nuts.jpgThe Times reports on the formation of a new watchdog to tackle 'nanny state'. The Risk and Regulation Advisory Council, which replaces the Better Regulation Council, is being advertised as a move to 'halt the march of the nanny state'.

Gordon Brown has asked the new body to report directly to him as it looks into problems such as bags of peanuts labelled "may contain nuts" and rules banning conker fights.

Well, you know what that means. It means that the nanny state has just got bigger. No doubt peanut manufacturers will be handed another 10,000 pages of directives telling them the circumstances in which they have to say "may contain nuts" and the circumstances they don't have to, and head teachers will get another 40-ream rulebook on what games are and aren't allowed in the playground (though I'm sure conkers will be fine, as long as goggles and other sensible protective clothing is worn).

We don't want a new quango to roll back the nanny state. We just want less state!