Keeping you up to date on the progress of the Named Person scheme and the NO2NP campaign.
On the penultimate Saturday before Christmas, most people are out buying their Christmas presents, but after a well-attended roadshow in nearby Prestwick on Tuesday night, a dedicated group of local NO2NP volunteers were out and about on Ayr’s High Street. Their enthusiasm knew no bounds and they weren’t going to let a bit of rain stop them, as they handed out NO2NP leaflets and encouraged shoppers to sign the online petition, which now stands at well over 16,000!
Our volunteers were encouraged to learn that a number of locals were not only aware of the campaign, but had already signed the petition – indeed, one lady who had done so asked for some flyers to give to her friends, so they could sign too!
Another lady who spoke to the team was involved in social work and she and many of her colleagues, as well as many teachers she knows, were all against the Named Person scheme.
One local shop owner expressed her thanks for what the NO2NP team is doing, while many busy shoppers promised to sign the petition when they got home out of the rain!
The latest NO2NP Action Day showed that, come rain or shine, our supporters are still happy to be out on the streets, armed if necessary with their NO2NP brollies, to let people know about this unpopular and unnecessary scheme – as one of our volunteers put it: “a state guardian for every child in Scotland”. Yet again, we found on Saturday that, once people know what the Named Person scheme is about, they are opposed to it.
The NO2NP Roadshow will be taking a break now over Christmas and New Year, but we have several more events and Action Days planned for 2016 – watch out for one near you!
The Prestwick meeting was packed on Tuesday night for the latest NO2NP Roadshow event. People from across South Ayrshire turned up to hear the NO2NP team bring them up to date with all that is happening with the legislation and the campaign.
Nigel Kenny from The Christian Institute welcomed everyone and spoke of the breadth of the coalition of individuals and organisations that makes up the NO2NP campaign. What unites everyone is “our belief in the autonomy of the family and its independence from unnecessary state interference”.
He went on to explain about the legal challenge to the legislation, which is due to be heard by the Supreme Court on 8th March. He made reference to the human rights arguments under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life) and data protection arguments and expressed the hope that the Supreme Court would strike down the legislation, as it is empowered to do.
Lesley Scott from TYMES (The Young ME Sufferers) Trust then spoke about the official report on the Highland Pathfinder Named Person pilot scheme, which Government politicians have been so positive about. However, on closer scrutiny, the report contains some revealing comments. It said that the small number of children involved in the Highland Pathfinder trial meant that any positive shifts tended to be exaggerated, and that it was not possible for them to determine the extent to which the services were getting it right for EACH child. Lesley remarked that when the needs of an individual child do not “fit” the GIRFEC template for “every” child, the parents’ right to act in accordance with the needs of their individual child is compromised.
After a video about the NO2NP campaign was shown, next up was Alison Preuss from homeschooling charity Schoolhouse. She spoke about the award-winning AYRshare model for health and social care collaboration, which boasts that it “provides effective, timely and secure sharing of information between organisations to help address concerns about the wellbeing and protection of children and young people”.
In other words, Alison said, children’s personal data as well as their parents’ can be shared ‘at the click of a mouse’ across three council boundaries in Ayrshire, as well as the NHS, and will soon become available across other systems running elsewhere. Alison remarked that this could be called ‘putting sharing before caring’ and reminded those gathered that they have no choice in the matter.
She went on to explain that the Government’s GIRFEC scheme “fundamentally changes the relationship between citizen and state by fatally compromising the right to individual privacy and family autonomy. The Scottish Government has decided what is right for every one of us and that is so very wrong on so many levels.”
The evening ended with the usual lively Q&A and some practical suggestions for ways in which people can get involved with the campaign – and a good number of people were happy to sign up as volunteers.
NO2NP supporters will be in Ayr town centre this Saturday handing out leaflets – if you live in the area and would like to join us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.