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The state we’re in

Posted on March 25, 2016 by

Here’s a column from Kenny Farquharson in today’s tablet edition of the Times, which hasn’t made it onto the website. We don’t know if it’s in the print version.


Let’s just linger over those words for a moment.

Because it appears we live, readers, in a world where the Scottish media regards “the power of child protection now applies to every child” as describing a BAD thing.

How do we know which children are “at risk”? Which children might at some point be abused? Can we rule out children from families with more than a certain level of income? Perhaps only Muslim children are at risk. Perhaps if you’ve got two parents rather than one you’re safe. Maybe science has discovered that only children with an odd number of letters in their name get abused. Goodness knows.

We might well never have read a stupider statement in our life than the one in the image above. It hurts us to even spell it out: ANY child can be at risk. There’s no way of knowing in advance. EVERY child deserves protection.

Later in the piece, Farquharson says this:


In other words, people whose actual business is the protection of children think he’s talking cobblers. They think the named-person legislation is “wholly a force for good” – an opinion which is shared by all of Scotland’s major children’s welfare groups and, in an unusually strongly-worded judgement, by the Court of Session.


But what would they know, compared to a hack with a blank page to fill in a hurry on a holiday weekend, eh?

The column is the ultimate in “SNP BAD”. You can’t satirise or exaggerate someone saying “protection for every child in Scotland is a bad law”. It’s empirical insanity.

Sometimes, folks, it’s all we can do to lift our heads from the desk and carry on.

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  1. 30 03 16 16:45

    Think of the Children | A Wilderness of Peace

  2. 10 04 16 21:25

    Reinvigorated |

  3. 22 06 16 00:17

    Democracy on Trial: Campaign Butterflies. | Tychy

118 to “The state we’re in”

  1. Iain says:

    Even the complacent, self-satisfied middle classes need someone to speak for them, and the Farq is just the man for the job.

  2. Karmanaut says:

    He’ll fit in well at the Times. I still remember when they ran that “SNP to stop Scotland funding the Queen” nonsense for a week. I don’t think they care about reputation or integrity any more.

  3. heedtracker says:

    Considering the continuing UK wide Tory war on the poor, another toryboy makes a fool of himself, shock.

  4. Macart says:

    Oh good grief. That’s pure madness, even by usual meeja standards.

  5. HandandShrimp says:

    I was aware that the proposal had gone to court. I had not clocked that the judges had kicked it into touch. I suppose that wasn’t an SNPBad story so the press held their tongues and ignored it.

    There are literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of children that would have benefited over recent years from having someone who would have simply listened to them. To pretend otherwise is just perverse.

  6. Arbroath1320 says:

    If my memory serves me right, from Wednesday’s FMQ’s when this question was raised by wee Ruthie, I seem to recall Nicola Sturgeon stating in no uncertain terms that the Named Person act was VOLUNTARY. 🙂

    No one is forced to accept a Named Person intervention. Whilst every child/parent will have access to a Named Person they can decide to do their own thing rather than accept help from the Named Person if they wish without any come back.

    Farquharson seems to be trying to push the question, already answered by Nicola, that was initiated by wee Ruthie on Wednesday. What part of “a Named Person assistance is VOLUNTARY” do these people NOT understand?

  7. David Smith says:

    The biggest risk to children in the UK is the Establishment itself.

    Probably why they dislike this concept so much.

  8. Dan huil says:

    Britnats prefer the killing-power of drones to the welfare of children.

  9. Marcia says:

    The Unionist press have a problem for every solution.

  10. Iain C says:

    Presumably this idiot still thinks that children should be seen and not heard, and abuse isn’t to be talked about in polite company. How many times do we read about missed opportunities to save kids from danger? Rather 99 false alarms than one dead child.

  11. Jon D says:

    It really makes you wonder whether people who oppose this, essentially benign, legislation are concerned that it may interfere with their own agenda with children and vulnerable young adults.

    Deeply worrying!

  12. Robert Kerr says:

    @David Smith.

    Powerful peados in the Brit Establishment?

    Shurely shome mistake!


  13. mealer says:

    What a dope.

  14. Meindevon says:

    I don’t know this Kenny guy but this piece is so bad it’s almost as if he has someone with a gun to his head telling him to write an SNP bad article re the Named Person thingy and he doesn’t agree with that sentiment …so he has written it in a kind of code that actually says the opposite.

    Or am I being too generous and he is just a really poor journalist?

  15. Forgotmath says:

    Nah, let’s just ignore the kids who come to school hungry, in the same clothes for weeks on end, pretend that their carer just isn’t caring (“I never learned to read or write, and it never did me any fucking harm, I still get my dole” – quote from a mother at the school my wife works at).

    Seems to me that as the only people who are against this are people who’re worried that little Tarquil or Tarquilla might complain that they didn’t get a new pony for their birthday.

    The kids who need it are sitting in a cold house, hungry, wondering what they did to earn the latest set of bruises, while fuckwits like Farquharson open another bottle of wine and wonder why people think he’s a Grade A cockwomble.

  16. muttley79 says:


    There are literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of children that would have benefited over recent years from having someone who would have simply listened to them. To pretend otherwise is just perverse.

    Well that are reports of children in care having being abused on an “industrial scale” in Lambeth.

  17. Orri says:

    Would it be in bad taste to have a picture of Jimmy Saville with words opposing Named Person legislation or would that be too fucking subtle.

    Every time there’s a tragedy involving children we get clamouring in the press about how the signs could be missed and what can be done about it. The SNP at least try a simple clarification of roles and these fuckers kick off against it.

  18. carjamtic says:

    This plus your Twitter page….

    Dumb n Dumber

    The Remake 🙂

  19. G H Graham says:

    Please do carry on, Stu.

    Regrettably, Farquharson is as common as lamp posts. Not as bright perhaps but his type is still annoyingly prevalent.

    So we need you to do the grunt work for those of us who would rather hack off our big toe with a HM Prison soup spoon and a rubber mallet, than suffer the printed word of this man’s puerile drivel.

