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Masses of Hands
Call for Help
(geralt, Pixabay)

Nanny Goat & Kid
(reijotelaranta, Pixabay)

High Voltage sign
(Clker-Free-Vector-
Images, Pixabay)

Earth & Sun
(kellepics, Pixabay)


A graphic of masses of hands reaching, grasping. The hands are in many colours. All together they form a wave-like mandala or circle. Nanny State Quotes

Long embedded in a culture [UK] that celebrates daringly naughty aristocrats, this kind of thinking [Tory’s principled commitment to inequality] has been particularly animated by the concept of the “nanny state”. The term originated, naturally, in a column in the Spectator [a magazine] in 1965. A metaphorical trump card, it has been played endlessly to block any and every proposition about what it might be in our common interest to regulate. It makes selfish obstinacy feel like a bold assertion of maturity, independence and self-reliance. The myth of the nanny state gives believers a teenage thrill of anti-authoritarianism. But because the high is fleeting, they must always search again for a nanny against whom they can prove themselves: trade unionists, judges and human rights lawyers; virologists, statisticians, people wearing face masks; the BBC, the SNP, the ECHR. In extreme cases they assert themselves against the nannying laws of physics, which insist on governing the interactions of CO2 molecules with solar radiation.
(Alan Finlayson, The Guardian, posted and accessed 30 July 2022)

I showed how these [tobacco and oil] companies funded rightwing thinktanks and university professors to launch attacks on public health policy in general and create a new narrative of risk, tested on focus groups and honed in the media. They reframed responsible government as the “nanny state”, the “health police” and “elf ’n’ safety zealots”. They dismissed scientific findings and predictions as “unfounded fears”, “risk aversion” and “scaremongering”. Public protections were recast as “red tape”, “interference” and “state control”. Government itself was presented as a mortal threat to our freedom.
(George Monbiot, The Guardian, posted 18 March 2020, accessed 1 November 2020)

A nanny goat with huge udder is lying down, her weight against an olde wooden cabin. Atop her a kid (a baby goat) balances. The nanny goat seems unfazed, patient.
Imagine removing the nanny goat from this scene? Would the kid survive?
Surely we need the Nanny State?

England's top doctor has accused the food industry of "failing the public" and is calling for taxes on unhealthy food high in sugar and salt. Chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies... said obesity was an issue of inequality, with children and adults in the poorest communities more likely to have diseases related to their weight at an earlier age, and lasting for longer. She said she would be accused of being "chief nanny" of a nanny state but it was her job to shape the environment for children who could not make their own choices. (BBC, posted and accessed 21 December 2018)

Doctors are often accused of playing the nanny state, we didn't hear from a single person [in an obesity report] who said they liked being overweight, everybody we met wanted help from the state and society. If we didn't have things like this we wouldn't have speed limits that save lives, we wouldn't have drink-driving limits that save lives, there's a host of things that society and state does to help us live long, healthy fulfilling lives and we're just suggesting something similar.
(Prof Terence Stephenson, quoted at BBC, posted 17 February 2013, accessed 31 October 2022)

A sign in black letters on an orange background. It says: 'Warning - High Voltage'.

It is perhaps in the end a sign of immaturity to object too strenuously to sometimes being treated like a child. Why does the idea of a nanny state always have to be so terrifying?
(Alain de Botton, BBC, posted 4 February 2011, accessed 18 October 2022)

It is not always or even primarily the case that we find ourselves at the mercy of some external, paternalistic authority whose claims we resent and want to be free of. Only too often, the danger runs in an opposite direction. We face temptations and compulsions which we revile, but which we lack the strength and encouragement to resist, much to our eventual self-disgust and disappointment.
(Alain de Botton, BBC, posted 4 February 2011, accessed 18 October 2022)

Being free should not invariably entail being left totally to one's own devices, it should also be compatible with being admonished and harnessed. Complete freedom can be a prison all of its own.
(Alain de Botton, BBC, posted 4 February 2011, accessed 18 October 2022)

The worst difficulties and suffering begin when people start to think that they are the sole masters of their destiny, that there is neither providence, nor luminous entities to guide and support them. This is how they sever all ties with heaven. Then, they are no longer children shielded from worries, because they no longer rely on their heavenly father and mother, and every kind of suffering starts to sweep down on them: they have stopped feeling like children of God.
To solve your problems, to get help, nourishment and enlightenment at all times, you must never sever your bond with heaven, because heaven never leaves its children to cry all alone. (O.M. Aïvanhov)

A fantasy image of the Earth and Sun seen from a great distance. A woman appears to be gesturing to Mother Earth & Father-Mother Sun from this distant rocky place.
Imagine removing the good nannies 'Mother Earth' and/or 'Father-Mother Sun' from this scene.
Would the humans survive?
Surely we need Earth and Sun?
So why we destroy Earth? Why we not fight for health and wellbeing of all?


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Page last updated: 25 November 2022.