Comment: A game of tag that won't catch on Tagged, but will they be tempered?

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The Independent Online
It appears we all had the wrong end of the stick about electronic tagging. Up until last week, lots of sensible people were of the opinion that it did not work. Courts weren't keen to impose the tags: the equipment kept breaking down, and pesky criminals carried on breaking their curfews anyway. Not quite the runaway success which Michael Howard had promised.

Evidently, we were mistaken. Electronic tagging, it is now announced, could be the perfect solution for our young tearaways. Like toddler reins for teenagers, tags are proposed to keep naughty 10- to 16-year-olds in bed after dark and away from "trouble hot spots like football grounds and shopping malls". Now, put like that, the possibilities are limitless. Might we not tag Fergie, too, to keep her out of the mall? The palace should think very hard about a tag to keep her out of television studios. Peter Lilley could sort out scrounging lone mothers at a stroke, with a special tag on all unemployed single women which went off whenever they got into bed with feckless ne'er-do-wells. Most of us would probably like to keep tags on someone. If only Pamela Anderson had tagged her soon-to- be-ex-husband Tommy Lee, he might not have come home smelling of cheap perfume and groupies. Daniel Day Lewis's live-in-lover, who learned about his marriage from the papers last week, must be wishing she'd thought of it.

Except that, in the end, Day Lewis's elopement was hardly kept secret. Knowing what others are up to is only any use if they care about getting caught. Naughty 10-year-olds are going to sneak off to the mall, regardless. Place a tag on them and (if it actually works) we can go and get them back. We are still no nearer understanding what to do with them then.

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