Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Does Scotland Need ID Cards?


Today the Scottish Government are debating the requirement for identity cards.

The LibDems have been vocal about this issue.  In 2005 the SNP joined with the Libdems against the creation of ID cards so what has changed in the past 10 years?

Since being elected to power the SNP has been quietly gathering information on Scotland’s population; much of it under the umbrella of ‘protection of children’, yet everyone’s NHS records are now on a government database.  Why that is necessary I’ve no idea as medics don’t seem to be able to access them.  Surely I’m not the only person to attend a hospital appointment only to have to give the specialist my medical history as ’ no records were available’.  A couple of times when I questioned why they were not accessible through the (compulsory) computer which sits on every NHS desk, I was told the system was inadequate.

The SNP’s policy of placing every child’s personal information on a database is abhorred by many (including myself) but it feels as if the many protestors are being treated with disdain.

John Swinney said on STV recently:

 “We prize our freedom and our privacy in Scotland. Quite rightly, we guard it ferociously and are vigilant about protecting our personal information.
“I can re-state our commitment today that under this Scottish Government there will never be ID cards or anything remotely resembling them.
“We cherish personal privacy and will protect it. Indeed, it was this government that took the initiative in 2009 to set up an expert group to develop Identity Management and Privacy Principles — principles published in 2010, and updated in 2014.
“We will continue to lead good practice and act in a way that is consistent with these principles. We are not and we will not create a new database. We will not be sharing health records.
“We will listen carefully to all consultation responses. And we will act in a manner that is consistent with our long-standing principles in protecting personal data. Decisions will only be taken after full scrutiny by Parliament of any eventual proposals. That is the principle upon which our government is run and will remain so.”
Unfortunately I don’t believe Mr Swinney on this occasion.  The SNP’s disregard of opinion about their ‘named person’ section of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act has greatly reduced my trust in the Scottish Government. Nor do I believe our NHS details will not be sold to the higher bidder.

Surely if there is a need for a national ID card it could be along the lines of the basic cards such as Student IDs or YoungScot IDs, but with using iris recognition to deter fraud.  The technology is there if the desire is strong enough.  Indeed a national ID card may be sensible in this day and age, but one which holds all your personal data?  That is an invasion of personal privacy.

I’ll be recording the debate this afternoon.  It should be interesting.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

‘Parent’ Will Be A Defunct Word In Scotland

The merry-go-round continues its way gathering nonsense rather than moss.  Moss be be more useful than some of the Scottish Government’s policies which could well have dangerous consequences in the future.

The words ‘wife’ and ‘husband’ have been replaced by ‘partner’ these days more often than not and politicians - particularly Scotland’s politicians - seem determined to ensure ‘parent’ will be gone from Scottish society within a decade.

Paperwork concerning children now reads ‘guardian or carer’ and some of the  forms I’ve read recently don’t even bother to ask the relationship of the ‘guardian or carer’ to the child(ren).  I don’t suppose that matters now because the role of parents is so diminished.  Gone are the days when nobody, and I mean nobody, overruled parental opinion. Teachers had to spend time talking with parents to ensure approval was given for any change of itinerary, but no discussion takes place nowadays - with the exception of Parents Evening, which I am informed is really a tick box exercise rather than an in depth progress report.

We didn’t have Parents Evening when I was at school. We had a home register (a form of 5 day school diary) in which any teacher could communicate with a child’s parent.  The parent was expected to read the home register daily and sign on the dotted line to confirm the details (if any) had been noted.  If a parent was unduly anxious about a particular problem then an appointment was made to discuss it with the rector.  The system worked and worked well as a simple discipline tool.  No child wanted negative comments in their home register.

I digress.  Several times now I’ve written about the Scottish Government’s GIRFEC policy and argued against the case for a ‘named person’ - other than a parent - to be attached to a child from birth until they reach 18 years of age.

Now new guidelines issued last week states that the named person could be involved with families in ‘setting up planning and support’ during the last trimester of pregnancy,

This ‘named person’ part of the child protection policy has become completely Orwellian. As well any child born in Scotland from 2016 being owned by the state, they now want involved at pregnancy. Fortunately this would have to be done on a ‘non-statutory basis’ because unborn children are not covered by the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, but will that deter the Righteous who want to own us from cradle to grave?  I doubt it.

The NO2NP Campaign is running road shows this month. Unfortunately I missed the one in Dunfermline a couple of weeks ago and Dingwall and Glasgow are rather too far. It also has a ‘take part’ page on which helpful advice is given should you get the opportunity to write to a national/local newspaper or speak on radio.

I’ve written to my MSP about this twice and had no reply. That is most unusual.  Tonight I will write again and insist upon a response because this is the most dangerous legislation for parents.

If it goes through ‘parent’ will become a non-word is Scotland. Let’s get out there and do our bit to stop this happening.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Corrupt Politicians? You Bet!

Courtesy of the Telegraph, we can remind ourselves how our political masters work for us; or in this case works for himself.

Jack Straw has been caught in the act too. His salary isn’t enough for him either so he charges £5,000 a day for his services.

Will this corruption ever stop?  Of course not. We’ll hear the usual response of ‘suspended’ and ‘disgraceful’ but that will come from those who will be very relieved it wasn’t them in the frame.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Political Analyst’s View of Scotland and the General Election

I’m not a regular reader of the Guardian as it’s rather too left wing for my liking, but there is an interesting article in it this morning

A few days spent blethering with the political classes here in North Britain hasn’t made made Lewis Baston any wiser he says, but he considers himself to me ‘considerably better informed’. Am I missing something there?  I always though information contributed towards wisdom even in a minuscule way.

The comments may turn up a few gems too by the end of the day.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Common Purpose

Over the years quite a few commenters have asked others what CP (Common Purpose) means.  As most of us know now, it is a political ‘charity’ which supposedly creates ‘Future Leaders of Society’.  Many who attend their training courses are prominent in public service.

It’s been said, on more than one occasion, that Common Purpose is the equivalent of the Masons.  I wouldn’t know because I know little about the Masons except that it is similar to an ‘old boys’ network.

Last week I came across this list of Common Purpose ‘graduates’ and though it may interest you.  I doubt if every graduate has been listed but it’s interesting to note how many are defined as being in education.

If you wish to look for a particular name type the name in the relevant box then click ‘apply’. All names with that letter will appear.
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