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It's a small world

It was an appropriate place for a launch in the small world that is the Scottish educational village: the Parliament's "garden lobby".

And, given that the whole devolutionary adventure was about creating a confident nation, it was also an appropriate venue to launch the programme of the Centre for Confidence and Well-Being, which aims its message at schools among many others.

The small country syndrome was immediately apparent when George Reid, the Parliament's presiding officer, recalled that he had worked at BBC Scotland many years ago with Carol Craig, the centre's chief executive. He was an esteemed hack and she a young researcher.

The evening's host was Royal Mail, whose head of corporate affairs is Ian MacKay, formerly assistant secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland - who also knows Carol. And Susan Deacon MSP, the former Health Minister, also knows Ian and Carol.

It was also good to see Jim Martin, formerly general secretary of the EIS, who appointed Ian (in the EIS, not Royal Mail) and probably knows Carol and Susan. It was quite exhausting keeping up.

The new centre can be, as it were, confidently expected to join Tapestry in bringing leading-edge thinkers and gurus to Scotland. There may even be the odd Scottish guru - although, as Alan McLean, the psychologist and TES Scotland columnist, wrote in these pages two years ago (funnily enough with Carol Craig): "As someone caustically remarked, the idea of a Scottish guru is a contradiction in terms."

Aye, right on.

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