Monday, 28 December 2009

How Long Before The Government Message Is 'Don't Have Nice Things In The First Place'..?

Anyone else sick of seeing those adverts where the couple are preparing for bed, and remind each other to make sure they've made it easier for thieves by leaving valuables around around the house and the doors unlocked?

They've run almost continuously over the Christmas period, and each time they come on, I grind my teeth at the hectoring tone, not to mention the underlying message: 'If you have nice things (and you shouldn't, you capitalist scum), it's only to be expected that if you don't hide them from sight, others will take them'.

Well, the Beeb are faithfully helping to plug this message now too:
People are being urged to do "simple things" to protect themselves from crime, such as locking doors and windows and hiding valuables.
Inside our houses. Inside our houses. We must hide our valuables away, otherwise they are too much of a temptation.

You there, the mother that bought her children a Wii for Christmas? Don't plug it into the telly and let them play with it in full view of the window, woman! What are you thinking? Pull the curtains now!

You, man with the iPhone! Don't use it to make calls in public, are you mad? Anyone can see it!

You, granny! Don't sit there admiring that silver photo frame your daughter bought you for your golden wedding anniversary. In fact, what are you doing putting it on the mantelpiece? You should hide it in a bedroom cupboard, and sneak the occasional peak at it, at night. Only once a month, mind. Don't get too greedy...

And in case you thought you could avoid this if you didn't watch tv (or if someone stole it), think again. It's going to be everywhere:
The campaign will include:

* Warnings to homeowners to keep their premises secure and not to leave items like car keys, bank statements and laptops on display.

* A collaboration with route planner websites, which will mean a final instruction - after the list of directions - telling drivers to remove any valuables from their car before getting out.

* Reminders on petrol pumps and car park barriers to motorists to lock their cars.

* Posters at bus stops, train stations and in shopping centres telling people to take care when opening their bags or using their mobile phones.

* Advice on shopping websites reminding people to keep their personal information secure and vary their passwords.
The effect of the message being to subtly reinforce the notion that if someone steals something from you, it's your own damn fault for not keeping it safe and out of sight...

Now, I believe in being sensible as much as the next person. I wouldn't dream of leaving my door unlocked or my car unlocked at a petrol station while I pay for the petrol (much good it'd do anyone if I did, as my immobiliser kicks in after about a minute).

But am I the only one who looks at all this 'helpful' advice with a rather jaundiced eye? It's not about public information. It's about public fear and guilt...

19 comments:

JPT said...

It makes me sick. The one that I really hate is 'car thieves operate in this area'!
What?!
Catch them then you useless sods!!!
I'd reverse the posters/ads and say (to the criminals) 'go on nick it if you dare - and if you do we WILL catch you and when we do we'll make you wish that you'd never been born'.
I'd tell people to leave everything unlocked and then dare the criminals...

Pavlov's Cat said...

As JPT says

Heaven forfend they should spend the money on ads thta say 'It's Wrong To Steal and you will go to prison'

As we know they won't infact go to prison and even Vicars are having trouble interpreting the 7th commandment

AntiCitizenOne said...

We shoulkd all put up signs saying.

"If you break in we the occupant will kill you and not inform the police".

The police will then monitor your home, stopping burglars ion the first place.

Mark Wadsworth said...

More to the point, has anybody else noticed how much TV advertising is a government campaign or a fakecharity campaign? In each advertising block you normally see at least one, sometimes two.

For some reason, my little girl memorised the Barnado's one (where the girl falls out with her mum, gets into drugs, then sees a Barnado's counsellor and then gets off drugs and makes friends with her mum again) and proudly recited it when relatives were round on Boxing Day.

I waited patiently for her to finish and screamed "Fakecharity! Fakecharity!" and got very black looks from the gathered relatives.

North Northwester said...

Property-owners: they're just ASKING for it, yeah? Swanning around with posh clothes, jewellery and phones all the time, when so many people have nothing at all. Is it any surprise that poor people who aren't getting enough (or even any) decide to take what they want?

