Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conservatives promise to scrap ContactPoint

The Conservative Party has promised to scrap the big ContactPoint children's database if they get elected. Terri Dowty is pleased.


Here’s a headline that makes our last 5 years of hard slog feel more than worthwhile:

Conservatives would scrap controversial ContactPoint child database

A flagship database of every child living in England, which is due to be launched by the government next year, will be shutdown by a Conservative government.

I’ve just unearthed a briefing I wrote as a policy adviser to CRAE in 2003, when the plans for a giant database were first announced. It’s only available in archives now. The only response I received was a request from one of CRAE’s member orgs that a disclaimer was added to make it clear that the concerns it raised were not shared by all of the membership. The Guardian asked for an op-ed piece but I was forbidden to submit it. So I jumped ship and picked up the baton within ARCH.

Fortunately, I met the excellent Eileen Munro and we put on our first conference at LSE in April 2004: ‘Tracking Children’. A lot of people thought we were crazy and it was hard to get the media to take the problem seriously. We ploughed on.

Can you understand why I jumped up and down yelling like an idiot when I read that headline?"

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