26th September 2016
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Who’s telling the truth? (Magnie Stewart)

Twice I have asked, through the letters page of The Shetland Times, for the local SNP to explain what their policy of a “named person” or “state guardian” to be attached to every child of 18 years and under, living in Scotland, is all about? So far, silence.

It would now seem that the Scottish government’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, says that parents will not be legally obliged to participate in the scheme.

Ms Sturgeon’s assertion is in direct contradiction to the Scottish government’s lawyer, Alistair Clark QC, who told the Court of Session, last July, that any opt out would “defeat the purpose of the scheme”, it was “universal”, and every child was deemed to be “potentially vunerable”.

So who is telling the truth, Ms Sturgeon or her government’s lawyer? They cannot both be right.

Magnie Stewart
Overshavn,
Bressay.

57 comments

  1. Derick Tulloch

    The Children and Young People Bill was passed in the Scottish Parliament on 19 February 2014 with the support of all SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs present. The Bill was passed by 103 votes for and no votes against. Zero. Nil. None. The Tories abstained. Liam MacArthur voted for. Tavish Scott did not attend the vote.

    There is no contradiction. Every child must legally have a ‘Named Person’, but engagement with the service is voluntary.

    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/named-person/top-ten

    However, where people batter or interfere with their kids them they will, as now, be subject to state intervention. Does anyone disagree with the protection of children in such circumstances? Need I remind everyone of the tragic cases of children who ‘slipped through the cracks’ between different agencies, and died.

    And yet some people try to misrepresent the policy in a pathetic attempt to score political points.

    The Named Person scheme has operated successfully in the Highlands for ten years without issue. All the Act does is formalise best practice and put it on a proper legal footing.

    That’s why 103 MSP’s voted for it, and none voted against it.

    That’s why the legal challenge in the Court of Session was thrown out.
    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=1dadc2a6-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7

    That’s why it is supported by every major childcare charity and relevant professional association

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35752756

    It is supported by
    Aberlour Childcare Trust
    Action for Children
    Alliance for Children’s Rights
    Barnardos
    Children 1st
    Children in Scotland
    One Parent Families Scotland
    Quarriers
    Royal College of Nursing
    Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights
    Scottish Childminding Association
    Scottish Police Federation (who represent 98% of serving police officers)
    Scottish Secondary Teachers Association

    This is the letter from the children’s charities to the Supreme Court in support of the policy. http://www.aberlour.org.uk/news/547_named_persons_provisions_in_the_draft_children_young_people_bill

    This is the Scottish Police Federation statement on the policy
    http://www.spf.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Named-person-proposals-300316.pdf

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      I have already commented along similar lines, Derick, but I have to say: excellent post. You have said it all.

      Reply
  2. Ian Tinkler

    Magnie Stewart, Sturgeon will now be well aware that only 24% of the electorate would trust a named person to always act in the best interests of a child – even where this conflicted with the wishes of the parents. As such, she will do anything to not alienate the electorate, prior to the forthcoming election. To put it simply, she contradicting her own governments testaments to the law courts. Alistair Clark, a QC who represents the Scottish Government, has unequivocally confirmed that there is in fact, no “opt out” option for anyone, it is 100 per cent compulsory and makes absolutely no provision for parental consent.
    In other words she is lying through her teeth, as is the way of the many Nationalist politicians. Doing just what Carmichael did, is a good summation, where are the Orkney Four when you need them?
    http://stv.tv/…/1347998-two-thirds-find-named-person-polic…/
    http://www.scotsman.com/…/has-sturgeon-opted-out-of-the-nam…

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Ian, you make no secret of the fact that you are a health professional – in fact, you frequently refer to your experience in and out of the NHS. The NHS operates according to the named person legislation. I would imagine that the British Dental Association supports it – they could hardly do otherwise. So what are you doing on a public forum repeating the ignorant idea that having a named person is a breach of human rights by saying that “that there is in fact, no “opt out” option for anyone, it is 100 per cent compulsory and makes absolutely no provision for parental consent”, when as I am sure you know the cooperation and consent of parents/carers is sought and obtained at every stage unless there is a serious child protection issue.

      Reply
      • Ian Tinkler

        Robert Sim, the simple fact here, is that Nicola Sturgeon has lied on this issue, no more no less. Now , I as a health professional, I whom has had two children on “The at Risk Register” due to my wife suffering near fatal, post-natal illness, have first-hand experience of a State Appointed Guardian (Senior Social Worker). This person was due to his utter ineptitude and prejudicial attitude was eventually suspended and taken off family care, after my formal complain to Shetland Social services.. If I had not been a health profession, with legal experience, my children would have been put in care. That is what that person recommended at case conformance and was his sole contribution to my children’s care plan. So Robert Sim do not pontificate and patronize on something you probably have no first-hand experience. A state guardian for every child, we have enough of a problem with incompetent school teachers, let alone people with this kind of power!!

      • Robert Sim

        Ian, I have professional experience of what I am talking about and I am not pontificating or patronising or anything else beginning with p. The only thing I can think of to say is to read what Johan and Derick say in this thread and the links provided with an open mind. Try and forget that this is a policy implemented by the Scottish Government. When you have read the material, ask yourself if it is needed or not. A lot of non-political professionals with tons of experience in this area think it is.

      • Brian Smith

        It’s very funny watching Messrs Sim and Tinkler spar. Mr Sim informative, logical; Mr Tinkler illogical and abusive, usually blundering into some entirely different subject. And, in the offing, Mr Tulloch, poised to assure Mr T. that he has won the argument!

      • Ian Tinkler

        Now I know where the expression “MY BRAIN HURTS BRIAN”. good to see how much you know about your own Union, Unison will be so proud of you!!!!
        However, a new poll by Unison revealed more than half of health visitors in Scotland believe the contentious approach is wrong. The findings have triggered a U-turn from the union, which had previously backed the scheme, with Unison bosses saying it is “not sensible at this time”.
        http://www.express.co.uk/scotland/658907/named-person-policy-union-removes-backing-SNP-Nicola-Sturgeon

    • iantinkler

      As usual Brian Smith, offers no opinion, but finds it all funny. Enough said!!! One up to Unison.

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        It would seem that Unison don’t share Brians sense of humor on this subject

  3. Robert Sim

    Magnie, I don’t speak for the SNP but you will find all the information you require on the Scottish Government website, at this address: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/named-person. As a general rule, the SG site is where to look for information of this kind.

    You will see there that this policy is aimed at those children and young people who require extra support for whatever reason. It is already operating, including in Shetland, and is there for good reasons: mainly, to prevent young people falling through the net because of agencies not talking well enough to each other. I need to stress that it’s not there as a result of someone’s whim or to annoy those parents whose children are already safe, secure, healthy and achieving. It’s there ultimately to prevent the sort of real, terrible cases which have occurred across the UK and which have been well reported. It’s a real shame, then, that those who should know better have misrepresented it for political ends, whether party-political or not, and have knowingly stirred up and played upon people’s unfounded fears as part of that.

    The latest nonsense you repeat is a pointless sideshow.

    Reply
  4. Johan Adamson

    Its so easy to know or suspect there is abuse and do nothing. This codifies our responsibility to do something. How would you feel, if as a child, everybody suspected or knew there were problems but no one helped? We all knew there were rent boys in the 80s, no one stood up to help them. Then there is Rotherham. Dont just gossip about the children who might need help, make sure they are OK.

    Reply
  5. Michael Garriock

    This is all, all very well, but who, or what protects the child from the intervention of the state when the state deems “something must be wrong”, when in all actuality the child is quite happy with exactly how things are.

    This legislation in effect increases the state’s powers of intervention wherever and however they see fit, bit without a counter mechanism to protect the child from the mistakes of the state, all it stands to achieve is to shift the “harm” from those children that fell through the net previously on to those they still make mistakes with.

    Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is all it is, and perhaps if those in charge had first taken the time and inputted sufficient resources to minimise the harm causing imprefections of their system, a lot less disquiet, suspicion and resistance might have been generated with proposals such as these.

    Bluntly, they’re making and have been making for far too long, far too big of a pig’s ear of what they can legally do already, for a lot of folk to be comfortable with giving them any more powers, however “good”, or otherwise those powers may be.

    Reply
  6. iantinkler

    Hera is a benevolent named person at work, heaven help us from the prejudiced or malevolent. http://www.scotsman.com/news/revealed-what-can-happen-when-a-named-person-reports-on-your-children-1-4089077

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Is that the best the ‘Hootsmon’ could come up with Ian? A named person made notes over a boy sucking his thumb and a nappy rash…. Really?…Talk about scraping the barrel?

      Instead of all these non-stories and faux outrage from those people that have obviously NO idea how the ‘named person’ proposals actually work, would it not be better to ask the victims of child abuse themselves?…Tragically in the cases of baby P or 11-week-old Caleb Ness,…. we can’t.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Maybe if Robin knew what he was talking about he would not sound so out of touch with absolutely NO idea how perpetrators get away with abusing their victims.
        I was in an orphanage south of the border from the age of 9 until I was 15 and I was physical abused, I also witnessed other forms of abuse on other children in the orphanage. The way that the perpetrators got away with it was because of never ending levels of bureaucracy; the more people who were there to protect the children the more the perpetrators were able to hide what went on. This state Guardian will just be another layer of bureaucracy for an abuser to hide behind and because of the totalitarian nature of this legislation, cooperation from parents will not be forthcoming. The responsible people who will be the state guardians are there already doing just that job, so why add in the SNPs dictatorial element to the mix to make it worse.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        I’m sincerely sorry to hear of your own – and others – horrendous experiences at the orphanage you talk of.

        I’m afraid that this systematic abuse of children – supposedly – in care, has been historically prevalent and going on for far too long. I fully understand why you feel let down and angry at the system…. But surely, had there been one ‘point of contact’, one person assigned ‘outwith’ your orphanage, this matter may have been exposed and charges brought against the perpetrators?

        It is those very ‘levels of bureaucracy’ you talk of, that need to be streamlined, not another tier, I agree, that’s exactly why this scheme is being implemented, it simplifies the whole confusing process, ‘One point of contact’,…Surely It is time to change a system that has miserably failed those that needed it most?

      • Michael Garriock

        State initiated, sanctioned and sponsored “child abuse” is probably the most prevalent, least recognised and acknowledged, and argubly probably the most prevalent there is. Been there, done that, have the T Shirt.

        I have yet to come across anyone who has been exposed to the tender mercies of so called “child protection” who describes the experience as “it was great what they did for me”, but I have come across plenty, who like myself, have no hesitation in describing it as the worst nightmare and hell on earth of their life.

        If that doesn’t speak for itself, nothing will.

        I’m not saying they don’t do vital sterling work in some cases, but for the vast majority they just add more problems on by being involved, and the “best outcome” would be for them to stay well out of it.

        Until and unless they get their house in order for what they already do, and I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen given they’ve been getting it wrong now for at least 40 years, they have no business being let loose in any more lives than they really must.

      • Michael Garriock

        Unfortuntely I have a typo in the opening sentence of my previous post, which somewhat changes its meaning.

        It should have read:

        State initiated, sanctioned and sponsored “child abuse” is probably the most prevalent, least recognised and acknowledged, and argubly probably the most damaging there is.

        Apologies.

      • Michael Garriock

        “But surely, had there been one ‘point of contact’, one person assigned ‘outwith’ your orphanage, this matter may have been exposed and charges brought against the perpetrators?”

        No, Robin, that is not how it works in many children’s heads.

        In the affected child’s world perceptions are much more simple than in the adult world, regrdless of where or for whom they work, or what fancy job title they hide behind, a person is either one of “the authorities” or not. And once any one link in that “authority” chain has proven itself flawed, the whole chain is considered equally suspect. One rotten apple does indeed immeditely spoil the entire barrel.

        With children, there is a paramount needs to get it right, and get it right for them first time, otherwise there is a very great liklihood of all being lost forever. Making mistakes and hoping to put a Band Aid over them and carry on like everything is okay again is not an option.

      • Robin Stevenson

        So what you’re saying here Michael, is that the system is already broken, and therefore pointless even attempting to correct it?….In fact, the SNP government suggesting the ‘named person’ scheme [despite the backing of almost every single child welfare institution] is seen – by some – as an ‘intrusion’ into the lives of the abused?….

        I thank you for your input Michael, but I disagree with leaving things as they are, when we already know that there are still children slipping through the net. Sitting on our hands and doing nothing, will achieve just that.

      • Michael Garriock

        Yes, Robin, I am saying the system is already broken, very broken, and has been from its inception. I am not however advocating doing nothing, in fact I am suggesting the opposite, that instead of thinking up yet more ways to do the same job, if the same time, effort and investment that has gone in to this “Named Person” scheme had instead been inputted in to fixing what already existed, perhaps the end result would have been something positive.

        The “Named Person” scheme is not a stand alone iniatitive, its integral to the whole Schools, NHS, Social Services merry-go-round that is “child protection”, where exists some many broken pieces, that even if the “Named Person” scheme was the best thing since sliced bread, it couldn’t negate the damage done by its partner agencies, and if its as “bad” a scheme as its critics claim, it can only magnify and exacerbate the harm and abuse those partner agencies already do.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, the system is well broken; Aberdeen City Council implemented the Named Person system in September 2012, a matter they disclosed under Freedom of Information in May 2015. Aberdeen City Council is also the area with the highest number of teacher-seizures of weapons from pupils in Scotland, 200 in the past three years and few reported to the police.
        16 year old Bailey Gwynne died in Cults Academy in Aberdeen, killed by a fellow pupil known to his school and to his head teacher and for some years, to carry knives in school.
        Headteachers are supposed to be the Named Person for every pupil in their school. This pupil, by his own account, was a loner who felt unimportant and was routinely carrying l knuckle dusters and knives to make himself ‘feel cool’. This pathology alone ought to have been a red light moment for any semi-responsible Named Person responsible for that boy, never mind that the likely Named Person in this case personally knew that he was carrying knives in school and had ‘spoken to him’ about the practice. What alerts did this boy’s Named Person activate with which authorities and which services were engaged to address his weapon-carrying habits? The whole point of the Named Person provision is supposed to be the power and duty of the Named Person / State Guardian to bring other agencies and services to bear on specific problems faced by and caused by troubled pupils. The system is broken and this tragically proves it.

  7. Gordon Harmer

    In an interview with BBC Scotland’s Brian Taylor, Nicola Sturgeon was faced with evidence of the extent of popular recoil from her party’s totalitarian statutory imposition of a Named Person 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, while the SNP government’s own lawyer immediately contradicted her, saying that ‘it is compulsory’ and were it optional, it would defeat the whole purpose. 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 identified State Guardian. Parental engagement with the state’s evaluation of the wellbeing 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.
    This what happens when a named person reports on your child; totalitarian rule takes over.
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/revealed-what-can-happen-when-a-named-person-reports-on-your-children-1-4089077

    Reply
  8. Andrew Holt

    Beware the ” if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve nothing to fear” justification for state interference disguised as concern. My wife spent her early childhood in communist Poland. On the wall of her kindergarten classroom was a portrait of ‘Papa Stalin’ who the children were encouraged to thank when given sweets by the teacher. They were also quizzed on their home life and parents’ views. When the state puts itself in the position that should by rights belong to parents, watch out! When legislation as intrusive as this passes without any opposition should we not rather be deeply concerned at the pathetic quality of our supine representatives and their complete disregard for fundamental parental freedoms and rights than with spurious state ‘concern’ for the safety of our children.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Tell that to the victims Andrew?…Who speaks for them?…Are you pretending that abuse of children has never existed? Are you saying that whatever powers that have been in place for decades have successfully worked? Are you saying that nothing is broken that needs fixing?….The ludicrous example you present – as if we somehow live in a Stalinesque society – merely underlines your own incomprehension of what the ‘named person’ scheme represents.

      Reply
  9. Johan Adamson

    I agree that if the SNP control 100% of Scottish seats there is a cause to worry about a 1984 scenario (If we had never read the literature or studied history we wouldnt be worried, so if they start banning books then we need to start to worry). But in this case you really need to trust the Teachers and Social Work who, in the main, do care. I am sorry Ian and Gordon that you faced such strife. I wish and hope that people will listen to the bairns instead of bringing in their own agenda. Wouldnt it have been great, Gordon, if an adult had asked YOU how you were getting on and you had no fear of reprisals?

    Reply
  10. Derick Tulloch

    What the children’s charities, nurses and teachers say about it

    https://wildernessofpeace.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/think-of-the-children/

    Reply
  11. iantinkler

    Derick Tulloch, most of the Health professionals and teachers, in Shetland, say they lack resources in Shetland, to have a hope in hell of making this work! As a matter of fact, my GP has never even met me, how will he and his staff, be State Guardians my new baby? if you had any idea of Shetland you would know the problem. Seeing a GP is a nightmare, endless locums, how can they State Guardian anyone? Now Derick, I am fed up with your disingenuous rubbish. Derick, you claim “Scottish Police Federation (who represent 98% of serving police officers) agree with State Snooping. The facts “Police Scotland warned that such a “significant change for all authorities including Police Scotland” could make it harder to identify at risk children.” Now how about a bit of honesty, Derick?

    Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/police-scotland-criticise-snp-named-person-plans-1-3818002#ixzz44e3QuGAh

    Reply
    • Derick Tulloch

      Wearily.

      There is no ‘state guardian’. There is no ‘state snooping’

      Such language is hyperbolic, inaccurate and displays a weak case.

      Please read the links I have provided.

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Derick Tulloch, not very good day for your and SNP credibility. I would be interested in Brian Smith’s feedback here. State guardian child policy: Blow for SNP as union remove backing.
        However, a new poll by Unison revealed more than half of health visitors in Scotland believe the contentious approach is wrong. The findings have triggered a U-turn from the union, which had previously backed the scheme, with bosses saying it is “not sensible at this time”.
        http://www.express.co.uk/scotland/658907/named-person-policy-union-removes-backing-SNP-Nicola-Sturgeon

  12. Andrew Holt

    Who speaks for the victims? Well, the victim support and survivors groups, the media, the police (can overreach themselves at times), an army of lawyers (ambulance chasers and the well intentioned) parliament (UK and Scotland) the vast majority of the general public (including all those parents who are to be answerable to state guardians).
    Am I pretending that the abuse of children has never existed? No.
    Am I saying that whatever powers that have been in place for decades have successfully worked? No. Every time a small child is murdered by an adult carer we are assured this must never happen again, it inevitably does. I don’t think any system that we can ever devise will protect all children from harm. Treating all parents as possible abusers certainly won’t.
    Am I saying that nothing is broken that needs fixing. No. But when you are searching for the needle of abuse in the haystack of society, avoid making the stack bigger.
    Finally my “ludicrous example.” We are the most observed society in the western world on CCTV and increasingly constrained by government edict in the opinions we hold and express. Primarily parents not the state are responsible for childcare.

    Reply
  13. Neil Sutherland

    The Named person scheme has already worked in Highlands and Fife and other areas. People who like it are Save the Children, Barnardos, and the like. People who don’t like it are Tories, Ruth Davidson and the like.
    Enough said. Roll it out. It’s about protecting vulnerable kids. Who could be against it.. makes you wonder.

    Reply
    • Christopher Ritch

      Who could be against it? 52% of health visitors are against, according to this Unison survey:

      http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/HealthVisitorSurvey_UNISONScotlandReport_Jan2016.pdf

      Reply
    • iantinkler

      Neil Sutherland, do not forget the people who do not like State Snoopers are Unison, their Midwives and Health Visitor members lack resource to enforce it. They are actually the child’s first Known person State Guardian!. Ask Brian Smith about it, he after all is Unison’s vice chair in Shetland, he should know. lol! The Scottish Police force, they claim it could make it harder to identify at risk children and they have to enforce it. The Royal Colleges , (Nurses and GPs) they say they lack the funds and facilities to enforce it. Come to think of it Shetland lacks GPs fullstop. As for Head teachers, the ones I have asked are dead against, too much work already. It certainly makes you wonder, just what daft Nippy is on about. Incidentally there is not an ounce of Scientific proof child molestation has dropped in Highlands and Fife in with comparison to other areas not under the scheme, nor that this scheme has reduced child risk there in any way. Perhaps the police concerns about it being harder to identify at risk children is already allowing damaged children to slip through the net in Highlands and Fife .

      Reply
  14. Johan Adamson

    I dont view this as snooping. Im not a teacher or a nurse, so if I need help for my child I would welcome the help available in hospitals and school for my bairns. I do the best I can as a parent but you cant and shouldnt do it alone.

    There was a case recently where the state did not intervene in a childs life at all and the parents were recently taken to court, cant remember the full details but the child was malnourished and had not seen a doctor or a health visitor since it was 1 and the child had been home schooled. It was and appalling and scary story. It is our business to intervene, we as parents do not always know best. It has to be child centred.

    I am vexed there arent enough resources to carry out this work, but thats a different issue.

    And Im sure there will be a review of the system and if it is working in due course.

    Reply
  15. iantinkler

    “I am vexed there aren’t enough resources to carry out this work”, so am I Johan. Sadly it is so very typical of the SNP/SG. So many vote bribes and giveaways that there is absolutely nothing left for what matters. Free prescriptions for the wealthy as well as poor, when The Royal Cornhill Hospital runs out of pain killers for lack of funds. Free University places for all, great idea, but middle income and extremely wealthy youngsters’ families, could well contribute something. Result is world class tutors leave Scotland in droves, as Scotland lacks the funds for world class Universities. Look at the results in Science education and the results, shameful in comparison to the rUK. Never mind but the populist moves are so typical of the SNP continue, people at last appear to be seeing through Sturgeon’s facade. £10 billion deficit and Scotland’s industries going down, what a record after nine years!!!

    Reply
  16. Ian michael norman Tinkler

    “First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has refused to clarify whether murdered toddler Liam Fee had a “named person”. How about an ounce of comment from the SNP sycophants and assorted sheep following the failing SNP cult?. Fife was one of the pioneer areas for this stupid piece of SNP idiocy!!!
    “A pilot version of the named person scheme, due to be rolled out across Scotland from 31 August, has been running at Fife Council since 2009.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36425310

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      What on earth are you saying, Ian? That the Named Person approach was to blame for this awful tragedy? Can you just explain your logic?

      In fact, from what we know of the sequence of events, this case sadly demonstrates exactly why a single professional having an overview of all the information regarding a child is a good idea. They are more likely to see the pattern in members of the public contacting different agencies.

      Your post is unclear but there are those in the media who previously were lambastng the NP idea who are now blaming it for not having been effective in this case. It’s not possible to have it both ways.

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        It’s very interesting to see what has happened to Wir Shetland’s public face since Mr Tulloch demitted office. The only spokesperson they have nowadays appears to be Wir Ali, who is unmistakably the boss of the Wir Shetland Facebook page. He has turned it into a UKIP newssheet – a tendency there from the outset that Mr Tulloch managed to restrain.

    • James Watt

      Why am I not surprised to see you using a child’s death as a pathetic attempt to criticise SNP policy Ian, if there was one person I knew I could guarantee would sink so low it was you.
      Fife may have been a pioner area but it’s inaccurate to suggest that the named person scheme had been in place since 2009 as the scheme had been introduced incrementally.

      “Fife Council have indicated that Liam Fee did not have a named person in terms of the legislation that parliament has put in place.”

      http://m.heraldscotland.com/news/14532306.Controversial_scheme_to_improve_child_protection_was_not_put_in_place__in_terms_of_legislation__for_Liam_Fee/

      Reply
    • Ian michael norman Tinkler

      Interesting observation Brian Smith. Are you actually praising John or Ali, or is this just the rambling of an embittered and ignorant Union man who has failed to learn the views of his own union membership? I would love to know.
      http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/HealthVisitorSurvey_UNISONScotlandReport_Jan2016.pdf

      Reply
      • Brian Smith

        Laughing gas.

  17. Ian Tinkler

    James Watt, simple fact, there was a named person for poor Liam fee. No doubt at all about that however the SNP try to spin, posture and evade. He was not the only child to be failed by this scheme.
    Robert Sim, I am not claiming the Named Person approach was to blame for this awful tragedy, however it is manifest without adequate resource and funding this scheme is as ludicrous as those whom support it. Ask Unison, the Police Force of Scotland and and rational person. No wonder Nippy so evades a straight answer when questioned.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36425310“

    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/fife/183227/liam-fee-murder-case-may-reveal-catastrophic-weakness-named-person-scheme/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3620943/Murdered-Liam-Fee-Stasi-scheme-protect-children.html

    Reply
    • ROBERT SIM

      In the following quotation from your own post, Ian, I have put the relevant words in capitals, just to make it easier for you to see what you yourself are saying:

      “James Watt, simple fact, there was a named person for poor Liam fee…He was not the only child TO BE FAILED by this scheme.
      Robert Sim, I am not claiming the Named Person approach was TO BLAME for this awful tragedy,…”.

      Leaving your attempts to deny what you have plainly said to one side, what evidence have you got about the NP scheme and this sad case in order to say that Liam Fee “was failed” by it? None. Not a shred. (Referring to newspaper speculations doesn’t count as evidence.) And no-one else does either until we read the final report which is underway. I know it would cut contributions to these and other online forums by quite a bit but it is a good rule in life not to pontificate on things you know nothing about.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        Sorry – my capitalisation was wrong. It should be like this:

        “James Watt, simple fact, there was a named person for poor Liam fee…He was not the only child TO BE FAILED by this scheme.
        Robert Sim, I am NOT CLAIMING the Named Person approach was to blame for this awful tragedy,…”.

      • ian tinkler

        So Robert Sim, your argument is reduced to that of a retired schoolmaster, correcting grammar and spelling. How very appropriate and utterly irrelevant. (I am dyslexic as you know, so your efforts of correction are futile). Liam Fee, had a named person (A Health Worker was that Guardian) Social Workers had been informed about this child. It must be manifest, even to the most stupid, this child’s was utterly failed by the named State Guardian scheme… Fife was in fact piloting that scheme. Indeed the SNP had used those very pilots (Fife and Highlands) as examples of the scheme working well. That was pure PR nonsense, there was no proof it was working well whatsoever. There was real concern it was making matters worse, as it was drawing scares resources away from those most at risk. This was a flagship SNP policy which is utterly ridiculous and certainly did nothing to help Liam Fee. Further to that we now find a fall in reading and writing skills among Scottish pupils and the attainment gap between wealthy and poor is growing. Even with University fees, the rest of the UK doing far better, with far more youngsters from less privileged backgrounds attaining university places. Nine years of SNP stewardship and Scotland is failing its children at all levels!! No wonder John Swinney is squealing like a stuck pig and Nicola Sturgeon refused to comment on poor Liam. Just another abject failure from the SG/SNP.

      • Robert Sim

        Ian, I wasn’t correcting your English. I was trying to demonstrate to you that you were telling James that the NP initiative was somehow to blame for Liam Fee’s death (which, with the knowledge we have, is manifest nonsense) while also telling me that you weren’t saying that.

