The last two weeks have felt like the longest playground spat of my life. How many times have we heard the protest, “That’s not true, Sir.”? How many times we been told a selective version of the truth? And how many times have we been bamboozled by vacuous platitudes? The pupils in my, and a thousand other, school playgrounds could have resolved the independence question just as effectively as those in power. 

On Tuesday, I visited a school where children as young as five regularly hold meetings with agendas, considerate debate and proper records, all without adult interference. The discussion was about how to spend the profits from last year’s enterprise initiative when £1000 of seed funding had been transformed into £10,000.

Half had already been sent to the school charity in Africa, now the debate turned to the dispersal of the remaining funds amongst different classes in the School. These were children making collective decisions on behalf of those who had elected them as representatives. 

On Wednesday, Alex Salmond said, “The talking is nearly done. What is left is just us – the people who live and work here.” But the talking has barely started as we pick up the pieces after a campaign in which much was said that might have been better unsaid.

Only in one respect was he right; it is the people who have to pick up the pieces whilst politicians on both sides of the debate will simply pick over them. The heart sinks at the prospect of the “who said what to who” recriminations.

As the week comes to an end, I will breathe a sigh of relief that the whole thing is over, and I shall hope above all that those in the playgrounds of Westminster and Holyrood have got the message; “Grow Up and Act Your Age”.

This blog post appears in the Autumn Senior issue of Independent School Parent – http://www.independentschoolparent.com

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