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A core principle for the Smith Commission must be to ensure that devolved powers granted to Scotland are underwritten by a legal framework that ensures their durability and stability -Swinney did not insist on this and Scotland’s powers are being dismantled piecemeal

Your Guide To The History Of Democracy - HistoryExtra

The Ekklesia Foundation Shaping Public Policy

Ekklesia is a public policy think­tank, (one of the UK top 5) headquartered in Edinburgh and London, which examines the role of beliefs and values in shaping policy and politics for the furtherance of social and environmental justice. It is supported by a charitable trust but is fully independent.

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Terms Of Reference for the proper discharge of the Smith Commission

The Commission is charged with securing recommendations to deliver more financial, welfare and taxation powers to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom based on wide consultation with political parties, civic society, businesses and individuals across Scotland.

It is recognized that this is an extremely challenging and complex task and this submission will therefore focus on two areas. The need for civic participation and the principles which it is believed should rest at its core.

The Commission advised against a mere “shopping list of powers”, and there is concurrence with this view. The issues involved in achieving a radically improved devolved settlement for Scotland require a more wholistic approach.

There is little confidence that the top-down nature of the Commission’s structure, with two representatives each from the political parties who currently sit in Holyrood, but no solid framework for civic participation, is adequate to this challenge, and the Commission membership needs to be expanded to better reflect public opinion.

Ekklesia Series / Bridging the realms – Convergence

Adequate Time and Scope For Popular Participation:

The scale and complexity of the Commission’s remit relate directly to chronology. Whilst there is recognition of the pressure to produce Heads of Agreement by 30 November 2014 on the path to a legislative process by January 2015, there is concern that this timetable does not allow realistic time for adequate consultation with the people of Scotland.

Lord Smith responded to this concern by arguing that, effectively, consultation expands to fill the time available for it, and that discipline is no bad thing in this respect.

While recognizing the weight of his observation it is argued that there is a balance between efficiency, quality, reach and coherent outcome to be achieved which cannot automatically be resolved on the side of brevity.

The 18 September referendum on Scottish independence and the two years of debate that preceded it were an unprecedented ‘democratic moment’ in the history of this country and the islands of which it is part.

What was particularly significant was the revival of ‘town hall politics’, the extraordinary level of local engagement, and the growth of political and constitutional literacy at a grassroots level in Scotland.

The energy for change and development came not from top-down institutions but from ordinary people and communities.

To be consistent with this reality, the form of delivery of the Commission and the framing of its proposals needs to make time for genuine and extensive public discussion of the Heads of Agreement, so that it is the people of Scotland and not simply the representatives of political parties or other vested interests who are consulted and involved in the process of agreeing the instruments for devolving power within and across the nation.

What is an Ecclesia? - Fathers Heart Ministry

Key Practical Principles and Yardsticks To Be Observed:

The foundation is committed to social justice, equality, conflict transformation and non-violence, the localization of power, environmental sustainability and public dialogue as procedures (not just theories) capable of bringing people together from different belief backgrounds and experiences in the creation of common purpose. We would urge attention to the following principles in determining the outcomes of the Commission.

Subsidiarity:

The principle of subsidiarity is that central authority should have a subsidiary (that is, a supporting, rather than subordinate) function in political and constitutional organization, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate regional or local level.

In the case of the Smith Commission, there is a public desire for outcomes that demonstrably allow and encourage the possibility of further sharing of power from the Scottish Parliament to regions and communities.

Nobody's Dream: stories of Scottish devolution | Scotland | The Guardian

Recognition of Nationhood:

The Commission should recognize Scotland as nation (that is, a geographical unit capable of enabling a large group of people to be united in their diversity of language, culture, environment and economic life ) rather than simply a region of the UK.

This is because of the strong desire for self-determination expressed both by those who voted for independence in September 2014, and by many who voted to remain part of the United Kingdom while responding positively to the promises of “substantial powers” and “what would amount to home rule” or (so-­called) “devo-max” made by representatives of the largest Westminster parties during the run-up to the referendum.

