20,000 families in the United Kingdom are about to receive a forced installation of technology that all free people have feared since Eric Arthur Blair first published his prescient pre-history, Nineteen Eighty-Four, in 1949. These “problem families” will be subjected to 24-hour surveillance, in their own homes, via telescreens. No, I’m not kidding.

Evidently, there are already some 2,000 families that have gone through these “Family Intervention Projects” so far. I had no idea things were so bad in the UK. Britain’s “children’s secretary”, Ed Balls, is the overseer of this £400 million ($668 million) plan to curb “anti-social” behavior. Clearly, he is just acting like an older sibling for those children whose family issues put them in need of a Big Brother.

Simply recounting this news seems to defy all laws of irony and creative license. I cannot imagine anyone reading Nineteen Eighty-Four and thinking of it as a guidebook, but it is evidently just that in the Balls household. How appalling!

Alas, poor Britain! I knew them, Horatio; a nation of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; they have borne me on their back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those ideals that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your minds now?

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