Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Big Brother - Shopping Spies?

Big Brother
Now here is an initiative from Nanny that has in theory, I think, a decent motive. However, I am not fully decided as to whether this is intrusive or merely an amateurish attempt to be helpful.

The Department of Health is training supermarket staff (Sainsbury's initially) to "observe" (some say "spy on") customer shopping baskets.

The rationale being that a well trained "observer" will be able to identify if someone is shopping for another person who may be ill or elderly etc.

Nanny wants to find the "hidden carers" in society, in order to offer these people more help.

Apparently the cashiers who have been trained will, once they have identified a "hidden carer", ask customers about their personal circumstances while serving them and then put them in touch with charities that can provide information on financial/practical help etc.

Now I do recognise that many people who care for someone else need help. I can also see that this scheme appears to be very well intentioned.

However, there is something nagging at the back of my mind that makes me feel uncomfortable about training up "civilians" to "observe" ("spy on") other civilians.

I would also like to know in which supermarket Nanny does her shopping, where she thinks a cashier has the time to chat with a customer (as a queue patiently waits and grows behind the "hidden carer"). I have never come across a supermarket where the staff, or customers, have the time to chat beyond a few pleasantries about the weather.

What are your views about this scheme?

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  1. Since the latest craze for "self service" automated tills is making it even more difficult for old fashioned shoppers like me (and the few remaining checkout operatives), this must be a
    non starter of an idea...

  2. I personally think this is a bad idea whether the intentions are good or otherwise.
    Most checkout drones are not bright enough to access people's needs and besides, why do supermarkets feel it is their place to be nanny's little helpers? Look at the problems Nanny's little helpers have already achieved in relation to booze buying and advising pregnat women what to eat or not eat.

    Imagine being in a queue and a nosey checkout drone asks if you are on benefits or are you sure you're claiming all you can....It is completely inapproriate.

    If we accept this, what will be next? Checkout drones asking if you've paid your TV license or car insurance?

    I suspect, in one way or another, this will turn out to be another data collecting exercise.

  3. debbie3:42 PM

    Totally ridiculous! If the day comes that i am caring for an elderly parent, I will neither need nor want nannys help. Going out trolling grocery stores for more people to be made essentially a ward of the state sounds nefarious to me.

    Dependance = control. Thanks nanny, but I'll pass.

  4. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Any little helper that asks me will be very embarrassed that they did.
    I will expect a quid-pro-quo as a fair exchange, starting with 'and what were your career aspirations before you were forced to join the checkout?'.

  5. Anonymous2:47 PM

    It's a steel fist in a silk glove.

  6. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Why should I scrutinize a shoppers purchases? I don't get paid for that...

    And even if I did its none of my business and I don't have time!

  7. Anonymous8:42 AM

    and what if I buy 8 Tubes of KY Gel, 4 Cucumbers, A Marrow and an assortment of condoms?

    Will this be defined as shopping for someone else?

  8. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Amazing how little has changed since the Condems took over from Liebour. If Nanny is concerned about 'hidden carers' maybe she could find a less creepy and more workable way to *invite* them to apply for Nanny's "help" (which no doubt comes with strings of some sort attached). Any checkout worker asking me inappropriate and intrusive questions would get short shrift.