<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\07514058325\46blogName\75Chiswickite++-+formerly+The+Croydonian\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75BLUE\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://croydonian.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_GB\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://croydonian.blogspot.com/\46vt\0752605630255414466250', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Two-thirds of Britons in favour of forced labour

Shocked? I am. But a poll for Prospect suggests just that:

"Prospect asked about public support for a new mandatory period of civic service for young people in response to the recession...a clear majority—64 per cent—backed the idea".

'A
new mandatory period of civic service', or steering clear of euphemisms, forced labour. This is so unbelievably wrong that my usual lack of faith in the Great British Public has proven to be overstated even at whatever low level I had set it to this morning.

Furthermore, and quite disgustingly, Prospect thinks that this is just dandy - "one bright light was a willingness to consider radical measures to get Britain out of the slump...even in gloomy times, you can’t beat a bit of boldness".

I will resist the temptation to haul out the Cambodia Year Zero analogies, but what, pray is the essential moral difference between universal compulsory labour for a certain age cohort and serfdom? One might note that Prospect's fellow travellers on the other side of the Pond went to the barricades (or Canada...) in order to resist a similar initiative in the 60s and 70s.

Quite apart from my very strong moral qualms about this, imagine the colossal waste of talent if would be first division footballers, accountants, architects and so forth are yanked out of productive employment and compelled to dig old ladies' gardens for a year.

In further evidence that the public has taken leave of its senses, "37 per cent agree...that 'there will be serious social unrest in British cities' requiring the army to restore order". At the time of the 1981 riots I asked my father when he thought martial law would be enacted, and his response was 'never'. He was right then, and would be right now.

Labels: , , ,

« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 5:39 pm

Kind of brings a new twist on the idea of "voluntary" work, doesn't it.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:58 pm

If folk choose to volunteer, that is a good thing, but virtue compelled is no virtue at all.  



Blogger hatfield girl said... 6:41 pm

virtue compelled is no virtue at all.

Chaperones, duennas, nunneries etc, might disagree.  



Blogger JuliaM said... 7:11 pm

"In further evidence that the public has taken leave of its senses, "37 per cent agree...that 'there will be serious social unrest in British cities' requiring the army to restore order"."

Nicely timed to complement this rabble-rouser's staments this morning...  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:27 pm

Footballers, accountants, architects?

Not likely, actually.

Last time we had conscripted labour there were things called "reserved occupations" - it covered the likes of doctors and other trained professionals who couldn't be spared.

So this time it will probably be the get-out for celebrities and politicians. Oh, and their families of course.

So footballers will be exempted, but accountants and architects only if they work for the public sector.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:44 pm

Anon - which would make it even more wrong....  



» Post a Comment