I was delighted to see Darren McCraw and Rachel Robertson, from Newbattle High, be picked to participate in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on 23rd July. I understand that, as part of their role as second team hosts, they’ll be announcing the arrival of the Seychelles and Pakistan teams to the stadium – the two countries Midlothian Council is supporting during the Games. I’m sure Darren and Rachel will have a great time and I look forward to keeping an eye out for them during the ceremony!
Congratulations are also due to Loanhead’s MacTaggart Scott for winning the 2014 VQ Employer of the Year Award. I visited the company towards the end of last year and this Award is truly merited, especially in light of the tremendous support and encouragement it gives to those members of staff undertaking vocational qualifications.
Edinburgh College has also been praised recently with a glowing report from Education Scotland that highlighted how well the College engages with students and external stakeholders. Its Dalkeith campus is a real boon to Midlothian and I find it highly encouraging to see acknowledgement of the College’s good work.
As usual, the No campaign is doing a great job of undermining itself. First they tell us an independent Scotland will incur £2.7bn of start-up costs. Then, following Prof. Dunleavy’s published figures which estimate that at worst costs will be £200 million, Alistair Carmichael is heard telling BBC Scotland that he has no basis on which to challenge that figure. So not only do they grossly over-estimate the cost in the first instance, when presented with a properly researched estimate they can’t even challenge it – probably because they know it’s accurate. The term ‘scaremongering’ is certainly over-used in this debate but I doubt we’ll find a better definition. Perhaps ‘untruthful’ could also apply?