Former Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is showing how to make a big impact outside elected politics.
The former Lothian MSP and Evening News columnist recently took up the helm at the John Smith Centre promoting trust in politics and public service. The organisation has set itself the mission to make the positive case for politics and public service, promote civilised debate and defend representative democracy, rooted in high quality research, and support people with talent but not the means to access politics and public life. These are laudable and important aims that should be well supported.
This week Kezia Dugdale announced that the John Smith Centre is set to partner the Royal Bank of Scotland to deliver a 12-month Leadership Academy for 300 young people who might not otherwise find a way to develop their talents in our political process. This is tremendous news and I am sure the academy will be transformational for its participants.
During my 16 years in elected politics, I had a lot to do with the John Smith Memorial Trust and have said I would be happy to support the work of the John Smith Centre.
John Smith was a respected political leader with values shared across the parties, and his good work is being continued years after his untimely death.
I wish Kezia Dugdale well with the Leadership Academy and would encourage as many people to get involved as possible as participants or potential sponsors.