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The Standard line: Nanny State

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, October 31st, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: activism, child discipline, election 2008, The Standard line - Tags:

So, you’re talking with someone about politics and they say something really dumb and wrong and you know it’s wrong but you don’t have the arguments and facts at your fingertips to make a decisive point. That’s where our election series, The Standard line, comes in. The info you need in bite-size form. Today: Nanny State 

– ask for specific examples of this so-called ‘Nanny State’ and why they are so awful that they are the decision someone would base their vote on. Does that example of ‘nanny sate’ really affect their life?
– in response to the Child Displicine Bill being raised, you can point out that:

– under the previous law people were being let off for hitting children with riding crops and other weapons,
– National supported the law and won’t reverse it,
– no-one has yet been convicted of assault on a child for a simple smack.
– It was just a minor change in the law to make sure child abusers weren’t getting protected by the law.

– on the lightbulbs

– The Government sets energy efficiency standards for all types of things – fridges, microwaves, and lights. All that happened was the standard for lights was raised to a point that most incandescent bulbs can’t match.
– You can still buy a huge range of bulbs, not just CFLs, halogen and LED as well.
– CFLs are not dangerous, they use a tiny amount of mercury, too little to have any health affect even if it were to somehow get in your body, and they are much cheaper to run, you can save hundreds a year.
– Shouldn’t we want a more energy efficent, smarter economy rather than keep on using out-dated technology?

– why does National make such a big deal over these minor things? Because they doen’t want you talking about things that matter like National’s policy to privatise ACC, cut work rights, lower wages, and gut Kiwisaver.


31 comments on “The Standard line: Nanny State”

  1. Chris G 1

    Great post,

    Also I’dd add re Section 59. Heard the Assistant Police Comissioner on radiolive a month or so ago saying as far as the police are concerned they have had no problems with policing the law. ie. its not confusing, it is quite workable.

  2. vidiot 2

    So of the SEVEN cases that were successfully defended (yes, only SEVEN cases) under the old S59 laws, which ones should have been convicted then ? Yes – there are other cases where the defendant got off, but S59 was not used as the reason.

    Shall we ask James Mason (Musician of Christchurch – http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/28688/date-set-musician039s-child-assault-trial) what he thinks about his current court case, where he is being charged for flicking his son’s ear.

  3. Anita 3

    In answer to “What do you mean by a nanny state?” I’ve had answers about Prostitution Law Reform and Civil Unions.

    Rather than going “huh? what? huh? how is that nanny state-ish?” and looking confused I find it’s better to say “It sounds like what you’re complaining about is a socially progressive liberal government” and then have that conversation.

  4. Chris G 4

    vidiot: Oh thanks for bringing the ‘flick’ case.

    As much as you love to say he got done for simply flicking his kids ear…. You realise it had to take TWO schocked onlookers to call the police:


    Right back at ya.

  5. deemac 5

    funny how the same people who complain about the nanny state are also quick to demand the government “do something” when bad things happen! In the same way, many people don’t think things through, they want lower taxes AND more spending on health, education etc.
    James Mason hit a tiny tot – far too young to understand – and it was on the head, which is a no no. The reason why in olden days kids were spanked on the bottom is that there was no chance of permanent damage, which is unfortunately not true of ANY blow to the head. Grossly irresponsible at the very least, not a caring piece of correction.

  6. DeeDub 6

    Hey Vidiot, let’s wait and see the details of the case before we jump to any conclusions, eh? The ‘ear flicking’ thing could just be the defendants attempt (in the highly-charged, fact-light court of public opinion) to hide a much bigger, nastier story… in fact I’d almost be willing to lay money on it.

  7. deemac 7

    oh and if you are worried about mercury, what about those of us with mercury tooth fillings? If they haven’t poisoned you yet, you have probably proved it’s another case of the media not letting the facts get in the way of a good panic story.

  8. Rakaia George 8

    It’s the difference between telling people what to do and encouraging them to change. I very much doubt anyone would have a problem with government incentivising a changeover on lightbulb use (maybe add an import tarif) – but those of us who don’t like the light they cast, or have dimmer switches, or get f-ed off when a $13 bulb goes “plink” after two weeks should have the right to choose…

  9. vidiot 9

    “I was quite shaken by the whole thing,” said the teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous because she found him frightening.

    The teacher said she never saw the accident

    And yes that’s the state of what society is coming to. Nanny do-gooders, trying to make things better for you without knowing the full facts of what happened.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4354765a10.html – and back at you, the other side of the coin.

  10. DeeDub 10

    Rakaia George
    October 31, 2008 at 11:02 am

    “It’s the difference between telling people what to do and encouraging them to change”

    What a load of s**t! Are you saying all legislation should be more ‘encouraging’ and less ‘prescriptive’? It’s ok to price the product out of most peoples reach via a ‘tariff’ but don’t just tell us we can’t have it?? Now I’ve bloody heard everything!!??!@

  11. DeeDub 11

    Vid, if the cop involved didn’t think there was a case this guy wouldn’t be facing charges. They certainly don’t want to waste their time with frivilous prosecutions. So I would say there is substance here that at least deserves a day in court. Why don’t you wait and see what happens?

