Scotland is debating the mother of all nanny-state laws: Whether every child in the land should have a “named-person” (aka a ‘state-sponsored parent’) to “promote, support or safeguard the well-being of the child or young person.”
The idea is to provide every child with their own government bureaucrat to act as an arbiter of the child’s well-being. The “named-person” is someone other than the child’s parent.
According to the Scottish government this law will:
- Place a duty on NHS (National Health Service) Boards to allocate every child with a named person from birth to school age
- Place a duty on local authorities to allocate every child with a named person until they are 18 or leave school, whichever is later.
- Oblige all relevant authorities to share information with the named person if it is necessary to safeguard, support and promote the well-being of the child.
As current Scotish Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell puts it: “We want Scotland to be the best place in the world for them to grow up. A place where rights are respected and where children can access all the opportunities and support they need, when they need it.”
But what Campbell means when she says “rights” is the rights of the children, as defined by the government, not the rights of the parents to raise their own children as they see fit and without government interference.
According to a report in the Scottish Express there is plenty of opposition and concern about the surveillance and information gathering nature of this legislation: “For children under five, the state guardian will usually be a health visitor, while for school-age children it will usually be the headteacher or deputy…They will have to record “routine information” about their charges, which is then stored in a vast database, and can raise concerns about a child’s wellbeing that could ultimately result in them being taken into [government] care.” And as a home-schooling advocate argued “I wouldn’t rule out a legal challenge to these specific aspects,” said Alison Preuss Secretary of the Schoolhouse Home Education Association.