Scotland's sinister 'Named Person' scheme undermines parental privacy
Please watch this brief interview with James and Rhianwen McIntosh. They are demonstrably intelligent, eloquent, loving parents who know what's best for their four children. Notwithstanding their experience as parents and their intuitive capacity to nurture and love, they have been informed that their children have all been assigned a 'Named Person' to oversee their welfare, supervise their upbringing and intervene where they deem it to be appropriate, even when this conflicts with the will of the praents.
This sinister 'Big Brother' scheme is not due to come into effect until 2016. But in a letter from the Scottish NHS, Mr and Mrs McIntosh were shocked to discover that all future letters and medical reports would be shared with their children's 'Named Person' - without their consent. Holyrood has effectively passed a bill which nullifies parental rights and endows the state with higher baby-sitting authority: Scotland has become the progenitor and guardian of all her children - not ultimately or in extremis, but right from the beginning.
It has also been reported in the Express that parents will be reported to the state for trivial family incidents, such as forgetting a child’s doctor's or hospital appointment. Although the scheme is not set to be fully implemented until August 2016, the Scottish Government guidance is now being used by the NHS to justify sharing data on children with head teachers. Some parents received a letter from a paediatrician in NHS Forth Valley that said, “we are now required to inform the Named Person for your child if your child fails to attend an appointment”.
“In addition, we may also send them copies of future relevant reports,” it continued.
The bizarre thing is that a child's 'Named Person; is not available for consultation or discussion: they may be a health worker or teacher tasked by the state to monitor the child until they reach the age of majority. As Aidan O’Neill QC observes, this is “predicated on the idea that the proper primary relationship that children will have for their well-being and development, nurturing and education is with the State rather than within their families and with their parents”.
Director of The Christian Institute Colin Hart said: “This is the kind of situation we have been warning about since MSPs decided to meddle with the rights of families to have a private life. The state seems intent on usurping the role of parents and reducing them to helpless spectators in the lives of their children. Mums and dads should be very afraid of this kind of Big Brother invasion into their lives and their homes.”
One must hope and pray that the Coalition policy outlined in the Queen's Speech - to criminalise causing psychological or emotional harm to children - is not a step on the way to a UK-wide 'Named Peron'. We must all be rightly appalled when children suffer neglect and harm, but a state policy which potentially criminalises the likes of James and Rhianwen McIntosh is manifestly one which impinges upon liberty and will surely target the innocent.