nanny state

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nanny state

A government or government policy that excessively controls, monitors, or interferes with people's private actions or behaviors that are deemed unhealthy or unsafe. Can be hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. The proposal to place steep taxes on foods and drinks high in added sugar is yet another instance of the nanny state trying to undermine personal choice and responsibility. How long before nanny-state policies like this one slide down the slippery slope into all-out control over our freedom of speech or religion?
See also: nanny, state

the ˈnanny state

(British English) a disapproving way of talking about the fact that government seems to get too involved in people’s lives and to protect them too much, in a way that limits their freedom: We’re living in a nanny state; the government watches over you for everything and nobody takes responsibility for their own actions anymore.
In this phrase, the state or government is being compared to a nanny, a woman whose job is to take care of young children, telling them what to do, how to behave, etc.
See also: nanny, state
References in periodicals archive ?
Nanny-state lobbying group Public Citizen frets about too few workplace inspections.
Labour's nanny-state says it's ok for people not to marry, it's ok for people to have children when they can't afford to feed them or put a roof over their head, because the statewill bail them out every time
A bill giving explicit legal protection to mothers breast-feeding in public is another one of those misguided nanny-state measures for which Massachusetts is so well-known.
The GetNetWise effort assumes that educated parents, as opposed to grandstanding, nanny-state politicos, can help kids navigate the cyberworld.
This is not the nanny-state - it's the sensible state.
Dr Reilly added: "This is not about a nanny-state, we are not telling adults what to do in their own time in their own place.
They must understand that being pregnant is a great responsibility, and that the warnings are not nanny-state interference, but common sense on a very serious issue.
The move is to prevent pupils from suffering sunburn and sunstroke yet has been blasted as "the nanny-state gone mad".
But Martin Paterson, of the Food and Drink Federation, said: "The suggestion that hard-working nurses will the victims of nanny-state type restrictions is jaw-dropping.
People need to be encouraged to start taking responsibility for their health so the rest of us can get on with our lives without being subjected to these nanny-state methods.