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08.02.2019

Celia Tennant writes about our obligations to young people for Holyrood magazine

Scotland does not belong to you. It does not belong to me. It doesn’t belong to politicians, public servants, business leaders or entrepreneurs.

Scotland belongs to our young people, our children and their children yet to come.

We are just caretakers. It is our job to build a country, and a society, our children and young people deserve.

That means a society that is fair and equal, where poverty is an anomaly not an inevitability. It means an economy that works for everyone, in which people’s ambitions are matched by opportunity and reward.

The Scotland we return to our children must look back at sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia as embarrassments of the past. We must create a society that values everyone as human beings, recognising and respecting them for their skills, talents and aspirations.

The communities our children grow up in must be safe and loving, where everyone’s voices are heard and listened to. Where shaping the future is everyone’s business.

But these things are not plans for the future. If we want to build this society, we need to do it now. And we need to start with those most in need. By helping those at the greatest disadvantage, we can build a better Scotland for all of us.

We need to support our young people to gain confidence, build resilience and learn skills today so that the challenges they face to do not persist tomorrow. We need to support our youngest children to grow, learn and develop in a way which ensures their health and wellbeing, opens up their minds to learning and gives them joy.

We have an opportunity – all of us, charities, businesses, government and communities – to build this Scotland today.

In many areas we are well on our way, but with uncertainty swirling around us, we must not stop now. We owe it to our children.

This piece appeared in Holyrood magazine on January 19th 2019
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