Sunday, 26 July 2015

Kezia Dugdale`s Named Person debate

  • "Over the past few weeks, there has been a wide discussion in the press and on social media about the implementation of the ‘Named Person’ provision of the SNP government’s Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, passed by a majority in the Scottish Parliament in February 2014."
  • "That the Named Person was just one aspect of the Bill has largely been lost in this debate it’s important that the reasons for supporting the Bill as a whole are better understood."
Looking at the whole Bill is not going to help when it is the Named Person provision that is causing concern.

  • "Its aim was to formalise the duty of care of professionals, allowing problems to be identified and support provided, if necessary, earlier than would be the case without a named person..."
Sure. It began with Tony Blair who wanted to `get in there early` - in some cases before a child was born - in order to stop children from becoming a menace to society and a menace to themselves. So it was always more serious than offering a `little bit of extra support.`

  • "The named person provision received widespread support from the children’s sector, who came together and spoke with a united voice when this issue was to be debated in parliament."
Yes, and while these mouthpieces for the Government supported the policy, parents remained ignorant.  Nowadays that is called participatory democracy but it is only the chosen few who participate.

  • "We therefore supported the principle as a protection for children who needed it, and a means to detect and provide families with additional help they may need."
It is the - `to detect help they may need` - that is the problem. This is where surveillance comes in for EVERY child. And it is not parents who decide what they may need.

  • "We felt that it was and still is right that the named person be an existing professional who already works with the child but this must be a robust support mechanism for parents and children, not an imposition of unnecessary bureaucracy."
Unfortunately, detecting help they may need does impose an unnecessary bureaucracy and lots of triangles, matrices and wheels.

  • "The Scottish Conservatives held a debate on this very issue on Wednesday 25th September 2013 in which Scottish Labour Party argued with one voice... "
  • "I said that day that the SNP does not have to sell the Bill to opposition parliamentarians. It can pass any bill it likes without the votes of Scottish Labour or any other party in the Scottish Parliament...However, in order for the Bill to work, the SNP government had to get the support of parents across the country and of professionals on the front line. The SNP and its ministers have so far failed to deliver."
No surprise there.

  • "During debates on the named person in the Scottish Parliament my party continually raised concerns about the funding provision for the named person and urged the Scottish Government to ensure that all the provisions within the Bill are adequately resourced."
All provisions?  How about putting the Named Person provision in the bin?  There`s been too much funding wasted already.

  • "As well as concerns expressed by opposition MSPs from across the political spectrum, Scotland’s largest teaching union the EIS, Police Scotland and the Scottish Association of Social Work have all spoken out. But most importantly, we recognise the genuine concerns of some parents over the proposals."
That`s a lot of concern.

  • "That is why I recently wrote to the First Minister, arguing that her SNP government must do a better job of assuring its critics that the principle of the Named Person provision does not seek in any way to replace the role of parents."
The trouble is, when it is the named person`s role to detect what children need, then that does replace the role of parents.

  • "Responses to the consultation on the statutory guidance for the named person make it clear why action is needed. These must act as a wake-up call to the First Minister and the SNP. After every Significant Case Review, a theme emerges that we are simply not good enough at sharing information between relevant bodies and parties."
Almost all Significant Case Reviews show that children were known to the authorities but they failed to follow appropriate procedures.  So let us not make that an excuse for sharing everybody`s private data. How about tightening up child protection procedures instead?

  • "This legislation would ensure that everyone who works with a child would share the information needed to ensure that child is protected..."
How can you be sure that everyone who works with a child can be trusted with his or her private information? More likely this legislation would ensure that important information would be submerged in a morass of irrelevant data about every child. 

  • "The Scottish Labour Party and its MSPs have always spoken with one united voice on this issue and we as a group voted for the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill to improve the lives of children across Scotland. We are still united in our concerns and on making sure the SNP government deliver on what this Bill was intended to do."
This Bill was intended to build a children`s database. That had been Tony Blair`s idea too, and you know what happened to him. 

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