Role of the state / government in individual behaviour?

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  • Role of the state / government in individual behaviour?
  • Sue_W
    Member

    There’s a big debate going on in government circles at the moment about the role of the state in affcting individual behaviour choices. Some of it is prompted by the ‘cost cutting agenda’, but it’s asking whether government approaches to individual behaviours are appropriate or effective. Generally it’s been taken that behaviour that harms others, either directly (as in violence) or indirectly (as in obesity which harms society through increased cost to the nhs) are accepted as areas where the state can intervene.

    But there’s also a debate as to which behaviours are being targeted, and how that might reflect the values of the dominant social demographic in government (mainly white, male, upper middle class, heterosexual). Is there are tendency for the behaviours that are considered appropriate by this social group being pushed onto an increasing diverse society?

    It reminded me of a case in the early nineties, called Operation Spanner, where 16 gay men were imprisoned for practicing consensual sado-masochistic group sex in private. They were prosecuted using a little know old law, which said that an individual cannot consent to allow someone else to harm them, even if they are adults fully capable of making that decision, and it would not have any wider ‘costs’ to society. People campaigning against the operation spanner prosecutions argued that the state should not interfer in consenting adult behaviour where there are no wider costs or negative implications for society, and that it was a reflection on the social values of the state.

    So, what behaviours should the state affect? And does it make a difference how that behaviour is influenced? For example we have laws for violent actions, but try to inflence obesity behaviours through public campaigns. Over to the considered opinion of the STW collective hive πŸ™‚

    I’ve just asked my local MP. When he gets back to me I’ll let you know what I think.

    IanMunro
    Member

    It’s good question, but at this time of the morning I still have trouble doing my shoe laces up properly, so I’ll leave righting the world to the poster below.

    Onzadog
    Member

    I work in local government and I’ve just been asked by TSY’s MP to put together a report advising him what answer to give.

    don simon
    Member
    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Well apparently my habit of injecting heroin into my eyeballs, then sprinkling cocaine on my cornflakes, of a morning, is very frowned upon by my local MP.

    But then I’m a northerner, and therefore have a poncey, namby-pamby, nanny-state-ish labour MP. I suspect if my MP was a free-thinking, social libertarian in the mould of say… oh I don’t know… David Davis, then he’d likely be pouring me a pint, as requested, to wash down my breakfast

    *hic*

    There’s a big debate going on in government circles at the moment…..

    Well they’ve kept very quiet about their big debate. Personally whatever moral decisions this government takes is fine by me – they’re all proper gentlemen what went to posh schools, and I’m sure that anyone “practising consensual sado-masochistic group sex in private” has nothing to fear from the Bullingdon Boys.

    Sue_W
    Member

    Onzadog – great! That’ll be several pages of waffle expressed in an assertive manner without actually coming to any conclusion then πŸ™‚ I’ll wait for it to filter through via TSY …

    I’d have thought that at least someone would have drunk a sufficiently strong coffee, read the daily mail and be ready for a rant by now πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Oh… I’ve just asked DD and he says its all fine as long as I don’t then drive or operate any heavy machinery, as this could then subsequently impact quite negatively on the rest of society

    My local MP is Dave Cameron… he says it’s got nowt to do with him and I should ask you lot what I think instead.

    surely its up to thin people to bully fat people into costing the nhs less not the politicians… big society, us all working together and all that πŸ˜‰

    i dunno… maybe if the people telling us what we can and can’t do set some good examples.. responsible spending, healthy diet, sensible transport choices, lots of charity and voluntary work in their free time.. that kinda thing.

    5thElefant
    Member

    The state should quite simply keep its nose out.

    The state should quite simply keep its nose out.

    Let people deal with anti-social behaviour themselves ? Sounds like a plan.

    i predict that this govt.’s role will precipitate some very angry behaviour over the next 4 years

    surely its up to thin people to bully fat people

    *inflates cheeks*

    konabunny
    Member

    They were prosecuted using a little know old law, which said that an individual cannot consent to allow someone else to harm them, even if they are adults fully capable of making that decision, and it would not have any wider ‘costs’ to society.

    To be fair, it wasn’t a little-known old law that Brown and the others were charged with, it was wounding and ABH. And although some of the HoL decision was loopy and very obviously coloured by the fact that the defendants were homosexual, I was surprised to find that I did in fact think it was the right outcome.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Brown
    http://www.cirp.org/library/legal/UKlaw/rvbrown1993/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Spanner

    bagpuss72
    Member

    My local MP ‘was’ David Chaytor…….

    …..*rings prison*

    Sorry apparently he’s showering with Big Bob he’ll get back to me later

    5thElefant
    Member

    Let people deal with anti-social behaviour themselves ? Sounds like a plan.

    Lets see… drugs are an anti-social behaviour problem I believe.

    But they’re only a problem because the state bans drugs. Legalise them and the problem goes away.

    The country would be better with less state interference rather than more.

    my.spacebar.is.still.broken.so.much.as.i’d.like.to.type.a.comprehensive.answer……I.can’t.

    The country would be better with less state interference rather than more

    Yeah, stop fixing the roads! Oh, they have.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Yeah, stop fixing the roads! Oh, they have.

    They spend money modifying peoples behaviour with speed bumps. Not fixing roads is cheaper and does much the same thing – encourages people to buy 4x4s.

    don simon
    Member

    Lets see… drugs aremurder is an anti-social behaviour problem I believe.

