Finally, we have an admission that the Department of Social Care has been responsible for a phenomenal amount of over-referrals in the children and family division. Why? Because despite government claiming to have abandoned the idea of a database this project was in fact pursued and implemented without our knowledge. The utterly abysmal project, Every Child Matters, was imported from the UK – copied and pasted, Mr Robertshaw? – and no expense seems to have been spared in putting a highly excessive and intrusive surveillance system in place.

The Manx Radio interview included a reference to 900 referrals and the birth rate being around 1000 a year. Do the maths! Almost every child could have been netted at some point.

Every Child Matters to whom? This nonsense is another intrusion which has emanated from UNESCO – the same organisation that recommends that five year olds are taught about masturbation.

The practice of blindly copying and pasting legislation and guidelines from the UK has to stop. UNESCO’s intrusion in our lives is local. That is where the focus has to be.

To put it bluntly, while one department has been slashing items on the education budget, money has been thrown at intrusive and unnecessary intervention in families and no one flagged it up, they just kept on going in case they missed one severe case. This seems reminiscent of placing CCTV everywhere, just in case. However, in the case of families this intrusion could cause enormous damage. We have no insight into the effects of this Orwellian-style surveillance and monitoring. Investigation by social services is undoubtedly something most parents would wish to avoid. The perceived stigma and fear of further action must surely cause families enormous stress.

A formal apology to the families involved is insufficient but it might demonstrate some good intention. On reflection, perhaps all families deserve an apology from the department as it would seem that spying and surveillance has been pursued, at no mean cost (while outgoings on education were reduced). No wonder they were short of social workers! We pay for them, remember. While education cuts have been implemented the Department of Social Care has been spending taxpayers’ money on surveillance that the stasi might well have been proud of.



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