The Scottish Government has finally dropped a “Stalinist” law which would have assigned every child under 18 a so-called Named Person — effectively a state guardian.
The legislation was introduced by the Scottish National Party (SNP), a left-liberal party which supports separating Scotland from the United Kingdom but backs subordinating it to the European Union, in the Scottish Parliament — roughly analogous to a a state legislature in the United States — where it leads a minority government.
Several of its provisions were struck down by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2016 after a series of legal challenges by Christian groups, which said they undermined the autonomy and independence of the traditional private family — but the scheme lingered on until the SNP threw in the towel this week, conceding it could not find a way to amend the legislation to comply with the Supreme Court ruling.
“The mandatory Named Persons scheme for every child, underpinned by law, will now not happen,” Deputy First Minister John Swinney conceded in the Scottish Parliament.
“We will withdraw our bill and repeal the relevant legislation,” he added — but insisted he would “not apologise” for the policy.
— NO2NP (@NO2NPcampaign) September 20, 2019
While the SNP had insisted that Named Persons were intended merely to help protect children from abuse and provide families with support, critics warned the scheme went much further, imposing “a Stalinist blueprint for a happy childhood”.
For example, the NO2NP campaign expressed concern that they would be empowered to hold meetings about and gather and share information on children without their parents’ consent, and raised alarm bells over the scope of Named Persons’ oversight of children’s “wellbeing”.
The campaign highlighted official guidance suggesting Named Persons could play a role in making sure “Your child can keep things private if they want” and “Your child gets a say in things like how their room is decorated and what to watch on TV”, and pointing out that local authorities such as the City of Edinburgh Council were pushing for Named Persons to be able to approve so-called gender transitions for children if parental consent was not forthcoming.
Pupils were encouraged to imagine Scotland as a garden w/ each child as a special plant growing within it. They were told that “all the adults in their lives” are “Gardeners”+ the Named Person is the “Head Gardener” https://t.co/oC4MpGtX6w #Top12Gaffes #12daysofchristmas #no2np pic.twitter.com/OVKfBYVA27
— NO2NP (@NO2NPcampaign) December 29, 2017
“We welcome the fact that finally after constant delays and many a twist and turn, common sense has prevailed, and this creepy scheme has been consigned to the legislative scrapheap,” commented Dr Stuart Weir, director of the Christian Action, Research & Education (CARE) group which was a co-petitioner in the legal challenge to the SNP legislation.
“We wholeheartedly support measures to protect vulnerable young people, but from the start we have been concerned about the potential for the Named Person scheme to undermine the rights of parents to raise their children in accordance with their values and beliefs,” he explained.
“The real tragedy here is the persistent failure of the Scottish Government to engage with critics of the scheme… it is time to move on from this, learn the lessons and make sure future attempts at improving child protection in Scotland uphold the rights of parents, rather than undermine them.”
Did you know, this month marks 20 years since the UK #HumanRights Act was passed? The rights of families were cited in the UK Supreme Court's judgment on named person in July 2016. #NO2NP pic.twitter.com/rnVQPDCiV5
— NO2NP (@NO2NPcampaign) November 12, 2018