Letter from Edinburgh 08.08.08

IT IS exam results week. I appreciate the angst and dread as Tuesday approached with the arrival of the postie.

A big hand by the way to Shetland’s mail services for delivering the A4 sized envelope to students across the isles.

These were the ones who had opted for the results to arrive the old fashioned way rather than by text or email.

Delivery was certainly first thing on Tuesday morning in Lerwick, which was a welcome relief to the expectant.

The BBC featured two young Scots who opened their results live on air – and got straight As. Top marks for being brave enough to take the potential of results that might have meant wailing and girning! However it would seem fair to speculate that those chosen by national radio had a good steer from their school that the results would be fine. Otherwise I can’t envisage too many prepared to be so exposed.

Waiting for exam results is akin to the leadership of a political party. Once the work is done it is out of your hands, with the future depending on the vote of the examiner or the party member. What an experience so my best wishes to all those who have been through the emotional wringer this week. I hope the results were as wished for.

The Olympics loom large this week with the opening ceremony being beamed back to us from Beijing. The extraordinary stadium that hosts the athletics has used 42,000 tonnes of steel and that is apparently just for the lattice style appearance. The enormous quantities of material used in the Olympic construction, never mind the growth in the Chinese economy, explain why world metal prices have risen so considerably in recent years.

I visited one farm during this past week and after a perusal of the silage operation, we came across a healthy pile of scrap metal. The value of this “junk” has risen greatly of late to the extent that it is well worth keeping discarded metal of one variety or another for recycling. So as you consider the scale and grandeur of the Olympics over the next month, it might be safe to assume there will be some Shetland steel holding the roof up. Recycling at its best.

Given the Olympics, there has been debate after debate over the influence that China now has across the world. We headed for Lerwick last weekend for a meal. The choice – yes a Chinese.

Tavish Scott MSP


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