Dear members and friends,
Wallander, one of my favourite TV programmes, is back on Saturday evenings. I much prefer this Swedish version to Kenneth Branagh’s demented portrayal – I need my heroes to steady me. Whether it’s Wallander in Ystad – Marlowe in Los Angeles – Laidlaw in Glasgow or Rebus in Edinburgh – it’s remarkable how similar these characters are (Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect fits the same mould). They are all loners – self destructive – struggle with alcohol – and authority. Their domestic relationships are chaotic – which they blame on their work, but we need to ask why – at the expense of a normal life – they find themselves locked in a battle with the bad guys.
For all the stories I’ve read about detective heroes, I can hardly remember any of the plots. It’s their personal journeys of self discovery which stay with me – their collective attitude which steadies me. Heroes sacrifice themselves for a cause bigger than self interest – to help the underdog. This stands out against the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. They face up to the worst among us – and their victories symbolise our ability to control the savage within ourselves. In the middle of darkness and death, they affirm life – which is what heroes do – but it’s interesting that we prefer them flawed – wounded.
Senscot has received a response from the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition about our proposal for a Social Enterprise Badge (Bulletin, March 26th). The Coalition, like other respondents, agrees that the 5 Scottish criteria are `far preferable` to the more relaxed English version, but takes the view that having two SE Identifiers in the UK would be confusing, and possibly detrimental to Scotland. It wants any decision to be delayed to allow further consideration of how the existing Mark performs; and any investment from Scottish Govt to be weighed alongside other priorities. Senscot has always been clear, that the viability of a Scottish Identifier would depend on the wholehearted support of our sector. Soundings among our Networks indicate a comfortable majority in favour, but this decision by our Coalition changes things – raises the prospect of a protracted and potentially damaging controversary over an issue which is not central. Senscot is a support and development organisation – we are not a representative body for social enterprise. Our Board will fully discuss our options but their priority will be to avoid wrangling – even if it means we have to step back from this one. See Coalition response, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=9382
For those of us who work for financial inclusion and better banking services for poor communities – the recent budget had some very significant proposals. Credit Unions are to be rolled out all across the UK – funded by a tax on High St banks. Credit Unions and a raft of other banking services are to be made available from post offices – re-inforcing their role as community hubs. These radical measures will go a long way towards meeting the aspirations of the Better Banking Coalition and we must hope they survive the election. See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=9380
In 1971, when I was a Moray House, Saul Alinsky`s ‘Rules for Radicals’ was published – my first introduction to community organising. Who would have believed that 40 years later a Tory leadership would propose to deploy an army of 5000 community organisers? Their 5000 would equate to 500 in Scotland – which, of course, is nonsense. Will that be instead of 500 police or nurses or what? Without any money the whole Big Society policy is just hot air – which is a pity because it points in the right direction.
Core, the Edinburgh-based social enterprise launched last year to take food waste out of landfill and turn it into cash and jobs, gets a good plug in Social Enterprise Live. Edinburgh SEN member, Luca Pornaro has been the driving force behind this success story. See more http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=9385
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: Church of Scotland, Midlothian Voluntary Action, Hamilton & Clydesdale and East Kilbride Women’s Aids, Community Woodlands Association, Children in Scotland, LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing
EVENTS: SCVO General Election Debate, 14 Apr; Making Meetings More Effective, 22 Apr; Fit for Purpose, 23 Apr; Some Like it Too Hot – How Leith’s houses are leaking heat, 24 Apr; Basics of Being an Employer, 29 Apr; Power-UP (Planning, the law and your rights), 9 May; Maximising Participation, 13 May; Exploring Sustainable Living, 28 May
NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: We’re entering the third year of our current support package from Scottish Govt for SENs. We’re taking stock of what’s been happening and what lies ahead. SEN members are increasingly working together – locally and nationally. Involvement with the ‘single interface` process and increased engagement in procurement activities are just two examples. New SENs are active in Angus and Perth and S2S will see the launch of a Youth SEN. Events coming up include Fit for Purpose 2010 in Perth on 23rd April and the first cultural social enterprise conference in Glasgow on 26th May. We also hope to carry out further ‘Vital Stats’ surveys which, to us, are the clearest way of demonstrating the contribution SENs and their members are making to their local economies.
For more Networks News, see https://senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=136
The ‘Fit for Purpose’ Conference takes place on Friday 23rd April at the Perth Concert Hall. The full programme is now in place. As well as our keynote speakers – Mary Allison and Dr Lynne Friedli, see http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=9368 – the programme includes workshops on community benefits clauses, outcome focussed planning and social prescription case studies. There are still some places left. To book, see http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=9319
The Social Enterprise Academy is running another 20:Twenty Leadership residential in Nairn from 4th-7th June. This is their fourth such programme and second in the Highlands. This programme is targeted at retail-based social enterprises based in the Highland and Islands. All places are fully funded. To apply, see
See more, http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=9378
This week’s Observer asked several writers to reflect on the New Labour years. Andrew O’Hagan was scathing. ‘‘You look at Blair and his favourites and you think, none was formidable, in the old, EM Forster sense of having a character that imposes itself with persuasive grace. I mean, Peter Mandelson? You never felt for one minute that he either meant what he said or said what he meant. The man was a lily-livered chancer throughout, and we might find a symbol for the whole New Labour betrayal in Lord Mandelson’s vertiginous smirk.’’. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=9379
SCVO is hosting a General Election Debate on Wed 14th April in Edinburgh University’s Playfair Library. The combatants are John Barrett MP (LibDem), Gavin Brown MSP (Tory), Jim Mather MSP (SNP) and Sheila Gilmour (Labour). For more info, see http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=9383 On Tuesday 20th April, the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition is hosting its version with Mark Lazarowicz MP (Labour), Gavin Brown MSP (Tory), Shirley Anne Somerville MSP (SNP), Patrick Harvie MSP (Green) and Alistair Carmichael MP (Lib Dems). This one is at the Corn Exchange with Laurie Russell in the chair. Wonder why they’re both in Edinburgh?
Last week’s bulletin profiled the Crescent Kitchen and their outside catering service. This week Rob Hoon contacts us to let us know about the Out of the Blue Drill Hall Café’s new food delivery service – Tour de Lunch. Lunches delivered to your workplace etc on traditional Danish bicycles. All their ingredients are locally sources including fruit and veg coming from Phantassie Farm in East Linton. Edinburgh now boasts two social enterprise outside catering services. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=9384
In the millennium year, 2000, Dahan Zohar and Ian Marshall published a book called ‘Spiritual Intelligence: the Ultimate Intelligence’. The opening chapter contains the following statement: ‘‘The full picture of human intelligence can be completed with a discussion of our spiritual intelligence – SQ for short. By SQ, I mean the intelligence with which we address and solve problems of meaning and value, the intelligence with which we can place our actions and our lives in a wider, richer, meaning-giving context, the intelligence with which we can asses that one course of action or one life-path is more meaningful than another. SQ is the necessary foundation for the effective functioning of both IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence). It is our ultimate intelligence.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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