FIRST the Scottish Government proposed to protect children by the Named Person proposal, and now it is making smacking children a crime and encouraging anyone, including presumably the smacked child, seeing a smacking to phone 999 ("Scots are told to dial 999 if they see child being smacked", The Herald, October 13). If a subsequent criminal trial is successful, could that result in the child (and any siblings?) being removed from the parental home, like it or not?

It all seems like a continuation of what appears to be the relentless mission creep of this Government to drive a wedge between parents and their children. It reminds me of the stark warning by the UK Supreme Court in a case in 2016 which stated in Article 73 that “the first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is get at the children, to distance them from subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world. Within limits, families must be left to bring up their children in their own way. So to follow that case, it depends on how you chose to interpret "within limits". I consider it is no more than common sense that smacking is an acceptable family discipline, whereas the Scottish Government considers it to be an act of criminality requiring punishment. What next?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

SO our SNP Government seems determined to pursue its role in the creation of a nanny state, having failed with its Named Persons project. Now we are told to contact the police if we witness a child being chastised with a smack.

The concept of "reasonable chastisement" is to be consigned to the legal dustbin. We are at the same time presented with something of a non sequitur by Maree Todd. For those who do not immediately recognise the name, she is the Children and Young Persons Minister. She observes: "I assure members that our intention is not to criminalise parents."

What is next one wonders? Are parents to be accused of ill-treatment by bullying if they raise their voices in annoyance or frustration at the behaviour of their children?

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.