THE abandonment of the Named Persons scheme has been hailed as victory, and it is. A victory for a group of fundamentalist Christians and assorted odd-bods. A group for whom the mythical sanctity of the family (where most abuse occurs) is more important than the protection of vulnerable children.

This group had their appeal dismissed by the courts in Scotland. They took their appeal to the Supreme Court in London. That court described the scheme as well-intentioned and “unquestionably benign”, but expressed the view that there could be inappropriate sharing of information. And there’s an irony that the scheme, which had been subjected to the most cynical and egregious campaign of lies and misinformation, should founder on the principle of information-sharing.

Others of an evangelical persuasion have expressed unseemly delight. People like Richard Lucas (Letters, September 21) who says that his like can “enjoy a glass of champagne at the graveside of the Named Persons legislation”. He is a man whose letters make it clear that parental authority and control take precedence over the “excessive assessment of vulnerability of children”. He further deplores the growth of child autonomy, and not for him the nurturing of independence of thought in young people. All I can say is Lord preserve us from patriarchal and illiberal fathers like him.

The scheme became a convenient rod for all opponents of the Scottish Government to cynically hijack to beat them with, including rampantly opportunistic politicians who had previously supported it. They joined the herd claiming that teachers, social workers and health visitors were willing to sign up as government stooges happy to snoop on families. Also in this group is Conservative MSP Liz Smith, who says the news will be welcomed by parents, teachers and health and social care professionals. That’s debatable, as Ms Smith is well aware that the scheme was widely supported by children’s organisations.

However, none of this would have come about without the compliance and complicity of large sections of the media, supporting the evangelists in misrepresenting the scheme as the appointment of “state guardians”. That phrase does not appear in the legislation. It is a media creation designed to cynically misrepresent the scheme and manipulate public opinion.

So it’s a victory, but not for vulnerable children.

Gill Turner

I HONESTLY don’t know what to make of the statement from Richard Lucas. He says: “So while we may share a glass of champagne at the graveside of the Named Person legislation, the fight to protect family life in Scotland from state overreach goes on”.

Will he be so keen to share a glass of champagne at the graveside of the next child whose death would have been prevented by the Named Person legislation?

Brian Lawson

I CAN’T help but wonder where Richard Lucas lives. It seems unlikely that it’s an area of multiple deprivation where something like the Named Person project would improve the prospects of local children. His list of criticisms are reminiscent of a right-wing rant from a Tea Party member in the USA.

Undermining parental authority? Some parents don’t exert any parental authority, or have values or beliefs other than a tribal bigotry and where the next “bevvy” or “fix” is coming from. There are parents who have almost completely opted out of being a parent and regard their children as nuisance or a burden they’re stuck with.

Perhaps he should watch some of Darren McGarvey’s TV programmes and find out about the life that some people have to endure.

Barry Stewart

ANENT the forthcoming conference on land ownership, the stag in the room appears to be being ignored once again.

Land is not a movable commodity: nobody manufactured or created it in any way. Nobody offered a product for sale, it was merely there, until someone came along and appropriated it.

This appropriation varies in scale and enormity from the arrival of migrants thousands of years ago in the area now known as Scotland to find the place deserted and unoccupied, to the straightforward theft of Clan territories and subsequent forced migrations which ensued.

The scale of land-grabbing worldwide can be put into some perspective by examining the number of Australian “Aboriginies” who own sheep stations, and realising that the genocide of Native Americans puts another slant on what Adolf Hitler did.

The land belongs to no individual, and, unless and until it is recognised that equitable occupation of land will only be achieved by public ownership and a leasing programme, nothing will actually change.

Les Hunter