UK STUDENTS PROTEST LIFESTYLE REGULATIONS: VAPING BANS, SUGAR TAXES, PLAIN PACKAGING WITH ‘NANNY STATE’ STORE
Students For Liberty opens London corner shop with only “government-approved” products
Alex Christakou (Students For Liberty)
Yaël Ossowski (Consumer Choice Center)
London, UK — Today, Students For Liberty and the Consumer Choice Center are hosting a “plain packaged” nanny state store in London, England to protest ridiculous lifestyle regulations. London’s first “government approved” store opens its doors at 10:30am.
We’ve already gotten media attention and will be speaking to reporters and passerbyers today in Shoreditch at the address below.
“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 has done this successfully around the world, and we wanted to bring the fight to the UK. The question we want to ask is: Do we want a government that treats adults like children? Or do we want a society that respects an adult’s freedom to choose?” said Alex Christakou, local coordinator with Students For Liberty.
UK government regulation of what we can buy, sell, consume, eat, smoke, and drink – and much more – is increasing in both volume and scope. We are subject to some of Europe’s heaviest sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, with a new levy on sugary drinks due to be introduced in 2018. Our smoking ban allows for fewer exceptions than almost any other country, and has recently been extended to cars with passengers.
Excessive alcohol duty is contributing to the relentless decline of the pub – the focal point of our communities’ social life. The government pioneered graphic warnings on cigarettes in 2008 and is currently stuck in a legal battle with tobacco companies over plain packaging. Only last month, it was reported that major chocolate producers are reducing the size of their bars by 20% to meet new government targets for sugar content.
“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.
Students For Liberty and the Consumer Choice Center’s Nanny State Store opens at 10:30am and closes at 3:00pm on Thursday, April 20th.
The store is what every corner shop in the UK would look like if our finger-wagging public health tsars and policy wonks had their way: the products are overpriced from excessive tax and regulation and replete with the latest alarmist health warnings.
The store will have “government approved” soda, crisps, and chocolate bars to hand out for anyone who is interested in attending. Drinks may be served.
The address for the store is 3 Cheshire Street, Shoreditch, London E2, UK, located at The Society Club.
Students For Liberty is a rapidly growing network of pro-liberty students from all over the world. Our mission is to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty. We are the largest libertarian student organization in the world with almost 3,000 local student groups and 1,400+ leaders around the world with operations on every inhabited continent. Learn more at studentsforliberty.org.
The Consumer Choice Center represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We monitor closely regulatory trends in Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.
Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.