The controversial Children Bill reaches its Report Stage in the House of Lords on Tuesday 2nd November.
No doubt the media will be preoccupied with the USA elections, and what little attention it gets will concentrate on the "smacking" of children by parents red herring.
Scandalously, despite debate in the Committee stage, the Orwellian aspects of what is now Section 12 Information databases and the identical provisions for Wales in section 29 Information databases: Wales have simply been renumbered and not really amended at all.
The massive powers to command the creation of a database or databases on the 11 million children in the UK and also on their parents and to compell data sharing amongst a huge list of quangos, agencies and educational and police and health authorities, and presumably foreign governments, with the actual details and safeguards , if any, left to secondary legislation is extremely worrying.
There is no systemenvisaged in this Bill to enable a child or their parents to see the totality of all the records and blacklists which this system will seek to computerise, or to have any errors or ommissions corrected swiftly and for free.
This Bill, since it is Primary Legislation which is creating Enabling Powers for Secondary Legislation i.e. Orders and Regulations which do not have to be debated by Parliament, it activates all the loopholes in the already weak Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.
An example of how "Big Nanny" this all is, is illustrated by
"11) Regulations under subsection (5) may also provide that anything which may be done under regulations under subsection (6)(c) to (e) or (9) may be done notwithstanding any rule of common law which prohibits or restricts the disclosure of information"
This completely destroys the centuries of practice and common sense embodied in the principle of doctor / patient or lawyer /client or any other professional advisor's duty of confidentiality to their clients. If this is destroyed, then many young vulnerable people simply will not seek the advice that they need or are entitled to, for fear of their parents or other authorities being informed.
Watch out for an increase in child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, teenage pregnancies and illegal abortions etc. if these clauses are not excised at Report stage.
Action Rights for Children are also rightly concerned that the whole vast surveillance infrastructure of the Integrated Children's System (ICS) has not even been mentioned in the Committee stage debates on the databases seeking to snoop on and control all children and their parents, not just the minority deemed to be "at risk".
How any of these Children databases relate to the expansion of the Citizen Information Project and the National Identity Register proposals to cover people under the age of 16, as reported in The Registerand all the other Government databases, and to what extent they will duplicate them, has not been made clear by the Government.