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Published: Oct 20 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

This isn’t going to be popular; to write it – even to think it - sticks in my throat as it offends against my innate sense of fair play and good will to all people, but there really are times when I want to take our elected representatives to one side and slap them about the face. They pontificate and they grandstand; they puff themselves up into rice krispies of righteous indignation; they adopt their “holier than thou” positions; they occasionally demonstrate a frightening lack of common sense and commercial nous and, at the same time, they would have us weaken our position in future negotiations.

Published: May 12 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

The fathers of Scottish devolution came up with a system so complicated as to confuse even the most passionate observer and student of the political scene north of the border. There were three guiding principles • To preserve the best of the Westminster “first past the post” system, which provides a clear result and a named MP for a constituency • To ensure that those who voted for a party other than the winning party still had a chance or representation in the parliament (there is a second vote for list MPs in each constituency) • To make an overall majority government a rare occurrence – and it is this requirement that has caused the hideous complication!

Published: Apr 23 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

We are in political season, so I make no apology for another observation on the political landscape, from which the negotiator can learn so much. All three stories involve the SNP. Story 1. As the tension and torture of last year’s Scottish independence referendum fade away, the resurgent SNP wants to go again – perhaps as early as next year...

Published: Apr 24 , 2014
Author: Robin Copland

As 2014 heads for September, Scotland thinks of itself as at the centre of a political maelstrom. In truth, some Europeans are following the independence debate with interest, but the rest of the world could not, it seems, care a jot. Never mind; for those of us who live in Scotland – an important distinction as only those resident in Scotland in September will have a vote – it is providing politicians with a chance to strut their stuff and to ally themselves with people and parties who are normally their sworn enemies. Thus, we have the former prime minister, Gordon Brown speaking out on behalf of the “Better Together” campaign – a campaign for which his arch-enemy the current prime minister, David Cameron, has also spoken...

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The Power of Adjournments

Anjana – a sales leader with an IT firm – is busy preparing for negotiations with a large bank on renewing her firm’s contract with them. Given it is a decent sized deal, Anjana has been preparing for these negotiations over the last several days by interlocking with the account delivery teams, getting buy-ins from the senior leadership & CFO on commercials, getting a handle on the likely strategies from the competition etc. It is no surprise, given the rigour of her preparation, that Anjana was feeling confident about her meeting with the Client CIO.

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