Introducing the Holyrood baby - a letter from the editor

Written by Mandy Rhodes on 23 May 2016 in Inside Politics

A letter from Holyrood editor Mandy Rhodes

A letter from Holyrood editor Mandy Rhodes

Dear reader,

Following, what proved in the end to be a very exciting election result, I would like to take this opportunity at the start of the new five-year term to welcome all our new and returning members of the Scottish Parliament.

All of us at Holyrood look forward to getting to know you better over the next five years and I would welcome any feedback on the content of Holyrood and how we interact with you.

This issue of the magazine is a very special one for us because it sees the birth of the “Holyrood baby”. This is our attempt at a social experiment which will be ongoing throughout the life of the coming parliament, charting the progress in the magazine of a fictional child, Kirsty, and the impact of changing policies on her quality of life and prospects for the future.

This parliament is set to be one the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world, and with all of the parties promising to close the inequality gap, we will be using Kirsty’s story as a barometer of change and to explore whether the political rhetoric matches the reality.

Our team of correspondents covering education, health, justice, environment, economy and local government will explore in detail how the decisions made in the parliaments in Edinburgh and in London are shaping the lives of children born in Scotland today.

We will be consulting some of the top experts, academics and frontline staff in the field of prevention in Scotland, including the chief medical officer, Sir Harry Burns, John Carnochan QPM OBE, Dr Jonathan Sher and Professor Mary Renfrew, as we chart Kirsty’s progress and development. We would also love to hear your views.

The magazine will return to Kirsty’s story at various points throughout the coming parliamentary term, looking at how various policies, initiatives and political promises impact on her life.

As we all know, inequality doesn’t just happen; it is a choice. Our challenge to all of our parliamentarians will be to make the right choices to improve the life trajectory for baby Kirsty over the next five years.

Will Scotland actually be the ‘best place to grow up’ for Kirsty? The answer lies with them.

To encourage everyone to start thinking about inequality and the future for our Holyrood baby, we’d like you to tweet a baby picture of yourself with the hashtag #holyroodbaby and include any suggestions that you think could positively alter the course of Kirsty’s life.

I hope you enjoy the magazine and I look forward to hearing from you and receiving your support for baby Kirsty.

Best

Mandy Rhodes

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