Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Watching your PM Q's

Well-behaved adults are to be rewarded with "good behaviour credits" to spend on gym membership, organic low-fat food, non-alcoholic drinks, nicotine patches, education and training, voluntary work, community involvement (including jam-making and running tombolas) and other government-approved "constructive" and "improving" activities (including membership of local chess clubs).

The plans were unveiled today by Chancellor Gordon Brown at an exclusive press conference shortly after leaving hospital where he had been having cosmetic surgery to pin up his mouth up at the corners. The popular press have already nicknamed the Chancellor 'The Joker'.

Chancellor Gordon Brown wants to give 20-80 year-olds up to £250 a month as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour, crime and social exclusion. But adults who repeatedly misbehave will have their credits and benefits withdrawn.

"This isn't for the hardest of the hard-core like Mr Abu Hamza or very naughty people who protest or wear heart-shaped thongs in public" the chancellor told the BBC. "No, this is for good, respectable people and hard-working families".

The scheme is among a number of measures to improve society. Laws will be introduced to force all councils to improve leisure facilities and to provide special supermarkets where credits can be redeemed for healthy produce and exercise equipment. Gordon Brown said that the credits would make society better for everyone - traditional forms of respectable middle-class behaviour would reduce the obesity crisis, binge-drinking, crime and poor health as well as promoting good behaviour. By removing credits from persistent offenders, people would be forced to act sensibly or starve.

The "citizen opportunity" credits will be piloted in 10 areas in England. They will be credited automatically to voluntary ID cards and will entitle recipients to spend £120 a month in better off areas and £250 in the most disadvantaged. But Mr Brown says the credits will only be available to adults who behave themselves and have ID cards, and not those who persistently misbehave. Repeated offenders will have their credits withdrawn as well as any state benefits. Asked about the link to ID cards, which are currently voluntary, he said "Anyone who doesn't want an ID card must have something to hide and must be misbehaving, it's just we don't necessarily know about it. We have been tough on anti-social behaviour and that will continue," he told BBC Breakfast.

The scheme was given a cautious welcome by some national charities. Mr Brown argues that 98% of people actually do behave and he could see the cash being spent on fresh, local produce and whist drives. He also wants to encourage more people to get involved in volunteering and community service. The plans include the provision of "professional coaches" for badly-behaved adults to keep them out of trouble. Mentoring schemes, to give advice, guidance and work experience are also to be set up.


  • At 9:20 pm , Anonymous phil said...

    "Anyone who doesn't want an ID card must have something to hide and must be misbehaving, it's just we don't necessarily know about it."

    Ever noticed that those who claim that "those who have nothing to fear have nothing to hide" always have curtains in their windows?

    I expect a window-covering czar to be appointed in the next month.

  • At 6:31 am , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    And, of course, Gordon Brown didn't really say these things (well, not most of them anyway) :)

    That's the problem with New Labour parodies nowadays - I'm afraid he's actually going to announce something similar on tomorrow's news.

  • At 2:08 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Lest you forget; Gordon Brown appeared on public radio during the last holidays and announced that he wanted to make the 11th of November 'British Patriot's Day'. If there could be anything more offensive to anyone worthy of the appellation patriot than the attempted hijack of an international ceremony honouring veterans for cheap-political-stunt purposes, I'm racking my brains to think what.

    Do you think that's basically it then; after so many years with an almost unbeatable majority New Labour has just flipped its collective lid and has begun imploding from sheer deprivation of proper opposition?


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