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Politics gets personal

How the Conservatives are responding to the "politicisation" of private behaviour

By Duncan O'Leary   August 2008

Click here to discuss this article at First Drafts, Prospect’s blog

Suddenly politics has become personal: not the enmity between David Cameron and Gordon Brown, but the relationship between government and people. From green taxes to smoking bans, obesity crackdowns to parenting contracts, marriage incentives and even organ donorship, politicians find themselves grappling with the public consequences of private decisions.

Given the risk of being accused of nanny-statism, it may seem surprising that politicians are willing to be drawn into this area. Yet politicians must also deal with countervailing pressures. Most people want government to pass laws banning dangerous activities,…

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