  20. muttley79 says:

    I was watching the debate last night and I was concerned by something Nicola Sturgeon said. It sounded as if she said that she was in favour of the introduction of non local authority schools. Is this right, and if so WTF is she thinking? Surely we are not going to be following what the Tories are trying to do down south in education?

  21. Legerwood says:

    The reporting of this issue has been a disgrace right across the board. The degree of misrepresentation about the named person part of the Act has been purely political.

    It was first brought to court when some Christian Group and some parents got a judicial review. The review was carried out by Lord Pentland’s in January 2015. His judgement could not have been more clearly expressed and it is worth reading.

    It is also worth reading because it covers in detail the background to this part of the Act. The path to the eventual legislation started around 2001 and is based on several major pieces of research, extensive consultation and a pilot scheme.

    Lord Pentland’s judgement was appealed and in Sept 2015 his judgement was upheld by the 3 judges as mentioned above.

    This has been appealed to the Supreme Court who heard the case about a week or so ago. The result has not yet been announced as far as I am aware.

    The amount of distortion about the intent and purpose of the named person scheme has been, by the media at least, politically motivated. Ms Leckie had a go as well in the National last week.

  22. geeo says:

    My daughter is a nursery teacher, she works with GIRFEC (Getting it right for every child) and her opinion of the named person act is that it make it much easier to trace errors made back to the person who made it, meaning any improvements in care requirements for vulnerable kids can be quickly and easily identified.

    She also says that, in respect of the 3-5 age group she works with, that the workload will increase a wee bit for health visitors.

    That aside, it is very much a “nothing to see here” policy.

    Professionals are happy with it, so obviously it must be horribly flawed, it’s a wonder these moaners even allow their kids to go to nursery/primary/secondary school.

  23. Valerie says:

    Scotland is the only country in the world that operates the Children’s Panel system, taking children under 16 out of the criminal courts.

    For instance, truancy would be referred to the Panel. The system is entirely child centred, and endeavours to pull in all necessary services to focus on getting that child everything to get back on track. They work hard at not been seen as punishment, and getting everyone working as a team for that child.

    It’s a system to be immensely proud of, whilst not perfect, really does work for children, or should.

    How anyone can oppose anything, which is designed to prevent overlooked, struggling, vulnerable children, is way beyond me.

    As others comment, what is there agenda? Have they no shame?

  24. Legerwood says:

    Valerie @ 8.21 pm

    The agenda, at least on the part of the media, is to use this as a means to attack the Scottish Government. The degree of distortion and misrepresentation of what this part of the legislation is about is truly awful even by the usual awful standards of the Scottish media.

  25. Iain says:

    Is it not a bit rich complaining about overprotection of children, when the Masonic conspiracy of the Dumblane files being kept secret for 100 years is allowed to stand with no comment.

  26. Giving Goose says:

    He’s Sooooo SNP Baaddd!
    He’s so SNP Baaaddd that he’s Good.
    He’s Good because he’s sooo SNP Bad!

    Oh, I give up.

    Kenny is just so SNP Bad!

  27. JLT says:

    I know of one person (a hardcore Unionist) who is absolutely fixated on this ‘SNP policy’. In his eyes, the SNP are passing a law where parents will be handing their kids over to total strangers …and well, the strangers are nothing short of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady to him.

    No matter how you explain it to him (and this is a seriously educated guy), he sees it as nothing less than legitimized governmental child abuse. It’s unbelievable that he see it like this.

    But then again, my friend hates the SNP with an absolute passion. Nothing that they do is for the good of the country. If the SNP discovered the cure for cancer, he would undoubtedly find fault and state that the SNP was not only abusing in the work of God and his creations, but would also say that the SNP was also interfering with Mother Nature herself.

    This was a guy who gave me a very hard time during the Referendum (anything posted was always contradicted. Always!). My friends in the Yes Campaign at the time told me to cut him off from my Facebook page …but he’s a friend. Outside of politics, the guy is absolutely sound. I think he’s the burden (or cross) I have to carry, and strangely, what a time of the year to acknowledge that little fact.

    We’re still friends on Facebook, but if this policy gains legs, then I think I will be seeing his postings before long.

    Oh joy….

  28. John J. says:

    I am a one day a week carer for my grandaughter and have just had a wonderful afternoon with her and my son. We visited the Botanic Gardens and had cofee (milk in her case) and cakes in a really nice little café. I consider myself a good and caring parent and grandfather.

    I have absolutely no problem with there being another educationalist professional who also takes an interest in my grandaughters welfare.

  29. peter says:

    Mission Creep?? The real mission creep here is that so called journalists have forgotten what they are supposed to do and that is report the news! No-one is interested in the twisted distorted drivel that wee fat bawbags such as Fackerson seem determined to foist upon us.

  30. Valerie says:


    I totally get every move made by SNP is fair game for the media and Unionists, BUT attacking this particular policy, with such passion and hysteria, really makes the attacker look suspect.

    The hack involved, may well just have a remit of SNP bad, but they put their name to this highly suspicious attack.

    I understand stupidity, but this type of attack on child protection measures???

  31. Boabyfett says:

    I worked for the children’s panel for a quite a while. My interpretation of anyone who objects to this policy is basically my muddle class child is much more important and much less at risk than children of poor people. And if poor peoples kids die well it’s a small price to pay for knowing I’m just a better patent than them.

  32. Almannysbunnet says:

    Given the level of child abuse across these Great British Isles is it any surprise that some would politicize this issue for some perceived gain. These people would sell their soul to the devil to get one up on the SNP. This is NOT a game and children should not to be used as to score some cheap political points. What has Westminster done to protect children from the paedophiles? Sweet F.A. What have they done to bring the guilty to justice? Sweet F.A. Unless they have passed away of course. They are beneath contempt.

    The SNP should be applauded for trying to protect our children.

  33. ArtyHetty says:

    Similar mentality as the ‘elf and safety’ lot, hating the EU regulations on health and safety.
    Thing is, they worked in blue collar, at no risk to themselves, usually.

    I wish this named person policy had been in place when we needed special needs support which the schools denied, causing untold misery and repercussions to this day. The days when Labour were in government in Scotland, the days they sent back over a billion £s when we were crying out for help with learning. All children need protection, and to access what is deemed the basics under the United nations for the rights of the child.

