Child care academics, practitioners and policy experts attending a conference at the London School of Economics will express concern about how the system will work.I'm sure they mean well, and I'm sure many parents really can't be trusted with their own children, and it's terrible for a child to be isolated in a home that falls short of minimal standards. In fact, the whole idea of children being left in the care of the individuals who happen to have them is quite disturbing. But this cure is so invasive and oppressive. Imagine having to fret about the government's rules every time you feed your kids. Imagine not having any creative role in thinking about how to bring up your children. In your intimate family life, you'd feel like an employee of the state. To have a child would be like accepting a permanent job working for the government. And to be a child! When your parents tell you eat your vegetables, your parents will be begging you to eat your vegetables lest they become the subject of a government investigation. The child gains a powerful new weapon. I won't eat that broccoli! And you are in so much trouble, old man.
Dr Eileen Munro, of the LSE, said that if a child caused concern by failing to make progress towards state targets, detailed information would be gathered. That would include subjective judgments such as "Is the parent providing a positive role model?", as well as sensitive information such as a parent's mental health.
"They include consuming five portions of fruit and veg a day, which I am baffled how they will measure," she said. "The country is moving from 'parents are free to bring children up as they think best as long as they are not abusive or neglectful' to a more coercive 'parents must bring children up to conform to the state's views of what is best'."
June 26, 2006
That's what they mean to do in England and Wales. In fact, the new database will track all sorts of "concerns" and developmental targets, with doctors, teachers, and police compelled to submit information and investigations triggered by various warning signals: