“The mask their malevolent actions by claiming

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.”The minute you walk through the door, the barrage of questions begin: Where were you? Who were you with? Why didn’t you answer your phone? Nag, nag, nag. Annoying, right? Sure, it is a parent’s responsibility to worry about the wellbeing of their offspring; better a thousand questions than being found in a gutter. However, since when did the government become the nation’s nagging parent? Since when was it okay for them to stick their beak into every facet of our existence? Since when was it okay to monitor our actions, intrude on our rights and hide behind the “bedroom door,” listening to our conversations? Despite what intrusive politicians might think, they are not our parents and we are too old to have a nanny. Yet, this is where the government and I disagree, thus the phenomenon of the Nanny State is born. The Nanny State is a complex and all-consuming predator: it devours choice, freedom and liberty, leaving nothing but meagre scraps for us to scavenge on. It nourishes itself, growing fatter by the day, sitting gloriously at the top of the food chain, confident in the knowledge it has absolute power. As Orwell says, “we are interested solely in power, pure power.” The wily predator lures its prey with the erroneous promise of protection. Not the case. Its intent is to insidiously pilfer the power of choice from its prey. The people who ‘represent us’ like to mask their malevolent actions by claiming it is ‘for our own good.’ Let’s look at one area of governmental wisdom: in April 2018, it helpfully plans to introduce a tax on soft drinks. Drinks that contain more than five grams of sugar per 100ml will be subject to a taxation of 18p per litre, and those with eight grams of sugar per 100ml will be levied at 24p per litre. The DfE foresee receiving £1 billion as a result of this sugar tax. The government asserts that this will bring numerous benefits to the health of the public such as cutting rates of tooth decay, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. This is all well and good, nobody wants a country made up of toothless sugar addicts, but what the government fails to realise is that tooth decay is our choice. If we want a mouth full of dentures, it is our choice. If we want to be a size 22, it is our choice. It is OUR CHOICE. The Director General of the British Soft Drinks Association, Gavin Partington believes that “given current increases in the cost of goods, we’re surprised that the Treasury wishes to put more pressure on businesses and raise prices for the already hard-pressed consumers.” Exactly my point. The government is slowly taking the power of choice from the people and in doing so, before our very eyes, George Orwell’s vision is becoming a terrifying reality.It does not take a genius to understand why the government is taking steps to implement these gratuitous rules to prevent the growth of a society of lazy loafers. However, a question still remains: does the government have the right to interfere with an individual’s guilty pleasures? Does the government have the right to play parent? As far as I am concerned, a Mars Bar a day helps keep the stress at bay. Mary Poppins the government is not and a spoonful of sugar does help the “medicine” go down, so why then do we have to pay extra for the pleasure?  By far the most worrying facets of the government’s predatorial intrusion are the aspects of the Nanny State not obvious to us in our everyday lives. These are the darker, sinister acts of the government that insinuate into the lives of unsuspecting citizens; acts that need to be examined and rejected by the same population they seek to control. Today, as you walked into work, you were being watched. As you hugged your child and waved them off, you were being watched. As your child went to the sweet shop, they were being watched. And right now, while you slowly slog your way through a pile of abortion, death row and Trump essays, you are being watched. The truth is, in today’s society, privacy is nothing short of a fantasy. Surveillance cameras are turning retreat and seclusion into a historical concept. The Telegraph found that for every eleven citizens, there is one surveillance camera tracking their every move. The lion is always watching. Nick Pickles, director of the privacy campaign Big Brother Watch, notes that: “this should be a wake up call that in modern Britain there are people in positions of responsibility who seem to believe that 1984 was an instruction manual.” Worrying stuff. Citizens are being stalked and tailed in a manner that in no way embodies a healthy democracy. Councils wish to pry on their communities and, in doing so, steal the most elemental of human rights: privacy. Since time began, it has been a parent’s responsibility to nurture, care for and protect their child yet, in its infinite wisdom, the Scottish Government introduced the Named Persons Act, thus removing the role of the parent from parents. The aim of this ludicrous piece of legislation was do to exactly what Soviet Russia wanted to achieve when they placed spies in classrooms: to interfere and undermine the fundamental rights of parents, all the while pushing their own political agenda. Arrogantly, the Scottish Government refused to listen to other politicians, to Scotland’s legal minds and most importantly, its very own electorate. The government suggested assigning a named person to each child in Scotland, said person would typically be a social worker or a head teacher. They would be legally obliged to ensure that the child is being brought up in a manner “approved” of by the government. The government seems to think it is a leader of the pack; the dominant lion protecting its cub, but the reality is that by imposing such a law they are leaving the rest of their pride open to attack. Parents are now vulnerable and are being subjected to unnecessary scrutiny. In 2013, Kayley Hutton discovered that the named person for her six year old had created a haunting 120 page case study, attempting to present her an “unfit parent.” Innocent conversations with doctors and childcare providers were turned into sinister accounts of neglect and emotional abuse. When Hutton stated that, along with 20% of the population, she suffered from anxiety and depression, she was not allowed to give birth to her son in a maternity hospital. Instead, she was humiliated and dehumanised to the point where she was forced to give birth to her son in a mental hospital. More disturbingly, her son was wrenched from her when she made an effort to discharge herself from the hospital. Stories such as these are becoming all too common, as hysteria sets in. Legal professionals have condemned the act as it contradicts Article 8, “the parent’s right for private and family life.” What the Named Persons Act has actually done is push forward the Scottish Government’s desire to enforce a Nanny State. Vulnerable children are still vulnerable, the government has just added vulnerable parents to the pile. Sturgeon and her cronies would like to paint the picture of Scotland  being free and equal when the brutal reality is that women are being humiliated and controlled because some spotty, newly qualified government “official” has seen them give their child three chocolate biscuits. Big Brother is always watching. The impact that government intervention has on our lives in the twenty first century is immeasurable. Under the guise of caring for its people, the government has insidiously crept into all nooks and crannies of our lives and is slowly establishing a totalitarian state. Our ignorance is their strength;  awareness and education are our tools for freedom. Surely, it is time that individuals stood together, acknowledged the existence of this predator and demand that the government gives the people back control of their own lives?”War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”~George Orwell, 1984