Chris Huhne on the politics of public behaviour

by Stephen Tall on May 8, 2008

Word reaches LDV from think-tank Demos that Chris Huhne, the Lib Dems’ shadow home secretary, has contributed an essay to a new publication out today, The Politics of Public Behaviour: how governments should respond to the public consequences of private decisions.

Pamphlet editor Duncan O’Leary explains more:

[It examines] the social effects of personal decisions on marriage, parenting, diet, exercise, smoking, flying, pensions savings etc). Nanny state vs ‘Pontius Pilot state’ as John Reid once put it.

Huhne’s basic argument is that community approaches and peer pressure should be the tools to address social policy goals without coercive intrusion into people’s personal lives. The comparisons between the three essays are instructive. Andy Burnham has a piece which argues that the time has come for the progressive Left to stand firm behind a role for government because it stands for the common good – very much in keeping with James Purnell’s speech on Tuesday to the Fabians.

You can download a PDF copy of The Politics of Public Behaviour by clicking here.