The War Against Parents

Here’s Bill Muehlenberg:

In 1996 Hillary Clinton famously pushed the line that it takes a village to raise a child. Of course that was simply leftist code word for letting the state usurp the role of the parents. The truth is, it takes a family to raise a child, but the secular left always hates this idea, and much prefers the all-knowing and all-wise state to ‘properly’ raise children.

The tyrants of history have known this, especially the Marxist varieties which early on declared war against parents and the family unit. This was carried out ruthlessly in the early stages of the Soviet Union. The revolutionaries knew how best to take over a country. As Vladimir Lenin put it, “Destroy the family, destroy the nation.”

And dictators know that getting access to children, and taking away the rights of parents, is a sure way to cement tyranny in a land. All this has not stopped with the fall of the Iron Curtain. It is alive and well in many Western nations today.

Consider the shocking case of what is happening in Scotland. The country has recently introduced a bill which is utterly draconian, and completely at odds with parental rights. It is so bad that a petition campaign is already up and running to put a halt to this madness. It begins:

The Children and Young People Bill which has recently been introduced to the Scottish Parliament seeks to establish a universal surveillance system in respect of every child and associated adult in Scotland. Details of the Bill as introduced may be viewed here.

Known as GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child), it is already being used, and in some cases abused, by professionals within universal services and other agencies who have been routinely gathering, storing, assessing and sharing sensitive personal data on every child and every associated adult without express informed consent and in the absence of any enabling statutory framework.

Disguised as a child protection measure but nothing of the kind, GIRFEC has spawned a series of ‘wellbeing’ indicators known as SHANARRI which represent a universal prescription for a state approved childhood. It has essentially shifted the threshold for intervention in family life on child ‘protection’ grounds from “at risk of significant harm” to “at risk of not meeting state dictated ‘wellbeing’ outcomes”. Every parent in Scotland is now routinely assessed on his/her “parental capacity to provide wellbeing”, based on government defined criteria which, according to its own ‘National Risk Framework to Support the Assessment of Children and Young People’ places every child under five, and most older children and young people, in the ‘vulnerable’ category (thus liable to ‘early intervention’).

The Bill further seeks to impose a ‘named person’ on every child in Scotland (whose function, it is specifically stated, may not be undertaken by the child or young person’s parent), which is a gross intrusion into family life and completely unwarranted on a universal basis. The fact that every child will be subject to this intrusion by a stranger without opt-out, regardless of his or her wishes (or those of his or her parents in the case of a young child) renders it a disproportionate measure in that most children have no need of state ‘intervention’, compulsory or otherwise, in their family lives.

Read more: Culture Watch