    This guy should take a look at what he has said, and anyone with any sense will see it for what it is.

    Disgraceful in the extreme.

  34. crisiscult says:

    I’m off topic. Sorry. Just wanted to thank many of you for completing an ex student’s survey on immigration

    She emailed me to say she’s had 150 responses so far, which she’s quite happy with, but mostly they’re from Scottish identity people. She’s hoping to get a decent sample of British identity people and asked me where they ‘hang out’. I suggested posting on express and mail articles but she did that and they got removed. Does anyone know where on facebook or popular blogs the Unionists hang out?

  35. Put this on the previous post. Meant to put it here


    Read in a couple of places that some Solidarity candidates have resigned.
    Has anybody else heard anything?

  36. bjsalba says:

    TYMES Trust has been a plaintiff in all the cases so far.

    They are a charity registered in England and Wales only, not in Scotland.

    Who is funding these people?

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    people whose actual business is the protection of children

    That would be the parents.

  38. kininvie says:

    @muttley 79

    Are you saying that local authority schools should be the only model allowed? Because it’s aye been?

    I’d argue (no idea whether Nicola would agree)that the diversity of Scotland’s population and geography means the one-size-fits-all model needs to be challenged where appropriate. If – for example – you have a tiny island primary school threatened with closure, would you disallow a community-run and funded initiative to keep it going?

    Or – to challenge you directly, would you object to St Mary’s music school?'s_Music_School

    What is happening down south is of course driven by ideology, and that’s a barking mad way to go about things. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t explore alternatives to traditional models where they make sense.

  39. Iain says:

    Dave McEwan Hill

    A fair bit here.

  40. Nana says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill

    I put a link up this morning @8.17 on Once upon a time thread.

  41. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill –

    Nana posted a link this morning, seems Solidarity is eating itself arse-first and it’s all thanks to you-know-who.

    From memory, Nan’s link was to the ‘Thousand Flowers’ site…

  42. Arbroath1320 says:

    I posted this in reply to your post on the previous article Dave.

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    25 March, 2016 at 9:23 pm


    Read in a couple of places that some Solidarity candidates have resigned.
    Has anybody else heard anything?

    I remember have wee talks on Twitter, I think, and mentioned that I thought Lindsay Jarrett (of huge YES on Edinburgh Castle during indy ref fame ? ) was a member.

    However, Lindsay quickly came back and said she had resigned from Solidarity. They didn’t like her constantly asking questions. Well let’s face it … if you don’t ask questions you don’t get answers. ?

    Needless to say I apologised profusely for my error. ?

  43. FairFerfochen says:

    From the Legerwood link above @8.04

    [23]      The history can be traced back to 2001 when the Scottish Executive published a major study entitled “For Scotland’s Children”

    It looks as if the idea started under Labour not SNP.

  44. James Anderson says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Legerwood. The press reporting of the ‘public concerns’ related to the Bill are skewed beyond any sense the vast majority of the population are either relaxed or in favour of making the system more efficient, transparent, joined-up, and accountable. The obsession with nonexistent power over kids’ well-being passing to the State is a canard of epic, Scottish media proportions.

  45. yesindyref2 says:

    As far as I understand it, the primary purpose of this Act is to have a single point of contact, for co-ordination putposes, and so that parents and children have one person who can get them whatever access they need, It is supposed to be voluntary.

    The problem isn’t just that those against it misunderstand it, it’s that those who support it seem to as well. As far as I can see it is not intended to have someone checking on a child’s welfare against the wishes of the parents, it is not designed to have a “snooper”, not is it designed to have someone asking difficult and searching questions of a child, it is simply to have a single point of contact, a co-ordinator even.

    What people who object to it think is that it can put children in more danger, by having someome extra they are supposed to tryst in some sort of authority over them. I would myself strongly object to that, the more people in that position of trust, the more chance thre is of that trust and the child being abused. But it isn’t that, or at least it’s not intended to be.

    Implementation will have to be watched very carefully though, because the parent can refuse to have anything to do with that Named Person as far as I can see, something I would do if my kids were young enough. We trusted nobody completely, and as many parents do, warned them against not just stragners, but basically anyone that wasn’t us. From the Key Facts about the Act:

    A Named Person will be a single point of contact available to parents, children and young people by law to make getting help and advice more straightforward and joined up. There is no obligation to take up the offer of advice or support. Named Persons have no new legal powers to compel parents, children or young people to accept advice, support or help.

  46. Legerwood says:

    Fairferfochen @ 9.53 pm

    Yes the process of reviewing and researching the whole thing started under the Scottish Executive and continued to its conclusion under the Scottish Government and, if I have remembered correctly, the legislation was supported by Labour when it came to the vote on the Bill.

    It is the distortion and misrepresentation by the media of the effect and intention of the legislation and how it will work that is the real issue. It is purely political on the part of the media and some others. Labour are staying silent as usual in the hope they will reap any ‘benefit’.

    What was also interesting in Lord Pentland’s judgement was his comments on the people who initiated the judicial review.

    Some posters above have mentioned them in passing but worth reading his comments on them.

  47. Ian Brotherhood says:


    Cadogan Enright is doing the ‘Inform Scotland’ workshop at the WOS meeting in Waxy’s tomorrow afternoon, and coming from Ireland to do so. He’s having bother getting accommodation in Glasgow for tomorrow night.

    Can anyone offer the man a crash for the night?

    If so, please let us know via O/T:

  48. Tony Philpin says:

    This whole issue is nothing to do with the SNP and I cannot see why it is being conflated as such. The Child protection issue is not party political, in fact there is a lot of cross party consensus. The new Children’s Act is 2014 and revised the 1995 act. GIRFEC (get it right for every child) has been gradually worked through and implemented over a number of years too. I’ve worked through GIRFEC and it’s a definite improvement on the system before – as a comment above supports; it prevents child protection issues falling between the cracks between agencies. I’ve had a blazing row with self styled libertarians ( i.e. far right) on some online thread or other – these Anti SNP people think it is only the parents’ responsibility anyway and anybody else is an infringement of their personal liberty. – which falls at the first hurdle of answering the question of who most abuses kids anyway ? It really is predominantly a family affair – step ‘uncles’ messing with 14 year old daughters are hardly going to advertise it to their partners – the girl’s mother, are they ? I’ve come across problems like this under the old system and GIRFEC is better. Some of the most committed and hardworking teachers I know are in Guidance and they are passionate about protecting the children in their care. They are not busybodies by any definition. Our system is much better than down south.

  49. Tony Philpin says:

    This whole issue is nothing to do with the SNP and I cannot see why it is being conflated as such. The Child protection issue is not party political, in fact there is a lot of cross party consensus.
    The new Children’s Act is 2014 and revised the 1995 act. GIRFEC (get it right for every child) has been gradually worked through and implemented over a number of years too. I’ve worked through GIRFEC and it’s a definite improvement on the system before – as a comment above supports; it prevents child protection issues falling between the cracks between agencies.
    I’ve had a blazing row with self styled libertarians ( i.e. far right) on some online thread or other – these Anti SNP people think it is only the parents’ responsibility anyway and anybody else is an infringement of their personal liberty. – which falls at the first hurdle of answering the question of who most abuses kids anyway ? It really is predominantly a family affair – step ‘uncles’ messing with 14 year old daughters are hardly going to advertise it to their partners – the girl’s mother, are they ? I’ve come across problems like this under the old system and GIRFEC is better.
    Some of the most committed and hardworking teachers I know are in Guidance and they are passionate about protecting the children in their care. They are not busybodies by any definition. Our system is much better than down south.

  50. Lachlan MacKenzie says:

    Knowing people who are social workers I can testify that some of the stories they relate, make your toes curl with shame and cause you to cast doubt on all sections of society, including your neighbour’s.

    As long as it doesn’t impact them (tories) or they can ignore it and cause some politcal mischief, all to the good for the tories. They can blame the nanny state of the SNP, ably assisted by their pals in the media, including bbc.

    As for labour in Scotland opposing this policy, perhaps they should ask their labour colleagues in Blackburn, Rochdale and Oxford if a named person would have helped the many hundreds of young girls abused. If they say a named person wouldn’t have helped (with a straight face), you know they put sticking a knife into the SNP above sticking up for vulnerable young people.

    So there we have it, labour and toto rise working together to attack the SNP and laudable policies.

    Just a thought, but would France, Belguim and in all likelihood London, be facing religious violence through young people becoming radicalised if named person policiess had been implemented years ago in those countiries and city?

  51. Iain More says:

    Of course he is going to hate anything to do with Child Protection because his paymasters in the Brit Establishment hate it as it makes it harder for them to get their sleazy mitts on the kiddies.

    I don’t think he sees the irony of using the term Mission Creep when he is acting on behalf of Brit Nat Creeps.

  52. yesindyref2 says:

    Actually it wasn’t until Arbroath1320 posted it that I knew it was VOLUNTARY. I strongly objected to it until I saw that from Arbroath1320, so at last I checked it out.

    What we have here is a failure of communications. All the Scottish Government needed to do was tell everybody, the media, TV, radio, that it was VOLUNTARY, and all objections disappear in a puff of smoke.

    It was commented a lot during the Ref that the SG weren’t very good at communicating, it’s still true. In fact they’re bloody useless.

  53. heedtracker says:

    There is a pretty slick campaign against it ongoing. I saw on sticker on a posh front room window this week saying no to it, which was odd

    5 One piece of Government guidance says a Named Person has “responsibility for overall monitoring of the child’s wellbeing and outcomes”. This is the role of a parent.

    6 Because of the pressure on them, Named Persons will be forced to act defensively, reporting trivial or irrelevant family issues to social services. This creates more work for social workers who will have to needlessly follow up these families, cheating vulnerable children of the resources that they need.

    7 The Named Person is legally responsible for monitoring the wellbeing of every child. Official guidance says “wellbeing is another word for happiness”. How can the state monitor the happiness of every child?

    Its when the authors say things like “The Named Person is legally responsible for monitoring the wellbeing of every child”

    that they wander into scare mongering, as in “every child” for example.

    What fcuks me off about this opposition is that its pretty clearly upper middle class Scottish tory opposition. Fair enough but private education in Scotland is infinitely more invasive than anything here let alone your “bog standard” Scottish comprehensive, especially private boarding school. Fair enough, there are not that many and they cost at least £28k per pupil a year but even so.

    Its like private schools have the best teachers with max class sizes of 12, comprehensives can be triple that with maybe not the greatest teachers ever.

    But we are still 90% governed by toryboy England, who decide education funding v Trident nukes, endless war, shithead HS2 railways at a billion quid a mile and that’s me off on one, sorry:D

  54. Pentland Firth says:

    Farquharson is certainly in a right old state, as is his employer, the Times, which tries to carry off the astonishing trick of being violently anti Labour in the UK (where is wishes all important decisions to be made) while being pro Labour in Scotland, and expecting its readers to find the editorial line credible.
    You’d need to be “intellectually challenged” not to understand what their game is. It only plays to Yoons, and is more to be pitied than scorned.

  55. Edward says:

    Slightly O/T
    I see there is continuing puzzlement as to why a trust of the Joseph Rowntree Group has donated £34,000 to disgraced LibDem MP Carmichael. By all accounts have also topped this up to £ 50,000, as well as continually pumping funds/donations on a monthly basis to the LibDem party in general.
    It should be no surprise when you look at the board members and chairman of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust are a mix of LibDem former MP’s current peers and party activists. In other words, its not a philanthropic group , but a political group posing as a philanthropic trust.
    This is tarnish the reputation of the Joseph Rowntree Group in general.

    Will the main stream media investigate and expose?
    Highly doubt it

  56. Arbroath1320 says:

    I suspect that the Scottish government may very well have told the media etc that this was voluntary. However the media being the media yesindyref2 they *cough* conveniently forgot to mention this simple FACT!

  57. ClanDonald says:

    Wish they’d called it a “service coordinator” rather than a named person, the potential to confuse the role with a state guardian type figure would be less likely.

