the population is snitching on the other half and vice versa.

    Talking of snitching, there's good money to be made in touting & outing these days. The Met's rozzers spent £2.2 million on informants last year & even a provincial city like Nottingham spent over £100,000. My guess is a £20 million annual business nationally with huge growth potential. How long before in gets privatised?

  37. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    "extremist candidates"

    Would that mean the BNP would be removed from London Assembly, much to the delight of everyone else who works there.

    Imagine getting the position youve trying for years to get and then you might as not be there.

    Dead bird image, lets hope

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incoherent or uncohesive?

    "Community cohesion? You know it makes sense. Once your local community starts to get the slightest bit incoherent.."

    Umm.. cohesion and incoherence are not opposites. Did you mean uncohesive? (If there is such a word) Someone is incoherent when I can't understand what they are saying. Communities become uncohesive when - well I dunno, but Bleargh appears to think she does...but she IS incoherent!

  39. Dr Stephen Jones


    So in other words, minding your own business and happily letting other people get on with theirs is now a quantifiable risk to society.

    Have bureaucrats run out of things to measure?

    @ John Lettice:

    "They do to some extent cover the differences between multi-ethnic urban environments and rural communities. In the case of the latter, they suggest that the panic button threshold (not exactly what they call it) should be lower."

    Thank heavens for that. Now I can file an official complaint not only against gypsies, but people who may have stood in the sun too long. That complexion looks funny to me.

    Gender politics has a tape measure at last: one on which we're all presumed guilty.

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