Advice on super hero family life Most of us meander through life dealing with the trials and tribulations that get in our way. We try to be cheerful and accept we are occasionally grumpy (I mentioned grumpiness last week). Others are super-heroes, always cheerful and positive whatever the world hurls at them. This week I wish to share with you a reality check on super parenting which Lucy Kellaway in the FT described last weekend. Kellaway commented on the “inspiring”, “beautiful”, “fabulous”, “empowering” nonsense spouted by the likes of Apple’s Angela Ahrendts, who wrote an open letter telling her children, “You know I am on 24/7 for advice, love, or just to share a funny filtered photo, bitmoji or laugh.” Kellaway wrote her own response after hearing this story in which she modified the approach as follows: “ I have always made it clear to my children I am on 16/7 max — they can wake me only at night for emergencies, and never for a laugh or a bitmoji. I am not sure what the latter is, but now I think of it, I doubt if I am on for that during the day either.” So this week’s advice is this. Don’t get too caught up in this pursuit of perfection in our approach to life. We have removed the strap from schools which is probably a good thing, but life has a cutting edge and we all need to progress through it with a healthy dose of scepticism and some suspicion of super-heroes.
Advice on Political Choice (the Newfoundland option) This week I was tempted to cover airline bookings. The review of the United incident, gave us a new meaning of the word ‘re-allocated’. The re-allocation of Mr. D involved him being dragged from his seat and losing two teeth. Luckily the Easyjet couple who lost their holiday to Sicily were smart enough to get up and leave quietly when they were re-allocated. However I shall defer on the topic of airlines and consider the news of a General Election on Tuesday which got me thinking about electoral choices. We are often asked to make contradictory choices: do unionists vote in a way which preserves the UK yet removes us from the EU. Or alternatively, nationalists vote for a proindependence party who wants to keep us in European Union. Sometimes there is no obvious way to vote whatever your political persuasion. This calls for ‘off the wall ‘ thinking. I was inspired by an idea in the news this week. In 1949 Newfoundland which was part of Britain chose to become a province of Canada. Canada is democratic, it has the Queen as head of state and has highly devolved governance. Canadian provinces probably have more authority to make decisions than any nation in the EU. Also Canada has free trade agreement with USA and EU. You can travel visa -free in Europe and North America. It has a geography which stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic seaboard with a large oil and commodity rich land mass and is a member of Nato. This has proved a good decision for Newfoundland. It got me wondering if Scotland should pursue this option. It would solve all the problems caused by Brexit other than the need to negotiate a free trade deal with England, which should be easy enough because they will be looking for deals. There is a slight problem with place names as many of the towns in Canada have Scottish names. You could get missdirected on the way to Banff and get eaten by a grizzly bear. However as curling is Scotland’s most successful sport, to link up with a master curling nation would be a great advantage for the development of our sport. So my advice this week is do not be depressed by politics. Instead dream of a better world and explore innovative options. Unfortunately I don’t think the Newfoundland option will be on any ballot paper any time soon.