In other words, recognition that Scotland as a national entity provides, on practical grounds and in terms of scale, the genuine possibility of ensuring the kind of political, social, economic and ecological accountability that can make life better for people within its embrace especially those who are currently suffering from levels of poverty and deprivation which is wholly inconsistent with the natural and manufactured resources available to those who live in Scotland, whatever their background or nationality.

A ‘Family Of Nations’:

Both during and after the referendum, the UK has been spoken of as a ‘family of nations’. But there are genuine practical, economic, political and legal difficulties to achieving straightforward federalism in a country marked by enormous differences of size (with England housing 85% of the population of the British isles) and financial power (with the City of London, in particular, operating as a virtual city state and therefore strongly shaping, intentionally and otherwise, the political disposition of the largest Westminster political parties).

It is hoped that the proposals emerging from the Smith Commission, while taking a generally federal shape, will remain open to other possibilities in the future, notably that of confederalism an association of states in which each member state retains substantial independent control over internal and external affairs, with sovereignty pooled and shared by agreement.

This enables the combining of a high level of autonomy and self-determination with interdependence and conviviality pointed towards a post ­national way of thinking and acting in a globalized world.

As Canon Kenyon Wright (widely regarded as the father of the Constitutional Convention and the present devolution settlement in Scotland) observed that devolution has two in­ principle limitations.

The Embedding Of Devolved Power:

First, it is incomplete. The recent debate about the impact of a UK-wide decision which could potentially see the withdrawal of Scotland from the European Union against the will of the majority of its people is illustrative of this.

Second, and especially important for the work of the Smith Commission, it is only conditional.

In other words, devolution is power on loan; power ultimately retained rather than given. It can be withdrawn, as has been seen recently in Scotland’s case in relation to the 2013 Energy Act.

This is crucial. For Westminster to retain the permanent power to grant, alter, or rescind powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament would leave Scotland insecure and the United Kingdom as a whole fundamentally unreformed.

A core principle for the Commission should therefore be to ensure that devolved powers granted to Scotland are underwritten by a legal framework that ensures their durability and stability.

Scottish independence will be a story about all of us | The National

The Capacity To Disavow the Threat Of Mass Destruction:

It is recognized that it is not within the remit of the Commission to recommend substantial devolution of powers in the area of foreign affairs and defence (security) policy, but it is regarded as axiomatic that the people of Scotland should not have to have weapons of mass destruction, namely the Trident nuclear submarines based at Faslane on the Clyde, imposed on their territory without, as a minimum, democratic consent of a kind not provided within the current United Kingdom settlement.

Nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction are not only immoral but illegal in international law.

Scottish National Party (SNP) - 👇 Even the House of Lords are calling out  Boris Johnson and the Tories on their power grab. ❌ The Internal Market  Bill is putting a wrecking

An equilibrium between powers granted and the capacity and resources to utilize them for public benefit:

It is extremely important that political and constitutional powers granted to the Scottish Parliament and Government under a devolution settlement are matched by the tax-raising, financial and economic powers required to enable them to deliver measurable benefits to people and communities.

Nicola Sturgeon news: SNP warned stop independence | UK | News |  Express.co.uk

The right of civic engagement, consultation and assembly:

The institutions of governance and policy should be invested in the capacity of people and communities to determine their own lives, rather than the other way round.

The principle of establishing processes that are open to shaping by citizen’s assemblies and popular participation is important and rooted in the notion of ‘radical democracy’ moving beyond merely liberative democracy to the capacity to embrace difference and antagonism in public life/policy in ways that enable dominant power relations to be challenged by those otherwise marginalized by lack of resources, education or status in society.

It is recognized that this principle is more relevant in terms of the outcomes of the deployment of specific powers (judging them morally and practically in terms of their impact on the poorest and weakest, recasting them to give such people a real stake in determining better outcomes, along lines suggested by Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission). Nevertheless, it is important to bear it in mind in formulating the settlement of powers within national institutions

Scottish Parliament/Westminster - ppt download

Specific proposals for devolved powers and their grounding.

