A wonderful story from Britain illustrates all the problems with the over-active, snooping state. First, the facts. The Broadland District Council in Norfolk hired a plane equipped with a thermal imaging system to fly over local towns at night to spot the ‘hottest’ buildings. Initially, the plane was only going to look at businesses, but clever officials soon realized they could look at houses as well.

The justification for this heat-seeking eye in the sky was that it would allow officials to pay the hottest building a visit to “point out the . . . grants available to improve insulation, which will also help cut carbon emissions.” Furthermore, the plane also spots cold houses, which officials will then visit because they “think we might have picked up people on low incomes who are not heating their homes because they cannot afford to.” So cold houses, too, will get a knock on the door to inform them of all the government grants that are available.

Concerned about privacy? Think that it’s none of the state’s business to spy on you because your attic’s hot or your bathroom’s cold? Believe it’s insulting for the state to run round explaining that keeping your house warmer uses more energy? Unhappy with the argument that ‘climate change’ makes your window insulation the state’s business? Not eager to see the government finding ways to spend money so they can justify going around offering to give away even more? Inclined to argue that, if you pay your bills on time, the state and its minions should get lost?

Well, the local Liberal Democrat leader has a retort to all those questions: relax. As he put it:

Cameras are in place all over today and we have to accept them, so long as the right guidelines are in place and it will bring benefits, I think the scheme is a good thing.

Yes indeed, just sit back and accept it. There are guidelines, and benefits, after all, so you lose nothing by the fact that you are constantly under video surveillance in modern Britain, and by the fact that the state has now decided that, for ‘the public good,’ it should have the right to examine your home, remotely, without telling you, and then to show up at your door offering to increase your dependence on it. Relax.

Makes you wonder where that funny old saying about an Englishman’s home being his castle came from. It couldn’t have been Norfolk.