>The spirit of Scotland is about debating and conversing, innovating and problem solving
At the end of a great year, I think it's appropriate for us all to reflect on what has occurred in Scotland. All of us (regardless of our city or nationality) came together to show that a sporting spectacle can be both special and sustainable. Too many have been tawdry festivals of flogging especially in my favourite sport of football. That said one bitterly funny journalist described it as the hokey cokey of sport! The commonwealth games was a games for all the people of the UK and that unique club of countries that connect with us constitutionally and culturally, albeit with their own unique identity.
Talking of identity, we determined our Nation's future with both our legendary disputatiousness, (we love an argument), and our sense of fairness. It was a beacon of democracy and participation of engagement, passion and purpose which is influencing other nations and opinion formers. In a world where some people are so recalcitrantly defensive and closed about their identity they are prepared to commit mass murder the few raised words and bruised egos of that time should be taken with good humour.
Scotland's next chapter involves significant challenges. Economic (oil and gas downturn and public sector change stand out). Politically a general election looms as much as the next stage of devolution in shaping Scotland's story and also England's. I have been reading a compelling history of the English > http://tinyurl.com/p9wnof6. This is probably the best since I read E.P. Thompson as a student. What stands out is how striking the similarity of our struggles for democracy and identity whatever our minor ethnic differences.
Yet whatever happens politically in the final analysis we will only have a country we can be proud of if we build our skills and learning. I am proud that our profession, can make a difference. As our cracking conference programme signals with its centrepiece theme of Scotland's Skilled Future. The spirit of Scotland is about debating and conversing, innovating and problem solving. These are all going to be in evidence at our conference and in our activity over the next year.
Lastly we will all have in our thoughts and/or prayers the families affected by this horrible random event in Glasgow just before Christmas. It reminds me that when I took over the role of CIPD Head of Scotland in October 2013 the Clutha disaster occurred almost at the same time. That brings me back to identity; in both of these tragic accidents people made much about how uniquely Glaswegian the response was. Nonsense, this was a Scottish tragedy felt as much by people in Edinburgh and Elgin as it Glaswegian's would feel had it happened elsewhere in Scotland. Indeed people for Eccles or East Grinstead would feel similar sympathy. It was a human tragedy not a Glaswegian or a Scottish one. "A man's a Man for a' that" at the top of my blog. It's about the essence of humanity whatever our position, whatever our identity. For me, like the hokey cokey that's what it's all about!
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