Sector sectarianism

Taking sides. We all do it. And we Scots have got our side-taking skills down to a fine art. Fence-sitters we ain’t.

We love a good rammy, a ding-dong, and a heated debate. We’ll argue ’til we’re blue (or indeed, green) in the fizzog, and stick to our side of the story long after the cows have come home. Oh aye, we’ve got pontification down pat. We’re immovable objects and stubborn wee shites when it comes to sticking like glue to one side or other. Just think Old Firm fitba’ and entrenched independence opinion. And from what I’ve seen lately, seeing the whole picture just ain’t in the Scots DNA.

See, it’s struck me since joining the ranks of small biz, that nowhere are these side-taking shenanigans more marked than between sectors. I’ve witnessed silly statements galore from what I’m laughingly calling sectorial sectarians. BTW I say “laughingly” but do so with tongue planted firmly in cheek – as any fule kno in the west coast of Scotland, sectarianism ain’t no laughing matter. From my current (ahem) lofty position in commerce, divisions between the private and public sectors seem wider than wide, with each blaming the other right up to the hilt for every single sorry state of affairs. And despite sterling work (most of the time), even the third sector can’t escape being victim to business boo-boys and their fiscal finger-pointing. Having said that, the third sector itself isn’t necessarily writ large in the canon of sectorial saintliness, hell no. I’ve seen less than charitable behaviour from some in that sector, doling out pot shots at commerce and councils, sometimes fired off with fully-fledged acrimony and spite.

What pains this wee wordsmith most is that inter-sector slings and arrows stuff is simply plain daft. I’d go as far to call self-imposed sector segregation and superiority complexes childish, but that wouldn’t be fair to the weans – they’re young, they dont know any better. But the rest of you? Do us all a favour, gonnae grow up. Chances are you’re basing your opinions and perceptions on sweet Fanny McAdams.

Me? I’ve seen sectors public, private and third from the inside. I’ve been there, seen that, and worn the council, charity and commerce t-shirt at one time or another. Each sector has good points and bad, some are outstanding and some pretty limp, many are driven by profit while others keep us all moving, learning and in decent shape. I admit I’ve been driven demented by each and every one when working within, but I’ve also seen brilliance, commitment, and bright shining examples of excellence from all sectors. Work well worthy of admiration and respect. Work I’ve badly wanted to emulate and share with the world.

So get this, dread enemies and side-takers all. I beg you, please just try to see in the round. You might be surprised at the skills and knowledge exchange to be had if sector sectarianism would only pipe down. If there was less spouting of hot, angry air, those old dogs just might pick up new tricks from altogether different and unexpected sectorial sources.

Look, maybe I’m far too naive, but sharing, learning and not taking sides seems like the way forward to this wee inter-sector champion. But if my peace, harmony and better together pleas fall on your stony sector sectarian ears, just open your eyes to see the big picture instead. Dunno ’bout you, but I can see a much brighter future for Scotland if we knock down silly sector stereotypes and get on with the business of working together.

You know it makes good sector sense.