Adrian Hilton: Named Person represents “the nationalisation of nurture”

An Oxford academic and author, whose work has appeared in The Daily Mail and The Spectator, has said that Scotland’s new Named Person scheme represents “the nationalisation of nurture”. Adrian Hilton, in an article published by Freedom Today, the journal of The Freedom Association, said that “the Scottish Government is about to usurp parental autonomy on a staggering scale”.

He continued: “No matter how intuitive, experienced, intelligent or loving the parents may be, it is the Scottish state which now knows what’s best for its children…Whenever these guardians disagree with a mother’s intuition or a father’s opinion, their box-ticking duty will be to supplant parental responsibility and intervene for the good of the child. It is the nationalisation of nurture.

“The scheme transgresses not only traditional parental freedoms, but implies a whole new regulatory framework relating to the sharing of data. Each ‘Named Person’ will have rights of access to children’s school records, NHS files and other confidential documents to use as they see fit. If a child falls and bruises itself or the parent happens to forget a doctor’s appointment, they can expect a swift inquisition to determine why.

“All of this is undeniably born of good intentions out of the purest of motives. We have heard too many harrowing stories of children beaten senseless or starved to death… But the omissions and failings of a handful of teachers, doctors and social workers to spot the malice and inhumanity of a few parents does not justify the state-monitoring of every child from birth to the age of 18. Setting aside the vastness of the updating-and-maintaining bureaucracy, not to mention the intolerable pressures that will be placed on already overstretched resources…such a system is highly prone to abuse. It isn’t set to become law until August 2016, but some regions are already bypassing the Data Protect Act (1998) and sharing children’s medical reports and confidential correspondence with an assigned ‘Named Person’. Even the European Convention on Human Rights appears to offer no protection. Article 8 determines: ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.’ But not, it appears, in Scotland.”

Read the full article here