Sturgeon reveals reality of state guardianship in scrabble to revise earlier decoy on ‘optionality’ of Named Person

A few days ago in an interview with BBC Scotland’s political heavyweight, Brian Taylor, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was faced with evidence of the extent of popular recoil from her party’s totalitarian statutory imposition of a Named Person / State Guardian on every young person in Scotland from birth to legal maturity.

The FM’s response was to try to nuance the position by saying that the provision was an ‘entitlement’; and was not compulsory but optional.

It was quickly pointed out by a spectrum of experts and informed commentators that this was misleading – and untrue; that the statutory position was not optional but indeed compulsory.

Worse for Ms Sturgeon, the SNP government’s own lawyer immediately contradicted her, saying that ‘it is compulsory’ and were it optional, it would defeat the whole purpose.

In response on 29th March 2016, the increasingly less than sure footed  – and often flustered – Ms Sturgeon, has made the situation even worse for herself.

On Tuesday the First Minister’s clarification of her so very recent declaration to Brian Taylor was that parents may choose to opt out of collaboration with the Named Person system – but their children may not.

As the statute makes clear – and it is due to come into full implementation across Scotland later this year – every child from birth to legal maturity will indeed have a compulsory Named Person appointed by the state to oversee their individual wellbeing; and to make whatever interventions they deem necessary to protect and develop state described wellbeing.

That a Named Person is a statutory imposition upon all children and young people in Scotland – and that their parents may choose to have nothing to do with the system, underlines the truth of two hard edged realities which those opposed to the measure have highlighted since the outset of the proposal:

  • this is indeed and fully a state guardianship of each child and young person in Scotland;
  • the authority of parents is indeed secondary to that of the accurately identified State Guardian. Parental engagement with the state’s evaluation of the welbeing of their children is an optional extra; where the authority of the appointed State Guardian and their role in the life of the child is non-negotiable, legally enforced and supreme;
  • a parent – still, presumably, with titular legal responsibility for their child, may not subtract their child from the system. This is an automatic statutory relegation and substitution of authority which, without specific and good cause, looks inconsistent with human rights commitments.

This illiberal and wildly expensive dogmatic mess has a long way to run.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • >develop state described wellbeingdog’matic mess<. Our uber yellow leaders seem to be set on sending our children down their yellow brick road, their wee ears ringing with the echoes of their cults internal iron discipline, hand in hand with a suitable mentor. The nationalist executive has launched a campaign pack targeting young Scots standing in school mock elections said pack tells them how to promote the party to other pupils. State sponsored wellbeing (?) all via the well-trodden never ending road to nationalist enlightenment. We kid you not; the glossy pack tells pupils to be aware that the SNP has been “the driving force for change in Scotland for over 80 years”, yet fails to mention it is infect a driving force for national division, and offers to send campaign literature to help run school-based campaigns. It tells pupils to “let us know you are taking part in a school election” and asks for contact details for those standing for the SNP. SNP teen hopefuls are also urged to make sure they know about the policies of “opponents and be prepared to say why yours work better”. One would assume given the enforced council cuts in school librarians we will soon also be burning books to keep said schools nice and toasty.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

    Orwell's asinus March 31, 2016 3:11 pm Reply
    • If they are asking for contact details of people standing in school elections, is this contact being approved individually by the Soviet Guardian? Does their registration as required under Data Protection legislation say what they will use the information for and are all the people with access checked by Disclosure Scotland?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

      Lundavra April 3, 2016 2:24 pm Reply
      • Which planet does Lundavra hail from?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        KEITHO April 4, 2016 6:02 pm Reply
  • It would seem that the SNP propaganda machine could have had little to.learn from the late J Goebbels, (turned off post Nuremberg). Or even that icon of Scottish literary characters, Miss Jean Brodie, a very fascist creation, who’s mantra was”give me a child at an impressionable age, and she/he, is mine for life.

    Is the SNP’s overt attempt to exert influence over schoolchildren a portent of things to come, shall we see battalions of the Sturgeon Youth ranging the nation “re educating” the politically confused, and identifying quislings to the Gaulieters?

    Hopefully not, but it happened before, not so long ago, when another cult figure convinced the people of a bankrupt and emasculated nation that he could lead them into glory.

    Thankfully, Scotland is neither bankrupt nor emasculated, it is not a nation with nothing to lose.

    Witness the 55% of solid sensible Scots who rejected what they recognised as a flawed and poisonous prospectus, and who had the good judgement to say NO.

    Regardless of the election result in May, I believe nothing will cause them to waver from their conviction that the shiny, yellow, new, Scotland that the SNP is trying to sell them is a mirage, and a potentially nasty one at that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    Proudest Scot in the UK April 1, 2016 11:16 pm Reply
  • Given the overiding fact that the SNP will get another term … I just hope they cut the pre-election BS post indy ref BS and finally prove that they are capable of using the powers “they” accepted….. no going back … only the SNP can be held account for governance of Scotland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    Karl Hughes April 3, 2016 9:55 am Reply
    • Looking at the polls Ms Sturgeon had better get the paperwork ready for an application for EU membership and an Independence referendum this year, a low turnout is expected from young voters, perhaps this is a legacy from AS.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

      richard April 3, 2016 11:08 am Reply
      • Dick,you’re becoming to sound like Elisa Doolittle.
        As Prof.Higgins would say” By Jove she’s got it!!”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        Hugh Jazz April 3, 2016 11:52 am Reply
        • Jazz, you are quite correct ‘she’s got it’ and now the SNP have got the power they have to govern and be judged on their performance,
          but it is highly likely that Brexit will win and Scots will vote to leave the EU, so you tell us what the great Ms Sturgeon will do
          Indyref2, EU application, Ignore the electorate and do as she wishes, further increase taxes and benefits, local income tax ?
          You just kee flying around your fantasy world, one day reality will hit you between the eyes.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

          richard April 3, 2016 3:10 pm Reply
    • KH – preferably governance rather than manipulation.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

      Robert Wakeham April 3, 2016 11:43 am Reply
    • I take it you like driving about in a car with no engine. Until Scotland reclaims its rightful place in the League of Nations,it will always be hamstrung by the ridiculous and damaging fiscal policy of Wastemonster.
      Vote SNP then get us to hell out of the Yoonion.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

      Hugh Jazz April 3, 2016 11:50 am Reply
      • HJ

        How prescient of you to suggest ‘ Vote SNP then get us to hell out of the Yoonion’

        I somehow don’t think NS will be recommending Hell as Independent Scotland’s destination

        Manifestly Martinique has made you tired and emotional . The League of Nations expired in 1945,and in case you have forgotten, the constitutional position re holding Indy Ref(2) is the decision of UK Govt and NOT Scottish Govt . Have a word with Alex S before you offer your usual bellicose response.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

        Scotnat April 3, 2016 12:42 pm Reply
      • Hugh Jazz I understand you want Scotland to go backwards but not back to the 1930,s when the League of Nations was abolished

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

        Plugit April 3, 2016 12:43 pm Reply
    • Nicola Sturgeon’s intransigent response to the overwhelming evidence that over 60 % of the Scottish people are opposed to her Named Person proposals does not offer hope to SNP zeolets that she will agree to hold IndyRef(2), even if she gets 60% Scottish popular support for Indy ref(2)

      NS’ confusion on her proposed Named Person proposals indicates her increased vulnerability to the inevitable scrutiny she, and Scottish Govt, is now exposed to following the passing of the Scotland Act. Blaming UK Govt no longer can be the default option for Scottish govt

      For NS’statement that her Person proposals were ‘ .. not compulsory’ to be immediately contradicted by among others including Alistair Clark, a QC who represents the Scottish Government, who unequivocally confirmed that there is in fact, no “opt out” option for anyone and ‘ it is 100 per cent compulsory and makes absolutely no provision for parental consent’ suggests, on this proposal, NS doesn’t know her axx from her elbow.

      So Indy zealots, to have any confidence NS will agree to Indyref(2), you need NS drop her Named Person proposals

      Catch 22?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

      Scotnat April 3, 2016 12:27 pm Reply
      • I recognise nothing but inaccurate comment and speculation from this “article” and your post “SCOTNAT.
        In the light of the “baby P” case and other cases do you not think some form of legislation is maybe a good thing?
        The Scottish Government does not have a creditable opposition. It has opponents who almost automatically look for a line of “protest or gripe’ to undermine the government, often to the detriment of good governance itself. Constructive input is not happening only petty point scoring attempts, no “here is a good idea” moments.
        Constructive opposition was part of the plan when the Parliament was first formed.
        It is high time the concerns for the people are made paramount not just the concerns of the party.
        ALL parties take should take note, SNP included.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        KEITHO April 4, 2016 4:59 pm Reply
        • “It is high time the concerns for the people are made paramount not just the concerns of the party.
          ALL parties take should take note, SNP included.”

          For what its worth Keitho…I totally agree with this point.

          Enjoy your pint.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          Karl Hughes April 4, 2016 5:08 pm Reply
  • What’s happened to the Newsroom. Looks very much as if it’s thrown the towel in. Best recruiting sargeant the SNP had too. Pity it couldn’t just struggle on till the election and then fold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

    Willie April 3, 2016 1:33 pm Reply
  • Imagine a country where the government so mistrusted parents that every child was assigned a state guardian — not a member of their family — to act as a direct link between the child and officials. Imagine that such a scheme was compulsory, no matter how strongly parents objected. Imagine that the ruling party controlled 95 per cent of MPs, and policed the political culture through a voluntary army of internet fanatics who seek out and shout down dissent.

    Welcome to Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland in 2015. The First Minister is admired the world over. She has a few curious notions — chiefly, the idea that the political and cultural differences between Scots and the English are so great that the only solution is to sue for separation. But there is no denying it: she is intelligent, thoughtful and spirited. She has even mastered the Billy Connolly technique of giving a little giggle to her own jokes. Those outside Scotland have the sense of a charismatic insurgent, already looking forward to a new referendum that she’d have a good chance of winning.

    But what is far less known south of the border is that the SNP have been in government since 2007 — and that its rule has been a disaster. Their central premise, that control from Edinburgh is inherently better, has been tested to destruction. Their stream of illiberal reforms and their mistrust of the Scottish people has led to power being centralised to an unprecedented degree. The SNP avoid proper scrutiny by always steering the conversation back towards independence.

    For years, many have watched this with increasing alarm. We all must fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology and too preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend.

    The proposal for a ‘named person’ — i.e., a state guardian for children — is a classic example of what is going so wrong. The person will, in the Scottish government’s chilling words, ‘monitor what children and young people need’. That parents, families, doctors and teachers do this already is not enough: the state must do it, too. Badged under the ghastly Orwellian acronym Girfec (Getting It Right For Every Child), the ‘named person’ will ensure a child’s wellbeing is ‘assessed’ according to the extent to which the child is ‘safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included’.

    So Ms Sturgeon’s ‘named persons’ will not focus only on harm, risk or even neglect — but the entire human condition. If my child is judged to be underachieving, inactive or somehow lacking in respect or responsibility, the ‘named person’ can discuss my child not only with the NHS, a social worker or the police, but with bodies including the Scottish Sports Council and something called Skills Development Scotland Co. Ltd.

    The illiberal control-freakery of this measure might have attracted more attention had it been unusual. But it is typical of the Scottish National Party in power. From policing to higher education, the SNP are archetypes of the top-down, authoritarian, one-size-fits-all school of government.

    If you want to know what England would be like under Jeremy Corbyn, the answer would not be far off what the SNP is doing to Scotland. Stridently anti-austerity, the party’s populist and highly successful ongoing general election campaign pitches them as Britain’s progressive beacon.
    The SNP know more than anyone else what they want to achieve: independence. However this modum operanti coer de rampant lion has not led to improved service. Figures show NHS waiting times rising alarmingly. When the SNP came to power, Scotland spent a higher share of its budget on health than England, but under the nationalists this has been reversed. ( as per the The Institute for Fiscal Studies figures. Ms Sturgeon and co has cut the SNHS budget — and protected it from much-needed reform.

    The same is true in education. Scottish schools and colleges are going from mediocre to poor. Numeracy scores are plummeting, 140,000 college places have been cut, colleges have merged and campuses have been closed. These are calamitous policies to have pursued in an economy crying out for a more highly skilled, better-trained workforce. The SNP’s famous ban on tuition fees means that a Scottish teenager from a poor background is now half as likely to go to university as an English one. And the gap is widening. The decision not to charge fees has been paid for in part by cutting grants for poorer students.

    The rot has set in at primary schools: at the ages of nine and 11, the literacy skills of the poorest are getting worse. Nicolas Sturgeon boasts that ‘the attainment gap is reducing’ because richer children are getting worse even faster. Yes, the SNP talk non-stop about their ‘progressive’ credentials, and how the main reason they wanted separation from England was because they place greater emphasis on a ‘fairer’ society. But the reality is very different. Under the SNP, Scotland is becoming the worst place in Britain to be bright and poor.

    On the relatively rare occasions when the SNP reform, two tendencies are striking, both exemplified in the ‘named person’ legislation. The SNP’s illiberality should not, perhaps, surprise us — nationalism in Europe all too often having sacrificed individual freedoms on the altar of national self-determination. The party’s centralising tendencies, however, are remarkable given the SNP’s vocal opposition to rule from London.

    Under the SNP, Scotland’s eight regional police constabularies are now merged into a single force. While Theresa May was creating locally elected police and crime commissioners in England and Wales, increasing the accountability of the police to local voters, the SNP was and still is doing the opposite. The chief constable of Police Scotland is accountable to a single police authority whose members are appointed by Scottish ministers. The one force now polices both the UK’s third-largest city and its most remote communities, notwithstanding the obvious and huge diversity of policing needs.

    Recorded crime is falling the world over — and Scotland, happily, is no exception. Despite having fewer offences to investigate, however, Police Scotland manages to clear up 50,000 fewer crimes each year than the eight old constabularies did a decade ago. Basic policing mistakes that just were not made in the old days now fill the newspapers: in July a woman was left lying next to her dead boyfriend in a car in Bannockburn for three days after the crash was reported to police; she later died. A few weeks ago an elderly disabled woman died when police waited 20 hours after a call from a concerned family member before forcing entry to her home, where she lay collapsed next to her dead husband. A recent survey found that a third of Police Scotland’s staff planned to leave the force within three years: the merger, is a case study in what not to do.

    This is why it suits the SNP to talk about independence and the failings of Westminster policies: any other conversation would be about how they have betrayed the country they purport to champion. Having lost the (last) referendum, Ms Sturgeon immediately demanded more powers for the Scottish Parliament. These are being delivered via the Scotland Bill. But while the SNP make a lot of noise about devolution to Scotland, they are now silent when it comes to devolution within Scotland.

    So Scotland returns to the polls and a new Scottish Parliament will be elected. The shell-shocked state of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats means the SNP will probably do well. Increasingly, the strongest voice of opposition is that of Ruth Davidson. Her principles are those of the Scottish Enlightenment: that countries do best when the public stand tall and the power of government is kept in check… she however has the added burden of historic resentment towards the Tories on this side of the boarder.

    SNP activists love to invoke the concept of freedom, but they support a party that brings no such thing. For those who believe in liberty, competition, diversity, localism and accountability, there is no point in voting for Ms Sturgeon. Fundamentally, her party places its trust in the state, rather than in the people. It’s an odd kind of patriotism, one which makes Scotland poorer and less free. It’s time for the rebellion to truly begin…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

    Orwell's asinus April 3, 2016 2:30 pm Reply
    • What a load of unadulterated drivel!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

      Hugh Jazz April 3, 2016 2:34 pm Reply
      • Jazz, whats this little gem all about, I wonder how much money has Swinney and Sturgeon borrowed from the Chinese?
        Never a straight forward deal with these two but don’t worry we will all be paying for it in additional taxation and reduced services.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

        richard April 3, 2016 3:19 pm Reply
    • Of course; at this moment in time your views are your prerogative, and this is noted. These views are however no excuse for the main engine behind cultural appropriation of our civil liberties: pure, unadulterated ignorance.
      Perchance you could expand a little on your views?
      (please excuse my reference to 2015, I actually meant 2016)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

      Orwell's asinus April 3, 2016 2:48 pm Reply
  • Doesn’t the Soviet Guardian / Named Person / Whatever_they_call_them, have responsibility for children until they are 18? Does that mean they have to give approval when someone under 18 marries? Though have any of these people ever actually accepted any personal responsibility for their actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    Lundavra April 3, 2016 2:31 pm Reply
  • The SNP have seriously lost the plot… their meddling in tax, policing or whatever is of secondary importance to my family …its a lost cause they are going to do exactly what they like… but regarding meddling with functional families they can “go forth and multiply”… I pray this ends up in the ECoHR….

    you could not make this stuff up…even the Scotsman, could not make this stuff up…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    Karl Hughes April 3, 2016 3:28 pm Reply
  • Karl and Foreign Argyll make it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

    No Cheese Here April 3, 2016 3:35 pm Reply
    • NCH

      You are getting even more tired and emotional.

      Take a rest

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      Scotnat April 3, 2016 4:24 pm Reply
  • “Named person scheme is yet more SNP big brother ….well-intentioned but inadvertently sinister idea”

    I expect the usual SNP trolls on FA will immediately get into a keyboard frenzy, but before they press the ” send” button I recommend they read the full article.

    Its author, Kevin McKenna, although a Labour man is also SNP sympathetic. He sat on the board of trustees of a children’s charity in the east end of Glasgow,so has been in the front line of child -care .

    His intro to his article will gladden any SNP troll with his scathing comments on trolls from the other political parties, but read on, as on the SNP he is excoriating:- ” the SNP has its collection of grotesques and visigoths who spend their time anonymously making themselves out to be hard and intimidating when, in real life, they couldn’t fight sleep’

    Wonderful stuff !!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Scotnat April 4, 2016 11:39 am Reply
  • Pretendy NAT –the usual yooniists trolls are becoming more desperate supported by foreign Argyll.

    How many tories will have monies in offshores funds? I bet the majority are the brexit mob. Patriotic for their own pockets.

    SNP are going to win & pretendy nat and trolls are losing the plot. Great fun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

    No Cheese Here April 4, 2016 1:38 pm Reply
    • NCH
      As usual you fail to address the subject matter which is ‘Named person’

      But what must really worry SNP trolls is the SNP’s refusal to respond to majority Scottish Public opinion against the SNP’s ‘Named Person’ proposals. Not exactly a confidence booster for SNP trolls that the SNP will ever agree to Indyref(2)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Scotnat April 4, 2016 2:02 pm Reply
      • Scotnat, the worrying thing for our NCH and pals is that it looks increasingly likely that the trigger point for Indyref2 will arrive sooner than later, it is quite possible looking at voting intentions that Scotland and Wales will vote to leave the EU, an awkward problem for Ms Sturgeon and her ‘gut feeling’

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

        richard April 4, 2016 2:15 pm Reply
    • NCH, as your so close to the leadership perhaps you can eblighten us as to the reason Ms Sturgeon doesn’t see it relevant to tell the people of Scotland what the SNP have signed up to with the Chinese,
      apparently there is no reason for us to be told!
      I was under the impression that MSP’s and the 1st Minister in particular were elected to serve us, there is something very wrong when Governments behave in this manner, today Mr Swinney tells us the middle earner can afford to pay more tax.
      Arrogant, ignorant and turning us into second class tax payers will catch up with him in the end.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      richard April 4, 2016 2:06 pm Reply
      • Richard

        It is only a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) . it is vacuous

        Alex S threw them around like confetti

        Remember Alex S’ MoU’s with Gemesa and Areva to establish significant offshore wind turbine manufacturing in Scotland.

        Result ? Nothing

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        Scotnat April 4, 2016 2:38 pm Reply
  • tricky dickky

    How many of your yooniists pals are on the list

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

    No Cheese Here April 4, 2016 2:23 pm Reply
    • NCH, your memory is as bad as HJ’s I don’t support any party and I don’t care who’s on the list. All this type of information has been leaked before by an employee in a Swiss bank some years ago and it basically led to very little other than lawyers getting fat.
      Do tell us what the SNP have signed Scotland up for with the Chinese

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      richard April 4, 2016 2:32 pm Reply
  • I have a sneaky feeling the SG are planning on dropping the Named Person aspect of the Act after the elections.

    In their very extensive 76 page campaign doc, no mention of it in their manifesto and only a two line reference in the supporting brief.

    “We will also support the implementation of the Named Person service from August this year”

    Yet we have at least two references of,

    “We will recruit an extra 500 Health Visitors by 2018 and work to ensure that every child benefits from a health development check at 30 months”

    If they aren’t going to drop the Named Person I’m left with a couple of questions. Are we to assume the extra 500 Health Visitors are over and above the 500 Health Visitors they are seriously struggling to find for the Named Person roll out?


    “the Named Person service”. “service”!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    John M April 20, 2016 7:33 pm Reply

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