    But they’re only a problem because the state bans drugsmurder. Legalise them and the problem goes away.

    The country would be better with less state interference rather than more.

    Lets see… drugs are speeding is an anti-social behaviour problem I believe.

    But they’re only a problem because the state bans drugs speeding. Legalise them and the problem goes away.

    The country would be better with less state interference rather than more.

    Lets see… drugs are smoking in public is an anti-social behaviour problem I believe.

    But they’re only a problem because the state bans drugs smoking in public. Legalise them and the problem goes away.

    The country would be better with less state interference rather than more.

    I see where you’re going here. Sounds like plan.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Exactly. Remove pointless laws and the country would work just fine.

    don simon
    Member

    Remove pointless laws and the country would work just fine.

    NO! Just the laws I don’t like. We need some laws so that I can protect myself from you idiots who can’t behave yourselves! πŸ˜‰

    5thElefant
    Member

    Gun laws. Don’t need them either. So you’ll be able to protect yourself…

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Does this new social libertarian bent mean I’ll be able to smoke in the pub again soon? I hope so

    Now that there are only 7 pubs left open in the country. As its become fairly obvious that all the people who moaned about smokey pubs were all the people who never ever ever went to pub anyway. And never would. Probably on account of having no friends as they spent all their time writing letters to their MP. And being scared to leave their houses as its a nasty howwible scary world out there. The Daily Mail said so, so it must be true

    don simon
    Member

    This could catch on, I like.

    Junkyard
    Member

    disagreed with the charges brought what grown ups do in the privacy of their own home that has no impact on me is none of my business…suppose there would be a line around killing and then being eaten [ was there not a crazy german on the internet who did this?]but it seems reasonable that you can be tortured for sexual gratification in private if you all consent.

    Re the state it is a complicated one we could perhaps all agree about seatbelts but then when we get to speeding or drugs we all have different views, I assume the states role is to try and draw a rule that most folk will agree with whilst allwong individual freedoma nd responsibility to other to be in some sort of balance

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKp4K1Ku_jE[/video]

    don simon
    Member

    I assume the states role is to try and draw a rule that most folk will agree with whilst allowing individual freedom and responsibility to other to be in some sort of balance

    Isn’t that exactly the point of government intervention in that the individual has proven time and time again that when given the responsibilty they can’t use it. The law isn’t always about what is best, speeding, it’s about having a measurable limit.

    5thElefant
    Member

    we could perhaps all agree about seatbelts

    No we couldn’t or motorcycle helmets.

    The only argument for compulsion I can see if that the NHS picks up the bill. The simple solution is for the state to not get involved. Smash yourself up by not wearing a helmet, or not wearing a seatbelt or if you have a smoking related disease and it’s your problem.

    Giving people back the responsibility for their own actions will make people behave normally. State interference makes people behave abnormally and obeys the law of unintended consequences.

    Junkyard
    Member

    what like being allowed to ride bridleways bit still using paths that sort of thing

    5thElefant
    Member

    Ride where you like. But be polite as everyone will have guns.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Why can’t I shoot people who displease me? If they’re riding their bloody bicycles on my land, its only reasonable

    Its no wonder the country is going to the dogs, We’re going to hell in a handcart etc etc

    Scrap the health service and education too.

    The later has clearly failed some forum users so let’s just get rid of it.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQkActP-isE[/video]

    don simon
    Member

    Why can’t I shoot people who displease me?

    Because you want to smoke in pubs, and I shoot you first. This is going to work… Yay!

    5thElefant
    Member

    Sadly 8 laws may be required, but the Castle Doctrine would apply. That works well.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Giving people back the responsibility for their own actions will make people behave normally. State interference makes people behave abnormally and obeys the law of unintended consequences

    are you a politician WTF does this means ?
    If you pass laws people obey them and alter their behaviour – perhpas if peole did not do this
    What on earth do you mean by normal and abnormal here ? a value judgement clearly. Take playing music loud at night whose normal do we use the person who normally does it or the person whos does not normally do it?
    tht is why we need laws what wone person thinks is normal another doe snot hence we need some rules as guidance – or guns , lawlessness and the wild west as you seem to prefer πŸ˜‰

    TheBrick
    Member

    binners – Member
    Does this new social libertarian bent mean I’ll be able to smoke in the pub again soon? I hope so

    Now that there are only 7 pubs left open in the country. As its become fairly obvious that all the people who moaned about smokey pubs were all the people who never ever ever went to pub anyway. And never would. Probably on account of having no friends as they spent all their time writing letters to their MP. And being scared to leave their houses as its a nasty howwible scary world out there. The Daily Mail said so, so it must be true

    This is more to do with the right of someone going to work without having to breath carcinogenic fumes than any Daily Mail hysteria.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    We need to clear this up once and for all. If only there were an authority figure on the forum. Someone who could decree from his lofty ivory tower what was best for all of us. Guiding us like lost sheep with his faultless philosophy. Almost Mau-ist in its purity and reason. Someone who knows, deep in his heart, that he is always right about everything. Like Ghadaffi without the missiles. Like Pol Pot without the machette’s

    That… if, instead of behaving like petulant children, we would only take in and obey, unquestioningly, his wise words… the world would be such an idyllic place.

    A sort of forum father figure. Almost omnipotent. But who could fulfil such a role? Hmmmmmmmmmmm……….

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