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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
'But some of the figures suggest that consumers are being nannyish when it comes to buying for other people such as children.'
Of course, Labour didn't see fit to restore free milk despite the party's nannyish assault on the country's fatties.
The problem with the sort of advice being dispensed today by the Forum on Children and Violence is that the group's warnings appear ridiculously nannyish and overbearing.
"There's nothing wrong with issuing guidelines on healthy eating, but when you provide recipes it's a bit nannyish," she said.
Entitled 'Will you lot out there push hard for a ban on smoking so that we do not appear nannyish and so become unpopular when we introduce one', it seeks to get anti-smoking lobby groups all over Scotland to push hard for a ban on smoking so that the government can introduce one without appearing nannyish, and so becoming unpopular.
Having said that, questions need to be asked about the increasingly stringent voices of the anti-fat lobby and whether the nannyish attitude being taken to a complex problem is really going to produce the desired results.
His proposals - seen by many as "nannyish" - also included under-21s having to prove evidence of their age to get drinks and under-18s leaving pubs before 8pm.
No doubt the council is acting with the best of intentions, but its message is illtimed and comes across as insufferably nannyish.
Fidelity, one of the UK's biggest sellers of ISAs, called them 'nannyish'.