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What's in a name?

Brian Taylor | 12:59 UK time, Thursday, 27 May 2010

Names matter. For example, nomenclature has long played a part in preventing the merger of the two football teams in the great and noble city of Dundee.

What could you call the new outfit? My suggestion would be to take one word from the Dens outfit: that would be "Dundee". And another word from the cup holders: that would be "United".

Perhaps the newly merged "Dundee United" could play at, say, Tannadice. In tangerine.

For some unaccountable reason, this proposal has failed to find favour.

At Holyrood question time, Labour's Iain Gray was also looking with disfavour on a name change. Sorry, make that a "visual identity transition".

Apparently, the title Skills Development Scotland is just so last year. Mr Gray told MSPs they were to become "Scotland: the Works" - backed up by that transition programme and a marketing exercise costing some £2m in total.

Mr Gray seemed to feel that this money might be better spent on finding jobs for young people. He reckoned it was "marketing mumbo jumbo".

First Minister Alex Salmond defended the organisation, noting that it had exceeded its target for generating employment opportunities. It had done well.

However, he declined to comment on the visual identity transition, relying instead on restating his admiration for the work done by Skills Development Scotland.

Perhaps, however, he will ask a few awkward questions once he returns to his office in the Scottish Government (formerly, Executive).

UPDATE AT 1547: And there's more. BBC questions to Skills Development Scotland re the points raised by Iain Gray elicit an intriguing answer.

Drawing upon their diplomatic skills to the full, they say that the Labour leader "has got the wrong end of the stick."

They have, they say, no plans to change their name. That option has been rejected.

Further, they say that the marketing budget is deployed to promote opportunities including apprenticeships and adult literacy.

They add that it would have been "impossible" to deliver the 20,000 new apprenticeships praised by the FM without marketing spend of this kind.

Which means? That they believe the leader of the largest opposition party at Holyrood has blundered.

As you can imagine, we are now trying to ask questions of the Labour Party.

UPDATE AT 1644: Still more. Labour at Holyrood has now produced documentary evidence to back up its claim.

It has published a document dated 27 April this year which appears to be a detailed plan by Skills Development Scotland to phase in the use of The Works in signage, letterheads and the like.

In an earlier statement, SDS says that an internal proposal to use The Works as a corporate brand was rejected by their directors on the 30th of March.


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