Friday, 28 September 2018

Promoting a positive image for the named person scheme

"Ministers were urged to obtain the backing of JK Rowling to help sell the named person scheme."

"Minutes from a meeting of Scottish government officials and outside stakeholders released under freedom of information legislation disclosed a call for the Harry Potter author to be brought in to convince a sceptical public to back the plan."

"The idea of involving her came after the writer Alexander McCall Smith took a swipe at the scheme in one of his serialised novels."
"He used two episodes of his 44 Scotland Street series in The Scotsman to mock the scheme last year. In an episode on April 21 a character said: `It was a shocking moment of realisation. Irene was an unrepentant social engineer. She was post-factual. She was a . . . He searched for the metaphor, and then he found it. She was an archetypical named person.`"

"On May 5 McCall Smith’s novel contained the following passage:  ‘Ah yes,’ said Domenica. ‘The named person legislation. Can you believe it? Can you believe that they’re insisting that every child in Scotland should have a sort of official guardian because that’s what it amounts to. Can you conceive of a better way of insulting parents?’"

"At a meeting on June 21 last year plans were drawn up for introducing the scheme. Under the plans for August 2018 an official wrote: `High profile person/celebrity as that is the world we live in to publicise Getting it right for every child. Get JK Rowling on board, countermine the likes of Alexander McCall Smith`."

"Alison Preuss, of the No 2 Named Person campaign group, said: `It seems an odd thing to have discussed at a serious meeting. It now seems obvious they weren’t very confident on getting the legislation through`."

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