Sometimes, when there’s a hot political issue, or a government minister facing tough questions, consultants and media trainers like me will write blogs critiquing their performance.
I could do that here; I could bang on about Education Minister John Swinney’s handling of this week’s SQA Exam Results Downgrade, what he should have said and the advice I’d give him. I could have published the same stuff every other self appointed ‘PR expert’ publishes to sneakily promote their own services and show how smart they are.
Instead, let me be very clear.
I believe that young people are our country’s greatest asset.
I believe it is unacceptable for young people to be discriminated against and I believe that the handling of this exam results fiasco amounts to discrimination against young people.
I also have serious concerns, having analysed all things media and political as I do, over a considerable time, that young people – specifically teenagers – appear to be the last remaining group in our society that the system considers it acceptable to discriminate against.
From mosquito devices at locations people might gather to less obvious assumptions about who might be responsible for causing trouble and today, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stating that she ‘very possibly would have joined the pupils protesting outside the SQA offices HAD SHE BEEN TAKING EXAMS‘ it seems clear that teenagers are regularly subjected to different treatment that I don’t believe any other group in our society would be subjected to.
Is the First Minister suggesting that she believes it necessary to belong to a constituent group before she will stand up for the rights of its members? If so, that is a significant departure from how I thought she approached these matters.
A few more thoughts about the SQA Exam Results Downgrade in our latest podcast which you can listen to below: