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Holyrood conflict predicted

THERE ARE bound to be sources of conflict between the new parliament and education despite the benefits that schools and universities should derive from devolution, Lindsay Paterson, a leading commentator on social policy and a professor at Moray House Institute, said in a lecture this week.

"Which institution - parliament or education - will be the truest expression of Scottish democracy?" Professor Paterson asked during his Stow lecture to Strathclyde University's education faculty. Would it be the education system "which people trust more than they trust politicians"?

Or would it be the parliament which would have the legitimacy of popular and proportional election and a "legitimacy all the greater because it was won ultimately as a desire to defend Scottish values against Thatcherism"?

Conflict would also occur over the curriculum and Scottish identity. "I see no reason to believe that the people will not want to continue to invent their identity personally and locally even after the parliament starts getting involved in cultural politics."

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