– Committed Cynic

Many moons ago I was described as an “Angry Young Man” by my then-boss; I was in my early twenties at the time. Now, well, I’m in my forties, the adjective “young” is no longer appropriate – I am just as angry about what I perceive as the world’s injustices, but I am more realistic about how much influence I can exert. I have become a serious cynic; a cause to which I am committed.

I was born and grew up in central Scotland. I had fairly middle-class parents, but they were not affluent enough to send me to a private school. I suffered through the comprehensive education system and did reasonably well. Leaving school at eighteen I had come out in the top 5% or so of my class. The last two years at school were probably the best, the plebs are generally desperate to leave and do so as soon as they are legally allowed to. For most, that is after four years at secondary school and when they are sixteen. The truly unfortunate, and monumentally stupid, can’t due to when their birthday falls. Instead they must commit to either a full fifth year of secondary education, or go into the ‘special’ class for those simply biding their time until they can escape.

So here I am now, over twenty years since I left school. I have visited and worked in about a dozen countries around the world. I have seen education and government systems better, and worse, than those I experienced growing up, and in 2009 – for a variety of reasons – I am back in Scotland. Perhaps a good time to come back – Homecoming Scotland and all that – but the fine print is that they want those who emigrated to visit and spend tourist dollars, not actually try and live in the damn country.


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