03 September 2009

"Nanny state" is about defending freedom

Dr George Thomson from the University of Otago, Wellington has told delegates to a Public Health Association conference that 'public health initiatives to protect populations from the risks of the tobacco, alcohol and food industries have increasingly been labelled as nanny state'.

He of course portrays the "initiatives" as being benign measures by people who know what's best for us (doctors of course, who could dare question the good intentions of members of the medical profession, in whose hands we always want to submit our lives), and that the measures are protecting us from the "risks of the tobacco, alcohol and food industries", presumably because we are all naive children.

No Dr Thomson.

Virtually everyone knows smoking is bad for you. All children are taught it can cause lung cancer, emphysema and contribute to heart disease and many other cancers. It's no secret.

Virtually everyone knows alcohol is bad for you. Being drunk makes you less risk averse, excessive drinking kills your brain cells, causes cirrhosis and exacerbates some circulatory complaints and cancers.

Virtually everyone knows eating sweets, chocolate, snack food, deep fried takeaways and the like can make you fat, give you heart disease, diabetes, contribute to bowel and stomach cancers and other conditions.

Yet people do it. Why? Some because they like it, some because they are going through enormous stresses and strains, and getting drunk or gorging on ice cream can help you feel better.

The idea that people are naively being conned into eating, drinking and smoking is patronising and wrong - unless Dr Thomson can point out places where people don't know any better.

He thinks that the term nanny state comes from the industries selling these products:

“The increased use of these terms appears to be driven by industries that are afraid of increased control over the marketing of unhealthy products"

No it's not Dr Thomson, it is as much by individuals afraid of you controlling our choices in our lives. You don't get this, it is called freedom. Many people, fully aware of the risks, don't want to be told how to live their lives by do gooders.

He continues "There’s a need to reframe public health activity as stewardship that protects people. Governments are expected to balance the public good against the interests of big business, and to care for the vulnerable in society. We need to create the language to reflect this, which looks behind slogans and the stereotyping of opposition to unhealthy products"

The vulnerable? He means everyone. You can't target one without controlling all adults. More simply. I don't mind getting information about food, drink and other products for consumption, about the health effects, as long as I am not forced to pay for it.

However, I don't WANT your protection Dr Thomson. I'm an intelligent grownup who can make my own decisions.

He continues down a more disturbingly anti-business refrain "there’s a need to reframe and analyse businesses that inflict health damage to people, as leeches on society".

Ah so the pleasures people get from these products are worth nothing to you. They are not leeches, they are supplying products people want, that they choose to buy and enjoy. However, you're paid for by the taxpayer, forcibly, in other words people pay for you whether they want to or not. Who is the leech then?

He finally shows he true Orwellian hatred for freedom, by demanding the most intrusive nanny state possible by implication from this statement "Governments that allow damage to the general public are creating the ninny state, and are following corporate welfare policies, rather than the public good".

The government should protect us all from ourselves! We mere children, the state knows best, fortunately there are intelligent grownups to tell us what to do, for the "public good".

Dr Thomson, please kindly fuck off, feel free to spend your own money on promoting health living as much as you like, but when you force people to comply you're crossing a line. THAT is what Nanny State is about.

It's about freedom. Freedom to eat, drink, smoke whatever I want, as long as I am responsible for my actions. You see that is what differs us from the joyless drones who live in the likes of North Korea - where your message undoubtedly would be warmly embraced.


Eric Crampton said...

Check the amount of money that's been funneled into the U Otago Wellington Public Health department via MoH, ACC, or govt funded NGOs like the SmokeFree Coalition to produce reports on the evils of smoking, alcohol, fatty foods, etc. Think they're worried that the teat on which they've suckled over the last decade might well dry up?

Anonymous said...

Dupes like you Liberty Twot are allowing this to happen by having your head filled with progressive bullshit.

Grow a brain cunt.

Libertyscott said...

Anonymous: Brave little cocked boy as you are, you can use swear words like a grown up too. Three of them, you must be a man. After all real men use swear words in anger and don't have a name.

How am I "allowing this to happen"? When did I "allow it" last? What did you do to stop it? Yep, full of arguments there Master Profanity.

Richard McGrath said...

George Thomson and his helpers at the Public Health Dept now want to ban cigarette smoking in cars that are used to transport children. No kidding. It's in the 24 July edition of the NZ Medical Journal.