Friday, July 29, 2011

U.K. government funds "doorstep lecturers"


You can close the door on traveling salespeople (if any still exist), petition-signature gatherers, or Jehovah's Witnesses. But what if the "salesperson" is from the government?

From the Daily Mail:
Doorstep lectures on travelling without your car as army of advisers teach families about 'sustainable travel'
Hundreds of thousands of families are to be visited by travel advisers who will tell them to stop driving their cars. Armed with bus timetables and cycle route maps, they will knock on doors and lecture on the need for ‘sustainable travel’.
The doorstep campaign by the army of taxpayer-funded ‘personal travel advisers’ is part of a £156million effort by ministers to persuade people to leave their cars at home when they go to work or the shops, or take children to school.
Lord knows every Western country has its nanny state apostles, but in the U.S. it's hard to imagine someone from the government ringing your doorbell to ask, "What prevents you from cycling?" and "Do you know where the nearest bus stop is?"

Things are different in the U.K., where there's a ministry (and ministers, in the religious sense) for everything from diversity to dental hygiene. British people have traditionally been called "subjects" of the Crown, rather than citizens. Can you doubt it?

I wonder -- seriously -- what would happen if a bus timetable-wielding govbot  showed up at an Englishman's door to deliver a sermon on the joys of being un-motored and the victim responded, "Sod off."

A matter for the police? Anyone who doesn't fancy an official snoop on his doorstep probably has other criminal tendencies, including failure to recycle or telling Irish jokes. Probably racistsexisthomophobicislamophobic in the bargain.

Zero tolerance for car users!



Sheila said...

I remember how horrified I was when my English flatmates discussed "home health visitors" with me, and I learned that such visits were mandatory and unavoidable. This was in the early 80s, and even then they were a part of the landscape. Any new mother would receive regular visits from government employees to ensure she was caring for her children in an "appropriate" (i.e. government-approved) manner. My flatmates thought my shock at such an invasion of privacy terribly quaint and typically American. This was merely one of the thousands of cultural minutiae that began my cultural and political awakening and led to my ultimate ethno-nationalism.

David said...

Well, as Robert Avrech points out, the automobile is a symbol of freedom. Can't have that sort of thing among the subject, now, can we?