There is a fundamental dichotomy (lovely word that) in that group of people and politicians who want less state interference in our lives and yet also need to blame ‘nanny’ when things go wrong.
A good example today is the case of an eleven week old baby that died from nappyrash. Her heroin addict of a mother totally failed to care for her child, and you have to question whether a one year jail sentance is enough, but the politicians and others immediately turn on social services.
Okay, so care workers had visited the mother and baby 18 times before the death, so questions over their competence are to be expected. But the point is that some people clearly expect the state to have intervened to prevent the tragedy. And there’s the rub — nanny state keep your nose out of our business, unless, with the benefit of hindsight, we decide you should have done.
I suppose the argument will be that what the case demonstrates is that the nanny state doesn’t work so let’s rid ourselves of the lot of it. But to my mind, using specific cases to justify a sweeping generalisation is dangerous.
And then who would we blame if we did? Well, I guess it would be all our faults.