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?

Publications

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…

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
Helen Andrews, Barry Maley
11 August 2015 | CIS Submission

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

Media & Commentary

Should the nanny state cap your calories?
Eugenie Joseph
18 January 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

After a summer break filled with well-earned indulgence, you may be starting your New Year’s resolution to diet. But it could soon be the government’s responsibility to control your calorie…

Santa’s a thief and a bandit
Peter Kurti
14 December 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The imagined sounds of reindeer hooves clomping on the roof, and those of a laden man clambering into the chimney, have thrilled over-excited, sleepless children for generations. But in their…

CIS: Uni review a win for free speech on campus
Jeremy Sammut
14 November 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The review of freedom of speech at universities announced by the federal government is a timely initiative to ensure the rights and freedoms of all Australians are protected on Australian…

No basis in bias science
Monica Wilkie
07 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

News that the Australian Taxation Office has been running unconscious bias training (UBT) courses raises the question: why are taxpayers footing the bill for a potentially flawed psychological test? The…

New CIS research: CSR warriors aim to push companies into open political activism
Jeremy Sammut
21 August 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE

The ASX’s Corporate Governance Council may have backtracked on the use of the ‘social license’ term, but it is naïve to think the proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) will…