The Bully State

The nanny state turns nasty
At the start of The Bully State, his rambunctious account of the nanny state’s recent history, Brian Monteith argues that the term ‘nanny’ is too cuddly a word for the alliance of ‘puritans, control freaks and prohibitionists’ who are waging war on individual freedom on both sides of the Atlantic.

Nanny, he says, has lost her patience with us. Her policies of re-education have failed to ‘nudge’ us towards government-approved behaviour. Targets have not been met. Too many calories are being consumed. Too many units of alcohol are being knocked back. Some of us are even smoking and using offensive language. Not so much disappointed as angry, she has now turned bully. What happens now is going to hurt us a lot more than it hurts her.