The following would be a good basis for establishing the kind of principles enumerated before:

  • Power over all franchise and electoral law residing in Scotland: This would would allow 16-18 year‐olds to vote in Holyrood election, allowing Scotland to develop and deploy a fairer electoral system creating conditions for a proper power of public recall.
  • Comprehensive economic powers: This would need to include borrowing as well as taxation. The aim would be the capacity to deliver social, environmental and financial security and measures of redistribution.
  • Full control over employment law and employment rights, including industrial relations and health and safety legislation.
  • The welfare system: This would enable Scotland to create a fabric of social security and comprehensive welfare suitable for a modern society, and appropriate to the needs of disabled and sick people and the most vulnerable.
  • Energy powers: This would involve control over industrial emissions standards, the generation of community renewables, energy efficiency and the proper assertion of public purpose over power companies.
  • Transport policy: To enable the creation of a community owned and oriented integrated and environmentally sustainable public transport system in Scotland.
  • Full powers over human rights and equalities law: This would enable Scotland to retain the Human Rights Act if it was scrapped by the United Kingdom Parliament, and also full consonance with European and international instruments.
  • The right to refuse participation in illegally and morally flawed international wars and conflicts, and to refuse the stationing of weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil.
  • The right, as part of family of nations, to retain membership of the European Union if the majority of those voting in a referendum on the topic in Scotland so determine.
  • Constitutional Consultation:

In view of the complexity of these issues and the need for public and civic participation, there should be thoughtful proposals for a proper constitutional convention for Scotland, and for the other nations of the United Kingdom. Full document here:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/sites/ekklesia.co.uk/files/submission_to_the_smith_commission_0.pdf

Devolution in Scotland - ppt download

November 2014; Simon Barrow’s blog › The Smith Commission: what We Said and What Has Happened

There has been, and will be, much debate about Smith following its publication late last month. It is probably the case that as much as the Westminster parties were ever going to be prepared to concede is in its proposals. But the idea that this amounts to ‘Home Rule’ or ‘devo max’ (everything other than foreign affairs and defence) is far from true; as is the assertion that this is the maximum that can be achieved. It is but one package, developed out of conversation – constructive but inevitably compromised – by five of the six parties that played a large part in the September independence referendum campaign.

DEVOLUTION SETTLEMENT PREVENTS THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT FROM PROTECTING  RIGHTS OF SCOTLAND'S CHILDREN

Richard Murphy of Tax Research

Is among those who have made a powerful case that the tax solution proposed by Smith is the worst possible for everyone involved, and essentially part of a two-pronged trap set by the UK government.

(http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/11/27/scotlands-tax-solution-is-…)

The other involves EVEL (English votes for English laws). The whole settlement can also be questioned in terms of the lack of balance between new powers and resources to deliver with or from them – something we specifically warned about.

Of course there are positives, too. Those have to be built on. But people in Scotland and elsewhere on these islands will be necessarily sanguine about the adequacy of what is on the table.

The Smith Commission process, set in motion by the deliberately vague and highly politicised ‘Vow’ by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders, was from the outset constrained by a timetable which ensures minimum public involvement and consultation.

One of the major planks in Ekklesia’s submission was about this failing. It can be somewhat mitigated as Heads of Agreement are considered, but at present we can have no confidence that it will be.

Nevertheless, as the energy for change continues in Scotland, there remains, throughout all these flawed processes, the hope that the case for more substantial constitutional and political change can be pushed for across these islands – for the benefit of people in Wales and the English regions, too.

That will of necessity involve tackling ‘the London question’ – the impact of the quarter mile City State which now shapes Westminster politics and much else on the British and Irish isles.

It will also involve much more thought and response on the implications of Smith. http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21100

Who decides the date of a Scottish independence referendum? | Financial  Times

November 2014; Scotland’s Tax Solution Is The Worst Possible For Everyone

Richard Murphy is a chartered accountant and economist. He has written widely, and blogs frequently. He has appeared in many radio and television documentaries on taxation issues. He has also presented written and oral evidence to select committee committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Richard has been a visiting fellow at Portsmouth University Business School, the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and at the Tax Research Institute, University of Nottingham.

