Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The "nanny-state" in action

Yesterday, DPF linked approvingly to John Key's words in the NBR:

"I've had nine years of being told what lightbulb I can screw into the house, what shower I can take, what food I can eat, what things I can do, what thoughts I am allowed to have.

"I don't need another three years of Helen Clark telling me what to do. I don't need another three years of Jeanette Fitzsimons telling me what to do, I don't need another three years of Winston Peters telling me he needs a God damn helicopter."

Complaining about the "nanny state" has been a key theme of National's campaign, even if they have to make up things to complain about. But here's something which might want to make people think. Tomorrow night is Guy Fawkes night (yes, when we celebrate an audacious attempted act of terrorism / enact a mindless anti-Catholic ritual / set things on fire for the hell of it). And for the second year in a row, fireworks will only be on sale for four days, only in packs, and only to over-18's - a perfect example of Key's "nanny state". But as a result of this, my newspaper is completely empty of the "child loses eye to fireworks" stories we usually see. In fact, according to a Newstext search I just did, there have been no reported injuries so far (there has however been one dead horse).

Strangely, Key has been absolutely silent about fireworks restrictions. But that's probably because the benefits are so blindingly obvious that even he can see how stupid it would be to complain about the "nanny state" in this case.