The periodisation of such political and cultural shifts and trends is an inexact science, but I would suggest that since the 1970s all the major political parties in the United Kingdom have espoused a ‘less government is best government’ approach to the health and leisure interests of citizens, leaving it as a matter of individual free choice how people wish to live their lives, look after their bodies and exercise their fertility. Individual physical well-being has moved from being a public health concern monitored and regulated by government to a market-place activity linked to individual wealth and lifestyle. Even such measures as mass inoculation to protect the ‘herd immunity’ of the population – as in the recent controversy over the combined MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) injection (Fitzpatrick, 2004) – have come to be seen as a matter of individual conscience, rather than as a matter of protecting the common good, by compulsion if required.