Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Nanny's 21st Century Child Catcher

Nanny's 21st Century Child CatcherNanny, judging by her actions and beliefs, is very much a child of the 60's.

Aside from the familiar themes of "do what you want", the destruction of the grammar schools, "social equality" on Nanny's terms and social control by government there was another fetish during that era.


Journals and "scientific" research were obsessed with the dawning of the computer age, and what it would mean for data storage and retrieval. The concept of the all encompassing database was born.

Now there is a common/crucial mistake made by people, when discussing databases, they muddle up the terms "information" and "data".

Permit me to elucidate; data is raw unprocessed fact and figures, information is data that has been processed in order to enable an individual to make a decision.

By way of example, I can tell all of you that it it is raining in Moscow; for those of you who are not going anywhere near Moscow today that is data. It is only useful information to those of you planning to visit Moscow.

Nanny makes the mistake of assuming that the more data that she collects, the more useful it will be; she then compounds her error, by making the raw data available to an excessive number of her acolytes who have no real need to see the data in its raw state.

This leads Nanny to come to false conclusions, waste people's time and effort by having to go through piles of useless data and allows those with their own agenda to manipulate and use the data for their own ends.

Anyhoo, in the spirit of data collection, Nanny has started a new project.

You remember her pet project of ID cards don't you?

Well one flaw in this project (and God knows there are many), from Nanny's perspective, is that the ID cards are only planned for adults.

What about the children?

Don't worry, Nanny has a plan.

Nanny now plans to have a database on every child in England that, in her opinion, will act as an early warning system to; social services, schools, doctors, the police and other professionals.

I hope that little idea has caused you to shiver with trepidation.

Nanny came up with the "brilliant idea" in response to the death of 8 year old Victoria Climbie. Nanny's Department for Education and Skills has spent £10.5M on "trailblazer" projects across 15 local authorities, to test methods of information sharing and multiagency working.

Nanny is now in the process of taking a decision about the next steps. This includes whether the files should be held at national or local authority level.

The original database proposal suggested that the information stored would be vast including; school achievements and social services records.

However, serious concerns have been raised by; solicitors working in family law, data protection and dispute resolution about confidentiality and security.

Nanny is very hurt, and upset, that they don't trust her.

Nanny wants all children to be included on the database, as part of a shift towards prevention and early intervention.

Early intervention, that's a nice phrase isn't it?

You see, Nanny doesn't think that parents know how to bring up children; this despite there being thousands of years of human evolution to prove her wrong.

Stewart Room, head of data protection at the London solicitors Rowe Cohen, thinks that the idea is bollocks:

"Once you have mass databases you build in error and insecurity and it does not matter how you tinker with the content at the front end, you can't remove those two problems from the matrix."

He adds:

"What we are seeing is a shift from proper detective work where people are properly trained and resourced and understand what they are looking for to profiling.

It doesn't matter whether it is child protection, law enforcement or the War on Terror. Once you start profiling people, those doing it become very lazy and we build a society of data analysts rather than practitioners with the requisite detective skills

Yvonne Brown, chairman of the Children Committee of Resolution, the family lawyers' organisation, also weighed into the debate:

"We have been concerned about the number of people who will have access to the database;

who will be able to place entries on it;

what the threshold level for making an entry will be;

will it be the Children Act 1989 threshold of 'likelihood of significant harm' or a lower standard;

and what rights parents will have to rectify or challenge incorrect entries.

The mechanisms for information-sharing between professionals and local authorities are already there.

They were not working properly in Victoria Climbie's case

but the way forward is to improve training and resources, not construct another layer with the risk of incorrect information being wrongly passed on

Enver HodgeThe really worrying thing about this plan of Nanny's is that Enver Hodge (Children's Minister) is involved (for details about Enver and her previous administration failures, eg systematic child abuse during her reign of terror, read "The Enver Hodge Approach To Parenting")

Enver wants people to be able to "flag" the database with "concerns" and "incidents" relating to the child. A GP could put a flag on a child's file because he or she was of low birth weight. If a teacher subsequently spotted unexplained bruises on the child, a flag could be put on the file and the doctor contacted.

This gives rise to all sorts of issues, not least it is a splendid mechanism for the ill informed and malicious to destroy the lives of others by using flags to pursue their own personal vendettas.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner says:

"The rationale for such a far-reaching scheme remains ill defined.

There may be substantial difficulties in keeping databases secure.

..there are real risks that the privacy of children and parents will be compromised


You should be!


  1. Anonymous5:50 PM

    One of the failures of one man, one vote democracy is that it's very difficult to vote for LESS state.

    Protecting Individual rights are far more important than our system of disguised mob rule.

  2. Anonymous12:18 PM

    Surely that should be 'data ARE' not IS?

    But to be less pedantic for a moment, data can only be considered information if is does indeed inform about something relevant which might in turn become knowledge - rather than Junk as seems to be the fate of most data.

    It is truly amazing how deluded most of the senior politicians seem to be. In fact I am rather certain that most are handpicked for their vacuous inanity.

    One has to suspect that Nanny herself may have been placed by other for much the same qualities.

    Still, perhaps little Leo should be in the database? He would appear to have all the required criteria - born to elderly 'working' parents, siblings have been known to drink, parents away a lot and often drag the children with them. Suspected of not receiving proper health care as an infant. Lives in a house which has visitors of many persuasions throughout the day and night. Parents may not be very stable personalities and they certainly have some unusual 'friends'.

    Yep, I think a few entries would be required for Leo.