Here is the terrifying totalitarian future that Scotland is cooking up for families.
WHAT IS IT?
The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation to appoint a ‘Named Person’ for every child in Scotland.
This is a state official tasked with looking after a child’s “wellbeing”, that is, their “happiness”. This state guardian will be put in place regardless of whether or not children or parents wish to have one and regardless of whether there is any need for state intervention.
Confusingly, there are already Named Person pilot schemes in operation across Scotland, but the legislation does not actually come into force until August 2016.
WHAT WILL A ‘NAMED PERSON’ DO?
Named Persons are given some of the duties of parents. A Government-funded leaflet said this includes having to check if children get a say in how their room is decorated and what they watch on TV.
A Named Person will have the power to speak to a child, including about very personal issues, and provide information or advice – all without requiring parental consent.
TEN REASONS WHY THIS IS A PROBLEM
- It undermines parents and permits the state unlimited access to pry into the privacy of families in their homes.
- The Government keeps saying there’s no need for families to use the Named Person but this is disingenuous. The scheme is compulsory. Every child will have a Named Person by law. They will have power to access confidential data on the family, and to talk to a child without their parents agreeing with what they say.
- It’s already extremely difficult to protect vulnerable children with the resources available. The Scottish Government is stretching those resources even further by creating a scheme that applies to all children regardless of need.
- Appointing a Named Person with legal responsibilities for every child will divert resources away from vulnerable children. Time spent filling in forms for dozens of children at no risk is time that could be better spent on those children in need of help.
- One piece of Government guidance says a Named Person has “responsibility for overall monitoring of the child’s wellbeing and outcomes”. This is the role of a parent.
- Because of the pressure on them, Named Persons will be forced to act defensively, reporting trivial or irrelevant family issues to social services. This creates more work for social workers who will have to needlessly follow up these families, cheating vulnerable children of the resources that they need.
- The Named Person is legally responsible for monitoring the wellbeing of every child. Official guidance says “wellbeing is another word for happiness”. How can the state monitor the happiness of every child?
- Teachers are busy enough without becoming a Named Person responsible for monitoring hundreds of children and handling the large amounts of confidential data sent to them by all the other agencies involved in the child’s life.
- These plans could result in children having their privacy invaded over personal issues and could lead to them shunning helplines and advisory services.
- The current law says social services can intervene where a child is at risk of significant harm. But Named Persons can intervene merely where there are concerns about a child’s “wellbeing” or “happiness”.
Consider the following commentary for further insight into just how terrifyingly bad this actually is: