NCWindowI sometimes feel a bit of an entryist in the Chamber of Commerce.

For those that are old enough to remember the hair, the donkey jackets and the badges, entryism was an attempt in the 1970’s and 80’s by political groups to influence mainstream parties from the inside.

070416Neil ClappertonCE02Previous Chamber of Commerce “meet the minister” type events had been a bit more presidential, so when Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy suddenly appeared and shook my hand I was temporarily confused, like an old-timer at a lunch club, and hadn’t even the presence of mind to stand up. It’s funny how you take away little first impressions – in his case: soft-spoken, genuine smile, nice handshake, touch of modesty and awkwardness. Not what I expected.

070416 Neil Clapperton CE 01“OMG!  How messed up is this?”  Determined to come to her own conclusions about the EU referendum and with wonderful youthful clarity convinced that logic and order would follow, my sage and independent daughter has been shocked by the economic and political panto erupting over the last week.

Me too! I’ve done my share of staring at screens, but as the improvised theatre extends to housing, I just don’t know what the consequences of Brexit will be for Grampian or the sector.

It was supposed to be the shortest day, but my feet were in total uproar, blister central. To make matters worse, on the way some cheery soul told me that my destination, Kinlochleven, was the midge capital of the world. He was proud about it too!

Glorious sunshine saved my sanity and the distraction of seeing a bit of industrial history close up as I shuffled down towards the village. There it was in all its glory: the earliest hydroelectric scheme, built in 1905 to smelt aluminium. Beautiful, to my eyes.

Ever since the first naked hominid suggested slipping into something more comfortable, we have recognised the need for creativity and innovation.

We can guess our ancient ancestors would never have been organised enough to slip on that fur twinset or leave the caves without people to make it happen: the completers and co-ordinators. Every tribe or team needs a mix of skills to be successful. But what about lugs – the ability to listen?

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