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'Positively limiting people’s choices'

I have crossed swords with the ippr before, and have a pretty fair idea of what to expect from 'The UK's leading progressive think tank'. And it is not an idea I am much in sympathy with. However, I was not prepared for their latest horror - How, and why, the State should help us to keep our New Year's Resolutions. As ever, I am *not* making this up.

So, the 'how': "the Government can help people stick with their resolutions by regulating the atmosphere in which they make them. For example, it will be much easier to stick to giving up smoking after the ban on smoking in public places takes effect. It is also much easier to get fitter if an affordable gym or other sports facilities are available locally"....The report will argue that the Government can reduce the range of bad choices available by setting minimum standards, like capping the amount of salt in food or ensuring that all white goods meet basic environmental standards. People’s choices can be positively limited by government in other ways too".

And the 'why': "many new year’s resolutions have benefits for everyone, for example, in reducing carbon emissions or reducing the pressure on a tax funded National Health Service. It will argue that there is a justifiable role for the state to intervene in changing the public’s behaviour".

Over to Miranda Lewis, ippr Associate Director to sum it all up: “If people live healthier and greener lives, we all benefit through reduced pressure on the NHS and a cleaner environment. The Government needs be confident in its ability to help people to keep their resolutions and ignore the criticism that intervention is the action of a ‘nanny state’.

Feeling nauseous? I am. So, in essence the state will force enable us to be 'free', and not only will it do us all 'good', it can be justified by bowing down to the twin Molochs of being nice to the NHS and 'saving the planet'.

The ippr helpfully includes 'Five things you can to do to keep your new year’s resolutions'. I think they are shy seven points:

1.We admitted we were powerless without the State — that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.Came to believe that the State is greater than ourselves and could restore us to sanity.
3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the State as it understands it.
4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.Admitted to the State, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6.Were entirely ready to have the State remove all these defects of character.
7.Humbly asked the State to remove our shortcomings.
8.Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9.Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11.Sought to improve our conscious contact with the State as it understands itself, asking only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry that out.
12.Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

(Shamelessly borrowed and adapted from the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps programme)

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Blogger CityUnslicker said... 8:17 pm

I can hear the scribbling in No 11 from here C. Careful what ammunition you give them. Today's pantomime is tomorrow's NuLab shakesperian display in Parliament.

On a light note. I lvoed it when livin in LA and a habitual associate who was a very bad druggie/drinker came to ask as part of step 8 or whatever it was for forgiveness. I told him to pay me the $100 he owed me and all would be fine.

He refused and went off in a huff saying I was refusing to help him in his cause. A few days later I heard he lost his battle and returned to the foil. All my fault as I had 'broken' him.

He was tremendous weirdo, all in all. I met hundreds fof people when I lived in LA and I can't place any of them as being what I would generally call normal.  

Blogger Newmania said... 8:36 pm

Wow C you do get your snout into some unwholesome troughs.There seems to be no question, does there, that it might fall into that "None of your fucking business" category. The NOFB radius is large one in my book and NOFB approved activities as
Saying inflammatory things
Living unhealthily

It really is astonishing how often I am obliged to cite the NOFB guidelines to people wishing to breal its strict parameters.Pedantic I know ..but there it is  

Anonymous verity said... 9:11 pm

City Unslicker - funny!

If Miranda Lewis had come out with this stream of ordure as little as 10 years ago, people would have thought she was trying to be amusing. Or ironic.

For the record Ms Lewis, I don't smoke, but if I'm ever in a room with you, I'll make an exception. The "green" philosophy is a lying construct to further the cause of state control. Man-made carbon emissions are not going to influence the universe, no matter how important you think you are, Ms Lewis. On the universal scale of things, you're not even an ant. The gradual warm-up period the earth is going through just now is due to increased activity on the sun, which is vastly more powerful than little mankind driving around in cars with the air-conditioning running.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:45 pm

And bear in mind that wonks are the vanguard element. If we get another term of this rabble, we all have all of this and worse.

Beginning to make Sweden in the 70s look like Deadwood, isn't it?  

Anonymous Colin said... 10:27 pm

It's just incredible. And they don't feel ashamed anymore. To boss everbody around is called liberal. The lack of protest in the media appears to be a sign for the end of the Age of Reason.  

Anonymous verity said... 10:37 pm

But why do so many of the general public believe this patent nonsense? Don't they see it's all about control? Do they really believe that mankind has the ability to alter the course of the universe? Surely no one can be that stupid?

Don't they know it's all perfectly normal and that the north of England was wine country 2,000 years ago and the folks in occupied Britain were wearing togas?

I want to ask these people: "OK, tell me which day was the normal day by which we judge all the others? 27 June 1773? 3 February, 1944? 26 November 806?"

Even just since records began, could they please identify the date by which they judge all the others, and compared to which we suddenly have "global warming"?  

Anonymous i spy strangers said... 11:06 pm

This just buggers (sic) belief! Come to think of it, buggery is the one vice that the IPPR might conceivably (as it were) approve of.  

Blogger kris said... 11:43 am

My favourite Ronald Regan quote is:-

The most dangerous words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and here to help'!

Look where all our learned Labour's help has gotten us in Hackney.

Or, in the words to Richard Nixon when he said he wanted to keep involved in party politics after he resigned the Presidency,

"Thanks, but you've done enough already".  

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