We Can Each Make a Difference in 2020
POSTED ON December 28, 2019 | Comments (0)

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the festive season is receiving and reading books that one might not have come across otherwise. This year, I have been enjoying two quite contrasting works of literature. The first is a Manual for Spectrum Agents (Haynes Publishing) providing “detailed...

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Post Election Reflections
POSTED ON December 18, 2019 | Comments (0)

The Scotsman newspaper asserted in its editorial on Saturday 14 December that “Humility, respect and compromise can be good politics”. That is surely a welcome reflection on what now seems essential in our national life. Whatever our perspective, we must accept that, under the present...

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Civility in politics should not be too much to hope for
POSTED ON December 10, 2019 | Comments (0)

As many of us wrestle with the question of where to place our cross on Thursday, perhaps we need to approach our choice differently. Suppose we believe that the biggest concern is how we do politics, rather than any particular policy. Suppose we wish to...

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Belief in excellence will take you far
POSTED ON December 09, 2019 | Comments (0)

My title is World Class Advocacy: Achieving Excellence in what we do. I’m grateful to my latest successor as Director of Training in the Faculty of Advocates, Neil Mackenzie, for prompting this title by commenting on the energy, passion and values which he experienced in...

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If it looks like mediation? And other ramblings....
POSTED ON November 28, 2019 | Comments (0)

What to write about this month? There is a lot on the go: General Election in the UK, Citizens Assembly in Scotland, Climate Change reports predicting the worst. What about mediation? That is an interesting question. I have been asked recently to act as an...

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Citizens Assembly Underway
POSTED ON November 01, 2019 | Comments (0)

As a member of the Stewarding Group of the Citizens Assembly, I felt honoured to attend the first sessions of the Assembly on 26 and 27 October in Edinburgh. Walking into the venue, it had the feel of an historic occasion. And so it turned...

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It takes just one moment to change, for good or bad
POSTED ON October 14, 2019 | Comments (0)

It took just a moment in time: 6 August 1945 at 8:15am. The first atomic bomb to be used in warfare exploded 600 metres above Hiroshima. The city was destroyed in an instant. An estimated 70,000 people died in that same instant. At least the...

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What's the Point?
POSTED ON August 29, 2019 | Comments (0)

“What’s the point?” asked the preacher, rhetorically. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” was his text, taken from Ecclesiastes, an Old Testament book apparently attributed to Solomon, whose wisdom we have all heard about over the years. The child and two women each laying claim...

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Mediation's a bit like riding a new kind of bike
POSTED ON August 26, 2019 | Comments (0)

"I have been doing this for the last 40 years. I would prefer to continue to do it as I have always done. There’s no need for this extra help. In fact, people would think I had gone a bit soft, or that I couldn’t...

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A Negotiation Emergency?
POSTED ON July 28, 2019 | Comments (0)

“For nobody would understand, And you kill what you fear, And you fear what you don’t understand.” Powerful words. As a progressive rock music aficionado, these lyrics taken from the song “Duke’s Travels” by my favourite band, Genesis, have often brought me up short as...

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