Big Brother Scotland

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Listen to Alan Watt's take broadcast on the 13th.

He starts talking about Girfec and quoting from one of the many excellent Kenneth Roy articles just before halfway through the broadcast.
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Great idea to bring everything together in one place. I wish the likes of Joan McAlpine would post about eCare, but now she's an SNP candidate she won't be at all interested in criticising the government. That's the problem with blogs here.

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
There has got to be the biggest of question marks over the sharing of information between NHS and Local Authorities.
I do accept that in cases of abuse this could help to keep a child safe but they have legitimate means of sharing information in those circumstances.
Using the NHS databases to store non-medical information is wrong and their means of obtaining consent are wrong.
How many families have visited baby clinics , A&E, Hospital clinics etc and been asked to sign a form that enables them to let others know about your childs needs ? That is all it needs that is what they consider 'informed consent' and bingo, they have a signed piece of paper on the childs file that gives open access to all and sundry.
Private Eye, 21 Jan 2011: Re "News of the Screws" ex Assistant Editor Ian Edmondson

"Maybe the investigation into Edmondson should extend to his remarkable medical knowledge. As News editor at the Screws, and before that at the People, Edmondson amazed colleagues with his uncanny ability to stand up celebrity health stories ("soap star's cancer shock", etc). If they didn't know him as a sea-green incorruptible they might almost have suspected he had a high-up NHS contact with a hungry bank account and easy access to confidential files...."


Sheila Struthers

Well-known member

Scotland's secret files: A two-part exposé of the Scottish database state

In this two-part exposé, Kenneth Roy, editor of the Scottish Review, reveals the true nature of the long-awaited 'privacy principles' and the back-door introduction of a compulsory ID scheme for Scotland. In both cases, it is the liberties of children that are first on the line. In addition to the intrinsic importance of what happens in Scotland, there are two reasons why everyone across the UK should be alert to warnings of this kind. OurKingdom and openDemocracy played a big role in the 2009 Convention on Modern Liberty. This was a"wake up call" about the dangers of the database state. The evidence it brought together shows that there is a driving state-culture pushing for the penetration of information on citizens and central control of that information, while people are far too complacent and trusting about what this process is, which is being developed with minimal publicity. This is the first reason. Second, from the Poll Tax to the Scottish Consitutional Convention, in both bad ways and good, what happens in Scotland today can impact on what happens in London tomorrow. This is a warning!

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Feedback from last week's Scottish Review

Last word

Regarding the national entitlement card (SR 2 March) – why are we allowing ourselves and our children to be led, unprotesting, into a Big Brother situation – even while we all profess to hate the intrusion of cold calling, online, by telephone, through the post or at the door?
Why do people not make the connection?
And as far as our schools go, where on earth are the school boards in all this? I chaired our local school board and the only people who really had clout were the parents. When parents complained vociferously enough, the authority did something about it. It seems to me, therefore, that the school boards could stop this scheme in its tracks, that parents could and should complain as I undoubtedly would have done, had I still had a child at school'
While our son was at secondary school, a well-meaning teacher invited a representative from a major bank into the school to talk to the children about managing their money. This was a good idea, but she made the mistake of leaving him alone in the classroom.
A few weeks later, every child in the class received a letter from that bank, congratulating them on opening a new account – the speaker had distributed forms which the children – used to doing as they were told – had duly filled in.
I phoned the bank in question and – as my granny would have put it – went through them like a dose of salts. Not that they were in any way contrite. As far as they were concerned, they had done nothing wrong. Through the school board, we did manage to make enough waves to ensure that it didn't happen again – and of course most, if not all, of these new accounts were cancelled.
In the SR article, the fact that children were then being contacted on numbers which should have been completely private and personal would have been good enough reason for me to contact first the school, then the local authority and finally my member of parliament, since surely data protection laws should not permit this under any circumstances. It is outrageous.
Am I unduly paranoid about all this? Not really.
Has anyone else noticed that – of late – cold calling has become more aggressive? I've had several calls recently – in spite of being registered with the telephone protection service – which I would rate as being on the verge of abusive, and all because I objected to them calling me in the first place.
We have to get very, very tough about this. The only way to stop it is if it becomes counter-productive for the perpetrators.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Catherine Czerkawska

