Despite previous posts, I genuinely don’t have a major downer on the nanny state, at least not as much as Nanny Knows Best, because the reality is we do expect the state to interfere and regulate in some things and get bloody cross if it fails to do so.
For example, we expect social services to intervene if a child is being abused at home and should that child die through their failure to do so then someone is hung out to dry. Or another, your neighbour plants some leylandii next to your fence that is going to take all the light off your garden, well the council can get them cut down to a reasonable height.
In a world without nanny, you would be on your own. You’d be ripped off left right and centre, there’d be no health and safety at work, the roads would be in an anarchic mess, and adults and children would die. So nanny can be good for us, but she will let herself down by sometimes going that step too far.
Take tonight’s evening news: lead story, a man is separated from his family for six months because he slapped his three-year-old son’s backside in public; on page three a Lib-Dem councillor who tries to stop a Harry Potter themed party at a local library because “there might be dark forces at work.”
Had the man been thrashing his son, the authorities would have had a point but six months seems an overly excessive reaction to me. And the Lib-Dem councillor? Watch my lips, “they were encouraging kids to read, you know, that thing you say they’re so crap at these days.”
Nanny has realised she has power, but hasn’t learnt what true power is. It isn’t in its use whenever you can, but in not using it because you can. Heck, I’ve come over all philosophical.