the 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 ?
It isn't Gordon Brown's clunking New Labour fist, or the nanny state, or even the gastronomically correct food inspectors that are to blame, just a wary chef guarding his reputation in this sad Blame Culture era.
It won't take long for the fog of the nanny state argument to clear, leaving all of us, former smokers included, able to fill our lungs with fresh air.
It was such interfering busybodies with the nanny state mentality who stopped the exploitation of young children and women in the mining industry and who agitated for safer working conditions and less brutal hours in the mills and factories of the industrial revolution.
But the bid to provide support including a helpline, advice booklets and alternative methods of discipline have been described by opposition politicians as 'acting as the nanny state' and 'verbal garbage.' Launching the Parenting Action Plan, education minister Jane Davidson said: 'When your child is very young you get support which goes after the health visitor signs off.'
The nanny state, now in an attitude of permanent terror over the possibility of being being sued and fined, wanted to stop swimmers.
Swimmers have won their High Court battle with 'the nanny state' over 'the right to take risks' and bathe in a natural pond on chilly winter mornings.
People giving out about the Nanny State and sick of being told what to do.
THIS bid to ban smoking while driving is just another example of the nanny state gone mad.
A MIDLAND council has been accused of taking the nanny state too far - by protecting park users from falling fruit!
This is not something brought about by the nanny state attempting to govern parental choice.
that means an active state, and so, on the nanny state, I say bring it on.
'This is not the nanny state - that makes it sound too cuddly.
John Cassidy, 28, bar supervisor, Benwell: The nanny state has gone too far.
It should be cut out while people are young, but I don't think the nanny state will ever be able to stop binge drinking amongst adults, because after working hard all week they need a release and to let their hair down.
Critics say it smacks of Big Brother and the nanny State. They are wrong.