back to article UK.gov apologises for Tory-bashing child database memo

A top government official has apologised after civil servants working on the ContactPoint project wrote a memo to local authorities that was sharply critical of Tory policy on child data sharing. In a letter to shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families Michael Gove, David Bell wrote: "The individuals concerned …

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Anonymous Coward

Too right

what is going on the civil service is now becoming political?

Ok well all know the appointments are generally political favours, but once in the roll then it is all about being neutral and doing the bidding, see that is what has gone oh so terribly wrong with this country.

Civil service is meant to be looking out for the entire country's interest not looking to promote one political party over another.

And it is not meant to become a power unto itself, philosopher reluctant rulers is what is required there, not dictatorial mini spin doctors, need to clean out the corridors and the offices of the civil service bring it to a size that works, and those out should be looking to help build the economy themselves, not be bitter and resentful.

The labour gravy chain of do nothing and yes men is close to an end, they will have to put on their big trousers and come join the adults in the real world,

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The Solution

Perhaps the solution is to abolish ContactPoint? Then we'd all be happy and safe.

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Data entry is going to be tricky

When a teacher sets a class of tiny tots an essay topic of "What I did at the weekend", who is going to do all the data entry to get those essays onto the database so they can be checked for anything that can be twisted into something sinister?

Just scanning them as images won't be good enough - the text has to be searchable to that anything even vaguely 'different' in there can follow that kid for the rest of their life.

Of course for some children it's easier - if a kid does something as stupid as cheeking the teacher you can be quite sure they'll get their record poisoned. And gods help any kid that proves the teacher wrong!

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Unhappy

A paedophile's gold-mine

The really horribly scary thing is how useful this database will be to the people it is supposed to protect children from. A veritable goldmine of names, addresses, dates of birth, vulnerabilities, confidences, ... on every vulnerable child in the country, and with hundreds of thousands of people granted access.

And every single one of them will be guaranteed for all time to have nothing but the children's best interests at heart. Pull the other one. Within a few years we'll be reading about the children abused because their details were obtained from this database by an abuser. But by then it will be far too late. All the data will have been copied or "lost" and even if it is scrapped after a paedophile scandal, an entire generation will have been put at extra risk.

I'm glad I'm not a parent. If I were, I'd have to consider emigrating.

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and by the time the database is scrapped

It will only have been hacked, lost, and abused umpteen times. Yeah, well, no thanks.

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Stop

Save our PSBs

I'm sorry but pretty soon the BBC/C4 are going to be the only wholly British owned broadcaster in this country. If we don't save what we have we'll pretty soon end up with all broadcasting being owned abroad - like most of our other "utilities" in this country.

BTW ~£150/annum = best value tax money I spend all year.

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That's alright then

Well if they've apologise that makes all that very obvious corruption fine then, doesn't it?

What? It doesn't?

Too fucking right it doesn't.

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Tracked from cradle to grave

"It is much less stigmatising - no judgement is required about who should be included or not."

The risk of stigmatising anyone justifies tracking everyone from cradle to grave? I really don't know how these people's heads are wired, and what on earth have we done letting them get in to positions of power where they can bring about this nightmare?

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@Too Right

"Civil service is meant to be looking out for the entire country's interest not looking to promote one political party over another."

What? Maybe you don't remember when civil servants and spooks were actively destabilising the Wilson government? Or the Police being used as a militia against British people so the traitor Thatcher could sell the country to her foreign friends during the miners' strike?

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Actually, no...

> ... when tens of thousands of teachers, doctors, social workers and police will begin sharing information on the contact they have with children...

Doctors and social workers maybe, but not the police. The Police IT Organisation (since subsumed into the NPIA) decided to strangle a project designed to provide a single national child abuse investigation case management system for the police in England & Wales.

Consequently, because each force has its own system, forces not only can't share data on vulnerable children with each other, but also there's no single system which can act as the "gateway" for sharing nominal data (no case information from any system is held on ContactPoint) or for searching to see if a nominal has already come to the notice of the agencies involved.

So police officers will have no direct way of submitting data to, or searching on, ContactPoint - in fact, even if they did, the consequence of the police service having had nothing in place nationally (i.e. to bring to the ContactPoint party) has meant that each individual officer for whom access is justified must apply to their local authority to be approved... :-)

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Coat

@Steen Hive

"...when civil servants and spooks were actively destabilising the Wilson government? Or the Police being used as a militia against British people so the traitor Thatcher could sell the country to her foreign friends during the miners' strike?..."

Either I'll have a pint of what you've been drinking, or perhaps ypur email address really is a.campbell (or p.mandelson) @labourparty.org.uk.

Although ".....labourparty.org.ru" would be more honest.

*Mine's the aluminium one with the import tariff agreement in the pocket together with a bank deposit slip for loadsaEuros.

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Well, Bell had to apologise...

...because Balls could not live up to his name !!

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