24 Mar 2010

Nanny State to Bully State

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After Leviathan has seized control of health services and is picking up the tab for your health care, Patrick Basham notes, government intrusion into your personal life and government efforts to reform your bad habits will inevitably assume a lot more urgency. Methods of altering citizens’ behavior are likely to get a lot tougher than a new series of public service messages.

During the course of this decade we will witness a global battle over the fate of the nascent Bully State. The Bully State will be this decade’s ‘bad cop’ to the Nanny State’s ‘good cop’ of past decades.

The past generation of welfare statism saw the unduly protective Nanny State bleed into every sinew of our daily lives. Sociologist David Marsland explains that, ‘Once you have a big welfare state in place, the excuse for state nannying is infinite in scale’, he says. ‘This … continues the process of reducing self-reliance and handing responsibility for ourselves to external bodies.’

Yet, just when you thought things could not get worse, they did. Two years ago, Oxford University’s Nuffield Council of Bioethics published a seminal report that provided the international public health establishment with the explicit rationale for a dramatic change in the relationship between the citizen and the State.

Did anyone think national health care was really going to be free?

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

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