There appears to be broad consensus this morning that Scotland will get devolved powers over all income tax on earnings but not savings in the review of its authority to be announced today. Some other taxing rights, which are much less contentious, will also be devolved.

I have to say I am very worried about this compromise solution for Scotland. In saying so I stress I was in favour of independence and felt Scotland should have embraced its own currency: little else made sense in September. Two months on a worst possible outcome for everyone now seems to be the option.

The settlement reached appears to be based on the premise that tax’s sole purpose is revenue raising and that Scotland must have taxing powers if it spends. At the core of my concern is my belief that this is wrong. Tax has not less than six purposes:

1) It reclaims the money that a government has spent into an economy

2) It reprices goods and services that the market misprices

3) It redistributes income and wealth

4) It raises representation in democracies as people are motivated to vote by tax

5) It reorganises an economy

6) It regulates money by giving it value in exchange by requiring that tax be paid using the state currency.

You will note that none of these refers to raising revenue and that’s appropriate. We know governments can and do spend money they do not have and we know governments can also spend without ever borrowing: QE has proved that. This is why I refer to tax collection as the reclamation of money the government has already spent into the economy using the power a state has to create money at will.

The trouble is Scotland does not have that power to create money. That will, as the whole referendum debate focussed upon, stay with London. So Scotland ends up with revenue collection rights but no control over money: that’s half a power at best. And it has even been denied the right to reprice necessary parts of the economy to achieve the goal of redistribution which many think absolutely vital to economic recovery because tax rates on savings and rents are going to be taken out of its control meaning it can only redistribute earned income – which is precisely what is probably not needed in Scotland.

What’s the outcome? A mess, is the best answer. The West Lothian question remains on the table and is too uncomfortable to answer. UK fiscal control is reduced, and Scotland has powers too limited to really effect change. Macro economic policy will be hard to deliver. The practicalities of administering two, related, domestic tax systems will be enormously difficult (who will be resident in Scotland, and how will they know?). And Scotland will remain frustrated that some real reforms will remain beyond it for time to come.

If ever we wanted to know that the No vote in September was a very big mistake this is the proof. We will now live as two nations with two tax systems and no macro economic control on some key issues living under one umbrella state with one currency that no-one can be sure they control. That’s the definition of a macro-economic mess in the making. I am, I think, appropriately worried. There could have been worse outcomes – and they may still come – but this is a potential nightmare in the making.

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/11/27/scotlands-tax-solution-is-the-worst-possible-for-everyone/

Scottish Government urged to act as Smith Commission's devolution of  tribunals faces further delay | HeraldScotland
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Boris Johnson is determined that there will be no more independence referendums and devolution will be be rendered impotent bypassed by UK government agencies operating within Scotland but not responsible to the Scottish government. And The UK Stabilisation Unit is closely monitoring Scottish politics, events and personalities and has resources available to deal with any disruption or attempts at destabilisation of the UK.

Claim civil servant who led Salmond probe is UK govt controlled is False

The UK National Security Council

Established on 12 May 2010 the (NSC) of the United Kingdom is a Cabinet Committee tasked with overseeing all issues related to national security, intelligence coordination, and defence strategy. At a stroke it increased the power of the Prime Minister, who chairs the Council, and brought senior Cabinet ministers into national security policymaking, giving them access to the highest levels of intelligence.

From 1 April 2015, the council oversees a newly created Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, (CSSF) financed with more than £1 billion annually.

Image result for scotland independence

UK National Intelligence

Headquartered in Whitehall, City of Westminster, London the intelligence agencies are at the heart of the national intelligence machinery. The national intelligence machinery has the three Intelligence and Security Agencies, SIS, GCHQ and MI5/6 at its heart, with work also carried out by the Defence Intelligence and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.

Indyref2 | Does Westminster really have control over staging an  independence referendum? - video Dailymotion

The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)

The (JIC), operates within the Cabinet Office and is responsible for assessments and intelligence briefings that look at both tactical and strategic issues of importance to national interests, primarily in the fields of security, defence and foreign affairs.

The JIC’s permanent members are senior officials from the Cabinet Office, including the JIC Chairman, the Chief of the Assessments Staff and the National Security Advisor, as well as officials from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office, the Department for International Development, HM Treasury and the agency heads.

