Showing posts from July, 2015

Speaking the truth to power

Honouring a special legacy Evelyn Gillan I'm in the middle of a campaign to get selected to stand for Holyrood in Edinburgh just now. It's hugely competitive and so it's really important that people do get a sense of who you are and why you want to stand. For me it's about bringing a lifetime of experience anda real passion to use that experience to improve people's lives and ensure everyone gets the opportunities I have had. To bring more humanity in to our decisions not only in government but in our public services and private sector organisations too. To make love a driver for policy and not let a discredited system of economics dominate. I also want people to know that all that has affected me in life has shaped me, including living with two diagnoses of cancer in the past. So today I posted a short video of why public services and the third sector matter to everyone but especially to me. In an email to the members who have a vote I described how my worki

Taking the wedding to Nana

  Aren't they beautiful It's said there are many stages of grief with Alzheimer's disease for the individuals themselves and those who love and care for them. A complex combination of loss and frustration, of pain both experienced and then forgotten, of joyful flashes of normal and gut wrenching reminders of what has gone. If you have experienced it, I need say no more. What I have recently learned is that some of that grief is awakened too when external events highlight what has changed. For us it was a family wedding and the realisation that my Mum was not well enough to go. We discussed it, explored the options, tortured ourselves with what ifs and finally accepted it would not work. It would have caused her huge distress and confusion. But the truth is it caused us huge distress to not include her. On the day she was much in our hearts and in our shared stories; we cried for her absence.  But then we made a plan. We took the wedding to her in her ne

A Poem for Westminster

 I tend to write poems when I'm moved in some way.Working in Westminster this week was both fascinating and hugely enjoyable. But the shadow of that building has been a powerful one this week when budgets have been spun and webs to trap the powerless have become denser. So the emotion this poem triggered was anger. But I also know that there are those within those uncompromising walls who are fighting for change, for a fairer more equal society. This blog is also to honour and thank them. The Palace of Westminster Smells evocative of my Nana's house, dark corners and worn carpets. wood lined stairs lead to galleries of obtuse protocol. green benches in tired lines familiar and yet not front bench smart phones are tapped, as argument b ounce off opposed, unheard. Opulence and decay symbols of this house juxtaposed to confuse the sense of what is real. A museum to mourn a pa

Buurtzorg...if not not when?

I wanted to share with you my blog on transforming health and social care. I wrote it after attending a superb session learning more about Buurtzorg form the man who enabled it Jos de Block. Well worth looking into not just for transformation in the health arena but in so many public services. Making the person. and the community at its centre. A full report and the podcasts links will be available shortly. Until then get planning folks! It can be done.....