  58. dakk says:

    It can’t be easy for journos to come up with insightful constructive articles every day for their colonial media paymasters.

    All too easy then to just pump out yet another reflex SNP Bad diatribe.

    No matter that it’s a pile of crap with no intent to discuss the policy fairly.

    The tone is right.

    That’s what his unionist editors want from him,and Kenny-boy won’t let them down,ever.

    Easy money ? Certainly.

    Honest money ? Eh No.

  59. yesindyref2 says:

    This is what it says on that guidance webpage – a single page – that I gave the URL before for:

    Named Persons have no new legal powers to compel parents, children or young people to accept advice, support or help.

    This is also what has not been communicated.

    The SG are so bothered about showing how they care, how they are doing things, they forget that a lot of people don’t want things done they don’t want done, are concerned about things done against their will, and need just that sort of information. It doesn’t have to affect them, if they – we – don’t want it to.

    They concentrate on the minority that need help, and ignore the vast majority who don’t, and don’t want state nannying interference in their private family lives. Nor do they want their children put at extra risk.

    I’ve read the threads in the Herald, and as I say, the posting from Arbroath1320 is the first time I’ve seen that the whole thing is voluntary. In other words if some over-zealous do-gooding named persron appeared at my door demanding access to a child, I have the full legal right to tell them to GTF, and stay off my property.

    That’s what people need to know.

  60. Tam Jardine says:

    “As if any named person has the time to spy on anyone” was the reaction of my guidance teacher wife. It’s typical anti-snp bullshit. They are simply formalising the previous system.

    Does Farquharson really think that teachers and health professionals had no similar role before?

    From the perspective of a named person, ie someone who knows vastly more about this than Kenny Farquharson does, the new legislation makes it easier to access assistance from other agencies.

    But that’s no snpbad so it won’t do.

  61. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Please check your e-mail and/or O/T.

  62. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That would be the parents”

    Sometimes that’s who they need protecting from.

  63. old dearie says:

    In my past life I had a role which involved Child Protection. Children who need help come from all social classes and sadly for some children their parent is the problem. Every child deserves to have someone who will fight their corner and the child should know how to get the help they need.

  64. Iain says:

    Farquharson is one of those people who support Labour blindly whether its position on any topic is right-wing or left-wing: if it’s a Labour policy it must be good, and everyone else is bad, even if they take the same stance. It’s politics at the level of the most fanatical, partisan, and stupid football fan you can imagine.

  65. Capella says:

    My first job was with Women’s Aid. Turning out at midnight to pick up women and children with a bin bag of belongings and driving them to a shelter. The worst offenders were the police and army. But lawyers, judges and doctors were well represented.

    Women blinded with acid thrown in their face. Shelters with windows blown out by shotguns.

    Abuse is never pretty. I couldn’t cope with the stress of abused children.
    If the Scottish Government is addressing this problem they deserve all the support decent citizens can give.

  66. Legerwood says:

    yesindyref2 says:
    25 March, 2016 at 10:43 pm
    “”Actually it wasn’t until Arbroath1320 posted it that I knew it was VOLUNTARY. I strongly objected to it until I saw that from Arbroath1320, so at last I checked it out.

    What we have here is a failure of communications. All the Scottish Government needed to do was tell everybody, the media, TV, radio, that it was VOLUNTARY, and all objections disappear in a puff of smoke.

    It was commented a lot during the Ref that the SG weren’t very good at communicating, it’s still true. In fact they’re bloody useless.””

    Does it ever occur to you that the SG does communicate all of the details etc to the media but the media does not report it?

    Time and again there are stories on here about the shortcomings of the media when it comes to reporting the facts yet people turn round and blame the SG for not communicating effectively. Don’t you see the contradiction in that?

    It is also a very telling comment on your part that you accepted the distorted reporting of this legislation without checking it out until now. Surely knowing how the media and anti-SNP brigade operate then any story that is unremittingly negative and repeated incessantly should have set alarm bells ringing and demanded you check it out. I did and found Lord Pentland’s judgement and other material about the Act and the provisions in it.

  67. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Here’s a wee message for the racists and bigots, in Shawlands, Stevenston, or wherever else.

    It’s not too late. Seriously. Just have a look at your own family tree, then use the brains you were born with…

    Gil Scott-Heron, ‘I’m New Here’ –

  68. Roughian says:

    A very good friend of mine is Alan Reid former member of Battlefield Band. He posted this tonight on Facebook and I thought it was worth a share on WOS.

    Some of you may remember a song I wrote for Battlefield Band (The Road of Tears). Well, I got a message a few days ago from a Paul Boyce in Benbecula (Western Isles). He has written an update verse to comment on the migrant crisis facing Europe……..

    In rubber (plastic/flimsy) boats they braved the breakers(crossed the water), Some never reached the foreign shore|(Fleeing hunger, bombs and war), They trekked for miles towards the border, Seeking Europe’s open door.

    But all they found were guards and fences, What had they left their homeland for?
    Despairing parents, wretched(weary) children, It nearly broke their hearts and minds To see the camps, the camps of tears, along the road, the road of tears, It never ends, the road of tears, the road of tears.

    Alan feels his last verse is likely to need updating with what is going on in todays world!!

  69. yesindyref2 says:

    “Sometimes that’s who they need protecting from.”

    Sure. In a small percentage of cases, say 5% for the sake of a figure. But not the vast majority, i.e. 95%. And some of that 95%, like me, would be concerned about our kids being put at greater risk by being forced to have some “Named Person” in the kids circle of trust.

    I’m sure also over 95% of the “Named Persons” will be safe, but what about the small number who could be child molesters themselves? That would have been my worry. Luckily our kids are beyond that age. Wouldn’t say fled the nest though, they still come home for rest and food! Like Easter for instance.

    The key thing is it’s voluntary, which has never been made clear.

  70. Grouse Beater says:

    Your Easter weekend reading:

    A few words on welfare:
    (With sly advice on civil disobedience)
    A few words on cars:
    (With a sly appearance of GB)

  71. Macandroid says:

    @ Robert Smith & David Kerr

    100 year rule on papers relating to the Dunblane enquiry. The most extreme protection available. Ordered by Tony Blair and George Robertson. Protecting what? No. Protecting who? Paedophiles in the UK Gov, Scottish Police, Freemasons?

