Dear members and friends,
When the art historian and TV presenter Kenneth Clark was asked what quality best defined civilisation – his answer was not ‘democracy’ or ‘culture’ or ‘prosperity’ – his answer was ‘courtesy’; the framework of rules governing our tolerance of each other – enabling social harmony and creative discourse.
In the past week, I’ve read a dozen articles on the underlying ills of Scottish society, which seem to spill over in Celtic/Rangers clashes; some interesting theories – but it’s easy to get too complicated. For me, the driving force behind modern football – particularly the Old Firm – is money. The recent antics from Lennon and McCoist will have further increased the value of televising this fixture – and sold thousands of newspapers. The Glasgow derby is one of the greatest shows on earth – a double act, of orchestrated sectarian combat – cynically recycling ancient bitterness – for big money. The consequences for Scottish society are deeply corrosive; – by Kenneth Clark’s definition (courtesy) – much civil discourse in Scotland is uncivilised.
I like to tell myself that Scotland is moving out of a period when making money is the ultimate good – regardless of social consequences. The time has come for the directors of these two proud clubs to face up to the human damage which results from exploiting this divide – time for civil society to make it clear that we’ve had enough. The Old Firm, of course, will complain that everyone’s out to get them. If so – it’s about time.
The decision by the English Govt, to fund the training of five thousand community organisers, begs an important question: – what view of society will underpin the training process – i.e. are these ‘organisers’ to be agents of social challenge – or of social control? Excellent feature by Mathew Little in the current Third Sector mag which delves into this. He sketches the theories of Sol Alinsky and Paulo Freire – tries to predict where Locality and RE: generate (the delivery partners) will take the English programme. Scotland has a (very expensive) community learning and development service (CLD) which works for the state – but it`s ‘off somewhere’ – speaks mostly to itself – in a strange language. It would be great to have our own community organisers programme – accountable directly to communities – to shake things up a bit. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10787
Last December, this bulletin enthused about the BIG Lottery in Scotland’s Jessica programme – £15m over 10 years to help our neediest communities to develop anchor organisations – and increased self sufficiency. ‘Preferred bidder’ status, to deliver Jessica, has been won by the consortium led by the Scottish Community Foundation – alongside the newly formed Scottish Community Alliance. This looks like a good programme – with the right delivery agent. Good things expected. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10788
The extent to which the Big Society Bank (BSB) will operate in Scotland (or not) is still under discussion between Westminster and Victoria Quay – I presume we’ll all be told when the ‘grown ups’ have decided what’s best for us. Here’s a column from Rodney Schwartz – who declares himself ‘mildly in favour’ of BSB. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10791
Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscans, was eventually sacked as head of the order – for being impractical. I’m reminded of this by Muhammad Yunus’ dismissal this week – as head of Grameen Bank which he founded. I wonder if there’s an issue about size – different skills needed for different scales of operation. Thoughtful blog by Madeline Bunting. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10792
Ignore the PR guff about social responsibility – if you want to judge the ‘moral compass’ of an organisation – ask the differential between the highest and lowest paid. Recent research reveals that on average charities pay 4:1 – Councils & NHS Trusts pay 14:1 – Universities 19:1 – FTSE100 companies pay 232:1. https://senscot.net/?viewid=10789
Final call for places at next Friday’s `Fit for Purpose: Health and social enterprise` Conference at the Royal Society, George St, Edinburgh. The day ends with a panel discussion on the theme of the `Health Service and Financial Crisis`. Our panel will consist of Chris Dabbs (Unlimited Potential, Salford), Mags McCarthy (Unity Enterprise), Jane Churchill (HealthynHappy, Cambuslang) and Andrew Jackson (Change Fund, Scottish Govt). To sign up, see http://www.se-networks.net/fitforpurpose11form.php
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: Cornerstone, Engender, Gay Men’s Health Scotland, Turning Point Scotland, Voluntary Action Fund, Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project, The Advocacy Project, Lendrick Lodge, Shelter Scotland
EVENTS: Business Acquisition Masterclass, 22 Mar; Telling my story: Analysing and reporting outcomes, 24 Mar; Tackling Drug Deaths: Putting Evidence into Action, 30 Mar; What are my outcomes? 7 Apr;
TENDERS: Dalgety Bay Town Centre Study; Garden Aid Grounds Maintenance Services; Framework Agreement for Replacement Kitchens and Bathrooms; Supply and delivery of groceries and provisions;
NETWORKS 1st: Colin writes: Have you heard of the Change Fund? Scottish Govt has allocated £70m to NHS Boards for 2011/12. See, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/care/reshaping/changefund .
The intention is that the Fund will be a catalyst in promoting more effective joint planning, commissioning and delivery of services across the health, social care and housing spectrum. Local Delivery Plans (Change Plans) have been developed with local Community Planning Partnerships and Interfaces and are due to be signed off over the next week. With many social enterprises active in the field of health and social care, their exclusion from the development and/or implementation of `Change Plans` is a serious omission. Senscot, with others, will continue to lobby for full engagement of the social enterprise community in Third Sector Interfaces. For more Networks News, see http://www.se-networks.net/showbull.php?articleid=180
Senscot says goodbye this week to Victoria Pearce who has been with us since 2007. Fortunately, Victoria will not be lost to the social enterprise community as she is moving to take up a full-time position with Douglas Westwater and his colleagues at Community Enterprise as of next week. Our loss is their gain.
Senscot Legal is attracting a growing number of enquiries from social enterprises and wider third sector organisations. They’re also in increasing demand to deliver workshops and/or training days. This week, we are circulating their new flyer to all SEN members. If they can be of any help, contact Karina at firstname.lastname@example.org . See new Flyer, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10795
Big turnout yesterday in Glasgow for a seminar about Social Impact Bond (SIBs) – with the Scottish third sector leadership well represented. The Event was hosted by an outfit called Social Finance – and it`s worth a look at their website – www.socialfinance.org.uk . This is a major initiative – big money – with the mission of making the third sector attractive to private investment. Personally, I have qualms about that proposition. Let’s not just drift into this. See programme and attendees list, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10786
Scotland’s Social Enterprise Award winners head to London on 30th March for the big UK Event. Short-list announced this week. Best of luck to our Scottish contingent. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10796
Fred Taylor who owns Scalpay has written to all the islands 300 strong population, saying he is prepared to hand over the island, free of charge. He said that land ownership may be the way forward for communities like Scalpay. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=10790
This week’s bulletin profiles a new social enterprise in Fife that was short-listed in the recent Scottish Social Enterprise Awards 2011 in the `Start up` category. MyBus has been set up to provide a range of affordable, reliable, accessible transport services to groups and individuals unable to access suitable public transport. Based in Leven, MyBus has five minibuses ranging from 8 to 16 seats, all with access for people with mobility problems, and covers Central, East and North East Fife. For more, see
Historian Niall Ferguson has started a new TV series called Civilisation (Sundays 8pm Channel 4) – but some older readers will remember Kenneth Clark’s seminal BBC series of that name. Here’s a quote from over 40 years. “I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole, I think knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole, which for convenience we call nature. All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible… Western civilisation has been a series of rebirths. Surely this should give us confidence in ourselves.”
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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