Scotland the Blog: A second chance for Malky and a Christmas cheer for our volunteers

Some cheering Christmas news. The Cardiff City Chairman Vincent Tan (known as "all-over Tan" since he micromanages everything),  flew in like a hammy Bond baddie to sack manager Malky McKay.

Fellow Scot  Mackay has taken the team into the premiership and if he was left alone he would keep them there. Luckily a man who seemed impervious to the appeals of fans and fellow managers has untwirled his moustache, relented and vowed not to sack the manager. That's worth a cheer. And maybe Tan will be  a late entry to traditional panto at Glasgow's Pavilion theatre.  

Here's another reason to be cheerful:  A recent article in The Economist shows that the price of Christmas is actually falling. Food and drink costs are going up but the costs of toys and gadgets are going down. However as wages are not keeping pace it feels like parents need  to do more overtime.  Mind you ever since I read Joel Walfdfogel's brilliant evidence based satire on Christmas  Scroogenomics I have learned to give children old enough to blow their own noses money rather than some gift I thought they'd like!

However it's important to remmember that for some the festive season is a time of anxiety, stress and loneliness. They wonder not about how they'll fit an elephantine turkey into their oven, but how to put a basic meal on the table. I was rocked right back on my heels by the fact that a young girl of fifteen who is part of the growing number of children fed by food banks wished for one thing at Christmas: A pencil case. That's very sobering  for us all to contemplate as we stuff ourselves senseless.

It's been three months since I took up my new role as Head of CIPD Scotland and after that best birthday present ever I am reflecting on many things. I am reflecting on my return from London that  I need to get used to hearing Santa Claus referred to as Father Christmas (It still grates).. Mind you if you are the Glasgow child I heard in Buchannan Street "it's not Santa Claus its dad's overtime. The mum quick as a flash said "Aye hen dad's overtime pays for Santa Clause to come".

So as we approach the big day I am looking back on the three months since I took up my post. A lot of people have been doing overtime, our volunteers by their very contribution do overtime  every day. CIPD Scotland really has hit the ground running. We were able to do that because our Chairman Donald Gordon and the steering group had not only laid the foundations but started to build the house. Before Donald Liz Jackson and others  made a big contribution getting us to where we are now. We are recognising our volunteers through our PACE awards and it's not too late to get your nominations in.

CIPD Scotland  also had the benefit of Louise Harley joining as a staff member after many years supporting us as a consultant.  If anyone knows their way around CIPD Scotland and its network like Louise Harley I have yet to meet them. Me as (literally)  "Johnny come lately" has been busy catching up with the branch leadership and understanding the diversity of our branch  network; I have also been meeting with key partners and starting to build our business plan. We have started throwing some pebbles into the policy pool as Scotland prepares to consider independence.

Now, with the appointment of Lee Panglea to the team as Market Development Manager we are starting to work more closely with our key stakeholders. The issues before us in the New Year are immense but exciting. However we have confidence and energy to meet those challenges. We will be working with our branches to develop the new CIPD Scotland strategy; Watch this space. In the meantime have a great Christmas and get for the most compelling New Year in ages.

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