April 10th, 2007
When I posted some six months ago about the idea of CCTV systems equipped with speakers so miscreants could be scolded by disembodied voices I somehow missed the crowning detail: "children's voices are to be used initially to make the encounter less confrontational".
You might think that this is a really, really terrible idea. I might think this is a terrible idea. Enter Charlie Brooker to make it all right:
[It's] not yet clear whether the children's voices will address miscreants using formal language ("Attention, citizen: you are committing a felony; you have 20 seconds to desist") or in "kid speak" ("You're a bad man and I'm telling on you and my dad's going to tear your head off"). Perhaps they could also allow kids to control the cameras and decide what constitutes a crime. And, rather than mounting the cameras on poles, why not make them mobile and more kid-friendly by placing them inside full-size, remote-controlled Daleks, which can patrol the streets dishing out near-fatal electric shocks to those who disobey?
Actually, using the Daleks would be a masterstroke. Everyone loves Doctor Who – who wouldn't be thrilled by the sight of a real-life Dalek squadron rolling down the high street, glinting in the sun? The sheer excitement would genuinely make the accompanying loss of liberty seem worthwhile.
Just imagine: life on the streets of Britain turned into an extended cut of the trash-talking Dalek scene from the season 2 finale. Genius. Sheer genius.