Nanny state to kick in full throttle in the UK?

Via the UK Daily Mail:

State to interfere in childrens’ home lives

The home life of every child in the country is to be recorded on a national database in the ultimate intrusion of the nanny state, it has emerged.

Computer records holding details of school performance, diet and even whether their parents provide a ‘positive role model’ for 12 million children will be held by the Government.

Police, social workers, teachers and doctors will have access to the database and have powers to flag up ‘concerns’ where children are not meeting criteria laid down by the state.

The ‘children’s index’, which will cost the taxpayer £224 million, will even monitor whether youngsters are eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, whether they go to church or are struggling to get good marks at school.

One assessment records whether a pre-school child is in day care – suggesting that those who are looked after by their mothers at home are not conforming to the state ideal.

Critics said the plan would sideline on an unprecedented scale the rights of parents to bring up their children in the way they see fit and amount to a ‘bar-coding’ of youngsters.

They questioned how the Government knew better than parents on the correct way to bring up a child, and warned that it would deter decent families from seeking help for fear of being branded at risk.

It could take just two warning flags on a child’s file to trigger an investigation. The Government handed itself sweeping powers in the 2004 Children Act to record basic information of all children in England and Wales, based on information from the register of births and child benefit.

The Act followed the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie – whose neglect by her aunt and her boyfriend was missed by social workers.

Section 12 of the act limits information to name, address, date of birth, gender, a unique id, contact details of parent or carer, school, GP practice and other practioners dealing with the child.

But the Government wants to extend the records to include detailed assessments of a child’s life.

Ministers insist it will act as an early warning system to highlight children at risk.

The database has already been piloted in 12 local authorities and the Government plans to make it nationwide from next year.

It will try to introduce a regulation in Parliament in the autumn – allowing it to become law with barely any scrutiny by MPs.

If you read the rest of the article, you’ll see that this is bumping up against a lot of opposition. But will the opposition be enough to stop the UK gov’t from implementing these extra measures that have been proposed under the banner of ‘protecting the children’? Stay tuned …

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