John Simkin Posted November 29, 2004 Share Posted November 29, 2004 Several of these threads concern the role the state should play in the lives of its citizens. Critics use the term the “nanny state” to describe this activity. Last week Margaret Hodge, the children’s minister, made a speech where she made a defence of state intervention. This involved an attack on the opponents of the “nanny state”. It is about time the government did this. As Hodge says: For me it’s not a question of whether we should intrude in family life, but how and when… Good nannies don’t just tell you what you can’t do… or must do. They are about ensuring that you can make real and informed choices for yourself… The right still promotes the absolute privacy of the family. What happens behind closed doors in the intimacy of the family is to them a matter of private concern. But for the left, we want to promote opportunity for all and we want to enable every child to develop their full potential… The state can be a powerful force for good in families and communities and we should celebrate, not denigrate, its role. If we seek equal opportunity for all, we must logically act to support parenting in the home. Some may call that the nanny state, but I call it a force for good… Yesterday’s nanny state has become today’s accepted social mores. We all now raise an eyebrow if somebody is drinking when they intend to drive. Theresa May, the shadow minister for families disagrees. Mrs Hodge has admitted what many have been saying for years, that the government is intent on interfering and controlling every aspect of our lives. Whether it is telling you what to eat, whether to smoke or drink, if you should place a bet or how to look after your own children, there is a government minister ready to voice their opinion. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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