A good piece on this topic over at the Adam Smith Institute blog rebutting the recent pro-nannyism-as-nudge argument from everyone's favourite schlock thinker, Alain de Botton. All I'd add is that I also think that there's something rather more insidious about this nudging guff than the straightforward bullying government usually prefers, since...
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its vi...ctims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C.S. Lewis
And, contrary to near-universal trendy opinion, I find de Botton a dreadfully tiresome old booby.
By Alex Deane