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Response to catherine

Catherine Czerkawska (SR, 8 March) asks 'as far as our schools go, where on earth are the school boards in all this?' If school boards still existed, they might indeed have stopped several things in their tracks. Sadly, they no longer exist and the reason is quite clear. Unlike the school councils which preceded them and the arrange-ments which have allegedly taken their place, school boards did have teeth.
Where a genuinely representative school board was effectively chaired it could have a significant role in relation to the school concerned. Some school boards were no pushover and many head teachers and education authorities were not in the least pleased to find school boards holding them to account for their actions.
Is it therefore any surprise that school boards were abolished in 2006 in favour of toothless 'parent forums' and 'parent councils'?

John MacLeod


Interesting responses, in particular

4. No specific advice was sought prior to the introduction of the Young Scot Card as a means of payment.

5. & 6. The decision to use Young Scot Cards for payment of most
school meals in secondary schools was taken over 5 years ago. We no longer have a record of the process undertaken when this decision was made.
So much for box tickers' accountability. :suspicious:

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
As all the various entitlement cards are soon to bear the OneScotland brand I thought I'd put this recently updated blogpost on this thread.

Just in case it doesn't get through moderation, here is what I left:

Hi Peter

Have been trying to find out a bit more about the OneScotland Portal and am having real difficulty coming up with anything recent.

This document is the most detailed I’ve been able to find so far:

“OneScotland Portal

The aim of the OneScotland Portal Project is to set out a phased approach to the development of a citizen-facing portal for access to public services and information, and to develop and implement phase one of that portal. The phase one implementation will contain relatively shallow content and will act primarily as a signposting function out to content on existing websites. It will link to the citizens account, which is being developed through the Customer First programme, to enable citizens to access facilities allowing them to maintain their basic personal details and to personalise their services. Phase one will concentrate on services and information delivered by the Scottish Government, its agencies, NDPBs and local authorities.

The primary benefit of phase one is to provide citizens with a single, memorable and convenient point of access to public services and public service information provided by the Scottish Government, its Agencies and NDPBs, as well as key local authority services. This will help citizens to find what they are looking for across existing citizen-facing websites without having to understand organisational boundaries or be familiar with the large number of public sector websites already in existence.

Subsequent phases are dependent on the development of supporting business cases and funding approval but are broadly conceived as follows:

* Phase Two – further content migrated into the portal, signposting to additional public service providers represented, introduction of the Citizen’s Account to other/additional services, more strategic marketing approach aimed at people already using the Citizen Account
* Phase Three – a fully integrated one stop shop service, deep content, single seamless log on and authentication through Citizens’ Account, delivery of shared services through the infrastructure, wider Scottish public sector representation, better control over public sector web-site development and governance, personalisation and high functionality utilising the existing infrastructure.

The Scottish Government is working with the Improvement Service to ensure that the National Infrastructure is fully utilised as a platform for an integrated OneScotland Portal solution, in particular converging with the development of the Scottish Citizen Portal.”

I’ve been collating the rest of Kenneth Roy’s excellent articles and other recent coverage the Scottish surveillance scandal on this forum thread:

I think the Scottish Review coverage may have ruffled a feathers which may explain the lack of publicity for this – Girfec (Getting it right for every child) and eCare related documents were “archived” or removed from the Scottish Government’s website very shortly after Kenneth’s first series of articles and the intended PR exercise that was the privacy panel had their privacy principles released quietly just before Christmas when the headlines were full of the the Tommy and Gail trial.

There are well meaning people all over Scotland involved with a myriad of different workstreams who would be horrified if they knew how they were all to be connected.

I have been known to rant on about this so will shut up. Happy to provide further links if need be…