Lord Darling calls for students to be ambitious and help change the world

The successful graduates making their way to the ceremony.
The successful graduates making their way to the ceremony.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Darling called on graduates to look forward, be ambitious, be calm and help to change the world at a university graduation ceremony in Stornoway.

He regaled his audience of graduates, friends and families at Lews Castle College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands network, with stories from his time as Chancellor under former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Outlining the grim financial situation in 2008 when the world economy was in peril, he told of the day he had a call from the boss of RBS, then the largest bank in the world, asking for his help.

He quickly ascertained the bank was close to collapse.

Lord Darling told how he asked the bank boss: “How much time do you have?”

The answer was: “Minutes.”

Although he did not go into detail about events, the magnitude of the situation was clear to the graduates as they pondered on the major impact from the decision he made to do what he saw was necessary to save the world economy.