Looking forwards with hope and trepidation

Kelso old town hall

So my relocation to Scotland was completed last month; and I am now looking forwards to working with the local voluntary sector and other organisations that share my interest in social change.

Firstly I need to build a network of contacts and hopefully schedule some workshops on topics that can help develop the skills and knowledge of staff and volunteers. Indeed, whether you are interested in governance, new manager skills, social media, data protection or better health and safety management, Green Pepper can help. And if things work out, expect to see the first workshops scheduled in the new year.

But if I seem hopeful on a professional level, I fear it could be short-lived. Longer-term, things could become very difficult for the voluntary sector…

The Westminster Parliament has voted for a December 12th general election so the coming weeks will be dominated by soundbites, talking heads and opinion polls. What’s more, whether we like it or not, Brexit will remain the big election issue.

Of course, Boris Johnson sees this as a way to drag everyone into his post-Brexit vision for society. But I doubt many voluntary organisations are quite so desperate for a future outside of Europe.

As for Scotland, its political choices will almost certainly be ignored in London. Indeed, I’ve been struck by the apparent indifference and even contempt, shown by leading politicians and the media towards Scottish matters. It seems “best for Britain” really means what is “best for England”.

So an uncertain outcome awaits. It may all become clear on the morning of 13th December. But given events of the last three years, it could also be a whole lot less clear. Either way, I view the political future with trepidation.



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