Dear members and friends,
It is a constant frustration – that in the long aftermath of the economic crash – no convincing conversation has emerged about the rotten system which caused it; no serious attempt to substitute a new order. Why has our banking system not been mutualised; why are the politics of social fairness and the environment not sweeping the country. I have come to the realisation that the lobbyists for global corporations are better motivated – and certainly better organised – than our troops.
I enjoyed this piece by Gerry Hassan, remembering the impact of the Scottish Communist Party of the 1970s and 80s – the working class leaders it inspired and trained. Not just the Mick McGaheys and Jimmy Reids – but the ordinary members of the CP, whom I knew, had a conviction, a confidence, a discipline – which set them apart. The fact that the Russian ‘revolution’ failed them (became a murderous monster) need not tarnish recollections of these formidable men and women – who would call us ‘comrade’.
When I was a wee boy, in the 1940s – giants like Beveridge and Bevin were raising a standard for social democracy; millions of people reshaping their lives in the cause of a common endeavour. I have no doubt that this can happen again – is even now in the making; but, at this time, our troops are like untrained amateurs – up against hardened mercenaries. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13244
Sincere thanks to all the friends who contributed to our annual collection. We have recruited a total of 99 company members; along with 35 associate members and 19 other donors. You have contributed a total of circa £8,500 to the cost of bulletin production. Please check your name is correctly recorded. As much as the money – we are sustained by your goodwill. See, www.senscot.net/companymembers13.php
The avowed intention of the UK govt. – and Big Society Capital – is to promote ‘social investment’ as a new ‘asset class’ for the financial markets; but it has failed to take off in the UK – and in Scotland its progress is zero. In the USA they are calling it ‘impact investment’ and they speak of "a fundamental convergence and reconfiguration of the social and commercial sectors – from completely separate fields, to a common space" – ‘haud me back!’ Some commentators (like the attached) are still trying to talk it up – but one senses that they are losing heart. The link says "we are trying to create mechanisms, whereby you can apply for-profit capital tools, create cross-subsidisation, and layer financing structures – in a simple, replicable, modular manner. It that quite clear now?" See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13245
Senscot’s blanket rejection of social impact bonds (SIBs) has been challenged by a letter from Peter Crory – CEO of YMCA Scotland. In Perth, they have assembled a SIB where the private sector investors are local traders – with the commitment to get directly involved with local young people. At every level, the project is sustained by relationships and trust – investors, providers, participants. The first 6 month evaluation shows remarkable results. This localised model deserves to be much copied. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13252
I work almost entirely from home – without really thinking about it; but Yahoo’s decision to end homeworking has made it a topic of conversation. Everyone seems to agree that work and leisure should be carefully separated – but I live alone, and have no special place or times for work. Arnold Toynbee once said "the supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play" – but now I’ve started thinking about it… See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13249
This week, Barry Ayre – the chair of Firstport – informed his Board of his intention to stand down at the July AGM. Barry is a friend – who has been involved continuously since 2001 – when Senscot first got involved in UnLtd; since becoming founding chair of Firstport in 2007 – he has been the main driving force behind Scotland’s support infrastructure for start-up SEs. He’ll be a hard act to follow. See press release, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13256
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: Elgin Youth Development Group, Patients’ Advocacy Service, Health in Mind, Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust, Ailsa Horizons Ltd, Scottish Huntington’s Association, ELCAP
EVENTS: Wiff Waff Wednesday, 13 Mar; Social Enterprise Exchange, 21 Mar; Ideas that Ripple, Spread and Inspire, 21 Mar; Instant Puppets Workshop (all ages), 27 Mar; The Magic Horse (ages 3 plus), 1 Apr;
TENDERS: Supplementary Skip Hire and Waste Recycling Services in West Lothian and Hard and Soft landscaping in Buckhaven. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: Senscot’s work includes supporting SENs across a number of thematic areas; these include health, sport, culture and community food. Over the coming months, we will be providing opportunities for members of the thematic SENs to come together and explore opportunities for joint working. The first of these opportunities will be taking place on 24th April in Inverness with an event that will bring together members from the Health, Cultural and Sports SENs. We’ll have more details over the coming weeks. If you’d like to be involved, contact email@example.com . For further Networks News, see http://se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=282
On Monday, the Business Scotsman carried an interview with Nick Kuenssberg – who has taken up the chair at Social Investment Scotland (SIS). He is 70 now and I was impressed by the range of his experience. He says he can detect ‘a story’ in his career path – a personal route to post-modern capitalism – some kind of blend of capitalism and socialism – "maybe community-ism". See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13251
If you’re 10 or under – and have a question that needs answering, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll ask an expert for you. This week, Cécile, aged 9 asked, ‘Why do we live?’ – and the philosopher A.C Grayling answers her in 200 very well-chosen words. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13253
The representative body of the landed gentry ‘Scottish Land and Estates’ has released its evidence to the Land Reform Review; also a 10 minute promo video. My position is that land in our country should be owned and managed by the people who live on it. Their video makes my case for me. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13250
Firstport last week launched their new venture – Ditto. The principle of Ditto is to make it easier for individuals to take a tried and tested business idea and make it work in their local area. Using franchising principles, Ditto will offer a full package of support. Karen McGregor (Firstport CEO) says, "Our ambition is to take Ditto into every community in Scotland – just think if we have 10 ideas, multiply each of those 10 times, that’s 100 new start-ups, at least 100 new jobs, all working to make a difference in Scotland". See press release, https://senscot.net/?viewid=13242
The Social Enterprise Academy has been working with over 400 Primary, Secondary and Special Needs schools – supporting them as they have established their own active-trading social enterprises. To celebrate their achievements, the Academy has invited 10 of the schools to attend the Social Enterprise Exchange on 21st March to share their experiences. They are looking for sponsors – £300 per school. If you want to help, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=13243
This week’s bulletin profiles Edinburgh SEN member, Home Angels. Home Angels provides a range of domestic services including general household chores, cleaning, simple maintenance, meal preparation and much more – all at the price of £13.75 per hour inclusive of vat. Home Angels is a social enterprise operated by Trust Housing Association. Home Angels pride themselves on providing a consistent and flexible service – allowing people to buy as much or as little time as they need. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=13254
Dr. Albert Schweitzer – in Ethics, Unqualified
"It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. It was once considered foolish to suppose that black men were really human beings and ought to be treated as such. What was once foolish has now become a recognized truth. Today it is considered as exaggeration to proclaim constant respect for every form of life as being the serious demand of a rational ethic. But the time is coming when people will be amazed that the human race existed so long before it recognized that thoughtless injury to life is incompatible with real ethics. Ethics is, in its unqualified form, extended responsibility to everything that has life."
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