Thursday 5 December 2019

Nattering about the Nanny State on Newsnight

Courtesy of Dick

Last night, Newsnight got four people together to discuss the issues that they think are being overlooked in the election campaign. I was one of them and the topic I picked was (you guessed it) the nanny state, using the Nanny State Index as the hook.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, there is very little in the way of paternalistic 'public health' policies in most of the main parties' manifesto. They are almost entirely absent from the Tories' manifesto and Labour's pledges are pretty vague.

That could be a good thing if it means they don't plan to interfere, but recent history shows that politicians are happy to introduce nanny state policies regardless of whether they were in the manifesto or not. If I recall correctly, there was nothing about plain packaging or sugar taxes in the Conservative manifesto of 2010, and Labour's 2005 manifesto explicitly said it would exempt wet-led pubs from the smoking ban.

There's a clip from the show below and you can watch the whole thing here. It's the first item in the show.

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