Delighted to hear Susan Deacon has beenappointed to improve early years education in Scotland. Susan is the former Labour Health minister, now professor at Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh. She recently wrote a piece for me at Ecosse on her long distance (and totally platonic) relationship with the late Michael Foot. Susan was a founder member of Scottish Labour Action, the campaigning group in the 1980s that wanted the Scottish party to have more autonomy from London. Funnily enough, not much progress has been made on that front despite the coming of the Scottish parliament. I suspect this rather frustrated Susan, who stepped away from politics despite being one of her party's leading talents. I am sure she will do a great job. Her appointment also reflects the importance with which the government views early years. High quality education and care before the age of five can erase disadvantage more effectively than at any other stage. Good to see the government putting that priority ahead of political difference.