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New report attacks Scotland's "McNanny State"

Wed 27th June, 2018

A new report published today says Scotland must break its ‘addiction to big government and creeping prohibition’.

Published by the smokers’ group Forest, ‘The McNanny State’ argues that since devolution in 1999 Scotland has become a “puritan’s playpen” with politicians repeatedly intervening in the lives of ordinary people.

Highlighting the smoking ban, minimum pricing of alcohol and the named person scheme as examples of the ‘McNanny state’, the report attacks what it calls the “politics of intervention”.

Author of the report, former MSP Brian Monteith, said:

“Public health officials moralise on our lifestyles with edicts based more on superstition than hard evidence. They make outrageous claims based on disreputable science that on investigation are often found to be baseless.

“With smoking and alcohol under the cosh the next big thing is going to be controlling what we eat. Portion sizes, calorie levels, and promotions that save money for those least well off will all be attacked.

“Scotland must break its addiction to big government and creeping prohibition. The country has become a puritan's playground and it is going to get a lot worse before enough people wake up to the McNanny State and do something about it.”

The report features a foreword by journalist and novelist Allan Massie who wrote:

“Ever since the Scottish Parliament came into being in 1999, the politicians have chipped away at the liberties of the people.

“The Scottish state today treats adults as people incapable of managing their own lives and, if they are parents, as people who cannot be trusted with the unfettered care of their children.

“We are now in the grip of a political class that is complacently certain of its moral or ethical superiority, a class that in its ineffable conceit has no doubt that it knows what is good for us, and does not hesitate to legislate accordingly.”

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

“The report is hugely topical. The Scottish Government's new tobacco control plan, announced last week [June 20], is another blow for those who want less not more state interference in their daily lives.

“Proposals to ban smoking in social housing and restrict the number of shops that sell tobacco represent further attacks on consumers and convenience stores that are already over-regulated to the point that they are struggling to stay in business.

“The aim of this report is to launch a national debate on the role of government in people's lives and examine the way the issue is being addressed in political and media circles.

"Our goal is to put lifestyle choices back into the hands of consumers, not politicians and state-funded pressure groups.”

To download a copy of The McNanny State click here.

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