"PAST and present moderators of the Free Church of Scotland have called on MSPs to drop part of a proposed child protection bill which they claim would create a "snooper’s charter".
"The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, to be debated in the Scottish Parliament next week, contains proposed legislation to appoint a ‘named person’ for every youngster in the country.
Supporters claim the role, most likely to be taken on by a health visitor or teacher, would provide a system where concerns are brought to them by parents, children or other professionals who know the child or family, and ensure a co-ordinated response is put in place."
"The group of Moderators, however, have branded the plans as a "gross intrusion into family life" and "completely undermining of parental responsibilities (sic)". A letter has been sent to First Minister Alex Salmond asking him to intervene, signed by six former Moderators and the current Moderator, Rev Angus J. Howat. The letter states: "Given that the vast majority of Scotland’s million children do not require any state intervention, we believe these proposals seriously overstep the mark."
"We would be wary of the statutory appointment of a ‘named person’ for every under-18 in Scotland, especially given that this ‘named person’ will have legal authority to ensure our young people are raised in a state-approved manner... "If this legislation is not amended, the Scottish Government will make itself the judge of every parent in this land... "This is the sort of thing we would expect in a Fascist or Marxist regime, not in 21st century Scotland."
"The ‘named person’ role has already been implemented by one local authority and has been welcomed by some children’s charities. "
"Bill Alexander, The Highland Council’s director of health and social care said: "The named person role has operated effectively in Highland for a number of years."