ID database

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I entirely agree with Lesley Scott (Letters, 21 September) over her concerns about the SNP government’s named person provision and the light it shines on the government’s increasingly authoritarian intrusion into family life.

For me this parallels my own concerns about the recently announced pilot scheme to issue so-called “library cards” to every newly born Scottish baby.

Obviously, everything should be done to encourage young people to use public libraries. But it really makes little sense to issue a library card to a baby, who will be incapable of using it for several years.

For by then the card may well have gone astray, been thrown out or else chewed to bits.

So why is the government acting so bizarrely? Unfortunately, I suspect that it has everything to do with its worrying National Entitlement Card agenda.

This was introduced in 2006 in the form of the harmless looking free pensioner bus pass, but which, functioning now also as a library card, is clearly seen to be a slow-burn “smart” identity card. And nine years on, the supposed anti-ID card SNP government is enthusiastically pushing ahead to set up a vast national ID database.

Seen in this light, it seems pretty obvious that the Scottish Government’s overriding objective with its library card scheme will be to use it to register all newly born children into the national ID database, in much the same way as pensioners’ details have already been automatically hoovered up means of the “bus pass”.

The SNP government should at last come off the fence. Either it should abandon its highly authoritarian ID cards programme, intruding into the daily lives of citizens, or else declare that it has become a pro-ID card party.

(Dr) John Welford

NO2ID Edinburgh 
co-ordinator

Boat Green

Edinburgh

Lesley Scott is one of many who have raised serious concerns about the “named person provision in the Children & Young People Act”. As a parent and original Children’s Panel member I have questions about it.

Is there a cap on the number of children a named person can be responsible for?

Obviously, no named person can be expected to be on call continuously for 18 years, so what robust provisions will there be for named stand-ins?

Given the terrible record public bodies have for IT programmes and the propensity of the named person kind of people to move around, who is responsible for keeping the register up to date so that people can be contacted timeously?

It seems to me that could be quite a problem, but still a cake-walk compared with the problem of keeping a linked register of client children from all kinds of modern situations.

This was no doubt a good idea but most obviously it was not subjected to nearly robust enough testing before it was brought out into the light of day.

God help the poor children whose lives will depend on this crazy, half-baked social engineering experiment.

God help the poor, concerned parents who will have to sit on the sidelines and watch inexperienced strangers take decisions regarding their families.

Irvine Inglis

Reston

Berwickshire