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15 Sep 2017

 

Just bought John Le Carre’s latest novel – ‘A Legacy of Spies’; the story references several characters from his previous books – including a guest appearance from George Smiley himself ! - hoping for a weekend of contented immersion.  My left brain knows fine – that both Philip Marlowe (Chandler) and George Smiley (Le Carre) – are fictional creations; but our right brain decides for itself what’s ‘real’ – for as long as I can remember, both these characters have featured large in my ‘circle of influence’. 

            Superficially, my heroes have little in common; Marlowe; the hard-boiled, wisecracking private eye – stalking the ‘mean streets’ of 1930s Los Angeles.  Smiley: tubby, bespectacled, scholarly – recruited to Britain’s Secret Service from his obscure Oxford College.  But, meeting them both, you would recognise courage, integrity, honour – and a certain ‘undefeatable’ quality.  Interestingly, they are both, by choice, ‘loners’ – without partners.  Another important similarity is a look they often wear – as though they had something special to do.

Some time ago – a friend (forty years younger) gave me the boxed set of Breaking Bad; in spite of recommendations, it didn’t chime with me and I didn’t persevere.  When asked why, I explained that I couldn’t fathom who was the ‘good guy’ in the story – who would restore moral order.  My friend was dismissive – saying that ‘real life’ was not as simple as ‘goodies and baddies’.  I’ve come to believe – that in everything that can be called art – there is a quality of ‘redemption’. This is probably 'old fashioned' now - but Marlowe and Smiley would understand what I mean.

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I check out about a dozen political commentators each week; regarding Scotland in particular, I favour Iain Macwhirter, Kevin McKenna and Lesley Riddoch – with whose politics and social policy I mostly concur. ...Read more


The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.


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The SENs: Friday 15th September 2017

Date for the Diary: Booking forms are now available for our SE Conference at the Westerwood Hotel – on the 7th/8th December 2017. This year’s event – on the theme of Collaboration (title to follow) - is being run in partnership with Social Firms Scotland and Community Enterprise; with support from Scottish Community Alliance. The programme over the two days will explore how social and community enterprises can work better and more effectively together. Items on the agenda will include old favourites such as speed networking; showcases; and a revamped Dragons’ Den. We also hope to introduce newer initiatives such as a bespoke support programme for community-based enterprises and a new sector-led community loan fund. One of our sessions will also look at the SE Action Plan and the specific areas in which locally-based SEs can make their own distinct contribution. To book your place, see Booking Form.

 

The annual Aberdeenshire SEN event (see full schedule) will take place on Tuesday 26th September at the Garioch Heritage Centre, Inverurie. Delegates will hear directly from Aberdeenshire Council on their new Social Enterprise Support Fund and receive the latest information on the range of support and briefings available from Senscot. There will also be an introduction to Partnership for Procurement (P4P), the new resource for the sector to aid procurement bids and foster...Read more
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