Tuesday, 10 February 2015

State intrusion into family life

Below, John Waters and Kathy Sinnott from the Republic of Ireland make the case for saying no to the Children`s Referendum amendment. They warn that the amendment undermines parental authority and the potential of forced adoption threatens all families.

The Children`s rights referendum is not about protecting vulnerable children, says Kathy Sinnott . "What it is really about is taking parental authority from parents and transferring it to the state."

She goes on to say that children have more rights than anyone else. (17.12) Firstly, they are protected as persons, the same as for adults. Secondly they have their rights upheld within the family. Then they have rights in terms of state help: a right to education, a right to have protection if their parents fail.

What would motivate the Government to encroach further? Parents advocate for their children, says Kathy Sinnott, to ensure their children`s rights and so prove themselves a nuisance to the state. In an age of austerity rights cost money and that is a problem for the Government. 

Unfortunately, voters in the Republic of Ireland approved the amendment but with a low turnout of 33.5 percent.

Too many people were sleeping.

Where the state is encroaching into family life, there is hardly a country in the western world where these same arguments cannot be made. Children are well covered by the law, so why introduce another layer of legislation?  Instead, how about applying the current legislation more wisely? 

The Scottish Government`s proposal to appoint a `named person`for every child from birth to 18, without opt-out, is a brazen piece of legislation to undermine parental authority and the right children have to be cared for and protected within their own family.  How are parents expected to advocate for their children when it is the named person who has the last word?

Lord Pentland has said:

There is no reason to suppose that named persons will intrude inappropriately or to an excessive degree in the lives of children and young persons or that they will act in a manner to undermine family life.  

Then it is about time the Scottish Government provided the `opt out,`or we have every reason to suppose that state intrusion into family life is the motivation behind the `named person` legislation. 

Off on a tangent:  To check out the quality of some of the judiciary in Scotland have a look at the link below:


  1. I didn't know about this vote :( - I would say thanks but it hasn't exactly brightened my day iyswim?

    Was reminded of this from a wile back a while back:

    And then there was this which I meant to look into further but didn't get back to:


  2. So there have been further developments since the Referendum in the Republic of Ireland and one of them is the Child and Family Agency, established in January 2014 and the other is `Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures`. This is important stuff because it shows there`s an agenda that crosses nation states. Forget political parties, they`re bowing down to it.

    From `Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures:`

    "Our vision is for Ireland to be one of the best small countries in the world in which
    to grow up and raise a family, and where the rights of all children and young people
    are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and in the future."

    It might be `Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures` but we`ve heard it all before. It`s called `Getting it Right for Every Child`. (GIRFEC). There`s little difference between the two policies. Although Scotland has the named person it`s possible to have the whole early interventionist data grab approach, without formally having a named person.

    Fiona McLeod MSP acting Children`s Minister has been speaking on vimeo recently telling children that Scotland is the best place to grow up.

    I`m too polite to say what I think about that.

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  4. I take it, it`s this article you were referring to:

    "It’s alarming that for the first time in a decade, more than one million families are struggling in fuel poverty, and at the same time the poorest fifth of households have seen the amount they spend on energy leap up. With cold homes affecting children’s health and even their attainment at school, they risk being caught in a cycle of poverty as they grow up."

    Yes, if governments were really interested in addressing the health and wellbeing of children, fuel poverty is the sort of issue they should be tackling.

    Instead, the Scottish Government intends to break intergenerational cycles of poverty by targetting parents with early interventions such as teaching them to form better attachments to their children - and generating the equivalent of 100 percent of Scotland`s electricity demand from renewables by 2020 - which isn`t going to be cheap.