"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." - George Orwell, 1984
Scottish parliament recently passed a bill that requires the state to appoint a "guardian" for every child in the country from birth until the age of 18. This sinister and disturbing practice would expand the role of the state in an unprecedented way, chipping away at parental rights and opening the door for massive government intrusion into family life.
The right of children to be raised by their parents--and the rights of parents to raise their children according to their values--is a basic human right. When parents responsibly rear their children, families stay strong, thus limiting the power of the state. A free society depends in part on strong marriages and families to bring up children in the most ideal setting.
A government "guardian" checking in on every child is tantamount to government surveillance of every family. These "guardians" will have access to family records and will be required to report on the child's development and welfare. They will also recommend household changes.
What if a government "guardian" disagrees with parents on how to best raise a child? Will the government official be able to override the parents' decisions about the child's healthcare, education, and home life? What if the government worker disagrees with parents' religious or political views, and thinks it's "unfair" or "bigoted" to raise a child in a religious environment?
If this bill and the threatening principles enshrined in it become law--which will happen unless pro-family activists stop it--it would open the door for state-sponsored surveillance on every family. It would enable the Scottish government to tell parents how to raise their children, place children's best interests and parental rights at odds with the interests of the increasingly powerful state.
Of course, there are occasionally unfit or abusive parents from whom children must be protected. But sound policy is not based on rare exceptions. In almost every case, children do best when raised by married parents in a stable relationship, and the government has no right to interfere with this.
Parents, not the government, know what's best for their kids.