Parallel Lines: my tribute to Kenneth Roy

Published in The Spirit of Inveramsay: ‘Utopia’, R.F. Mackenzie & a tribute to Kenneth Roy (edited by Neil McLellan)

inveramsay spirit kenneth roy

Parallel Lines: my tribute to Kenneth Roy

In October 2010, an email from a senior Scottish politician landed in my inbox asking ‘Did you put Kenneth Roy up to this?’ The ‘this’ was a three-part Scottish Review investigation which had just debunked the government’s flagship GIRFEC (‘Getting It Right For Every Child’) policy as a surveillance scheme in woolly wellbeing clothing.

Read the series: Big Brother ScotlandIn the nightmarish world of mass snooping on children, Scotland leads the way; In Scotland’s new world of electronic child surveillance, debased language conceals what is going on

Continue reading “Parallel Lines: my tribute to Kenneth Roy”


Manx home education proposals breach human rights, say lawyers

In a legal opinion [pdf download] published today, top Manx lawyers have cited the Scottish ‘named person’ judgment handed down by the Supreme Court in 2016 as an authoritative legal precedent that serves to uphold the rights and freedoms of families who choose home education over state schooling.

Following a crowdfunding campaign by concerned parents, Douglas-based Quinn Legal has assessed proposed new legislation by the Isle of Man government as being non-compliant with several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It also points to likely breaches of the Equality Act when it comes fully into force on the island. Continue reading “Manx home education proposals breach human rights, say lawyers”

Dear Children’s Commissioner for England

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, seems to believe she knows better than a UN Special Rapporteur on Education. I have previously quoted Katarina Tomasevski on the schooling industry’s hijacking of education which has led to the conflation of self-defined rights with state-dictated outcomes. Like school and education, these are not synonymous and the notion of a rights-respecting school is, frankly, an oxymoron.  Continue reading “Dear Children’s Commissioner for England”

Parity and partiality

No sooner had the Ashers ‘gay cake’ judgment been handed down by the Supreme Court yesterday than all hell broke out online, signalling a new wave of Twitter trench warfare. Never mind that most of the outraged brigade had not even read the ruling, let alone grasped the legal principles behind it, the ideological battle lines had been drawn and social media snipers’ ad hominem attacks inevitably dominated the discourse.

Since the justices unanimously upheld the Belfast bakers’ appeal on all grounds and exonerated them of claims of unlawful discrimination on the basis of a customer’s sexual orientation, questions have been asked about the partiality of Northern Ireland’s  Equality Commission, which bankrolled the complaint  against holders of equally protected characteristics who had sought to exercise their own right to freedom of expression.  Continue reading “Parity and partiality”

Scottish government blames ICO for GIRFEC data sharing shambles

[Re-blogged from Home Ed Forums]

The Scottish government has failed to address key concerns about the implementation of its getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) policy and allied named person scheme, joint petitioners have stated in a written submission to MSPs in support of their call for a public inquiry into the human rights impact of the data-driven regime.

Lesley Scott of Tymes Trust and Alison Preuss of the Scottish Home Education Forum have questioned the government’s version of events, which led to the lowering of the legal threshold for using children’s and families’ personal data without their consent, and without reference to parliament or independent legal advice.

Continue reading “Scottish government blames ICO for GIRFEC data sharing shambles”

The Z-Listers

Article first published in the Scottish Review, 5 September 2018.

The Z-Listers

Even before the ink was dry on the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) Scotland bill – introduced by John Swinney last June after his original state guardian scheme was blocked by the Supreme Court – government officials were predicting a bumpy ride for the new legislation.

At a ‘GIRFEC engagement on information sharing’ meeting with named person service providers the very next day, a forward plan was drawn up to help smooth the bill’s passage through parliament in anticipation of implementation by the end of 2018. Released in note form as part of the response to a freedom of information request, the timeline covered the period ‘going forward’ from June 2017 to December 2018.

However, these unnamed crystal ball gazers all failed to predict the education and skills committee’s unprecedented decision to delay the legislation due to an inadequate accompanying code of practice; nor did they foresee the bitter rows over alleged witness tampering and complaints by parliamentary clerks of government interference. So much for the government’s blind faith in ‘prevention science’ and early intervention to avoid such poor outcomes.  Continue reading “The Z-Listers”

Beware the well-behaving police

Making freedom of information requests in relation to the Scottish government’s getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) policy and scrutinising the responses has become an all-consuming pastime in these parts. Deciphering the disclosures can be complicated by redactions and exemptions that sometimes have to be internally reviewed and referred to the information commissioner for resolution.

As one half of the No2(NP) Ladies Detective Agency, I share the investigative burden with a colleague who is equally committed to securing justice for victims of the abuse of power by so-called ‘services’. Between us, we have been piecing together the jigsaw of activities, events and decisions that led up to the embedding, from  2013, of an unlawful threshold for gathering and sharing  personal data without consent.  Continue reading “Beware the well-behaving police”