Failing society

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I’m disappointed that Allan Massie has joined the rather hysterical reactions to the idea of a state guardian for children (Perspective, 26 February).

I suspect he and the other correspondents who have written to condemn the idea will have had benign experiences of families – some of us have had the opposite, and might have valued having a state guardian to intervene in dysfunctional family life.

The excellent Camila Batmanghelidjh, who runs the children’s charity Kids’ Company, has commented on the growing number of children who refer themselves to her organisation as their parents are so destroyed by drink or drugs that they cannot provide basic needs such as food and medical attention.

And if Allan thinks that it is the responsibility of “society” to care for such young people, society is not taking its responsibilities seriously, as we see time and time again children “falling through the net” of social services and in some cases being killed by their parents.

If a state guardian could have prevented even one of these deaths it is surely worth seriously considering the concept.

But Allan goes further and conflates state involvement in children’s safety with whistleblowing, which he says may do more harm than good.

Again, I beg to differ.

I have professional links with several individuals who have lost their livelihoods and health by exposing serious wrongdoing in organisations like the NHS – to imply that they are taking action because of being “sneaks” or state informers is a gross injustice and not worthy of him.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road

Banchory

There are no doubt provisions in this act which are of benefit to children, but the appointment of a state guardian for every child in Scotland is absurd.

So soon after the passing of the act to redefine marriage it is a clear challenge to the family as a unit. How they plan to resource the demand for guardians remains to be seen.

If the referendum results in us breaking away from Britain this could be only the start of state interference into the lives of law-abiding citizens.

We could get another SNP majority and as there is no revising chamber, as at Westminster, the SNP would no doubt have a majority on all committees, and have one of its own as Presiding Officer.

John Kelly

High Street

Dalkeith