There appears to be a concerted trait right now among lefties to be unusually explicit in their fight-talk. Liberal commentators are jumping on the bandwagon in support of Labour’s ever-expanding arena of influence in even bolder ways…. as demonstrated in the press again today with Polly Toynbee’s Guardian article, “Why isn’t New Labour proud to be the nation’s nanny?”

Thankfully, the more explicit the argument, the easier it becomes to point out its flaws. As it turns out, the flaws in the arguments employed by Toynbee are fatal. “Nanny” of course refers to the way in which the Left are constantly looking for new ways that the government could control the habits, spending patterns, health, money and assets of every man, woman and child in the entire nation.

She applauds the partial smoking ban made by the health secretary on establishments which serve food. She praises the government threats being made to tobacco, food and drink industries (“Unless you conform in the following ways we will put you out of business.”) She says that “a good life and a decent society”, BY HER STANDARDS, would consist of “walking, cycling, sports, dancing classes, gym, cookery clubs. Children would walk to school unimpeded by traffic and learn to cook in after-school clubs, with school meals to be nutritionally checked by Ofstead.” I am simultaneously angry and amused. Angry that she would arrogate to herself the responsibility of deciding what kind of LIFE the the rest of the nation should be FORCED by the government to have…. and very amused at the kinds of things she has mentioned in her list!

In her rhetoric on smoking, Pretty Polly surmised that 70% of smokers want to give up anyway, that smoking has been on the decrease in the past number of years, and that “this near-total ban is just a final push.” Leaving aside the rights or otherwise of anyone, including government, to “push” the nation into doing ANYTHING…. what Toynbee doesn’t admit is this: there is little proof that government programs, government initiatives, advertising bans or any other forms of coercion have had any effect whatsoever on those figures! It seems, for all intents and purposes, that people have themselves realised how undesireable smoking is and have turned away from it, one at a time. In other words, the free market has spoken – government has merely gotten in the way. The people do what they do, the government tries to take over. The individual makes decisions, the goverment tries to legislate to everyone.

Toynbee goes on to say that Labour “knows what works and what needs to be done. But it lacks the nerve to spell out the true cost of getting there. …. It means persuading the voters that it is inequality itself that makes people ill. The great health gap is unlikely to narrow much as long as the great wealth gap remains.” This sounds like emotive, liberal drivel. But in actuality, she happens to be right. Folks will not usually stay healthy without wealth. And rightly so! Healthcare is not free, no matter what Tony Blair would have you believe. In order to look after oneself, in terms of education, health, transport or anything else, one requires the resources to do it. Those resources can only derive from wealth. Wealth cannot be legitimately stolen, gleaned or fraudulently spent. It must be created or recieved. The only entity claiming that it is legitimate to STEAL wealh (to take someone’s property without their consent) is the government. The rest of us are either creating wealth, or recieving it from government.

When I went to school during the last decade of the 20th century, I was one of maybe 1000 students in my year. Of that 1000 students, there were two groups of people: those who tried, of their own volition, to do something useful with their lives and pay for themselves, and those who did not. Those who did not are in today’s welfare lines, recievers of the wealth of those who made an effort. NOT ONE of those who occupied the first category and wanted a job, NOT ONE, is in a welfare line today, unable to afford living costs or healthcare. The Left don’t want to hear this, but its as simple a fact as this: everyone has a choice; the opportunities are there for EVERYONE to work and live within their means. With a few exceptions, this will mean being able to afford, WITHOUT a government nanny, a healthy lifestyle.

This article by Polly Toynbee is another depressing example of how individual liberties and the freedoms born to all human beings to be responsible for themselves are under threat from a meddling, interfering bunch of unwanted social engineers from the Left.

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John Wright

johnwright@softhome.net