The wellbeing of children must be the first priority of any civilised society. The Named Person measure is opposed by people who have no place in any civilised society. The assorted religious fundamentalists and ‘Big Brother’ conspiracy theorists of the No To Named Persons campaign (NO2NP) are bad enough. But the crass political opportunism of the Tory bandwagon-jumpers is immeasurably worse.
A good working definition of the term ‘civilised society’ would be a society which has abjured religious dogma as a basis for public policy. The very last people you’d want influencing efforts to ensure the wellbeing of children are those who set their moral compass by scripture which commends and commands treatment of children which is horrifically abusive by the standards of that fundamental humanity which religious faith usurps and perverts.
Neither can a society be truly civilised where the laws which allow it to function are subject to the whims of those who place themselves outside society and spurn its laws. Those who reject the principle of pooled sovereignty upon which democracy relies and regard the law, not as an expression of the collective will and mores of society, but as an assault on their asserted right to act entirely and solely according to the dictates of their own ‘code’.
Also inconsistent with the concept of civilised society is the lawmaker who puts personal and partisan concerns before their duty to society. The politicians responsible for scaremongering about the Named Person measure fall into this category. Can there be a more despicable creature than one who sabotages a simple but potentially effective improvement in the child protection system for no better reason than the possibility of scoring points against a hated political opponent?
A civilised society must constantly fight the forces of regression and forever guard against corruption by those who would use fear and superstition to manipulate the public consciousness.
Bearing this in mind, my first instinct was to dismiss Ms Kirk’s suggestion that the should “repackage” the Named Person measure in favour of taking a stand against the scaremongering. My initial thinking was that this ‘rebranding’ had the appearance of pandering to those regressive and corrupt forces. But then I remembered that the wellbeing of children must be the first priority of any civilised society. For that reason alone, I am obliged to concede that, if positive reform of the child protection regime in Scotland requires is, then “repackage” the Named Person measure we must.
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