Further to the concerns outlined in our previous article and an unprecedented level of interest in the far-reaching implications of key proposals within the Children and Young People Bill, Schoolhouse has created an online petition via the Change.org website in which it calls upon every Member of the Scottish Parliament to ‘get it right’ and reject GIRFEC surveillance and a named person for every child in Scotland.
“The Children and Young People Bill is a Trojan horse piece of legislation which seeks to undermine parents, abolish the right to family privacy and confidentiality, including medical confidentiality, since all records are to be shared, and introduce a national identity register, cleverly disguised in ‘chilld protection’ clothing, by the back door.”
Less than 24 hours after publication it has attracted more than 200 signatories and we would urge readers to add their own signatures and messages of support, and to share the above petition link with others who wish to uphold children’s and families’ rights to privacy and freedom from unwarranted state interference.
Numerous comments by the petition’s supporters demonstrate the level of disquiet among those who have properly researched the implications of what is seen as a state sponsored power grab via mass data rape, labelling, filing and ‘miniaturising’, testing, and early interference in the lives of all children and families in Scotland. We believe it is our duty as an organisation committed to supporting families in exercising informed choices that we raise awareness among those who may have been misled by the GIRFEC child protection cover story and associated smear tactics.
Some of our members have already contacted their MSPs to raise valid (and evidenced) concerns about the data sharing and named person aspects of this ‘rubber-stamping’ legislation which is expected by its cheerleaders to go through on a nod and a wink. Somewhat predictably, many of the responses received so far (some of which have been copied to the Schoolhouse Facebook Group) have been of the template ‘party line’ variety. Almost all betray a catalogue of erroneous assumptions by elected representatives whose glib reassurances, which are mostly patronising in nature, are not even remotely credible when read in conjunction with the Bill as introduced. Ironically some of the most unconvincing ‘warm words’ have emanated from MSPs who have, in the past, actively opposed ID cards and the National Identity Register, so they have completely failed to comprehend the identical implications for civil liberties of the GIRFEC data mining and Named Person proposals (which are not really proposals as they are already being implemented across Scotland). We are left wondering what form of Clyde transport these people are using at taxpayers’ expense.
We are under no illusion that the Bill will be steamrollered through with a few amendments which may possibly see some watering down of the universal Named Person ‘service’. However, by far the biggest threat to every child and every adult in Scotland is the collection and processing of all our data without our consent, with all the concomitant risks of loss, theft, misuse and corruption, not to mention ‘evaluation’ by wellbeing wonks with boxes to tick. Since the vast majority of these box tickers have already proved gullible enough to fall for the fairy story that GIRFEC came from the Herbison report into the murder of a school child (which could have been prevented if existing powers had been exercised), it is hardly surprising that their fitness to preach on parenting and other family matters is being called into question by well informed parents who know when, where, why and by whom GIRFEC was really conceived (along with its evil twin Every Child Matters – missing presumed dead and buried, but still on Coalition life support and destined to make a full recovery south of the border).
We’ll sign off with a quote from Jimmy Reid‘s 1972 rectorial address.
“Everything that is proposed from the establishment seems almost calculated to minimise the role of the people, to miniaturise man. I can understand how attractive this prospect must be to those at the top. Those of us who refuse to be pawns in their power game can be picked up by their bureaucratic tweezers and dropped in a filing cabinet under ‘M’ for malcontent or maladjusted. When you think of some of the high flats around us, it can hardly be an accident that they are as near as one could get to an architectural representation of a filing cabinet.”
41 years on, it’s probably appropriate to substitute ‘database’ for filing cabinet and ’Big Brother house’ for high flats.