THE CURSE OF THE NANNY STATE
The nanny state is upon us and it's our fault. Every day people invoke the government ''to do something about it''. Whatever ''it'' is, why don't people stop and think whether it's the government place to be involved. Perhaps they should think about taking personal responsibility, or using their initiative or even common sense. In fact, it's probably to late to turn the clock back, the state already involves itself in the minutiae of our lives. What people fail to understand that is it is in the nature of the beast to meddle in our lives. The state likes ''control'' and wants to control us. It does this by insisting it's for our own good and passing laws that it calls helpful and necessary for our health or protection but the actual agenda is more control over us and, of course, more revenue for the exchequer.
Recent products that have attracted governmental attention are sugar and alcohol. The government is considering putting a limit on the amount of sugar we eat, and alcohol we consume. This will be achieved by having a minimum price on those products which will, of course, be much higher than the current one so, theoretically, we will not be able to afford as much. Behind the government there are a multitude of do gooders and experts advising that it would be a good idea, be beneficial to the nations health, cost less to the NHS etc. etc..
Then there is the rash of health and safety legislation which seems to cover every aspect of our lives down to the playing of conkers. Few people actually know the full extent of the H&S rules & regs, and that includes most of the officers appointed to supervise them. Hence the banning of kids playing conkers at school under the H&S laws when no such a law exists. The problem is that it is difficult to deny something if an official says it is so. It is usually assumed that the officer knows what he or she are talking about. It later transpires to be total poppycock when a journalist delves into the regulations and publishes the facts.
The real solution to all these problems is education. Kids, at school, should be taught about taking personal initiatives and the use of common sense instead of having it knocked it out of them. Thinking for ones self is one of the most important things education can do for children yet the school system seems bent on abolishing that process. Higher education is not much better. Not many moons ago students would rise in protest when they saw an injustice being done, or some nonsensical imposition being passed. They don't bother any more. We have all been cowed into accepting whatever our great leaders in Parliament throw at us.
Politicians these days, have the temerity to stand in front of the cameras and give the news that they are thinking of restricting or banning something for our own good. It doesn't matter how absurd the suggestion as long as they do it with a look of total sincerity and in the name of ''all the people''. Politicians in general have this off to a tee. They ooze caring, and knowledge of what people need. And yet it is pure interference with our lives, we can't think for ourselves any more. In actual fact, we don't need politicians to do that for us. However, gone are the days when British politicians contented themselves with the affairs of state in the sure knowledge that the general public was quite capable of looking after itself.
The success that the anti-smoking campaign has had in diminishing smoking is difficult to argue against particularly if you are a non smoker or a reformed one. One cigarette, it can be said, is bad for your health, but when it comes to the same argument for alcohol, those in favour of a rise in the price to stop abuse are on very thin ice. A little alcohol is actually good for you. It is also probably the best social lubricant available to humankind. The vast majority of people do not abuse it. The ones that do are a tiny minority and they will always exist no matter how much you tax it. The same goes for sugar.
What the government want is extra money in the national coffers. It is hypocritical of them to make out they are doing this for the good of our health, it's really to increase revenue and its power of control over us. We all aught to be aware and resist it. The one truism about politicians is that they are consummate actors. They can spout pure rubbish, and if you were to read it first you would dismiss it as garbage and bin it. However, listen to a ''sincere'' politician giving an Oscar performance and you might be forgiven for believing it makes sense, that is, till you walk away and think about it.