    Time for Scot Gov to release the papers I think.

  72. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s just 24 hours in every day and I need to sleep occasionally, plus earn some money. Same as most people.

    Our kids are over 21, but not about to have their own kids yet, so there’s no personal reason to check it out. On the other hand there are a lot of other issues that are relevant, like Independence itself.

    So no, I didn’t read through the Act though I do read other ones, and there was no link give to the easy guidance page, in any posting I ever read, which is a lot. For others who have other things to do, or for those who’d like to tweet it to the likes of Fraqharson (I don’t do twitter), or communicate it rather tahn criticising people who don’t know about it, here it is again:

  73. Chic McGregor says:

    Well my kids are all grown up so it no longer applies (I hope :))
    and therefore I have not taken an interest in this so far.
    I am ignorant on the issue.

    However, having thought about it a little, I have a question.

    Are the named persons to be professionals with experience of dealing with children?

    If so I don’t see any issue with it, it would just be an extension (or perhaps, reinstatement) of the principle of in loco parentis/Godparenthood.

    However, if it is to be ‘friends of the family’, relatives etc. then there could be an issue because ‘friends’ don’t always stay friendly and relatives can fall out as well.

    And sadly I can see where such a responsibility in certain circumstances and depending on the character of the named person, might be abused.

    Of course, disgruntled relatives, friends or anyone else for that matter, could put forward a maliciously motivated complaint anyway but would those who were accorded ‘named person’ status perhaps accrue additional credence because of that?

    Or, is there a safeguard against that possibility?

    I welcome the idea that a child has someone they feel particularly empowered to approach with an issue. That seems to me to be a very good step forward.
    But would hope that any such matters arising would ultimately be in the hands of trained professionals.

  74. Inverclyder says:

    And Unionists finally arrive at the depths of despair with their fear and hate at a new low.

    You could argue black / white or up / down or whatever with them.

    Unless Tory high command tells them then they have no idea what’s right or wrong.

    These people should be ignored and not given the publicity they desire.

    SNP x 2

  75. Dr Jim says:

    Named Person

    I think of it like the NHS you might never need it but you’re pretty damn happy it exists when you do

    For lots of people somebody standing by to turn to for organizing help will be a Godsend

    If this gets blocked in some way what do we say to the first folk it might have benefited “If only we’d known?”

    Penicillin was probably hailed as the devils work when it came into use
    Anyway we’re talking about the SNP here if doesn’t work out well they’ll dump it, or another government might come in at some time and they might dump it, what’s to worry about

    Well maybe the other government bit there (Shiver Brrr)

  76. FairFerfochen says:

    Kids are shuffled from one guardian to another all the time.
    It’s a part of life we barely notice.
    Bus drivers, school teachers, parents etc all take responsibility for your child at some point in the day, it’s a part of the routine.
    Everyone agrees their children must be educated and accept these things as a given as part of a functioning society.
    No biggie, to most.

    I only wish I’d had someone looking out for my laddie, to see the signs when he was at school because he hardly went and when he did show up he always had his masterfully forged notes signed “his mum”..

    He left with no qualifiations and ended up in a dead end, low paid job in oil rich Aberdeen.

    Ultimately, I blame myself but it would have been handy to have someone keeping him on the straight and narrow during those wasred years.

    If the SG can get it right I think it would be a good thing for kids like mine.

  77. Nana says:

    O/T For all the night owls some bedtime reading.

  78. Orri says:

    If the estimate of 95% of cases not needing the services of a named person is true then they simply move on to the 5%. Remember that the named person is going to be one of the many already in contact with a child.

    The problem with the term “Service Coordinator” is that it’s used in the care sector and in most cases isn’t apt.

    Obviously some of the wrong headedness in the press has been beaten out of them as in this instance they’ve droped the pejorative use of State Guardians. Perhaps because ant court in the land would tell them in legal terms their complaint had no foundation.

    On the other hand unless they make it clear that the article is an opinion that headline smacks of contempt of court. From the way the verdict in this case and the Charmicheal one was stated I’m forming an impression that our Judges are getting pissed off at the actions of unionists.

  79. louis.b.argyll says:

    It’s bad when we have to

    DEBUNK such JUNK.

    The Times’ hack should be ashamed of himself.

  80. Sandy says:

    Newspaper journalists & newspapers:

    Why don’t they stick to reporting the news instead of their hoisting their bloody personal opinions.
    Thank goodness for social media.

  81. Al-Stuart says:

    Edward, I was just reading through this thread and saw the disgusting news you dug up about the Joseph Rowntree lot upping their Liar Carmichael Legal Fee whip round from £34,000 to £50,000.

    Then I saw the Rev Stu’s WoS Twitter feed with a master bater troll called John Waddell amateurish effort to bait this website about the Carmichael disgrace.

    Turns out young Mr Waddell is LibDems prospective candidate for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine.

    Is this guy deluded? Waffling on in his Twitter feed about wee dugs to win an election… – maybe that is a junior version of Kevin Hague dog food superhero.

    Methinks Waffling Waddell would be wise to study what happened to his wonderful LibDems BEFORE they sold their souls for political knighthoods (Sir Danny anyone) with five full years being married to the Tories.

    Waddell here is what your trajectory is looking like. FACT…

    Aberdeen South and North Kincardine

    2011 Result SNP Maureen Watt ……. 11,947
    2011 Result LibDem John Sleigh …….4,944

    2011 – SNP WIN from LibDems

    2007 Result Liberal Democrats ……. 10,134
    2007 Result SNP ……………………… 8,063

    So any bets on how you are likely to do in 2016 with that dreadful liar Carmichael at the head of your LibDem cause reminding everyone how your party is stuffed full of liars. From Mr Malcolm Bruce saying all your politicians lie, to the long list of LibDem policy Lies – all starting with Student Tuition fee promises.

    So away an bile yer heid. Stop trolling the WoS twitter feed.

