Citizens are not the boor police

Should we have a society where neighbours, co-workers and passers-by are enlisted in a network of civilian informants?

Letter writer Sheila Gair (The Leader, Jan. 31) “wishes there was a number we could call to report the licence plates of those who think they are above the rules.”

While I’m sure she has the best of intentions and I hear frustration speaking, what exactly is she suggesting?

Would she truly wish to see a society where neighbours, co-workers, and passers-by are enlisted in a network of civilian informants?

It has happened before.

The use of citizen informant networks dates at least as far back as the Roman Empire. In more recent times, dictatorships in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and East Germany thrived due to their citizen informants.

The Volkspolizei or Stasi of East Germany were particularly adept at convincing the people to “rat” on each other. There are even stories of children turning in their parents for violations of the rules.

Boors will be boors. There will always be people who behave like boors and citizens are not the boor police.

Ms. Gair did what she could in questioning this boor’s behaviour and bringing it to his attention that his boorishness had been witnessed. Nothing else can be expected of her.

 

C.A. Archibald

Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader