"The scheme follows the psychological principle of rewarding good behaviour" announced the newsreader on Radio Four's 6 pm news last night. She was explaining to the poor ignorant masses the sound science behind the new scheme to pay smackheads not to take drugs.
Drug users are to be offered vouchers for things such as gym membership and to pay utility bills to encourage them to comply with treatment programmes.The first time, eh ? That's not what Mark Easton was reporting last year (when the incentives - wait for it - were vouchers or drugs), but no matter. Nor does it matter that the anonymous BBC editor seems to be rehashing the NTA press release.
The National Treatment Agency in England is piloting the incentive scheme at 15 sites starting this week.
It will be the first time incentives have been used in such a way.
The point is that the BBC's message just doesn't seem to be getting through. Let's take the reactions of a typical household - the Tall family of Weatherbury in Dorset, gathered round the tea table.
"The scheme follows the psychological principle of rewarding good behaviour"
All : "No it doesn't ! It rewards STOPPING bad behaviour !"
Middle : "Where's the reward for OUR good behaviour ?"
Youngest : "Dad ! Why don't you do heroin for a while, then stop ?"
Alas, despite the BBC's best efforts to share the insights granted to our betters, the Great British Public remain mired in ignorance.