The Nanny State – The Centre for Independent Studies

The Nanny State

The state is supposed to set a framework in which people can live peacefully together. Recently, governments around the world have been inclined to go beyond this traditional role. Instead of issuing some basic rules in which we can live our lives as we please, they are now trying to prescribe specific ways of life. Can this ever be justified or are government nannies just infantilizing society?


Moral Terrorism
Simon Heffer
21 July 2020 | OP174

We find ourselves living in an age when a small but highly vocal, and zealous, minority are availing themselves of the power of social media, and of sections of the printed press, to seek to force their opinions and attitudes on everyone else. In normal…

Creativity in an Age of Constraint
Lionel Shriver
02 October 2019 | OP172

2019 John Bonython Lecture – Creativity in the Age of Constraint The proliferating dos and don’ts of political correctness, the predations of ‘gotcha’ identity politics and the hypersensitivities of the #MeToo movement are battering and boxing creativity. There is a danger in faithfully following this…

A Viable Option: A National Adoption Framework
Jeremy Sammut
06 June 2018 | PP4

Implementation of the National Child Protection Accountability Framework would correct the bias towards ‘early intervention and prevention’ — in isolation from other important policies and outcomes, especially permanency — evident in the existing National Framework introduced under the Rudd Government in 2009. The new national…

What’s happened to the University?
Frank Furedi, Marguerite Johnson, Steven Schwartz
05 February 2018 | OP163

Trigger warnings, cultural appropriation and safe spaces. Who decided to bestow guardian status to Australian universities? And why should we let this proliferation of politically correct ideals become the norm, prescribing, censoring or outright banning texts, gagging speech and curbing the exchange of ideas? “The…

Liberty and Surveillance: What should governments and private corporations know about you?
Tom Simpson
30 January 2018 | OP162

Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA hacked the internet as a key part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence program. Since these revelations in 2013, legislation has largely served to give a secure legal backing to what was previously an undisclosed, covert and sometimes informal…

Media & Commentary

Four serious errors on the way to COVID-19 ‘victory’
Monica Wilkie
11 December 2020 | THE AUSTRALIAN

Australia has ‘passed the COVID-19 test,’ according to Scott Morrison. And now with Victoria and Queensland celebrating weeks without a local case, Australians are jubilant — especially compared with countries…

2020 Nanny State awards
Steven Schwartz
11 December 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

It’s never been difficult to find worthy contenders for the highly coveted Nanny State awards. But this year took nanny-stating to ludicrous levels The Centre for Independent Studies created the…

Government taskforce wins Nanny Awards
Steven Schwartz
13 December 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Centre for Independent Studies’ highly uncoveted Nanny State awards (The Nannies) go to the year’s most absurd, ridiculous, and bizarre attempts by governments to meddle in our lives and…

Only big government can save us from Roquefort cheese: the 2019 Nanny Award winners unveiled
Steven Schwartz
12 December 2019 | Spectator

The Centre for Independent Studies’ highly uncoveted Nanny Awards (The Nannies) go to the year’s most absurd, ridiculous, and bizarre attempts by governments to meddle in our lives and mind our business.  With every level of government working…

The North Sydney Nannies
Monica Wilkie
26 July 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Not only are nanny state laws illiberal and infantilising for adults, they often overlook better solutions. Nowhere is this clearer than with government anti-smoking policies. North Sydney Councillors have unanimously…