Nanny believes in choice, so she says, and so long as the "right" people are making the "right" choices then she is happy.
Nanny has a list of "right" people and the "right" choices, these include; people who choose not to smoke, people who choose to lose weight, people who don't drink to "excess", teenagers who "choose" higher educashun rather than unemployment etc.
In other words, Nanny supports the right to choose only when those making the choice align themselves with Nanny's view of the world. The trouble with this approach is that, sometimes, the choices that these favoured individuals and groups make are not necessarily the best for the country as a whole.
One such area where "choice" is leading to catastrophe is that of educashun. Scientists are warning that the announcement at the end of September that the University of Reading's physics department recruits no more students, and closes no later than July 2010, is in fact the thin end of the wedge of the destruction of scientific teaching in the UK.
Over the past ten years 19 physics departments have merged or closed. This is because higher education is now being shaped by the choices of teenagers, and not by government or the needs of the economy.
Peter Main, the science director of the Institute of Physics, said:
"University vice-chancellors are operating in an environment
that is controlled by the choices of 17-year-old students.
Funding follows student numbers
and so the future of Britain's science base
rests on the university choices of sixth-formers.
This is a clear example of market failure.
The Government has to realise
that its aspirations for science will not happen
unless they look again at how university departments are funded;
the current model disadvantages laboratory-based subjects,
The Commons science and technology committee had already said earlier this year that there was a "fundamental disconnect" between the Government's desire to preserve core undergraduate physics, chemistry, technology, engineering and mathematics and its desire to preserve the autonomy of universities.
Unfortunately, what the scientists and academics don't understand is the fact that Nanny is not really that interested in educashun as such; but she is keen to avert a rise in the unemployment figures. The more teenagers who opt for higher education, rather than signing on as unemployed/unemployable, the better it is for Nanny's headline targets.
Needless to say "hard" subjects, such as science, require a good basic level of education, hard work and enthusiasm; many teenagers these days lack these attributes, as such soft option courses such as media studies have to be funded in order to tempt them to attend 2 hours of lectures a week.
The future's bleak, the future's Nanny.