According to the Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell, whom we quote verbatim, “the parent is under no obligation to engage with the named person or the service offered” when it comes to dealing with the SHANARRI army of box ticking state guardians who have been parachuted, uninvited, into the lives of every family in Scotland.
These data gathering drones are tasked to ensure, by fair means or foul, that every child in Scotland has every life, including pre-life, event and activity recorded by every ‘professional’ with whom they have contact, details of which may be accessed by any other so-called service if and when they are deemed to be at risk of failing to meet state defined ‘wellbeing’ outcomes. SHANARRI knows best and must be obeyed, having overridden the inconvenient consent threshold that used to offer a degree of protection. Abuse of power comes directly to mind.
As we have already seen, every child in Scotland is now ‘at risk’ according to the government (do follow that hyperlink as it is a shocker) and readers may be surprised to learn that we agree wholeheartedly with the universality of the risk to every child, citizen and community (aye, we’re all at risk, folks, and in need of nudging towards our state dictated outcomes) albeit from a different standpoint. In our view, the greatest risk comes directly from the government’s insane (for there is no other word) obsession with the covert collecting, recording and non consensual sharing of every bit of personal data on every child (and associated adult), riding roughshod over data protection and breaching fundamental human rights (unless, as in the case of the controversial ContactPoint, his or her family is wealthy, famous or important enough to be exempted from the risks of data theft by illegal hackers and snooper employees who may decide to flog it to the highest bidder). Making the already vulnerable more vulnerable appears to matter not a jot in the government’s game of Grand Theft Data which pales Candy Crush Saga into amateurish insignificance.
Taking Aileen at her word (and she does keep repeating herself), we thought we should arm parents (and young people with capacity) with a convenient means of officially calling off the engagement and refusing unwanted advances by state-sponsored Nosy Parkers, SHANARRI worshippers and all the various pushy authoritarian types who not only believe they know best for everyone else, but also misunderstand the true meaning of NO.
The following template letter may be edited to suit and should either be sent by recorded delivery or a receipt obtained if it is hand-delivered. If you are in any doubt as to the recipients’ compliance with your instructions, it would be advisable to follow up with a subject access request using the ICO’s template letter. If they don’t comply, we are sure Aileen will want to hear from you and we would ‘also’ be interested. As with all letters, please remember to send by recorded delivery just in case they go missing like the apparently non-existent Highland GIRFEC complaints, such as this one and others we have seen.
Dear Named Person / Service Provider
I refer you to the following statement by the Children’s Minister on behalf of the Scottish Government, which makes it clear that there is no requirement for me to engage with you or the service(s) you are offering:
“Professionals and parents may identify where concerns about a child’s wellbeing are emerging and the named person can offer initial help, but the parent is under no obligation to engage with the named person or the service offered.” (Aileen Campbell, 12/02/14)
Please note that I am hereby withholding/withdrawing consent for you to record or share any information about me without my explicit written authority and that I do not wish to avail myself of your services.
I am further withholding/withdrawing consent for you to record or share information about my minor child(ren) without my explicit written authority:
[insert names/dob of children]
Should I require your services in the future for myself or any other member of my family, I will contact you and expect you to offer such services in accordance with my wishes and requirements.
Please ensure that this letter is attached to any records you may already hold on me and those of any other members of my family.
Please also acknowledge receipt of this request in writing and note that one or more subject access requests may be submitted under the Data Protection Act to ensure that my instructions have been followed.
I thank you in anticipation of your compliance.