NO2NP Roadshow: Perth

Big thank you to all the folk who braved the elements of Perth to take part in our latest Roadshow event in the Salutation Hotel.

Dr Stuart Waiton

Sociologist Dr Stuart Waiton kicked off proceedings by sharing his concerns about society’s shift in attitude towards the family. Parenting is now viewed as a “skill based activity” where parents are encouraged to learn from ‘experts’, he said. There is no understanding of the family unit or moral autonomy, he warned.

Next up was Liz Smith who said that as an MSP, she has been approached by a large number of people about this issue. She stated two main reasons for opposing the scheme. Firstly, she expressed “a fundamental objection to the state telling families how they should bring up their child” and questioned the assumption that ‘the state knows best’. She added that the scheme undermines trust in the Government and dictates what parents should be doing. Secondly, she stressed that “it takes away resources from the children who need it most”.

Liz Smith MSP

Liz reinforced to the audience that this will be happening. She said in August your children or grandchildren will each have a Named Person. She also emphasised that this issue transcends party politics – it is about the nature of the family and is one of the “most dangerous” things to happen in terms of policy.

Lesley Scott then went on to talk about the definition of ‘wellbeing’, showing several videos to illustrate her point. Wellbeing is now the ‘measure’ by which we are all being judged and if found wanting you can expect intervention from the state, she cautioned.

Lesley Scott

She said not only should you expect it, you must welcome it because there is no way in which you can decline the state’s interference! The Government’s policy guidance for risk indicators was also ridiculed. This included risk indicator sheets used for assessing risk and the impact that risk factors may have on the safety and wellbeing of the child. The three areas of risk are Generic, Matrix & Resistance, which have between them 222 risk indicators! The audience was amused by this!

The Christian Institute’s Callum Webster talked about the widespread public anger in relation to the scheme and how the campaign seeks to make people aware of the Government’s plans. He urged people to sign the NO2NP petition, and encouraged them to deliver leaflets and even consider co-ordinating a team of volunteers. Conversations ‘at the school gate’ and social media are also a useful way to spread the word about the scheme. He also encouraged people to get in touch with their MSP and attend the Action Day this Saturday. If you live in the area and would like to join us, get in touch on volunteers@no2np.org

Stuart Waiton chaired an informative Q&A session. One person asked about medical confidentiality, which Liz described as the ‘sinister’ side of the scheme. She also made reference to the taxi drivers story. Another question was raised about what happens to children below the age of 18 who leave school. Stuart commented on how common sense is being undermined. The role of the police in the process was questioned, and the extra work that would be created for them. Liz underlined the point that the scheme will lead to vulnerable children being missed and also mentioned the recent revelations that councils were struggling to recruit head teachers.

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