26 Aug 2008

Light fires in the darkness for Scotland

The Scottish Government cabinet convened in Skye this morning, followed by an audience with a range of representatives and other members of the local community.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, opened up the meeting with an overview of the potential benefits of independence in terms of broadcasting, renewables,
tax, enterprise, public finance, innovation and creativity to name but a few.

The First Minister and his five cabinet secretaries answered questions from the 120 strong audience, and then invited further dialogue over lunch. This was no black tie dinner for the chosen few - this was democracy at its best - accessible, accountable and transparent.

No ministers being hussled off high stages and swept away in black limos when the going gets tough. Just a stand about buffet lunch with our elected leaders, asking what solutions we might have to previously insoluble questions. No promises (to be so easily broken), just genuine interest in people and a willingness to listen and learn.

Guess how I'll be voting in a referendum for independence. This isn't about 'tearing' ourselves out of the UK, this is truly about self determination, to stand on our own feet and the chance to make a difference.

Another quote that I like, this time from Charles Handy. "We cannot wait for great visions from great people, for they are in short supply at the end of history. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness".

Scotland can do it - make it happen!