        You don’t actually know anything about this matter. It’s not a big deal to point that out – none of us know the real picture about what happened in this case. You also though don’t put forward any kind of a sensible case against NP. For example, funding may well be an issue for the social services in general; but the NP scheme is simply about better inter-agency working and that has nothing to do with money. Do you know anything about GIRFEC?

        Anyway, while having a fight for its own sake in the safe environment of this forum might give you a kick, it doesn’t do anything for me. While we are at it, I’ll thank you to stop dragging in and plastering over a public forum personal information about me (ie my occupation) which I haven’t shared publicly and which is irrelevant to what I am saying.

  18. Gordon Harmer
    • James Watt

      What’s this prove Gordon? From what I can see even your preferred version of the truth doesn’t confirm anything about Liam having a named person or what legislation was covered by the pilot scheme in Fife, in fact apart from one paragraph containing minutes from a government meeting your link is just an opinion piece from one of your fellow NO2NP backers.
      It’s also worth noting that the author Kenneth Roy had to admit that he doesn’t know the full story behind the tragic events that lead to Liam’s death, as he said himself “Was Liam Fee part of that impossible caseload? We don’t know – yet.” but I suppose I’ll give you bonus points for providing a link that doesn’t contain the words “stasi scheme” in the headline when sharing your version of the truth.

      Perhaps now you can tell us all how the Children’s Commisioner is also wrong to say that the Liam Fee case was not relevant to the debate over ‘Named Person’ because Liam’s case had already passed beyond the level at which ‘Named Person’ would have introduced it into the system

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIFTqwvLxDU

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        James Ian has answered for me I do not need to add anything, having said that your comments make me believe that if the SNP Scottish government wanted to force everyone in Scotland to wear a tag to track our every move, you would back them.

      • James Watt

        If Ian’s is answering for you these days Gordon it might be worth checking Ian isn’t writing angry nonsensical rubbish. Or perhaps you can make sense of Ian’s argument and explain this, how does Liam’s case already being passed to social work and Liam being assigned a case worker before he was murdered confirm that Liam was failed by the Named Person scheme?

  19. ian tinkler

    “Perhaps now you can tell us all how the Children’s Commissioner is also wrong to say that the Liam Fee case was not relevant to the debate over ‘Named Person’ because Liam’s case had already passed beyond the level at which ‘Named Person’ would have introduced it into the system” Well James Watt, does that not say it all. Could anything display better just how utterly useless the ‘Named Person’ scheme is. It is an utter irrelevance, it offered no help or protection for Liam whatsoever! All it did was take precious resources from child welfare (Social Services) and offered no child care or protection at all for Liam of any type. Incidentally the “Children’s Commissioner” is appointed and his salary paid by for the SG/SNP. He would hardly improve his career prospects by criticising Nippy’s flagship policy of “state snooping.” He no doubt took heed of Sturgeons sinister warning, “Sturgeon warns opponents over Liam Fee ‘named person’ case”. What right does this woman have to issue such warnings, we are not a police state, yet!!!

    Reply
  20. ian_tinkler

    Well that is one piece of SNP garbage dead and buried. Whoop Whoop Whoop.are not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament”. Supreme court, Supreme Court rules against Named Person, now just how much time and money has been wasted there. Pity it could have been spent on actually helping children.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Ian, I don’t know where you got your information from but you should be aware that the NP initiative is not, as you put it, “dead and buried”. Instead, the Scottish Government has simply been told to amend the legislation to take account of the concerns raised. The initiative will thereafter progress as planned. The relevant information is on the Scottish Government website: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Supreme-Court-rules-on-named-person-279f.aspx. There is also a link there to the full text of the Court’s ruling.

      Reply
  21. ian_tinkler

    Yes, Robert, I only heard the headline and never thought for one second the SG/SNP would be daft enough to waste more money pursuing this daft idea. I should have realized by now how daft they are.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Then you are calling the Supreme Court judges daft too, as it is they who have invited the SG to bring forward its proposals for amended legislation.

      Reply

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