Bought and Sold for GIRFEC Gold; How Government Buys Third Sector Allegiance
The first part of the title to this article is specific to Scotland and is taken from a Schoolhouse article of the same name.
The second part of the title has worldwide application for the world-over Governments have learned to buy people. To have those people organised into worthy-sounding groups called “not-for-profit organisations” and “charities” suits the government objective for it hides the true nature of the transaction. This is the so called “halo effect”.
First let me explain those aspects which are specific to Scotland. The reference to gold is from Robert Burns’ poem Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation, which is still politically controversial after 300 years as it describes the bribery-fuelled decision of the Scots parliament to vote for union with England to create a new country called Great Britain. The key phrase is:
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I’ll mak this declaration;
We’re bought and sold for English gold-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
The whole poem is also sung, and you can listen to it here.
So you’ll get the basic gist, betrayal of ancient and timeless principles for filthy lucre. And this brings us nicely to GIRFEC. This is the government acronym (and how they love their acronyms) for Getting It Right For Every Child; the Scottish Government version of “No Child Left Behind” in the USA and “Every Child Matters” in England. This programme embodies the view that only the state can prevent individual failure on the part of parents to raise their children in the correct manner, with the required beliefs, training and ability. The Scottish Government go so far as to list the essential and desirable qualities of every child; they should be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.
The stormfront of this policy is called the Named Person scheme – the dreadful idea that every child should have a state -appointed guardian or overseer. Named persons will be single points of contact for anyone who has information to share about a child or their family. This information will address concerns that the child well being is (or may in future) be affected by any matter arising from any factor. And for those who doubt that the Scottish Government would undertake anything so totalitarian, here is the quote from the draft statutory guidance:
When is a Child’s Plan required?
13.4.2 There are two main considerations in deciding if a child requires a Child’s Plan. The first is based on an assessment of wellbeing, as set out in Section 96 (2) and further explained in the Wellbeing section of this guidance. The child must be assessed as having a wellbeing need in terms of the wellbeing indicators described in the Act. This means that a judgement has been made that the child’s wellbeing is currently being adversely affected by any matter, or is at risk of being adversely affected, as specified in Section 33 (2). The adverse effect may be on one or more aspects of wellbeing and can arise from any factors relevant to the child. This judgement will usually be made by the Named Person, based on a holistic knowledge of the child, and informed by the use of the National Practice Model.
And where will the government get the information? Well, from everywhere; specifically from everyone on the payroll. The recent discovery that Borders Council are instructing taxi-drivers, hired by the council to ferry children and vulnerable adults to and from school, to report on overheard conversations is the latest in a long line of damaging revelations concerning this scheme. The Scottish Daily Mail (28th Dec 2015) reported the story and called the policy “stasi-like interference into family life,”
Now to the specific example of betrayal; the Nationalist-supporting newspaper “The National” rushed to defend the government position on the taxi-driver-spy issue. In terms of factual information they could only confirm that the story was in fact accurate in all important regards. Their reply instead focussed on narrow party politics and asks the question who supports the scheme. Now this is of course a logical fallacy (appeal to authority) but what is interesting is the authorities used to bolster the roll-out of totalitarianism.
Parenting Across Scotland, Action for Children, Aberlour, Barnardo’s Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children 1st, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), One Parent Families Scotland, Scottish Childminding Association, Quarriers, Royal College of Nursing and the NSPCC have all thrown their weight behind the plan.
One state trade union and eleven charities.
As for the Royal College of Nursing, they say of themselves:
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the UK’s largest professional association and union for nurses with around 425,000 members, of which around 39,000 are in Scotland. Nurses and health care support workers make up the majority of those working in health services and their contribution is vital to delivery of the Scottish Government’s health policy objectives.
And with the NHS representing almost the whole of the health sector in Scotland, this organisation has 39,000 members n the Scottish Government payroll.
But what of those independent charities? Charities are also funded by the Scottish Government and here is the announcement of £14.7M of funding for the year 2015/16. Let us compare the list of charities receiving government funding in this current year with the list of eleven charities supporting state monitoring of child well-being and so of family life:
|Parenting Across Scotland||http://www.parentingacrossscotland.org/||£ 167,630.00|
|Action for Children||https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/||£ 114,917.00|
|Aberlour Child Care Trust||http://www.aberlour.org.uk/||£ 209,209.00|
|Barnardo’s Scotland||http://www.barnardos.org.uk/||£ 232,790.00|
|Scottish Youth Parliament||http://www.syp.org.uk/||£ 325,000.00|
|Children 1st||http://www.children1st.org.uk/||£ 271,890.00|
|Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)||http://www.togetherscotland.org.uk/||£ 31,460.00|
|One Parent Families Scotland||http://www.opfs.org.uk/||£ 354,150.00|
|Scottish Childminding Association||http://www.childminding.org/||£ 249,550.00|
|The NSPCC||https://www.nspcc.org.uk/||£ 160,000.00|
So we see 11 from 11 receive substantial government grants; they support the government policy. To do otherwise would likely reduce their most significant and reliable revenue stream. It would also exclude them from “influence” on those in power.
Bought and sold, not for English gold, but for Scottish Government base metal coinage, these charities have not betrayed a nation so much as each and every single family within it. Oh that we had today a national poet of the stature Robert Burns to put the corruption in to song and verse for future generations to marvel at the weakness of man.
For, as even Scots-American socialist Upton Sinclair recognised
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!“