It surprises me how affected I am by the death of Albert Finney last week – still exploring why. When, in 1960, I saw ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ – I was 20, he was 24; his commanding screen presence, fused with Alan Sillitoe’s politics: ‘don’t let the bastards grind you down’; that glowering anti-hero is my Finney who just died. The best tributes are from his close friends: “a beautiful, big-hearted, life-loving, delight of a man”.
We actually know surprisingly little about the ‘real’ Albert Finney – because that’s the way he wanted it. An introvert, whose privacy meant more than the halo of fame and stardom, he kept the media out of his life – so we’re only left with snippets. He escaped the ‘honoured’ British theatre establishment (declined a knighthood); he eluded the Hollywood circus (wouldn’t even attend Oscar ceremonies); returned frequently to his childhood home town of Salford (“it’s in the blood”). He had the florid face of a ‘bon viveur’; had numerous affairs with beautiful women; loved and owned racehorses; would occasionally be spotted at posh restaurants or race tracks. He lived life at his own tempo.
For me, the most interesting aspect of a person is their beliefs, philosophy, politics etc; I’d love to have chatted with him. Although he never approved a biography, that didn’t stop them: a 2017 attempt called ‘Strolling Player’ said: “Albert Finney proved that it’s possible to control your own destiny, preserve your integrity, and have a good time, without veering into self-destruction”. That doesn’t seem enough, somehow.
Senscot’s annual invite for financial donations from readers who wish to contribute to the cost of producing this bulletin – has now passed the halfway stage. Around 80 individuals have signed up so far as full company members – target is 100 – all giving an average of £25. Senscot’s board is elected by and is accountable to these members. We also invite donations from organisations (associate members) who simply want to support what we do (amounts between £5 and £500). To join ordonate, see members page.
At a time when UK politics is unrelenting gloom, I’m distracted by the adventures of US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – what a joy! This 3 min video went viral. This week the 29 year old, Puerto Rican Democrat, introduced the Green New Deal (GND) which basically recognises two fundamental problems: economic inequality and climate change. The GND proposals are so radical that it has been labelled a ‘socialist manifesto’ – Democrats like Nancy Pelosi (79 years old) will think it goes too far; but it has sparked debate – and for a growing global movement of young people, it will be an attractive manifesto.
The Cairncross Review, which investigated the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK, has now reported; central, of course, is how online platforms (Google and Facebook) have devastated this industry. One concern is about what Cairncross understands as local journalism; most ‘local’ newspapers around where I live are scant, sorry affairs, produced by remote, multi-ownership, debt-laden publishers – surely doomed. Two places I visit Callander (The Ben Ledi View) – and Linlithgow (The Black Bitch) are examples of the real deal; local people writing – safeguarding the democracy of their own community. Excellent blog from David Floyd (Social Spider) who has direct experience in this field – frugal but stable.
Finland’s two-year basic income trial (UBI) ended last month – early reactions confirm how far most people are from understanding the concept. UBI is not about reducing joblessness or tinkering with the benefit system; UBI is about preparing for a time, later this century, when automation/technology makes most human labour unnecessary and no-one has a job – or any money. We accept free education, health care, even housing and transport – but ‘free money’ will meet more resistance. Does someone who chooses to work (say as a doctor) get the same as someone who makes no visible contribution to the general wellbeing.
Until ‘Saturday night and Sunday morning’ I’d never really thought about the life of a factory worker – how they cope with soul-destroying monotony. Albert Finney played the lead – as ‘an angry young man’.
“Piled-up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week’s monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill. You followed the motto of “be drunk and be happy”, kept your crafty arms around female waists, and felt the beer going beneficially down into the elastic capacity of your guts… I’m me and nobody else; and whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not, because they don’t know a bloody thing about me… all I’m out for is a good time – all the rest is propaganda”.
P4P, this week, led a small delegation (SEN members and Intermediaries) down to the Greater Manchester area to look at how the ‘Preston Model’ and Rochdale Stronger Together both operate – and explore what lessons we could learn in Scotland that would help increase the level of social enterprise engagement in public service delivery. The visit was part of research being carried out by P4P, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, into the opportunities for third sector organisations and SEs to increase local service delivery and local spend through the creation of social enterprise clusters. This research is also looking to test the scale and nature of the interest in cluster models in Scotland and the potential impact they could have – and P4P is inviting any social enterprise or third sector organisation who may be interested to fill in this survey. It’ll take around 5 mins. Your help would be very much appreciated. We’ll have a further update next week.
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website.
Scotland’s SE eco-system is now explained via this new SE Map – commissioned by Scottish Govt and put together by Community Enterprise and its subsidiary, BOLD. Congratulations are in order in bringing together – on one page – such a complex ‘infrastructure’- including a helpful ‘glossary’. It may appear ‘busy’ at first – but, stick with it, as it will reveal as coherent a picture of our eco-system as you could wish for.
We hear a lot these days in the media/social media about how social entrepreneurship is an increasingly attractive option to more and more people (particularly ‘millennials’) – who believe that business is as much about social impact as it is about financial returns. This refreshingly honest article from social entrepreneur, Jack Graham, describes how it was his ‘privilege’ that has allowed him to do what he is doing – and how this ‘privilege’ is impacting on the demographic of our new breed of social entrepreneurs.
Senscot attended the inaugural Tayside and Fife Social Enterprise Partnership event this week. The ceremony, held in DC Thomson’s offices in Dundee, celebrated the activity of social enterprises across both areas, their achievements and the invaluable contributions they are making to local communities. It is also good to see different local authority areas working together to support SE across the wider region.
Scottish Communities Finance (SCF) – the finance arm of SCRT – has produced a new guide on Community Bonds – in Comic Book format – explaining what they are and they could work for your community. SCF also oversees The SEN Bridging Loan Fund – offering small, bridging loans to SEN members. Bridging loans are short-term loans that can be used to bridge periods when expected income has been delayed for one reason or another. If interested in applying, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This week’s bulletin profiles a new social enterprise in Edinburgh which collects waste wood, sells quality timber, and provides work experience, volunteering and training. Move On Wood Recycling (MOWR) is a subsidiary of the charity, Move On, which works to support vulnerable young people and those affected by homelessness. As well as their wood recycling services, Move On Wood Recycling also offers employment training and volunteering opportunities. MOWR is the second Community Wood Recycling set up in Scotland, following in the footsteps of Glasgow SEN member, Glasgow Wood Recycling, and is also part of the UK-wide Community Wood Recycling network.