The JIC also feeds their assessments into the NSC which is the main forum for the collective discussion of the government’s objectives for national security, in which a range of relevant departments participates. It is charged with examining more specific national security areas and overseeing and coordinating all aspects of Britain’s security.

The Prime Minister is advised by the head of the NSC secretariat, the National Security Adviser, who is responsible for coordinating and delivering the government’s international security agenda.

Boris Johnson 'aggressively undermining' Wales and Scotland with levelling  up fund, say devolved governments | The Independent

The UK Stabilisation Unit

Formed by the Labour government in 2003 it is a civilian force providing greatly increased capacity for planning and rapid reaction including the deployment of military reservists in a civilian capacity and police deployments. The unit’s remit was expanded in 2015, to include crisis response and conflict prevention and control was transferred to the UK National Security Council. The unit, located in Whitehall is funded (£1 billion annually) by the Conflict, Stabilisation and Security Fund. It is now a much enlarged and powerful cross-government team tasked with ensuring all departments of government have unfettered access to specialist support and resources when dealing with some of the trickiest policy challenges.

Dunlop review: UK Government plans to save Union 'outdated half-measures' |  The National

Andrew Dunlop – Scottish born thorn in the side of Scottish nationalists

The quiet assassin. He has been closely associated with the Conservative Party for most of his adult life. First as a special adviser SPAD to the Defence Secretary (1986 – 88) then as a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit (1988 – 1990).

The demise of Thatcher brought his early career to a halt and he moved away from active politics to found and develop his own strategic communications consultancy business. Over 20 years later he sold the business, for a very tidy sum of money, to the Brussels-based Interel Group (lobbyists). The return to power of the Tory Party in 2010 sparked his interest in politics once again and he linked up with his friend and former colleague David Cameron, in his former role of SPAD, (2012 to 2015), with specific responsibility as the principal adviser on Scotland and devolution to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

He was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015 allowing Cameron to take him into government where he served as a minister in the UK Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland between 2015 and 2017.

In the Lords, he is a member of the UK Constitution Committee and an Expert Member of the UK Civilian Stabilisation Group. Retaining contact with Scottish affairs he is currently a Board member of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

A supporter of Boris Johnson he is reputed to be formulating and implementing Tory government policies for Scotland. In this respect, he revealed his thinking in a speech he made in the course of a debate on the “possible effects of Brexit on the stability of the Union of the parts of the United Kingdom”. He said:

“Attention should be paid to the machinery of intergovernmental relations, which needs to be strengthened. We also need to look at the cross-UK synergies, weakened since devolution, which need to be reinvigorated. We need to pursue a decentralised, pan-UK strategy for rebalancing the economy, driven by city regions across the country. This means moving away from seeing everything through a four-nation prism. Many of the problems confronting Glasgow, for example, are similar to those of Manchester or Birmingham. They provide embryonic structures which can be built upon. There are two years until the next Holyrood elections. Strengthening our union must be an urgent priority whatever our post-Brexit future.”

A long read but a very enlightening one

Summary

Boris Johnson is determined that there will be no more independence referendums and devolution will be be rendered impotent bypassed by UK government agencies operating within Scotland but not responsible to the Scottish government. And The UK Stabilisation Unit is closely monitoring Scottish politics, events and personalities and has resources available to deal with any disruption or attempts at destabilisation of the UK.

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Scots need to get the Gender Recognition Act put down by getting it referred to the Supreme Court who previously stated: “The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world.

Supreme Court blocks SNP's controversial 'named person' scheme

2014: Protecting the Children

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 was an Act of the Scottish Parliament passed on 19 February 2014. The legislation was part of the SNP Government’s “Getting it right for every child” policy implementation. The scope of the act made provision for the rights of children and young people. The provision of services and support for or in relation to children and young people. Children’s hearings, detention in secure accommodation and consultation on certain proposals in relation to schools.

The provisions of the act gained the support of parents, professionals involved in childcare provision, childrens organisations and charitable institutions and implementation of the new measures was scheduled to be implemented from 2015.