This argument works with cute girls and sex, so why shouldn't it work with property in peoples' homes? sProperty is, after all, just a social construct, like monogamy and virginity. Right?

Oldrightie said...

You mean they don't already? Socialism, the repression of the majority for the benefit of the lazy.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

It's all part of the conditioning and training of society.

Treat everyone with suspicion. Instill fear in everyone. Then the next part of the plan is easy.

DJ said...

Seems unobjectionable to me. They're just saying people need to protect themselves.

Well, not *literally* protect themselves obviously. That would be illegal. But protect themselves in not attracting the attentions of the socially-excluded, morally-different and worth whileness impaired. Obviously, once the baddies do lock on, that's too bad: you just got to bend over and take it like a man.

After all, people defending they're homes and familes is a threat to social order, while blaming the victim for criminality is just common sense, init?

Chuckles said...

Mark Wadsworth has it mostly right.

All these adverts exist solely as the justification for handing over vast amounts of taxpayer money to the creators thereof.
The actual content is irrelevant, but if it can get get in a nice bit of whining, hectoring and lecturing, so much the better

Henry Crun said...

MW, I love the Barnados ad. We take the piss out of it something rotten at our house. Usually along the lines of: if Barnados had their way the drugged up little bitch would be on a sheep farm in Australia.

Laurence said...

I agree about the fear bit - fearful people are more compliant. I'm less certain about the guilt element.

My reading of the message would be that there's no point coming crying to the state once your stuff gets stolen.

In a nutshell the state is frightening the individual into allowing a continuous accretion of central power while warning him that if he expects the kind of protection he enjoyed a generation ago he will be disappointed.

Angry Exile said...

Best sign ever: "Thieves operate at this hospital."

I knew the NHS was fucked, but really...

Otherwise I'm pretty much with DJ. There should be more messages telling people to take steps to protect themselves and their property, though as DJ touches on there could also be far fewer laws that stop people from doing so effectively. I want my bear trap and I want it now.

Anonymous said...

Later episodes in the series include: Don't look at him the wrong way if you don't like hospital food, , and Serves you right for travelling standard class.

BTW, I'm heading out to the sales tomorrow. Does anyone know that make of bat favoured by Mr Hussain?

Stewart Cowan said...

I got rid of the telly in 2005.

# No more government propaganda

# No more fake, planted 'news' stories

# No more social engineering

# No more blasphemous, foul programmes full of bad language and bad attitude, made to bring you down

# No more being enslaved by having to tune in to 'find out what happens' in the soaps, X Factor, etc.

# No more paying for the privilege of being taken for a mug

Why not taste the freedom yourselves? Knowing that Jonathan Ross doesn't get a penny piece from you is wonderful!

John R said...

until we have directly elected police chiefs who will be sacked if the local voters dont like their PC, pro-criminal, box-ticking attitude this madness willcontinue

catedle said...

@ Mark W, have you seen the reading one? Every one of the featured talent with known politics is a Labour hack. And that was 3/4 of them Is anybody in that ad not Labour?

JuliaM said...

"The one that I really hate is 'car thieves operate in this area'!"

Oh, yes! And 'Bag thieves operate...' in some shops and high streets.

"...even Vicars are having trouble interpreting the 7th commandment."

Heh! Only the CofE, mind you.

"The police will then monitor your home, stopping burglars ion the first place."

Now, there's a plan... ;)

"...has anybody else noticed how much TV advertising is a government campaign or a fakecharity campaign? In each advertising block you normally see at least one, sometimes two."

Yup, and it's growing, without a doubt.

JuliaM said...

"Property is, after all, just a social construct, like monogamy and virginity. Right?"

Unless it's Ministerial property, of course. Bought with taxpayer wonga, naturally.

"It's all part of the conditioning and training of society."

Yes, I fear it is...

"Later episodes in the series include: Don't look at him the wrong way if you don't like hospital food, , and Serves you right for travelling standard class."

Now you've done it! You've given them ideas...

Anonymous said...

How long before it is a crime to be a victim?