Sunday, May 27, 2007

Where have you been Winston Smith.....?

The title of this BBC News Story is 'Stop And Quiz Powers Considered'. Now if it were the case that the police could randomly stop you in the street and quiz you on historical trivia or pop culture, I think I would quite like that. It could lead children to carry mini encylodpedias around with them in an effort to 'beat the fuzz'! (yeah, I'm down with the cool kidz lingo boiyyeezz!). Or more likely a PDA, what with all this moderness!

I'd really like it if I was accosted by an officer of the law only to be asked 'What's the capital of Bulgaria?' or 'Is Light a: a particle, b: a wave or c: both?'. It could make us all more smug and knowledgeable an pub quizzes up and down the land would become like University challenge. I'm not sure what the penalty would be for getting questions wrong though.... maybe a LoserBoard in the middle of everytown, with local, regional and national Thicko Rankings. At the end of every month the bottom 10 in each town could be pelted with stale Jaffa Cakes (which are a cake and NOT a biscuit!).

Alas, this Quiztopian future is not to be. The wonderful dream of laughing, crazed mobs of Triviaphiles ridiculing and assaulting those with better things to do with their time than learning the average length of the dorsal guiding feathers of a chaffinch will not come to pass. Instead it's an 'anti-terror method'.

This is the latest in a string of cunning plans by the government to track down and ensnare the wily, swarthy and evil musl......errrr....asi......errrm....terrorist, yeah thats it - evil evil terrorists. They eat babies you know? Apparently, simply by asking a person who looks a bit foreign where they've been you can catch them out. "Hello sir, where have you been today?", "Why I've been planting homedmade bombs at the local powerstation officer", "AHA! Got You!", "Curse you and your infidel tactics! We swarthy skinned cannibal savages have no chance against you ingenius white people!"

No, of course not. The erosion of civil liberties is always couched in the language of fear and a message of beneficence. "don't worry, it's not YOU we will use this against, it's people who you don't fully understand and so won't really care about. Mostly they have heavy accents and as you read the Daily Mail, you already know they aren't to be trusted - besides look at their swarthy skin and shifty eyes...."

I think discriminating based on a lack of useless knowledge is much fairer and at least we'd have a use for stale jaffa cakes..


Olivia said...

Speaking of jaffa cakes, because the topic of this post is too abstract, I tucked into my M&S jaffa cakes last night. The dark choc was good, and so was the orange jelly, but there was not enough cake.

MattJ said...

That's what you get for betraying Mr Mcvitie!

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