Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Snooper’s Charter Is Passed By The Scottish Parliament

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The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill was passed last night with 103 MSPs voting for it and with 15 abstentions. Eleven MSPs did not vote.

The Tories did their best to make amendments to the proposal to assign all children a named person to monitor their wellbeing, but their amendments were defeated at the amendment stage.

It also transpired that the Scottish Government is unable to provide MSPs with an estimate of the capital costs of expanding access to free childcare.

My opposition to parts of this Bill is well recorded and I do hope the Tories will take the legal action they threatened earlier yesterday.

As John Ross, one of the former Free Church of Scotland moderators, said:

''I am deeply disappointed that the legislation has not been amended by MSPs.
My chief objection is that the bill considers children in isolation rather than as part of a family unit.

A child’s values, wellbeing and development are primarily the responsibility of his or her parents, not state-appointed guardians, and it’s disappointing that the Scottish Government has not made clear what jurisdiction a named person has or how parents can engage in the process.

It is very risky rolling out a nationwide scheme based on a few pilot projects, when what is needed is not retrospection but foresight. The government needs to anticipate future abuses, such as when militant secularists accuse religious parents of intellectual indoctrination because they teach their children their faith.
The Isle of Man ran a similar scheme that had to be abandoned because it undermined the trust essential to the provision of social and health care. Astronomical increases in referrals put the social work system into meltdown. Staff turnover increased due to needless stress and families feared going to hospitals or doctors’ surgeries because they thought health professionals were snooping. As a result, those who really were in need suffered.

Instead of stubbornly pressing ahead with a scheme that may foster distrust and suspicion, the government would do better to encourage supportive vigilance, community cohesion and caring neighbourliness. Unless ignored by an overweening state, the Church is able to help with that kind of thing.

Introducing this legislation will lose the Yes campaign a serious amount of votes because I haven’t spoken to one person who approves of the ’Named Person’ aspect of the Bill.

More worrying is the manner in which the Bill has been forced through the Scottish Parliament without providing proper financial details of how the Bill will be supported.  It would seem, that in their desperate efforts to make Scotland a socialist country, they will push out those we need most - adults who are well educated and earn more than the national average.  These are the people who will need to be taxed more to pay for this grandiose, unnecessary piece of legislation.


JRB said...

Whatever positive benefits this Bill brings to the care and wellbeing of our children, and there are a few, they are totally overshadowed by the singularly inappropriate, ill-thought-out and ill-judged imposition of a state appointed ‘guardian’.

Ostensibly this is to protect our children from harm following a number of high profile toddler deaths in recent years.
But in virtually every one of these tragic cases the state was already involved. What happened was, in part, a failure of the existing child care services; be they social services, the NHS or the police, or indeed all three.
Adding another layer of state involvement resolves little, it merely papers over the shortcomings of what is already out there.

I thank God my children are too old to have an official ‘guardian’ appointed over them, thankfully they seemed to have survived with just family input.
The state may not have always approved of the way they were allowed to develop and grow up, but I am happy and proud at the adults they have become.
However, I now worry for our future generations.

English Pensioner said...

I think that children will suffer as a result of this legislation. Parents will be scared to take their child anywhere near officialdom in case they are perceived to have done something wrong. We already have a situation where some parents are reluctant to take children who have sustained an injury to a doctor or hospital for fear of being accused of doing it themselves; if a trip to a hospital means that the "guardian" will come knocking at the door, then parents won't visit the hospital which could have far more serious consequences.

Sobers said...

If you vote for independence, knowing that the people who will be given even more power as a result are the same ones who have introduced this, then you deserve everything you get, good and hard.

An independent Scotland will be a socialist hellhole in a very short time, with no Westminster to prevent even more of the same, and worse.

If I had kids I'd be leaving Scotland as soon as I could.

Antisthenes said...

What another muddled mess the Scottish left are getting into as what appears to be a good intention on the surface is nothing of the sort underneath. Another nail in the civil liberties coffin and another step along the road to an authoritarian socialist paradise.

Some of what the moderator says about this legislation I can agree with but not this "The government needs to anticipate future abuses, such as when militant secularists accuse religious parents of intellectual indoctrination because they teach their children their faith". This makes the church no better than government as he believes brainwashing is a good thing and to be applauded. To me children should not be taught what to think but how to then perhaps there would be a lot less bigotry and prejudice in the world and we would get along with each other better.

subrosa said...

As usual you’ve mentioned excellent points JRB.

I too worry about future generations with our politicians now ensuring our country becomes a police state.

subrosa said...

I think children and families will suffer EP. The only people this will benefit are the ‘services’ who, I presume, will receive financials rewards for ticking all the boxes.

subrosa said...

Sobers, that’s the worrying aspect of all this. The country is becoming a police state and we aren’t independent yet.

We need a control on politicians.

subrosa said...

It is more than a muddle Antisthenes, it’s bordering on chaos.

I have no problem with children learning about faith/belief. As a child I was introduced to presbyterianism and it did me no harm; in fact it instilled the values I still hold today and triggered my interest in other faiths/beliefs.

The problem today is that faith is no longer a personal matter but public and that creates the prejudice. Now that it’s public then ‘services’ and ‘charities’ become involved, then the problems augment.

Unknown said...

It is as usual risk versus reward.
The risk is that many many families will feel undervalued and that their rights are not being addressed. The reward is that vulnerable, at risk children can be protected.
As usual in this dogma driven, septic society, common sense is now an archaic term - like farthing and guinea. Professionals are practically paralysed with fear of doing the wrong thing that could result in media vilification, legal and disciplinary action.
Please see -

On balance I reluctantly think the bill is necessary if it in anyway can prevent more of these high profile child abuse cases and the accompanying 'heads must roll' outcome

Alice Moore said...

Named persons will be entrusted with overseeing the wellbeing of every child whilst parents are treated with suspicion. There`s no `opt out` option or means of dealing with disputes if parents do not agree with the opinion of the state agent. There`s never been a police state quite like this one. The pity is that there are still parents who are not aware of this, or the implications.

John M said...

Since (in Scotland) the state is now assuming the role of guardian of children's best interests perhaps we should extend the power further in a number of key ways.

1) The Scottish Government should be made legally responsible for the wellbeing and correct raising of all children. Parents (not matter how bad) should be able to sue the Government for neglect if (under the new regime) any child gets into trouble, gets an ASBO, or fails to get good grades at School.

2) As a child protection measure, the state should assume the right of approval for all pregnancies. As complete child protection and wellbeing is now the responsibility of the state, Government should monitor all couples and pregnancies and risk assess them. Any likely "child environment" which is statistically likely to bring the child into harm (or even be brought up a wrong'un) would mean the state intervening to abort the child before birth, neuter both parents, and fine them. In due course this scheme could be extended to a licencing scheme, with (of course) fees for child licences paid by the individual (as assessments need to be cost neutral!)

The state is father, the state is mother. You poor Scots are now responsible only for paying your taxes and breeding the little critters now. The state owns you all, and you allowed them to vote for it.

Roll on independance and rule by Alex Salmond... you're welcome to him...

Squiggle said...

John M - Have you seen the policy & procedure documents for 'assessing parenting capacity'?

subrosa said...

I’m with you there Alice.

subrosa said...

Many a true word... John M.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the link Squiggle. Much appreciated.

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