Dear members and friends,
During Hibs glory years (early 1950s), I was becoming a teenager – above my bed a signed print of Lawrie Reilly – a leaping glancing header – out of a scrum of bodies; he wasn’t tall (5’7’’) but bravery in the air was a hallmark. Lawrie’s sad death last week set me thinking about the ethos of the ‘beautiful game’ in his day – and how the world of sport has changed.
Media moguls simply realised that the mass appeal sports – football, cricket, golf etc – were run by dullards – players were underpaid – were ripe for commercial exploitation. Now the TV companies run the whole show like a global circus – key performers are paid millions – it’s all showbiz now – big money.
Lawrie Reilly never played for any club other than Hibs – nor did he wish to; he remained a supporter all his life – latterly attending home games with Pat Stanton. His modest, easy manner chatting with fans made him a local hero. Reilly’s salary was never commensurate with his legendary status – which was wrong ; but nowadays his ‘market value’ would make it impossible for Hibs to keep him. Sport seemed better grounded then – part of the ‘community’.
Last week, Stanton said, “Lawrie played football to the best of his ability – for the club he loved”. Pat could equally have been speaking about himself – I’ve been thinking about his simple tribute. To give it your best shot – at something you love from your heart; maybe that’s all there is – for any of us.
We still have copies of ‘Kindness’ – Laurence’s latest selection of bulletin intros (2007-12). If you’d like a copy, see http://www.senscot.net/musings.php
All my working life, we seem to have been campaigning for local decision making (what Europeans call subsidiarity). In the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s – we did this in the face of the all-powerful Labour Party – ideologically wedded to municipalism. When the SNP arrived, it was reasonable to expect more sympathy for the principles and practice of local democracy – but it has been disappointing; there has been scant acknowledgement that Scotland is missing a tier of democracy at community level. In Lerwick last week, Alex Salmond announced fresh discussions about more autonomy for our island communities; he claimed that the SNP supports local decision making. It’s true that the new minister, Derek Mackay, has been saying some promising things – but, in general, the SNP’s record on local empowerment is dismal. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15160
Another area where SNP policy falls short of radical is that of Land Reform; this is made abundantly clear by the excellent briefing paper prepared by Jim Hunter, with the help of Peter Peacock, Andy Wightman and Michael Foxley. Called ‘Towards a Comprehensive Land Reform Agenda for Scotland’ – it was prepared for the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee – which is looking into tax evasion by big landowners. Between them, the 4 authors have SNP, Labour, Green and Lib Dem affiliations – Scotland is fortunate to have their like. The paper goes a bit wider than Land Reform – it references the Common Weal work – I sense the coming together of a radical platform; I got a real lift reading this. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15159
Any one of us could find ourselves in circumstances when we are down – financially bereft; those who set out to prey on the vulnerable are contemptible and should be openly condemned; they should not have access to the veneer of respectability which advertising on TV or football jerseys affords. Archbishop Welby is to be highly commended for his recent ‘denunciation’ of Wonga and other pay day loan spivs – for his determination to develop alternative options for those in dire straits. All religious leaders in Scotland should get together on this; maybe even the credit unions can get together? See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15158
Senscot subscribes to a newsfeed from Civil Society.co.uk – good, independent, investigative journalism. Their intrepid, Tania Mason, has detected a dodgy smell from the cosy relationships between social Investment Business (SIB) – Nick Hurd at the Cabinet Office – and the UK Govt’s favourite (failing) charity – Big Society Network. Steven Bubb, chair of SIB, seems to pop up everywhere. The ultimate source of all these funds is from our tax revenues; the UK Govt should not be favouring political friends. Unfortunately, our third sector in Scotland lacks this level of scrutiny. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15157
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php This week:
JOBS: Instant Neighbour, Pilton Community Health Project, The Coach House Trust, Parkhead Youth Project, Firstport, Newmains Community Trust, Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network
EVENTS: Portobello Market, 3 Aug; Sleepless ’til Seattle – illustrated adventure talk, 30 Aug; Social Capital World Forum 13, 4 Sep;
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Is the social enterprise community putting too much emphasis on its potential engagement with public sector markets? This question has been raised by a number of readers (and SEN members) – who feel that organisations that share common values perhaps aren’t making the most of trading with each other, sub-contracting, sharing resources, and keeping spending local. Senscot is speaking to some folk about a ‘get together’ on this issue. In the meantime, here are some initiatives from across the UK that are trying to promote different forms of inter-trading. See, http://se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=1125 For more Networks News, see http://se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=303
Space at Manor Place: Over the coming weeks, two rooms will be coming available for renting at Manor Place. Room 13 (top floor) would suit 2/3 people – circa £4k per annum; and Room 10 (2nd floor) could accommodate 4/5 folk – circa £6k p.a. If you’re interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The BIG Lottery has commissioned EKOS Consultants to map social enterprise activity across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland. This is a piece of work that our SE community has been in need of for a number of years and Senscot will be co-operating as best we can. The world of ‘mapping’ has been somewhat discredited in recent times as a result of preposterous claims from England on SE numbers and, in Scotland, with the Lottery funded MILO database that still appears to be ‘under construction’. The concern with this initiative, while well intentioned, is that – with only £20k available – it will merely skim the surface and will not provide the depth of information that has already been produced by, for example, Glasgow and Edinburgh SENs. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15161
Warren Buffet is amongst the world’s most prodigious philanthropists; here is an extraordinary piece by his son, Peter, in the New York Times – which looks beyond charitable giving (“which just kicks the can down the road”) – to the need for systemic change (“which no longer feeds the bear”). Essentially, an anti-capitalist polemic from the son of one of the world’s most successful capitalists. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15156
This week’s bulletin profiles Aberdeen SEN member, Inspire Ventures – the social enterprise arm of local charity, Inspire. Inspire Ventures operates three enterprises – Meeting Rooms; the Café Academy; and Café Coast – winner of the Established Enterprise of the Year award at the recent Insight Aberdeen event. All three enterprises support people with learning disabilities and other support needs, through developing a range of competitive services to facilitate and encourage potential to build independent lives. See more,
When I was only 19 – (1959) John Freeman interviewed the great Carl Jung for the BBC’s ‘Face to Face’ series. I can remember the impact of this encounter – was thrilled to watch it again this week – a glimpse of greatness. Jung says:
“You are not of today – or of yesterday – you are of an immense age………… Unfortunately, the mythical side of humankind is given short shrift nowadays. As a result, a great deal escapes us; for it is important and salutary to speak also of incomprehensible things. The more critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes; but the more of the unconscious, the more of myth we are capable of making conscious, the more of life we integrate.” See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=15155
That’s all for this week.
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Senscot is a Company, registered in Scotland. Company Reg No. 278156: Scottish Charity No. SC 029210