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Some case studies in nanny state name-calling: what can we learn? Roger S. Magnusson Professor of Health Law & Governance Sydney Law School.

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Presentation on theme: "Some case studies in nanny state name-calling: what can we learn? Roger S. Magnusson Professor of Health Law & Governance Sydney Law School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Some case studies in nanny state name-calling: what can we learn? Roger S. Magnusson Professor of Health Law & Governance Sydney Law School

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3 Case study 1: Christopher Hitchins’ in Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City

4 “Who knows what goes on in the tiny, constipated chambers of his mind? All we know for certain is that one of the world’s most broad- minded and open cities is now in the hands of a picknose control freak.”

5 “Now we’ve crossed a small but important line. It’s the difference between protecting non-smokers and state-sponsored behavior modification for smokers.”

6 “Nanny state name-calling” The reflexive tendency to label new policy interventions within the health sector as “nanny state”, usually without proposing any real test for balancing any apparent tension between public health, and opposing public interests or private interests.

7 “[w]e prefer to take our chance with cholera and the rest than be bullied into health”. Rosen G. A history of public health. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press; 1993, at 224.

8 say/article/ Limbaugh-Claims-3-Day-Slutzkrieg-on-Sandra-Fluke-was-an-Accident# Case study 2: Rush Limbaugh and the American right

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10 “Now, let me just say something. This is something that may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people. "Oh, the first lady just wants to help." Let me tell you the truth of the matter. This is none of her business. The free market takes care of this stuff. On what basis is the unelected Michelle Obama empowered to control American manufacturing and advertising? This is how, by the way, we eventually get advertising bans on products that were seen as dangerous.” _of_michelle_obama_s_business

11 When you have the first lady calling you in, complaining about what you're doing, there's an implied threat, and these people are totally comfortable using this kind of statist power on people. This is where, folks, you and I, we conservatives, this does not interest us at all. We believe in the free market. We believe in life. We believe in people having choice, to live their life as they choose. Coca- Cola, Twinkies, don't kill anybody. It's none of our business. _of_michelle_obama_s_business

12 “The war on fat…reflects an anti- capitalist perspective that views people as helpless automatons manipulated into consuming whatever big corporations choose to produce. The anti-fat crusaders want to manipulate us too, but for our own good”. Source: Jacob Sullum, “The War on Fat: Is the Size of Your Butt the Government’s Business?” Reason 2004; 8: 20-31, at 23.

13 This is how this slow creep happens: The good intentions of a supposedly nice woman who's a great mother with a great garden who really cares about people. At the root of it is her belief that you are too stupid to know what's good to eat and drink and what isn't. You are too stupid to know how to best take care of and look out for yourself. You are too stupid to do what they want you to do on your own, and because you're too stupid or because you are too resistant, they are going to use force.

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15 Case study 3: Plain tobacco packaging, and other sins of the National Preventative Health Taskforce

16 Plain packaging in Australia – front of package view

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18 Imperial Tobacco Australia takes on the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (Cth) Meet “nanny”!

19 MJA 2014; 200:29-32

20 Jim Beam’ bourbon, and Bondi beach

21 International Journal of Pediatric Obesity 2006; 1(3):

22 Today the “war on tobacco” has been joined by the “war on obesity” and the “war on binge drinking”. What we are experiencing today is not a “nanny state”. It is nothing less than a bully state.

23 “…moments of conversation, perfumed with ashtrays and decent company, which I would not have exchanged for a year of ordinary existence” Source: Christopher Hitchens & Simon Hoggart, “Is the Smoking Ban a Good Idea?” The Guardian, 14 May 2007.

24 Dead man talking… “In whatever kind of a “race” life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist” See further,

25 “I've came by this particular tumor honestly. If you smoke, which I did for many years very heavily with occasional interruption, and if you use alcohol, you make yourself a candidate for it in your sixties.“ "It would be very idle to deny it, and I might as well say to anyone watching, if you can hold it down on the smokes and the cocktails you may be well advised to do so," Hitchens said. hitchens-desp_n_ html …diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus

26 Christopher Hitchins,

27 Jim Bacon, former Premier of Tasmania ( ), died 20 June 2004

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