The spirit of the occasion was fully embodied in John McLaughlin, chairman of the Govan Initiative and local etrepreneur. He recalled that he left school at 16. "The only certificate I came out with was my first Holy Communion certificate," McLaughlin said, "and that gives you certain problems in Scotland."
It also gave us pause for thought as to his real lesson. "Leaving school at 16 without any qualifications? It didn't do me any harm." Fortunately, arch-New Labourite Alexander had left without having to absorb this decidedly off message implication.