    Or I guess you could just continue to judge everything based on what you read in ONE media report and ignore the other? Yeah . . . that makes sense.

  12. higherstandard 12


    I disagree with the repeal of S59 but I absolutely support “Nanny do-gooders” speaking up if they think kids are being maltreated.

    Maybe if there were more “nanny do-gooders” we wouldn’t have to learn about yet another kid being beaten and killed – I feel sick each time I hear about another kid being abused.

  13. The term nanny state is used to dismiss ideas based on bigoted old fashion conservative prejudice rather than the ideas merits.

  14. Rakaia George 14


    Did I say “price out of people’s reach”? No, because that’s just banning it in disguise which has exactly the same effect in terms of the resentment it generates.

    You don’t know much about leadership do you? At the moment there is a barrier to people taking up the new technology which is comprised of cost and function. The longer term benefits of life-time cost aren’t immediately apparent (especially when that $13 bulb dies quickly) so if there’s a benefit to the country in getting people to change, a smart leader does something to lower the barrier (increase the cost of one, subsidise the other…) and people make their own choice. Easy…but no, the nanny state instinct is compulsion.

  15. Matthew Pilott 15

    Rakaia George wants the Mummy State – knows what’s best and really tries to get you to eat your veggies. In this case, it feels like a tacit admission that the government is right, and the only problem is that people are whingers.

  16. Chris G 16

    Vidiot: Why would you misquote like that?

    “”I was quite shaken by the whole thing,’ said the teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous because she found him frightening.

    “The teacher said she never saw the accident”

    Do you take me or others for idiots with your misinformation, Here is the ACTUAL quote folks.

    “The teacher said she never saw the accident described by Mason, when the younger of the boys rode into a handrail, but saw him yell at the boys and bang their bikes up and down”

    Go read the article, there is more to it than what vidiot will quote you and Way more to it than simply a man getting done for ‘flicking’ his kids ear.

    Two people were concerned by the mans behaviour so as to call the police. I think sending 6 cops is unnecessary. But whats also unnecessary is tories drumming up lies about it and those slacks in the “liberal media” doing the same thing

  17. vidiot 17

    Chris G – What mis-quote ? She NEVER SAW the incident, she only saw the response to that incident. Get your facts straight.

    Where’s the lie ? Oh there is none, some poor bstrd got initially warned for flicking his kids ear, he disputed the warning and wanted it removed from his record and now because he went against the grain he finds himself up on charges. Great system that.

    And yes, wear that idiot badge with pride if you want.

  18. randal 18

    flick flick…thats what john keys is going to do to ACC and Kiwisaver. Flick them off tohis mates and convientiently forget the shares he gets offered. if he is not doing it for personal gain then why is he doing it
    this has never been explained
    just like TV1 has never explained how they keep employing guyon epsinner and how he got the job in the first place
    New Zealand
    home of the dumm and the dummerer

  19. Chris G 19

    Add to that there was an off duty police offer present who was the one to ring the police…

  20. Chris G 20

    People go read the article and ignore anything vidiot has to say. He/she must be reading the article with the most tinted glasses ever known to man

  21. randal 21

    who cares about some dweeb getting the flick
    what about Kiwisaver and ACC
    is keys going to flick them
    will you let him get away with it?

  22. higherstandard 22


    No, I can confirm that those glasses are in the possession of Travelleve.

  23. Lampie 23

    Rakaia George

    i work in the Lighting industry and you are just full of SHIT

  24. Quoth the Raven 24

    National’s going to start DNA testing everyone arrested for an imprisonable offence. Whether guilty or not they’ll have your DNA. Just another step on Nationals road to police state New Zealand.
    I’ll take a nanny over a big brother any day.

  25. randal 25

    Lampie…of course he is
    just filling the blog up with diversion while in the meantime that little creep epsinner and the rest of the crew at TV! are putting out their manipulations and machinations unchallenged
    I am disgusted with their behaviour
    why is everyone running round like chooks with their head cut off arguing about the minutae when the very institutions of our democracy are slowly being taken over by solipsistic post modern twerps with no other interest except their pay packets

  26. Ianmac 26

    S59: My letter to the paper re the referendum went like this:
    “Should we pass a law which gives a parent a legal defence to avoid conviction for hitting a child with a whip, or stick or fist?”
    The response from the Family First was that, that was not what it was at all. It was the Anti-smacking Law. No.
    I notice that the ear-flicker has the evidence of the charge suppressed. Wonder why?
    I think that it has been pointed out that a number of countries have phased out the light bulbs without fuss. Would a Nat Govt cancel energy saving bulbs and import incandescent bulbs in bulk knowing that the production is dropping world-wide= increased costs?

