Letters: Having to open door to officials like fascism

Answering door. Pic. Rob McDougall

Answering door. Pic. Rob McDougall

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Gina Davidson asks, in her welcome criticism of the “named person” plan (Some areas of family life must stay private, Evening News, January 16), what will happen if parents have different policies from those recommended by a named person – such as breast/bottle feeding; vaccination; problems of bullying or homework?

She also asks whether the named persons could arrive unannounced at the family home for an inspection, and about what rights parents have to shut the door in their face.’

Power station. Pic: Comp

Power station. Pic: Comp

The answer is, parents have no right even to disagree with the named person, let alone refuse admittance to him or her.

Among the Scottish Government’s very long list of “risk indicators” is a category of resistance-related risk indicators particular to the parent/carer, which are:

“Threatening workers (physical/verbal); no recognition of the problems; has a different perception of the problems/risks; only recognises some professional concerns; no/limited/tokenistic capacity for change; parent/carer overwhelmed with situation; gives different information to different workers; says right things – not backed by behaviour/actions; past negative relationships with professionals; no/limited awareness of impact of own behaviour; lacks understanding of what is expected of them; actively disrupts professional plans and actions.”

There’s a simple word for a system which deems your child “at risk”, with all the threat that carries, just because you disagree with a state official or are insufficiently enthusiastic about following that person’s orders. It’s called fascism.

Katherine Perlo, High Street, Prestonpans

Is the organ grinder still feart to appear?

With William Hague, yet another cabinet minister crossed the Border to warn us of the alleged dangers of independence.

We’ve already had Theresa May, the lady who sat on her hands during England’s street riots, and was eventually helped out by the Scottish police, lecturing us on increased security risks.

Our Defence Minister, the man who built aircraft carriers without any aircraft, and, who is keen to renew the obscenity of Trident, told us the proposals for the defence of an independent Scotland are unsound.

Then there was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the financial wizard, whose favourite party piece, learned from Gordon Brown, is to borrow a Rolex, wrap it in a handkerchief, smash it with a hammer and then tell his audience he’s forgotten the rest of the trick, and yet has the gall to tell us we’d be worse off without his guidance.

Well, now that we’ve had a “wilderness” of cabinet ministers, is there any chance that “the organ grinder” himself will make a belated appearance, or is he still “feart”?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Repeal green act and grow the economy

Britain passed the Climate Change Act 2008, pledging to reduce CO2 by at least 26 per cent by 2020.

Very few of the 194 countries which attended the climate conference in Warsaw in November 2013 have signed such legally binding documents.

Over the next two years Germany will build ten new coal power plants replacing the eight nuclear power plants that were shut down after the disaster at Fukushima in Japan.

Europe is in a coal frenzy, building power plants and opening up new mines and not a Carbon Capture and Storage plant in sight.

The resurgence of King Coal has been influenced by mounting concerns that the excessive and unsustainable subsidies supporting renewable energy in the EU are driving up energy costs and making industry uncompetitive, especially compared to the US which is thriving on shale gas.

Add the extra CO2 emissions from coal plants in China, India, Netherlands, Canada and other countries and one can see that the UK targets for CO2 reductions are irrelevant.

Time to repeal the Climate Change Act and grow the economy.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Planners should fight brownfield site plan

regarding the article about homes provision (Let’s bet our houses on it, Evening News, January 17), I hope the planning department will be vociferous in opposing Forth Ports using a brownfield site for industrial use, therefore saving the green belt, although at meetings about building on farm land at Gilmerton, we were told there is no such thing as the green belt.

Sheila Kenny, Ravenscroft Gardens, Edinburgh

Confusion over the position of secularists

In his creation of a sliding scale between “militant” and ”reasonable”, Gus Logan again reveals his confusion about secularism (Letters, January 17).

Secularism advocates no “intolerance” of religion per se, only of its continued unelected entanglement in a society shared by believers and atheists alike and in that, yes, it is an absolutist position.

Indeed, who other than the privileged religious enthusiast fearing that a level ideological playing field may be insufficient for his needs would “oppose the views” of secularism?

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh