Jamie Livingston: Getting on with the game the only way

We must make the best of the situation, says Jamie Livingston

Picture: Toby Williams
Picture: Toby Williams

When I used to play rugby there were two types of player: those who, when faced with decisions they didn’t like, stopped playing, threw their hands in the air shouting expletives and those who carried on playing and looked to future opportunities.

In tight situations, those who kept on playing were the people who won you matches and they did not stand out necessarily because of their ability, but rather for their attitude to keep playing when a questionable decision was made. They knew the game would continue and like it or not, their only choice was around their attitude and commitment to play on.

Now drawing comparison between a quick tap penalty on your own try line and voting to leave the EU may be a stretch, however the analogy does hold when we look at how people react when faced with a decision that they don’t like – of their own making or otherwise.

Exploring the metaphor a little from a business perspective, it would appear clear that there is a large proportion of the business community in Scotland and London who were in favour of remaining in the EU. The danger is that we throw our hands in the air shouting expletives and the next two years become the pyrrhic victory of “I told you so” as we are dumped on our backsides.


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Alternatively, we commit to the decision now and keep playing, looking for the opportunities that will undoubtedly present themselves.

There will be appropriate time to question the decision, and there will be an opportunity to be part of the conversation around future relationship with Europe. In the meantime, we need to make decisions and “play on”.

So no matter how people voted, we now have another decision, either keep playing and commit to making the best of the situation or to throw our hands in the air shouting expletives, but the game will continue regardless.

• Jamie Livingston, founding director of the Livingston James Group