I NOTE the suggestion by Kevin McKenna (“Aim of independence is put at risk by SNP’s arrogance”, The HeraldJuly 30) that we could make the otherwise benign” Named Person Scheme an opt-in scheme and that would solve the problem – like anyone likely to be caught by it is likely to opt in.

A more plausible suggestion I heard elsewhere was that data sharing among agencies (the major objection by their lordships and the Baroness) could be only on “due cause”, but not routinely. You might have to define “due cause” quite carefully for the Named Person, and have “presumed consent” to the sharing of data on due cause but, with these provisos, I could see it working and being consistent with Article 8. I don't think you could make prior consent mandatory because that would alert the abuser and betray the protection of the child.

Surely opponents of the scheme would be happy with that win-win result.

Donald Black,

101 Lothian Crescent, Stirling.

NO-ONE doubts the good intentions behind the legislation, but I hope Nicola Sturgeon will put the Named Person into cold permanent storage, because I fear that if the SNP Government continues to pursue it, it will turn out to be their poll tax – a bad idea, a political minefield within which damaging incidents will explode time after time, and haunt them all the way to the next election.

The Named Person part of what is otherwise a good act is flawed, riddled with ambiguity, wherein the attempt to define a child’s “welfare” becomes a legislative absurdity. How it ever passed is even more of a wonder than the 103-0 vote that saw its final passage. Serious questions should now be asked about the competence of the Holyrood Parliament’s system of legislating.

The fact the Government has to face is that parents will not have it, for the good reason that it gives instruments of the state the legal right to interfere with how they bring up their children within the home. No amount of tinkering with it will alter that reality.

I do not underestimate the difficulty in accepting defeat on this measure, but it is preferable to pitting the Government against parents, and grandparents, in a running battle that cannot be won, and which will not only distract from other important measures, but will see a general loss of public support. Knowing when you are beat in a democracy and how to manage a retreat from that defeat, is one of the most severe tests of political ability which I hope the Government will now pass.

Jim Sillars,

97 Grange Loan, Edinburgh.

LETTERS such as that written by Richard Lucas (July 29), only convince me more of the value of having Named Person legislation.

No family which balances control and affection and is warmly supportive to their child need have any fear him or her having a Named Person. The need for reference to such a person is unlikely to arise.

The principal opponents to this legislation aimed at supporting children’s rights and well-being seem to be those whose parenting approach is either authoritarian of the right, based on rigid attitudes and coercive control or authoritarian of the left based on a laissez- faire attitude to parenting. It is significant that these are the parenting approaches which research has found to be least effective in the long term. Parents will argue that their management is in the best interests of the children concerned but really it is more to do with extreme parental ideologies. There are many instances in history of both of these parenting styles causing distress and alienation in children.

For the vast majority of children and their parents the legislation will be an irrelevance but for a minority of children having a Named Person might just be the lifeline which rescues them from potentially damaging situations such as excessive parental over control on the one hand or neglect on the other.

Margaret McGregor,

34 Woodend Place, Aberdeen.