But the public became increasingly concerned about the wisdom of a “Named Person” when press coverage revealed the propensity for the abuse of children.

Press Report:

Dayna Dickson-Boath was appointed one of the first Named Persons in Scotland, but is now banned from working with children for the rest of her life. She had held a senior position at a secondary school in Moray, but yesterday consented to being struck off by the General Teaching Council for Scotland on the charge that, between 8 August 2014 and 10 September 2014, she “did send, by means of a public electronic communications network, messages to another person that were grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, in that you did converse regarding the sexual abuse of children”. Dickson-Boath was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register and ordered to undergo treatment when she was convicted in Elgin Sheriff Court.

A trickle of protests reached tsunami strength at the start of 2015 as concerns were raised about aspects of the legislation which were draconian, poorly drafted and “Big Brother State”.

The SNP government ignored requests for a dialogue and forced the new measures through. But the public would not be denied and a number of Scots parents and Christian organisations took the SNP government to court in an effort to get parts of the act repealed. They failed in their efforts and all appeared to be lost. But they gathered strength from increasing support of Scots who had been alerted to what the SNP government was seeking to impose on the nation. They appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

John Swinney 'delusional' over lobbying row in named person scheme |  Scotland | The Times

2016: The Supreme Court Judgement – The Named Person Scheme

In their summary ruling against the introduction of the scheme the Supreme Court judges noted that the appropriateness of the novel new legislation hinged on the government’s assertion of a need to ensure the “wellbeing” of the child.

But “wellbeing” was not defined and reliance on SHANARRI indicators (standing for Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included) were also not defined and were in some cases notably vague.

A unanimous ruling of Supreme Court judges also stated: “The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world.

They were also agreed that the idea that parents must comply with any advice given “could well amount to an interference with” Article 8 of the ECHR (the right to respect for private and family life). The Court also held that the legislation’s data sharing provisions, which they held were central to the role of the named person, “are not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament”.

And yet, In his 2016 speech to the Scottish Parliament following receipt of the judgement Swinney insisted that the judgment itself did not require current policy to change. His message to local authorities and health boards was to continue to develop and deliver the named person service. Encouraging the disregard of the Supreme Court ruling set a dangerous precedence since in continuing the development of the named person provision, its information gathering and sharing processes the Deputy First Minister encouraged unlawful practice by state bodies.

Dr Jenny Cunningham, a recently retired community paediatrician from Glasgow said that the named person scheme was “illegitimate and illiberal” and argued that an open democracy depended on the principle that “parents ought to be autonomous in relation to their own families”. he continued saying: “The underlying assumption by the SNP government is that adults are unable to identify vulnerable children – so the state has to intervene! This belittles parents. She concluded: “We should strongly resist and argue against this idea that parents are incapable of assessing children’s wellbeing needs and accessing services – parenting is about establishing good relationships with children and establishing parental authority.”

Maggie Mellon, an independent social work consultant said: “It’s important that we understand the rationale and the ideas underpinning the legislation. The SNP government has made it clear it thinks the Supreme Court judgment is purely technical and they’re going to plough on regardless. But there is no duty under the Act to consult or collaborate with parents. It’s just not there. We’ve been treated to flights of complete fancy about the voluntary nature of the scheme. We were told it was in response to parents’ demands – then we were told it was to save children from their parents. A Named Person can’t provide a hot meal, a pair of shoes, a warm home but they can spend time doing SHANARRI somersaults with 300 wellbeing outcome signifiers and 200 risk indicators! It wont work.”

m miller (@Imweemark) | Twitter

Aug 2018: Plan B to by-pass MSP’s and implement the Named Person Scheme by the Backdoor

The SNP Scottish Government is considering controversial proposals to implement the detested named person scheme “by the back door” even if MSPs refuse to support changes to the law. Discussion of a so-called “Plan B” is revealed in documents which were only made public, after a Freedom of Information (FoI) request was submitted. The papers were produced following a meeting of unnamed top level government officials and advisors in February 2018. An annex under the headline “CONTINGENCY” stated: “Contingency plan? What if the legislation is not passed?” And adds: “Plan B for if Bill fails to make sure parts 4&5 can be implemented without information sharing.”

