Unbranded chocolate bars that warn “chocolate may kill you” and cans of fizzy drinks with health warning triangles on them: this could be where convenience retailing is heading because of the “nanny state”, a libertarian group and consumer activism body have warned.
Students for Liberty and the Consumer Choice Center are showing what their dystopian nightmare could look like with the opening of a pop-up shop today, called the Nanny State Store.
The shop, which is open for one day only at The Society Club, in Shoreditch, east London, will aim to show what every corner shop in the UK would look like “if our finger-wagging public health tsars and policy wonks had their way”, they say.
It sells products that are overpriced from excessive tax and regulation and replete with the latest alarmist health warnings.
Nanny State Store’s stock includes “government-approved” fizzy drinks, crisps and chocolate bars.
Alex Christakou, local co-ordinator at Students For Liberty, said: “It was our goal to start the Nanny State Store in London to mock the increasing level of lifestyle regulations being passed by all levels of government.”
Students For Liberty had done this successfully around the world, and it wanted to bring its fight to the UK.
UK government regulation of what we can buy, sell, consume, eat, smoke, and drink – and much more – was increasing in both volume and scope.
“Not only do these policies amount to a punitive financial punishment for the worst-off – they demonstrate an egregious lack of respect for the capacity and autonomy of ordinary citizens to live their lives as they see fit,” said Christakou.