  82. Inverclyder says:

    Al-Stuart @ 1:44am

    They want the reaction just like you have given them

    Rise above it and reject it.

    Rejection with humor usually has more of an effect on them that detailed dissection.

  83. bugsbunny says:

    One of the most venom filled hater of Scotland about 15 years ago, stating that he wish he could cut us off at the border and push us towards the North Pole to freeze was the one and only Jonathan King. I take it that he would be against this named person law as well? He had a lot in common with a lot of Westminster Politicians.


  84. K1 says:

    What are they so afraid of?

    Their own dark imaginings. Projection’s a strange phenomenon.

  85. Dorothy Devine says:

    Ms Sturgeon very clearly stated at the last FMQ that it was voluntary access and no one would be forced to use it – that was in response to Ms Davidsons foolishly aggressive challenge , like a pug with a bone.

    How very tedious that the dead tree press is incapable of being vaguely truthful and cannot see why it is dying.

  86. Geoff Huijer says:

    It would only take one day working with kids that have been abused for Mr Farquharson to realise that not only do we ALL have a responsibility to speak up on their behalf but that by having a ‘named person’ it increases the chances that help will be provided and fewer cases (hopefully none) are missed.

    However, that is not his concern as any real journalist would have investigated the situation and offered an article of information; not just an ignorant ‘SNP Bad’ piece.

  87. bjsalba says:

    You said.

    What we have here is a failure of communications. All the Scottish Government needed to do was tell everybody, the media, TV, radio, that it was VOLUNTARY, and all objections disappear in a puff of smoke.

    It wasn’t for the lack of trying, but the press will never inform the public. They do not want to know.

    Take Kaye Adams for instance. She devoted a whole morning program on Radio Scotland to this – the whole time was spent screaming that this was “mandatory”, a named person was “appointed for every child“ etc. etc. A couple of people did try to say differently and correct the lies, but they were given pretty short shrift. If I remember correctly (but it is a long time ago now), one was even cut off mid-sentence.

    This was in spite of the fact that the Judge in his ruling had made it very clear that it was available not mandatory.

    I now believe NOTHING I hear or read in the MSM. I don’t have a TV so I didn’t see it, but if the reports of the debate broadcast were anything to go by, nothing has changed.

  88. Ken500 says:

    If ‘named person’ stopped one child being abused,it is worth it. One thing that can be stated for certain. No child will be abused under an SNP Gov and the abuser will be kept secret under an Official Secets Act, as happens in Westminster. Children are abused, molested and raped and it is covered up by Westminster MP’s. It is beyond comprehension. A complete and utter public disgrace. Not only should the perpetrators be charged but so should those who have enabled the cover up.

    Where is the Chilcot Report so the guilty can be charged? Not swanning around the world tax evading. Blair/Brown should be indicted at The Hague, along with the sycophants for the atrocities they have caused.

  89. Still Positive. says:

    Named Person:

    I was a secondary school teacher for 17 years in Glasgow until my retirement and in almost all the pupils I came across needing support was because of family illness – a grandparent had a heart attack/diagnosis of cancer; an aunt had a premature baby; illness of a sibling, etc.

    Basically, class teachers were there to support, reassure and comfort said pupil. Sometimes parents were so caught up with their own worry (understandably) they neglected their child’s emotional needs.

    Health Visitors and Head Teachers are the usual Named Person. All teachers have a responsibility for pupils they teach.

  90. Ruby says:

    “When young parents ask me for tips on how to cope, I give them one simple piece of advice: try to be slightly buzzed at all times on cheap Tesco cava. It takes the edge off, I tell them. It worked for me, for most of the 1990s.

    Would I be so forthcoming with this advice if I had children who were still small? Probably not. I would be much more careful about what I said.

    Why? I would be afraid word got back to the “named person” who, under new legislation, is authorised by the state to keep tabs on how I am bringing up my child. I would be afraid my joke became an entry in the official file, now required by law, on my skills as a dad.” Kenny Farquhason The Times

    The man is a complete buffoon!

  91. Ruby says:

    ‘I have friends who are baffled by my attitude to the named person concept’ Kenny Farquhason

    Eventually his friends will be aware that he is a BritNat propagandist and they will no longer be baffled by his attitude.

  92. katherine hamilton says:

    The named person role is merely a codification of what happens anyway. Health and education staff already have a duty to report concerns about children. In the main that is where most child protection issues are raised.

    In primary schools, it will be the Headteacher or a depute, if it’s a big enough school to have one. In Secondary it will be the Headteacher, the role delegated to an Assistant Head.

    To those who think this is an intrusion on their civil liberties I have to say- what on earth do they think happens now?

    The SNP have become social workers! Damned if they do, damned if they don’t!

  93. Ruby says:

    ‘Mundell says true cost of fiscal deal to RUK will be made public but declines to say if IFS £900m estimate is accurate’

    Interesting story!

  94. Forgotmath says:


    As Stu says, sometimes it’s the parents. Actually, most of the time, it’s the parents. Most abuse/neglect takes place within the family.

    In the article, a “friend” recommends being buzzed on Tesco Cava. Or, more accurately, drunk all day. Gods knows it’s tempting as a parent, but seriously – drunk for a decade in charge of a child?

    That’s the sort of parent a Named Person is meant for.

  95. Ruby says:

    It looks as if I have a lot of reading to do. I seem to have missed out on these stories about the IFS saying the ‘fiscal framework’ is unfair to RUK.

  96. East Neuker says:

    Chic McGregor at 12.24am –

    Chic, the legislation provides that the named person will be a professional already in position to be in contact with the child, eg schoolteacher etc.

    The main role is to provide a focus for responsibilities that already exist, and have someone who can initiate the appropriate response from whatever / whomever has that responsibility.

    I think that the Court of Session have made the position clear. Most children and parents will not be affected in any way apart from having a name to approach if they want to engage with a problem. It is envisaged that only small numbers of actions will be initiated by the named person.

  97. East Neuker says:

    Katherine Hamilton at 0922 got there before me, and puts it very clearly. It is better organising responsibilities that already exist.

  98. Aranciaca says:

    I had an interesting conversation last year with a civil servant who had been tangentially involved with the Getting it Right for Every Child project, of which Named Persons are the main innovation: summarising crudely, his view was that the project team had become so involved with understanding the technical details that it had failed to take into account the need for careful presentation, with the result that the original political consensus dissolved.

    While at the sharp end, it is there to stop the paralysis of decision making when information is shared across multiple agencies (police, social work, education, health service, etc), in more general cases, it will simply codify existing good practice.

  99. Effijy says:

    Not to forget that the Westminster Politicians and Senior Police
    have been abusing innocent children for decades, if not centuries.

    The all seem to be bullet proof from these crimes as no punishment
    has been doled out.

    They fake illness to avoid justice, the propose enquiries conducted by their friends, and they lock away their crimes
    within the Secrets Act, in the Dunblane case, for 100 years.

    What other reason could there be other than political and police
    peodophiles having strong connections with the Killer Thomas Hamilton???

    They need shills like Farquharson to help mask their crimes and
    he is always willing to help for hard cash.

  100. Phronesis says:

    It’s interesting that this aspect of the new legislation has been the focus of much hand wringing despite the very broad consultation process.

    Scotland has some of the most ambitious early years policies to promote the well – being of children from all social backgrounds and very ambitious stretch targets for all children to reach their developmental milestones ,be school ready etc. The Named Person is a progression of the established roles of Health Visitors, pastoral teachers. Anyone who has worked with vulnerable children and families understands that most children who require support within the family unit do not meet child protection thresholds and often require short term support within their communities from statutory and 3 sector agencies during periods of vulnerability.The Named Person promotes a more coherent response between professionals with a safe guarding responsibility to children and young people.

    Optimal early years development Is a pre- requisite to children becoming well adjusted resilient adults,the named person in that context is only one aspect of child welfare policies that are holistic and universal and reflect a government who is taking a very progressive approach to the requirements of the UNCR.

    GIRFEC is a devolved policy that ensures SG has to consider many social issues- homelessness ,mental health issues,poverty through a children’s rights agenda.That is the mark of intelligent politics.

  101. schrodingerscat says:

    Aranciaca is right, this is about tying together various existing groups and practices.

    eg, when a baby boy is born, the midwife team carry out a number of home visits over the first 3 years to check on mother and baby, ensure they are both ok, eg check weight, check living conditions, organise vaccinations etc, if later in life if the police arrest a young boy, for whatever reason, someone in the social services needs notified, if he then skips school, the school notify his parents or guardians etc.

    During the first 18 years, many different groups can be involved with this young boys life, charities, social services, police, schools etc, and what was found was that often, these individual organisations were unaware of issues, reports etc raised previously by other organisations. the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. To a large extent, it is these organisations who supported and brought forward the idea of the “named person” not the SNP. It is more of a beaurocratic endevour whereby, now if a report is filed by a teacher, a scout leader, the police, a health visitor etc, it must also be lodged at a central point. ie, the named person.
    the named person will not remain the same, people change jobs, retire, even die, and if your child is healthy, your house is ok, the childs schoolwork passable etc, it is doubtful there will be much of anything in your childs named person folder, but if this isnt the case, it will enable all social services to react in a timely manner and focus their energies where most needed.
    It is designed to stop people slipping through the cracks.

  102. Foonurt says:

    Wull, lik ithurrs, ah’ve lernt its voalunturry. Maist ae uz flee intae judgement, withoot seein the facts. Hoo munnae tums, hiz Rev. Stuart hid tae tell sombdae, tae read whit hiz threed says, in no whit thae waant tae see.

  103. maxxmacc says:

    The Named Person Act is straight out of 1984. A step too far. According to the UN, every child has a right to privacy, with this bonkers law that right is obliterated.

  104. Alex Barclay says:

    Had this system been in place in the 1950’s I may not have suffered years of troubles from being brought up in a dysfunctional family where physical abuse was common and early sexulisation was acceptable and childhood sexual abuse happened. My primary school teacher was aware something was wrong and am sure reported this but nothing was done. Not even when the truant officer was a frequent caller. This can only be a step forward and builds on top of directives to primary schools to look out for troubled children and report suspicions. Care needs to be taken that power hungry individuals don’t get carried away and lead crusades thinking “They know best”. That is the only danger i see.

  105. yesindyref2 says:

    Yes the media is atrocious. They should see it as part of their dities to communicate accurately, but most of the news is political these days, so while they criticise Government which is a duty of the media “holding it to account”, they refuse to perform their duty of communication.

    But the Scottish Government know this and should make sure the message gets out, or is easy to find.

    There’s an enormous amount of information on the ScotGov website, far more than the UK Gov. But it’s not summarised generally, with easy to find tags. You have to have some knowledge, and use carefully crafted strings of words in a search engine.

  106. Foonurt says:

    Aye, bit this iz 2016. In wance agane, “It’s VOLUNTARY”.

  107. O/T something to think about.

    If the link does not work please copy and paste it into google.

  108. J Galt says:

    This has been seriously toned down – “named person” not “state guardian”, voluntary not compulsory.

    Methinks there has been a rethink of this sinister policy.

    Where did it come from?

    Not from grassroots SNP members that’s for sure.

    Common Purpose perchance?

    And I say this as a lifelong SNP supporter so I’m not interested in hearing that the only opposition to this is from Britnat/SNPbadders or establishment kiddie fiddlers.

  109. Forgotmath says:


    UNICEF’s Fact Sheet

    “Article 16 (Right to privacy): Children have a right to privacy. The law should protect them from attacks against their way of life, their good name, their families and their homes.”

    Nowhere in that Article does it say that they should not have, if they desire, someone other than their parents/carers to turn to if they wish or need it.

  110. Forgotmath says:

    @J Galt

    The only references to “State Guardian” that I can see are by Christian fundamentalists or SNPBAAAAD!!! sites. And an ex editor of the Mail.

  111. Fred says:

    The late Jimmy Saville would have been dead against this intrusion!

  112. Chic McGregor says:

    @East Neuker

    Thanks. That is somewhat reassuring even though I suspected that was probably the case.

  113. Almannysbunnet says:

    Scottish Named Person. Bhaaad bhaaad

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