Letters: State no role to play in Scots parenting

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The presence in the Children and Young Persons Act of a ‘named person’ with a responsibility to ensure children meet the ‘GIRFEC/SHANARRI’ criteria means that Scots need to wake up to the existence of a new and powerful lobby in Holyrood to which the political class are enthralled - the parenting lobby.

The parenting lobby is not a lobby of actual parents - far from it. It is a lobby of statists who imagine that parenting is a ‘service’ that can and should be prescribed and imposed by the state, in which actual parents are merely conditional service providers to their children.

The notion of objective and definable ‘parenting’ is fraudulent for a number of reasons. First, all children are unique. Second, all mothers and fathers are unique. Third, all families are unique. Fourth, parents are kin, not service providers. And last of all, parents want and expect different things for and of their children.

It is for that reason that the state’s licit relationship to children and families is in the detection and prevention of abuse and neglect, areas unrelated to parenting. Even if it was possible or desirable to define or prescribe ‘parenting’, the state would be the last agency fit to do so.

The ‘parenting industry’ must be fought and defeated for the good of the Scottish nation and its children, and the primary group that should be doing that is actual parents themselves.

Given that most of us have parents, are parents or may one day wish to be parents, that should be achievable.

Michael Calwell, Oxford Street, Edinburgh

Investment’s fine but not at the cost of jobs

Alex Orr (Letters, June 10) is rather partial in his interpretation of the report on last year’s inward investment into Scotland. A major point was that jobs created fell by nearly 20%, which he omitted to mention.

Jobs are the most important aspect.

Also, counting the number of projects rather than their value tells us little. More important is his assumption that inward investment is good.

When a foreign company buys a British company and exports the profits or shuts the business with a loss of jobs, then this is counted as inward investment.

Several billions of inward investment involved Kraft buying Cadbury’s, shutting a factory and exporting jobs and profits, but the value of the sale is the inward investment. So let’s measure jobs imported and exported. The likelihood, as some companies have indicated, is that independence will see their export rather than the reverse.

Paul Beswick, Gillespie Street, Edinburgh

Development plan is no threat to Cammo

so ‘the great and good’ of Cammo do not like the Local Development Plan, as proposed by the council. Allow me to just look at two aspects of this.

Building of however many houses will not cause gridlock at the Barnton junction in the same way it didn’t when East Craigs was built at the beginning of the 80s. Nor can they mump about green belt land, as their houses were within the same area, but in a different field.

I went to see the plans at the drop-in event held by the developers in Cramond Kirk hall, in November 2013, my only objection being the proposed access points. Preferrably it should be from the East Craigs roundabout. That’s why it’s there.

Good, though, to read the letter from Rick Finc of RFA Planning and Development Consultants, (News, June 10).

A straightforward common sense approach to the LDP and the green belt. It is worth repeated reading and to be quoted from.

As I lived on Drum Brae North for a few decades and so watched the development of the entire area, I would count myself knowledgeable.

Regarding the threat of legal action, mmm - playground bullying methinks.

Graham Davidson, Edinburgh

Unsightly legacy of utility companies

Like everyone else within Edinburgh, I am becoming more and more annoyed at the state the city is in, whether it be the roads, pavements, litter or waste collection.

With this in mind I contacted the council asking why so many items such as traffic cones, barriers or road signs were left behind by the various utility companies for months after they had completed the work.

I contacted Mr James Hunter of city centre management who apologised for this oversight by staff and stated he had had a word with them that they had to incorporate this work into their daily routine. That was on May 9.

Anyone walking around the city will see countless items lying around. some posing a danger to the public. Nothing has changed.

David Black, Kenmure Avenue, Edinburgh

Trams should be open to all concession cards

So the trams are here and they are rather pretty, but can anyone explain why only travel concession cards issued by Edinburgh council can be used?

Everyone in Scotland paid for the trams, not just Edinburgh council taxpayers. Edinburgh Trams say it is nothing to do with them, ask the council. So I am doing that, through the News.

Bill Armitage, Papermill Wynd, Edinburgh