by Rab Bruce’s Spider

The Ruth Davidson (We’re not really Tories – Honest!) Party have shown their true colours again by asking people to sign a petition against the Named Persons’ legislation. This comes in the wake of them realising that the “Blow for Sturgeon" trumpeted by the BBC and other Unionist media was no such thing. It does, though, confirm to anyone who still harbours any lingering doubts about the Ruth Davidson Party that they would far rather score political points in order to preserve the Union than actually support a scheme which is intended to prevent children suffering abuse, harm or even death.

Of course, they will claim, the Named Persons’ legislation is hated because it is a Snoopers’ Charter. Coming from the Ruth Davidson Party, this is pretty rich considering the IP Bill the Tories are pushing through in Westminster which will allow the UK Government to spy on every email, phone call or text message made by any UK resident. In comparison, the NP Bill is nothing. Indeed, if it is so hated, one should perhaps ask the Ruth Davidson Party why the Bill passed through Holyrood without a single MSP voting against it. Could it be that they actually thought it was a good idea but have now jumped on the back of a bandwagon started by a small number of zealots who haven’t bothered to read the legislation or listen to the experiences of people who have been involved in the trials of the scheme?

But what about this “Blow for Sturgeon"? According to initial media reports, the Supreme Court had ruled the NP Bill incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. There was much gloating and celebrating by the Ruth Davidson Party and others until people actually took the time to read what the judgement said. It transpired that the Court found the intention of the legislation to be legitimate and benign, not at all the sort of language you’d expect if they had ruled it as breaching the ECHR. In fact, the only part of the legislation they found fault with was the Data Sharing aspect which, under the current wording, could result in confidential data about children and parents being inappropriately shared without consent. The Court knows this can be rectified and has given the Scottish Government six weeks to amend the wording to make it compatible. In legislative terms, six weeks is nothing, showing that the Court expects the Bill to be suitably amended very quickly.

When the true facts emerged, they were so obvious that even the BBC was forced to amend its jubilant headlines to admit the truth. The ruling was so much of a “Blow for Sturgeon" that Children’s charities and Highland Council, where the scheme has been in use for some years on a trial basis, have officially come out and confirmed they are happy with the Court ruling.

This judgement means there may be a slight delay to the Bill coming into full force but it will not prevent NP becoming law. This is what has upset the Ruth Davidson Party and other people who have no idea what the legislation is intended to do or how it is intended to work. Their opposition is based on the one ideological strand that anything the SNP Government does must be bad and they are deliberately putting children at risk solely in order to perpetuate this tribal perspective.

And, of course, the most ironic thing about the whole saga is that many of the people who were acclaiming the Court decision are the same people who want to take the UK out of the EU so that the ECHR does not apply. But then, irony never does seem to register with them.

One final word of warning. This will not be the last we hear of this because no system is capable of completely eliminating child abuse. NP is an attempt to improve the current system and, if the trials are anything to go by, it seems to make a difference. However, we should expect the Ruth Davidson Party to loudly proclaim its failure as soon as one child suffers any sort of harm. When that happens, ask yourself what sort of person would take delight in a child suffering harm?