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Maurice MacLean and the Red Cross by Colin MacLean

On 15 February 2016, my dad (Maurice MacLean) died aged 96. On 17 April our son Simon will do the Great Edinburgh Run to raise money for his grandpa’s favourite charity, the Red Cross. Can I explain the background?

Maurice always hated what war did to people, but he also believed that sometimes war was necessary to confront a great evil. He summed up his thinking in a talk he gave long after the war:

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Aye Minister; What Civil Servants Do: A Podcast of Colin MacLean's Talk

On the 3rd of October 2013, Colin MacLean gave a talk on ‘what civil servants do’.  This is a summary and podcast of the event where Colin was kind enough to take the time to share his thoughts and insights with everyone:

The role of civil servants in Scotland is to support Ministers, to support the democratic process and to improve outcomes for Scotland.  These are not in conflict but they all need to be addressed.  The work of the civil service is governed by a Code of Values: impartiality, integrity, objectivity and honesty.

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Questions by Colin MacLean

Two questions you might like to ponder…

The first is about tough decisions. Resources are limited but people always want better outcomes (to be healthier, better educated, safer, with better transport and housing etc). Where would you focus public resources (people and money) and what would you spend less on? Do you think government should be ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’. There are no right answers – but there are very different and equally legitimate answers. Read more