Thursday, 24 June 2010

Are the British becoming a race who can't make decisions for themselves?

It seems to me that Britain is fast becoming a nanny state.  Do those in power believe that the British people can't make informed decisions for themselves?

It's a bit of a coincidence that I did a post only yesterday about smoking during pregnancy, then stumbled across this article this morning (OK I know it's the Daily Mail, but it's still food for thought).

The headline reads:

"Expectant mothers to be given smoking breath tests: Health watchdog tells midwives to challenge all pregnant women"

You can read the full article here.

We do of course have a lot of restrictions here in Turkey...censorship (ie banning of many websites, including Youtube) being one of the most irritating.  Having a government who decides what we should or shouldn't watch or read.

I'd be interested in your thoughts, not only on this article, but on any other aspects of  everyday life, where you feel that you are restricted or prevented from making your own choices.  Not just in Britain, but anywhere.


  1. I was looking for the post you mentioned you'd done about smoking during pregnancy but I couldn't find it. As for the nanny state approach - I much prefer the French laissez faire attitude. Having said that, most people know that smoking is bad for you and having the authorities droning on about it is not going to persuade most people to give up.

    When it comes to state censorship about what things I can and cannot access on my pc - I don't think I could live somewhere that was so repressed. It just wouldn't be for me.

  2. FF: This was the post I was referring to:

    I agree...being told by the authorities that smoking is bad for you and you should give up, won't actually make any difference to people if they are determined to continue. I just object to the fact that anyone has the right to tell you what choices you should make.

    As far as censorship is's bloody annoying admittedly, but I guess there are too many other positive aspects of living in this country that make it possible to tolerate it.

  3. Despite all my ranting about the current internet ban in Turkey, I can see some merit to censorship in some limited instances. In the West, there are a lot of things that I think ought to be banned- and some that should be roundly condemned by society. (Like most of the shows on E!, for example. :))

    When governments begin to make decisions for its citizens, however, there is always the real problem that they will use this power to cover mistakes or dirty deals. In short, manipulation. Internet- at its best- provides a means for citizens to compare information without borders. (That doesn't mean "truth.") Corrupt governments would natural abhor this capability and would need to find a means of limiting it.

    Back to the topic: If smoking is such a problem, why on earth is it legal in the first place? I believe governments around the world should be investing a lot more money on scientific research on addiction as a disease.

  4. Nomad: Well of course we know why smoking is legal. Make it illegal and the government in Britain will lose an enormous amount of revenue. I agree entirely...more scientific research on addiction would be far more useful.

  5. Yes. private pension funds...the U.K.made and probably still makes, you hand over your dosh to private investment finds who chrage fees and make a hash of investing!
    The idea of you being able to invest it for yourself is one would make money out of you!

  6. This is the second post I have visited today and both people are upset because it appears that someone else is telling us what to do & thinking that their way of life is the most important way. The first post was about trying to enforce breastfeeding!
    I think maybe we are being made into a Nanny State but we don't want that!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. Fly: Oh yes of course...private pension funds..I'd forgotten about that!

    Maggie: I wouldn't want it either, if I was still living there!

  8. I've just deleted all my typing as I was beginning to rant and rave. Lets just say that I agree with you, about smoking and about the UK seeming to go down the nanny state route.

  9. Oh Jan you needn't have deleted it...I'm happy for you to rant and rave on my blog! Feel free any time!

  10. Useless restrictions are the most heinous boundaries known to mankind. Restrictions have to be there, they are a part of life, but going an extra mile, taking away the power to choose from humans is wrong on all levels.

    People should have the power to choose. That's what we call freedom.

    A very insightful post! :)

    P.S: Thanks a lot for the award! :)

  11. Kaıbee: "People should have the power to choose. That's what we call freedom."
    ...perfectly summed up!

    (The award is well-deserved Kaibee xx)


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