Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ken Vents His Spleen On The Nanny State

Ken Vents His SpleenDear all,

I have decided to vent my spleen, by way of this article, against the Nanny State.

Thank you for your indulgence.


Britain has over the past few years allowed the "claw like" grasp of the Nanny state to take hold, and to stifle individual freedom and liberty. A Nanny state exists where the state believes that it knows what is in the best interests of those who it was elected to govern, and takes it upon itself to interfere in the minutiae of their daily lives.

Britain's Nanny state, by means of legislation and media propaganda, has set about its mission to control our daily lives with a messianic zeal. It has taken upon itself the right to lecture the British public about every aspect of their daily lives on subjects including; smoking, drinking, eating, exercise and health.

Many commentators ascribe the rise of the Nanny state in the UK to the rise of the blame and compensation culture, that has crept in from the USA.

To my view, whilst this may be a symptom, it is most certainly not the cause. The blame for the rise in the Nanny state rests "Full Square" on the shoulders of the state itself, ie the government.

Nannyism affects every aspect of our daily lives. Not one of us can escape the media onslaught that the government has subjected us to over the recent years, in respect of issues as diverse as; smoking, drinking, exercise and salt/sugar intake.

Aside from this media onslaught, the dead hand of bureaucracy has been toiling to produce an avalanche of petty rules and regulations; designed to control our every action, and to restrict our freedom.

I present a few examples below of Britain’s Nanny state at its worst:
  • The omnipotent Health and Safety executive ensures that every task that we undertake, even those as simple as raising a flag or climbing a ladder, cannot be performed without the requisite "jobsworth" training course being undertaken and certified.

  • Councils fell trees in the fear that, if they don't, people will slip on the fruit that falls on the ground. Wyre Forest Council, in a display of Orwellian control freakery, outlawed harmless words and phrases such as "Bristol fashion" because of an ill informed study suggesting that they have connections with the slave trade.

  • The government, in order to ensure that their pledge of "higher education for all" is achieved, manipulates the pass marks and the exam system so that all who take them can pass; witness the absurd media studies exam, where candidates will be given the paper one month in advance.

  • John Prescott, as though he has not got enough to do as he demolishes hundreds of thousands of houses in the North so that he can build new ones in the South, has taken it upon himself to regulate the temperature of hot water in our homes; lest we scald ourselves when taking a bath. He plans to legislate for thermostatic mixing valves to be fitted in all new homes as from 2006, these valves will prevent the water temperature rising beyond a pre-determined Nanny level.

  • Gloucester Local Education Authority have banned children from wearing safety goggles, as they present a drowning hazard. Seemingly the LEA believes that teachers will be distracted from the cries of drowning children, as they attempt to aid others put their goggles on.

  • The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has banned Gideon bibles from patients’ bedsides, as they believe that they will offend non-Christians.

  • School children are now restricted from taking part in field trips and off site courses, for fear of some dreadful calamity that might befall them. In my opinion, this risk aversion does the children more harm than good, the only way that children can learn and develop into mature and responsible adults is for them to be exposed to the risk of failure and danger. Life and risk is not to be feared, but to be embraced.
Nanny has gained power over us because people have become afraid of failure and of risk. Politicians, instead of managing risk, have sough to zeroise risk. This is of course an impossible goal. However, today's politicians are intellectually lazy and unprincipled. They neither have the ability, nor the will, to stand up to those who hanker after a risk free society; they baulk at telling the voters that not only is zero risk impossible, but that it is in fact dangerous.

It is only through risk taking that mankind develops; from the first tentative steps that a child takes, when it is learning to walk and to fall, to the development of revolutionary new products such as aeroplanes and IT systems. Nothing in our history has been achieved without risk and failure.

We are now faced with the third term of the Blair government. This promises to bring in yet more legislation aimed at governing the minutiae of our lives; smoking, id cards (allegedly to protect us from id theft), religious bigotry and the never-ending campaign against certain proscribed foodstuffs will all be featured in this third term.

Many say that they do not mind or care as, for example, they don’t smoke or eat fast food. That argument was used once before, and led to disaster. I would remind you of the following, which was written by a far wiser person than myself:

"First they came for the gypsies, but I did not speak up

Why should ?

I am not a gypsy.

Then they came for the communists, but I did not speak up

Why should I?

I am not a communist

Then they came for the Jews, but I did not speak up

Why should I?

I am not a Jew

Now they are coming for me

Who is there left to speak up for me

The Nanny state, by over regulating our lives brings both the state and the law into disrepute. Nanny’s much vaunted ASBO's are rapidly becoming a mockery. No one can take the law seriously, when ASBO's are given to farmers because of the actions of their livestock; as happened when Brian Hagan was issued with an ASBO, by Norfolk constabulary, to prevent his pigs from escaping. A society that has no respect for the law becomes ungovernable, and faces destruction from within.

The Nanny state by regulating people's lives, and by robbing them of the responsibility for their own lives, makes the population reliant on the state. Britain now has over 7 million people working in the public sector, ie they are working for the benefit of the government not for their own advancement. They are now totally dependant on the state for their livelihood, the perfect bedrock for the foundation of a dictatorship.

