SAS: The Nanny State

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By Ethan Wilkinson, Digital Campaign Manager

As a father of 3 young, energetic, strong-willed, free-spirited boys I find myself donning my army uniform and marching out onto the battlefield multiple times of day. I take up arms in the cause of encouraging my kids to eat broccoli, to not pee on the floor, or to bring a jacket even when they think that it’s not cold outside.

The best parenting handbooks will tell you to teach your children to make decisions for themselves and to find ways to help them help themselves: putting their shoes on by themselves, eating their spaghetti Bolognese without a hint of sauce anywhere to be seen, or choose to be play nicely with their siblings.

When your goal is to create self-reliant and sensible citizens, there’s nothing worse than when others interfere. As parents, we now have to compete with the State and all of her friends in high places, such as Public Health England - who issue all manner of decrees, ranging from how much sugar kids should consume to how much exercise they should do. In Scotland, it will soon be outright illegal to smack your children. Sex education has become the preserve of the school, rather than the awkward chat with mum and dad – causing significant controversy in some places.

Whether we agree or disagree with specific developments, it is impossible to ignore that the level of State interference in parenting is on the rise. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. If this direction of travel continues, we will be making the government effectively responsible for more and more of the decisions which shape them as human beings. The fundamental expectation on parents - indeed one of the most rewarding parts of being a parent – will be undermined. A little bit of advice here and there is most welcome, but the State may end up imposing quotas, deadlines, rules and taxes that restrict our right as a parent to, well, parent our children.

You can see this in other countries. Socialism, with its dictatorial tendencies, has no interest in letting its citizens raise free-thinking and free-spirited children. This has led to things as perverse as giving them guns at five, training them to kill enemies of the State, while never teaching them basic reading and writing skills. It is one of the sad lessons of history that governments, which begin by interfering to protect the welfare of children, end up often caring about the State first and the child second. When the State decides it wants to parent, there’s no room for parents anymore.    

With increasing numbers of guidelines, rules and bans, one of the biggest threats to parents right now is the UK’s increasing acceptance of the omnipotent and omniscient State. This is propelling us at an alarming rate towards socialist attitudes to raising children, whereby the government is expected to tell parents what is best for their children – not the other way around. If you believe that parents know what’s best for their own children, join with us and take a Stand Against Socialism. Say no to the Nanny State.