SOMETIMES politics doesn’t neatly divide into simple categories of left and right, progressive and conservative, pro-independence and pro-Union.

Last week’s judgment of the Supreme Court on the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 sent the right-wing press into a frenzy of self-righteous triumphalism. The Tory Party and Ukip were jubilant, proclaiming the ruling a victory for family values, while the Christian Institute discovered an unlikely new hero in the shape of Lady Hale, the self-proclaimed feminist who led the Supreme Court in their judgment.

Anyone who reads this column knows where I stand on the political spectrum. My politics are as far removed from Ukip and the Christian Institute as the North Pole is from the Sahara Desert. But I did work for years at the coal face of supporting vulnerable families. And like many others delivering frontline services on the ground, I have long been uneasy about the information-sharing provisions of the named person scheme.

Clan Childlaw, the community law centre with a well-earned reputation for standing up for children’s rights, helpfully intervened in the legal process, giving a voice to many who felt unheard.

In the wake of the judgment, we were inundated with a torrent of statements and counter-statements interpreting the Supreme Court decision as either a vindication of the Scottish Government – albeit with a few tweaks required – or a devastating indictment of a sinister Big Brother regime. The wider public were left scratching their heads.

I did actually take the time to read the 48-page judgment – unlike, I suspect, many of those on either side who rushed to comment on social media.

So can we look at what it actually said? The words written by the five judges – two of whom were Scottish – led by the highly impressive Lady Hale, are that the provisions, specifically part 4 of the Act, are “not in accordance with the law” as required by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), so “cannot be brought into force”. Any Act of the Scottish Parliament which fails to comply with the ECHR is not lawful.

The Supreme Court, at this time, is the most experienced and qualified court in the UK in interpreting and applying the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights. In a future independent Scotland, we will still have to apply that jurisprudence – presuming we still want to be signed up to the ECHR.

It wasn’t just the Christian Institute who were concerned. Many people, from many standpoints and backgrounds, were uneasy. The concerns about the threshold being lowered for breaching confidentiality from when there is a risk of "significant harm" to concerns about "wellbeing" were proven to be valid.

This is not a minor problem about drafting, or a technicality. It’s a fundamental matter of principle at the heart of the legislation. The judgment reinforces the duty of confidentiality on all agencies who hold sensitive personal information.

And not before time. Anyone who works on the ground in the violence against women and children sector understands that resisting the pressure to share information because it does not reach the threshold of risk of "significant harm" is well-nigh impossible.

Many of us who have worked in the sector can cite examples of agencies playing fast and loose with people’s information already. All too often it boils down to middle-class professionals discussing poor and working-class families.

It is not the wine-drinking parents who let their children run amok in Princes Square whose information gets shared. It’s the folk who get picked up for drinking cheap lager in the park while their weans play on the swings.

The proliferation of multi-agency forums, propelled by a powerful lobby of top-level managers, has led to meetings up and down the country discussing intimate details of people’s lives.

I remember attending the West Dunbartonshire Violence Against Women Partnership and making the case, as best I could, to defend the data protection principles and the threshold of "significant harm" for sharing information. The police representative’s response at the time was, “As far as I’m concerned, we share information and that’s it”.

It’s not that I don’t think agencies, and even a specific named person, shouldn’t have responsibility to help an unhappy child. But there is a big difference between having a responsibility to help and having power over people’s lives.

I’ve written before of how my mum struggled after the death of my dad. She was depressed for many years and often couldn’t get out of bed. I had one set of clothes, holes in my shoes and would run to the shop for a tin of Ambrosia creamed rice for my dinner.

No-one at school, or anywhere else, asked if they could help. If they had, I would’ve said, “Help my mum”. If she’d had more money and someone she trusted to support her, things might have been better. But I can’t imagine anything worse than my smelly clothes being discussed by the teacher, the doctor, the social worker, the police and whoever else was invited to put their neb in.

And my absolute worst nightmare would have been being taken away from a mum I understood and loved with all my heart. That would have been punishing my mother and her children for all the trauma and tragedy the world had thrown at her.

The judgment by Lady Hale and her colleagues talks a lot about the value of "difference". They say: “If we were all the same, we would not need to guarantee that individual differences should be respected.’’

I agree, and we should pay mind to that if we are to win independence. I am uncomfortable that some people seem to believe that supporting the Named Person legislation is a test of loyalty to the cause.

The beauty of the 2014 Yes campaign was its diversity and multiplicity of views. Surely we should be fashioning now the sort of democracy we imagined in the run-up to September 2014.

We won’t win a second referendum by trying to pressurise people into toeing party political lines, especially on sensitive issues, but by respecting their right to have different opinions.