The opposition parties are, and have been for a number of years, paralysed. The Tory Party is selecting yet another leader, yet it has still not worked out what it actually believes in. Whilst the Liberal Party has deluded itself into thinking that it did rather well at the last election, and as such has taken an undeserved holiday. It is now down to the people of Britain to take a stand against Nanny, and to say enough is enough.

Ken Frost


  1. This contol of people goes back to the war and the election of the Atlee government in 1945, The civil servants couldn't believe their luck because all the necesary wartime controls were there and why should we let them go, The Labour governent managed to ration BREAD twelve months after the end of the war and release only came with the return of Churchill in 1951.
    What we have now is only a continuation but to a much greater extent and I think that the straw which will break the camel's back is not far away. However we have to contend with Brussels and I long for someone to put two fingers up and say"Go Away".
    Seeing Robert Hardy as Churchill yesterday nade me wish once again for someone like Chirchill to lead us out of the misery of Blairdom. Unfortunatley I can't see anyone on the horizon. It could end in revolution but that is not our way.

  2. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Trouble is so few people bother to vote. Your common factory worker (whilst lacking in bookish intelligence) has plenty of blunt, short and to the point common sense. But they can't be bothered to walk 200 Yards down the road and put a cross on a form, why?

  3. Ken,

    I have an interesting story to tell about how Nanny can even extend her hand overseas (it ties in to the point you make about children being restricted from school trips in case they suffer injuries).

    I’m currently living in Stavanger, Norway, and one of the local attractions is Preikestolen (“Pulpit Rock” in English). This rock formation affords some spectacular and amazing views of the Lysefjord and the hike to get to it is well worth the effort.

    As I write this, a scout troop from the UK is visiting Stavanger – a scout troop my son used to belong to. We arranged for my son to meet up with them this weekend and it was great to see him mixing with his old friends again. I was chatting with the scoutmaster and happened to mention that I was planning to walk with my son and a couple of other boys up to Priekestolen. The scoutmaster told me that for several years, he had organised trips to Norway with the scouts and they had always walked to Preikestolen. However, he is no longer able to do this particular hike because of UK health and safety guidelines, which apply to groups of youngsters on organised trips. Put simply, Nanny believes that this walk is far too risky and dangerous for the youth of Britain.

    The problem isn’t the walk up to Preikestolen. Anyone in reasonable health can tackle this. The thing is that the last fifty yards or so are along a path with (in some places) a sheer drop down the mountain. In addition the rock itself is 604 metres (almost 2000ft) above the fjord. There are no warning signs, fences or safety barriers to protect people from the (obvious) danger of falling over the edge.

    Some people may say that Nanny is being reasonable. Isn’t this a dangerous place? Isn’t this a dangerous walk to make? Surely there must have been an enormous number of fatalities over the years? Well, over many years, there have been several deaths… due to suicide. To my knowledge, nobody has ever fallen over the side accidentally. Standing near the edge of a 2000 ft drop does tend to concentrates the mind.

    According to Wikepedia, around 74,700 people visited Pulpit Rock in 2001. On our walk this weekend, we saw seasoned walkers in their 60’s, families with young children (some of them very young), people with babies, dog walkers, groups of tourists, all making the trip up to Pulpit Rock to have a picnic and enjoy the spectacular scenery. All of these people (including the 5 and 6 year olds) were sensible enough to know that they should be careful when standing on top of a high mountain… but apparently it’s far too risky or dangerous for a group of teenage scouts from Britain.

  4. >>>>Trouble is so few people bother to vote. Your common factory worker (whilst lacking in bookish intelligence) has plenty of blunt, short and to the point common sense. But they can't be bothered to walk 200 Yards down the road and put a cross on a form, why?


    Because whoever you vote for, in the UK, the Socalist Liberal Elite will still be in power!

    So it's understandable that so few people bother.

  5. Anonymous2:52 PM

    It's the same old cliche "You get the government you deserve". Old but still true. If the people of a country can't be bothered to keep their governments under control, then they will end up having to deal with a tyranny, in the end.

  6. Gunroom is absolutely correct. This is proved by the fact that Michael Howard is in favour of ID cards. This, to my mind, is scandalous behaviour for a leader of the Conservative party - it shows how few politicians can resist snooping into our lives.

    What this country needs is a political party that stands for small government, relating "human rights" to personal responsility, freedom of choice and punishment of miscreants. The problem is that this is so far removed from the control-freakery of the average party membership it is unlikely ever to happen. Meanwhile the standard of politicians continues to dip because all the best people are in business trying to make a better life for themselves in spite of nanny and thus have no time for politics.

  7. Railwayman,
    The control goes back to the first world war when firearms controls were brought in "to control crime" when the reality was the Government was having apoplexy over the Russian Revolution. Can't have the hoi polloi doing that sort of thing y'know.

    But part of the problem everyone contributing has missed here is that politics and the belief in "The Party" and their ideology is that it is akin to Religion with all the accompanying illogicality that religions spawn.

    Unfortunately politics in this country resembles a schism in a conventional religion - for example the EC. All the parties are having a discussion and argument akin to "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin". They can't see that the vast majority of the population don't share thier "vision" and are therefore unable to distinguish between them.

    Hence the "why bother voting?" attitude.