Friday, May 30, 2014

How the SNP has nationalised childhood

Stuart Waiton (whom I once got to write for Liberator) writes for Spiked about the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act recently passed by Holyrood:
The new act will mean that, from birth, each child in Scotland will have a specific state-appointed professional, a ‘named person’, to oversee their interests, and, in particular, to oversee their safety. Initially, this named person is likely to be a health visitor or midwife, the role later being taken over by school teachers who will have the ‘duty’ and responsibility to act as the child’s guardian.
The trouble with nationalism as a political ideology is that it does not give you any clue about what line you should take on many issues.

Here the minister in charge. Aileen Campbell, seems to have swallowed the views of the professional left whole. The relationship between parent and child is seen as problematic, whereas the relationship between child and state (as mediated through public-sector professionals) is seen as uncomplicated.

Waiton describes Campbell's views as follows:
For Campbell, the new powers and duties being given to the state guardians are simply another service to help families in trouble and further ensure that children are protected in society. 
Indeed, Aileen Campbell at times appears to be nonplussed by her critics, incapable of seeing why her caring approach is not instantly celebrated. The claims of state snoops undermining the family, she argues, are simply ‘misunderstandings’ and ‘misrepresentations’ of the new law. 
When someone raised the point that this act undermined the role of parents in child-rearing, Campbell, somewhat comically, replied, ‘we recognise that parents also have a role’.

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