The scheme has been riddled with problems and last month a further delay was revealed. Swinney set up a panel to produce a Code of Practice by September 2018, after Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee said it would not pass the legislation without one. But Professor Ian Welsh, chair of the panel, wrote to Mr Swinney to inform him that the panel would not be able to meet this deadline.

Lesley Scott of the TYMES Trust, said: “These worrying documents show the focus is clearly on implementing Named Person Scheme by the back door, regardless of whether the new Bill gets through Parliament. Clearly, we are now dealing with a Government which is ignoring the UK Supreme Court, has no regard for the elected representatives of the Scottish people and is determined to shun public opinion. They are riding roughshod over the democratic system in pursuit of a flawed, failed and discredited project.”

Lesley asked to be provided with details from three key meetings of the Statutory Guidance Framework Group tasked to review the named person scheme in October and December 2017 and in February 2018. Subsequently only one set of minutes was released and was useless since the names of all persons in attendance had been redacted. An appeal was submitted to the Information Commissioner’s Office seeking a review of this decision to withold the documentation.

Maggie Mellon, former chair of the Scottish Child Law Centre, said: “The names of all present including the chair are all redacted. So much for open government. There is no way of identifying which agencies are providing wrong advice or whether the persons present represent their colleagues and agencies properly. Is it now so toxic to be associated with the named person scheme that people are not willing to have their names made known”? Adding: “These are presumably many of the same people who advised the government so badly first time round, that breaching confidentiality is ok even when any concerns fall well below the proper threshold. What is so important about this flawed scheme that it has to be pushed through” ?

Girfec-like scheme abandoned in New Zealand after being branded useless |  UK | News | Express.co.uk

Sep 2019: Named Person Scheme Scrapped?

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced in the Scottish Parliament: “We will now not underpin in law the mandatory named person scheme for every child. We will withdraw the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill and repeal the relevant legislation. Instead, existing voluntary schemes that provide a point of contact for support will continue, under current legal powers, when councils and health boards wish to provide them and parents wish to use them.” Swinney’s announcement led to widespread media coverage, with some containing misleading content. So here we set the record straight.

Girfec-like scheme abandoned in New Zealand after being branded useless |  UK | News | Express.co.uk

Summary

The July 2016 UK Supreme Court judgment stated: “the sharing of personal data between relevant public authorities is central to the role of the named person scheme” and concluded that the information-sharing provisions:

Were incompatible with the rights of children, young persons and parents under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights:

May in practice result in a disproportionate interference with the article 8 rights of many children, young persons and their parents, through the sharing of private information:

Were “not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament”, deeming the legislation “defective” and blocking it from coming into force:

Bizarrely, Swinney responded to the ruling at the time saying: “I welcome the publication of today’s judgment and the fact that the attempt to scrap the named person service has failed”. But three years down the line he was forced to admit that the mandatory Named Scheme, with legal powers to grab and share private information at the low level of wellbeing, cannot work without breaching the human rights of children and families. It had to be scrapped.

So, where do we go from here? Swinney, in his statement yesterday said: “Instead, existing voluntary schemes that provide a point of contact for support will continue, under current legal powers, where councils and health boards wish to provide them and parents wish to use them.” A voluntary single point of contact. So if you still see a Named Person service being offered, it will now be on a strictly voluntary basis. It will be up to councils and health boards to decide if they wish to offer a voluntary named person or some kind of voluntary single point of contact for parents, and it will be up to parents to decide if they want to use the service.

The ‘voluntary single point of contact’ will not be able to share information on “wellbeing” concerns at will. Instead it will have to adhere to current data sharing frameworks. There will no longer be a statutory Named Person service imposed on every child in Scotland. Parents can feel confident that when they are given advice or offered a service by a voluntary “Named Person” or “voluntary single point of contact”, they do not have to accept it. As the 2016 Supreme Court judgment stated: “Care should therefore be taken to emphasise the voluntary nature of the advice, information, support and help which is offered”.

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2015-0216.html
https://no2np.org/ Comprehensive coverage here