The following is a rough synopsis of the conversation between David Scott, Brian Gerrish and Patrick Henningsen about the Named Person scheme.
Commenting on the Teleraph article Scottish Government accused of undermining role of parents, Brian Gerrish sums up the situation by saying, "In Scotland you have the armed police and you`re now going to have the state getting involved with children in the womb," at which point David Scott informs him that according to Dumfries and Galloway the Named Person will be involved from conception, although how that will be managed is uncertain.
They agree that the scheme is nonsense, but still very dangerous.
Looking at some of the guidance for Getting it Right for Every Child, it is noted how complex it is; there`s lots of analysis of what a healthy child is, brimming with wellbeing and why the state should be involved. As for the assessments, the Named Person is not just one person but a complex integrated network of state agents, sucking up information about children from a number of different sources.
It is always interesting to see what a fresh pair of eyes makes of the Named Person scheme. Patrick Henningsen`s first impression is that it is like a technocrat`s handbook, ten times thicker than it should be, and shocking. He is struck by the idea that "this is a journey from birth to the world of work," as if that is all life is. It is more like the high technocracy of the new Soviet.
"It is very Soviet,," agrees David Scott and reminds viewers that one presenter on BBC Scotland even said, "It`s a bit East German, isn`t it? "
Referring to another document Getting it right for every child in Aberdeen - operational guidance 2012, Brian Gerrish scoffs at the title. Aberdeen is the location of Hollie Greig`s abuse as a child. David Scott recalls that two of the alleged abusers were headmasters at schools Hollie attended and if GIRFEC had been in place, they would have been her Named Persons. With the huge information gathering scheme going on, any vulnerable child can be identified in the database.
"What you have is a perfect system," Patrick Henningsen joins in. "It can be used for behaviour modification on the biggest social scale. It will be possible to keep psychological profiles going in real time, a record of trauma from cradle to grave, and has the potential for manipulation from childhood into adulthood. It offers a tremendous amount of power to those who sit outside of the family structure. It is jaw dropping."
He goes on.
"It is an amazing story. Who is going to watch the watchers? They are going to be passing this football along, this child, from one to the other. The potential for abuse or blackmail is huge. It`s the formation of an abuse grid, the likes of which has never been seen before. There are so many bad turns this could take."
It is a long video. The full discussion about the named person begins at about 27.00 minutes.