Donald Dewar W(ED) ALEXANDER
In May 1999, Donald Dewar became First Minister of the first Scottish Parliament in almost 300 years. Tragically, he died suddenly on 11 October 2000 after just over a year in this position. Dewar was a big man in every sense of the word: in his vision for Scotland, in his love of his country and in his conviction that the purpose of the Scottish Parliament was to right the social arithmetic of Scotland. Since his untimely death five years ago, many have missed Dewar's wisdom, humanity and genuine personal humility. This collection of essays written by friends, colleagues, commentators and opponents of the man highlight all of these qualities. They also underline Dewar's achievements, remind us of what he stood for and allow us the opportunity to reflect upon his legacy and what it means to the nation today. Amongst the many high-profile contributors are Gordon Brown, Roy Hattersley, Neil Kinnock, Malcolm Rifkind, Michael Forsyth, Wendy Alexander, Jim Wallace, Ruth Wishart and Carol Craig. Each essay focuses on a particular aspect of Donald's life, be it Donald the Man (as a young man, a friend, a colleague and a partner); Donald and Labour (as a local member, a Parliamentarian, a Scottish Labour MP and a shadow cabinet member); Donald and Devolution (as an unconventional campaigner, a worthy opponent, a powerful advocate, a 'father of the nation'); Donald and Scotland (as First Minister); and finally Donald's legacy and its effect on the future of Scottish politics. Collectively, these spirited, passionate essays paint a vivid portrait of the life, career and politics of one of the most respected politicians to have served Scotland.