Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dave dares

Aaro’s been to Tesco. Not Waitrose. Not Asda. It’s the wisdom of crowds for our Dave, the vast herds of middle England. He’s here to tell us that he’s being surveilled, right there at the checkout, and that he doesn’t mind in the least:

And did it bother me that my look of impatient boredom, my shuffling of the basket from hand to hand, even the odd adjustment of my person, might be the subject of scrutiny and remark by some anonymous Corporate Secretary in far-off Hertfordshire? Not half as much as it seems to worry a large section of bourgeois Britain, judging by what’s said and what’s written.

Ah, bourgeois Britain. Of course, Dave’s got no more idea than you or I who actually objects to being spied on while carrying out their lawful business. He also has no idea at all of why people carrying out their lawful business would object to being spied on. Something to hide, obviously.

Later, we see a theme developing. Opponents of surveillance are either rampant motorists wishing to disguise their squalid middle management adulteries (road pricing) or feeble-minded aiders and abetters of crime (ASBOS). Dave’s the man in the sensible middle, the man in the checkout at Tesco, channeling the silent majority in their desire to be watched at any time that the government or private sector may find it convenient. A proud member of the surveilled classes and avatar, inventor, and currently sole proprietor of the Blairite consensus. Yes, Dave’s hitting his stride. If no-one else will speak up for what everybody sensible knows and thinks, Dave dares.

It’s highly unlikely that the tape of Dave’s checkout adventures will get anywhere near Tesco’s HQ. It probably won’t get past a couple of fat blokes in polyester uniforms relieving the boredom of minimum wage security jobs by saying things like: “look at that fat bloke scratching his bollocks and staring into space. D’you reckon he’s casting around for material for his new, incisive, consensus building column?”

“Don’t care. Look at the tits on that!”

Get it Dave? No, probably not.


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