We seem ridicu­lously happy to out­source our own per­sonal de­ci­sions to other peo­ple

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

dur­ing a joy-rid­ing epi­demic in Crum­lin, but no­body wanted to ban cars.

I dis­cussed this is­sue, among oth­ers, with Christo­pher Snow­don over din­ner ear­lier this week. The au­thor of the Nanny State In­dex 2017, it prob­a­bly should come as no sur­prise that the Repub­lic of Ire­land is ranked in third place, trail­ing be­hind Fin­land and the UK.

Why we are so high on that ig­no­ble list? Be­cause we want to be. We don’t like think­ing for our­selves in this coun­try and we seem ridicu­lously happy to out­source our own per­sonal de­ci­sions to other peo­ple. Let’s face it, we swapped Lon­don for Rome and then Brussels when it comes to lead­er­ship, and you only need to look at how so many Ir­ish peo­ple will talk of the UN as if it is the fi­nal ar­biter of all things.

We like to de­lude our­selves with the myth of the re­bel­lious, fightin’ Ir­ish, but that’s all it is — a myth we ped­dle to gloss over the fact that we’re a nat­u­rally sub­servient peo­ple, will­ing to al­low our sup­posed bet­ters tell us how we should lead our lives.

The Nanny State In­dex is a fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­ment, and it also in­di­cates that the more in­ter­fer­ing a gov­ern­ment is, the more mis­er­able the cit­i­zens will be.

Af­ter all, Fin­land is the most de­pressed coun­try in the world, and the UK is rapidly be­com­ing a bas­ket case.

This ul­ti­mately boils down to one point — do you want the Gov­ern­ment or its prox­ies to dic­tate your terms of ex­is­tence? Do you want them to de­cide whether you’re go­ing to have a G’n’T while get­ting your hair done?

How dull must some­one’s life be to spend their day cook­ing up schemes to stop hair­dressers giv­ing a cus­tomer a glass of wine and why aren’t we treat­ing such pro­pos­als with the de­ri­sion they de­serve?

It’s partly ap­a­thy, partly the fact that peo­ple are so oc­cu­pied with just keep­ing their heads above wa­ter that they’re not pay­ing at­ten­tion.

But while we’re busy tak­ing care of things, quan­gos, ‘char­i­ties’ and politi­cians will con­tinue to chip away at in­di­vid­ual free­doms be­cause, ul­ti­mately, they think they’re morally su­pe­rior. Hence their de­sire to ‘de­nor­malise’ some­thing, as if they were con­cerned par­ents.

We should re­spond with the one thing they fear the most — ridicule.

Oth­er­wise, Nanny will sim­ply run riot.

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