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"Cameron name-dropped their work in a speech last month and Obama's policy advisers have been looking at it very closely."

Uh oh, if Obama, "Mr Change (but is actually a standard liberal-leftie)" is interested in this then I'd be worried. My issue with the nudge agenda is that it's essentially the nanny state but with a smaller stick. If you want to discourage people from getting fat, deny them free NHS treatment. As for carrying knives, if you want to stop the epidemic of stabbing it may actually be more productive to allow people to carry knives to defend themselves.

RichardJ - Allowing everybody to to carry knives as a 'defence', would not work in practice, because not everybody is 'quick on the draw' so-to-speak. Perhaps it would be more practical to insist on karate or other self-defence type classes, for children and teenagers, as part of the school curriculum!

Interesting. Promising. Nice to see our frontbench on the ball.

Personally I think it all sounds like a load of balls!!

"Personally I think it all sounds like a load of balls!!"

But Mr Stone, I thought you were a Cameron fan? Sued anyone recently?

To me this seems a fascinating idea - we are all influenced by peer pressure and a "nudge" seems different from a "Nanny State" shove or push! Informed choices should be the order of the day.
I have ordered the book from Amazon and once I have read it I will no doubt be able to make a more informed comment.

As Sally says, informed comment would no doubt call for a proper look at what is being proposed. One note of caution is that we would not want to see the rule of law being replaced by the "rule of the threat of law", in other words a ministerial nudge comprising the equivalent in practice of "do this or I will make law", which may be nothing more than the Nanny State in disguise.

Surely there are civil liberties issues with the government nudging people in a certain direction - where exactly does that leave choice?

This will be explained away as 'well the things that we are nudging people to recognized goods i.e. knife crime'.

It is the principle that the government a) knows what is best b) can nudge the public in a direction that it wants to, that I worry about.


If you, like me, are a genuine conservative (with a small c) then you believe very strongly that the state has no part in nudging, beating or bullying individuals about things that are their own personal decision. Yes by all means provide education that tells people clearly what is likely to happen should they choose one path rather than another but ultimately it is their choice and the state needs to butt out of most aspects of people's lives.

I am dismayed to see that yet again Cameron is choosing to be portrayed as "New Labour but Younger" rather than in a recognisably conservative tradition. If all we are to be offered by the political classes is the same intrusive and oppressive interference in our private lives, with only the methods used differing, then we have all lost and there is really nothing much left to vote or campaign for.

The lesson to be learnt from this book/technique, is that we need to be better educated about undue influcences on our behaviour.

It should be a tory educational commitment to make british people 'nudgeproof'.

If people can be 'nudged' to others wills, they are just as susceptible to being led in bad ways as good.

If the state turns its people in to sheep, who can guess when a new shepherd will popup and lead them astray?

As a nation we need more goats and fewer sheep.

Making things socially unacceptable should extend to irresponsibility in the abstract; those who fraudulently claim to be ill, for example, in order to be paid to do no work should be considered untrustworthy criminals and be socially isolated.

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