Monday, July 24, 2006

Try to Parent with Big Brother

Wow. I couldn't believe it when I read this article. I actually thought it was a joke, but it's actually a real article. We live in scary times. After the whole beer and popcorn comments back in the fall, I wonder what the Liberals would do if state-run day care really did exist?

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.


[...]

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.


[...]

There is even a Wikipedia page on this!

Toque Tip: Jesse Gritter

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