  27. randal 27

    any natoinal government would look at it soley in the amount of cash it would generate for its backers and itself
    dont be stupid
    they are the party that does not believe in government
    only in money and acquiring it

  28. Rich 28

    Also, *more* mercury is released through life by a conventional bulb (as a result of coal burning in power stations) than a CFL bulb. But that’s a scientific fact, and the right is too dumb to handle science.

  29. Fiona 29

    It is hypocritical for right wing political groups to call for zero tolerance, more police, longer prison sentences and more prisons when appealing to
    voters on law and order while at the same time proclaiming” smaller government” when appealing to voters re: tax cuts and cuts in public service and spending.

    Surely the law and order policies hailed by ACT and National amount to a much, much larger government in terms of a hugely bloated justice system- more courts, more judges, more police, more prisons, more guards, more bailiffs and more civil servants.

    Who is going to pay for this grossly enlarged judicial arm of the state as proposed by National and ACT, if not the taxpayer?

  30. G 30

    Regarding the existence of Nanny State: Not PC has a list worth repeating:

    There she is inspecting school lunchboxes.
    Banning smacking.
    Telling us not to lie in the sun.
    Not to drink more than seven servings.
    Not to drive too fast.
    Not to drive too often.
    Not to smoke at home.
    Not to smoke in the car.
    Not to smoke in the pub.
    Not to smoke at all, really (you getting the message)?

    She tells us we may not discipline our children.
    We may not let them eat tasty food.
    We must pay for hysterical advertising that treats adults like children.
    We must not watch advertising that treats us like adults.
    We may not drive fast cars in industrial areas at night.
    We may not climb tall ladders.
    We may not act in ways that Nanny deems “anti-social.”
    We may not buy vitamins and minerals without a prescription from Nanny.
    We may not drink alcohol in public places.
    We may not smoke cigarettes at work or in the pub.
    We may not smoke marijuana anywhere.
    We may not ride a bicycle without a helmet.
    We may not walk a poodle without a muzzle.
    We may not buy fireworks that go ‘Bang!’
    We may not put up bright billboards or sandwich boards around our cities.
    We may not cut down trees on our own property.
    We may not repair our own property if Nanny says we can’t.
    We may not plant trees on our own property without Nanny’s approval of the type of tree.
    We may not paint our houses in colours of which Nanny disapproves.
    We may not build houses at all where Nanny says we can’t.
    We may not advertise for young female employees.
    We may not open for business on days Nanny specifies.
    If we do open for business, we must act as Nanny’s unpaid tax collectors.
    We may not fire staff who steal from us.
    We may not fire staff, whatever their employment contract says.
    We must surrender our children to Nanny’s factory schools.
    We must pay for teachers that can’t teach and for centres of education that aren’t.
    We must believe that Alan Bollard knows what he’s doing.
    We must believe that our money is not our own.
    We must not call bureaucrats “arseholes.’
    We must not offend people paid to boss us around with our money.
    We must answer stupid questions when Nanny asks us.
    We may not spend our own money in ways of which Nanny disapproves.
    We may not defend ourselves against people who try to kill us.
    We must pretend that snails are more important than we are.
    We must pretend that murderers are people too.
    We must apologise to tribalists for things we didn’t do.
    We must not offend criminals for things they did do.
    We must apologise to conservationists for things we need to do.
    We must apologise for success.
    We must ignore failure.
    We may not build new power stations that actually produce real power.
    We must not offend Gaia by driving big cars and enjoying overseas holidays unless we’re a cabinet minister.
    We may not end our own lives when we choose.
    We must pay for art we don’t like and TV shows we don’t watch.
    We must pay middle class families to become welfare beneficiaries.
    We must pay no-hopers to breed.

    And Helen Clark says the Nanny State is an urban myth?


    John Key is a Nanny too, though not quite as matronly as ol’ Smashmouth.

  31. Janice 31

    This Nanny State stuff is hilarious coming from a group who wants to build more prisons, impose Zero tolerance, sack bureaucrats, employ more police…. ad nauseum. All I read from these people is that they want a police state so large and unwieldy we won’t be able to pay for it

    This guy would have the state in our bedrooms and bathrooms eavesdropping, listening to our telephone calls, micro-chipping us, making us all carry ID cards with all our personal details. putting our DNA on database.

    He recommends a tyrannical police state – all paid for by the tax payer of course. In fact this is all the tax payer could pay for – every other publicly owned asset would be transferred to the coffers of his wealthy mates. He would have the corporate rich on welfare in terms of price subsidies, price fixing and bail-outs while we continue to contribute hugely to corporate profits in terms of previously publcly owned, phones, rail, airports, wharves, water, electricity, roading, banking, and so on,

    These are the very people who call for an end to hard-fought-for workers rights in terms of unemployment, widow and DP benefits in times of worker need and poverty, while at the same time want the same workers to bail out wealthy corporations when the merchants of greed have mismanaged their affairs, to the tune of billions and billions of tax dollars.

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