Senscot Bulletin 18-07-2003

JULY 2003


Dear Members and friends,


It’s difficult to exaggerate the amount of pleasure (and
pain) I’ve had from the game of golf. The privilege of playing the very courses
where our game was invented by Scottish working men – artisans, farmers,
shopkeepers etc – and taken all over the world. A small number of clubs have
degenerated into snobby enclaves, which is sad – nothing to do with golf. Such
places incite me to behave badly – don’t get invited back- but found myself
recently at one of them. A bit early – I’m met in the hall by a caricature
complete with plus fours and white moustache. “I’m looking for the timesheet,
to confirm our time,” I smile. “We don’t use a timesheet,” he replies
distastefully, “ Have you come to right place?” –  “I’m playing at 2.30 with Mr. Thomson – perhaps you can confirm
that?” – He chooses not to – “Mr. Thomson is not in the club” – “I’d like to
get a sandwich” – “The clubhouse is only available to guests who are with
members. Sandwiches have to be pre-ordered.” I decide I’m not taking any more
from this clown.  It’s his smug look of
enjoyment that makes me lose it, “Do you enjoy being an awkward barsteward?” I
ask. Before he can answer, I walk out. I wait for my friend at the entrance of
the drive. – “Sorry Ronnie, I’ve done it again.”



Three years ago the Government’s Social Investment Unit made
it clear that the main clearing banks were failing to reinvest in Britain’s
poorer areas and recommended to the Chancellor that they should face tough
legislation if they failed to disclose information on lending patterns.  In an important statement last week, Sir
Robert Cohen, the Unit’s Chairman, reported that this situation continues and
that the refusal to disclose data on lending patterns is still undermining
attempts to improve investment in deprived areas.  Many of us have argued all along that the rampant greed which
characterises our banking sector, will only be influenced by legislation. (



Some English researchers claimed last week to have found a
14th Century cookbook with a recipe for a pasta dish called
Lasan.  Apart from the absence of
tomatoes (not discovered yet) it’s so similar to Lasagne that they claim it
proves the English invented the dish. 
Chef, Antonio Notorangelo of Antonio’s restaurant in London commented,
“Scandoloso. The English still can’t cook Lasagne properly.”



This bulletin recently asked what happens to those increases
in the Scottish budget paid ‘consequential’ to English social enterprise
initiatives – like the Phoenix Fund. Our thanks to Alex Smith of Co-Operation
and Mutuality Scotland who took this matter up directly with Jim Wallace. The
reply he received is posted at  Some of you may feel that this issue should
be pursued further. Meanwhile the Social Enterprise Coalition response to the
Futurebuilders consultation is at



In 1997 Professor Alan McGregor from Glasgow University (et
al) produced a report called ‘Valuing the Social Economy’, which significantly
raised public awareness in Scotland about the scale and impact of our
sector.  For the past few months he and
his team have been carrying out a 2003 re-run of this work (with an enlarged
sample of 600 organisations) and many of you reading this may well have
contributed.  The draft report has been
written but following a steering group meeting on Wednesday, a lot of
amendments and additions are in progress – so it would be premature to post it.  This is a useful survey which identifies
clear trends in our sector over the past 5/6 years and will inform policy.  The report starts with an interesting
five-page definition of the social economy which will interest some of



Member Sonia McLay who is a regular friendly face at Senscot
events has asked us to remember the tragic death last week of her partner
Alexander Beck.  Our deepest
sympathies.  Alexander gave life 110%
and his outlook is summed up by these words of Margaret Mead:

“The starting point for a better
world is the belief that it is possible”.



YELLOW PAGES: Space constraints mean we can’t carry every
notice you send. But please send in any relevant items and we’ll post it on our
site (Send in your items to
This week:


Jobs: 32 vacancies, including posts at Lochaber
Environmental Group, Iona Community, Southern Uplands Partnership, Project
Ability, Edinburgh Mediabase and Novas Ouvertures.


Reports: ‘Developing People – Regenerating Place: Achieving
Greater Integration for Local Area Regeneration’; ‘Charities and
Not-for-Profits: A Modern Legal framework’;


Events:  ‘Developing
Action Research’ event, 29 August, Edinburgh; CTA Advice & Networking Day,
20 August, Glasgow; Community Recycling Network for Scotland Event, 21-22 Aug
2003. SEDI ‘Introduction To Social Enterprise’ training course, 22 Sept 2003;


For details on these and more:



In the Business section of the Sunday Herald last week there
was a piece about Social Investment Scotland (SIS) achieving accreditation as a
Community Development Finance Institution enabling it to offer tax breaks to
any business willing to invest in community projects.  (
For the interest of members we’ll try to build an indicative profile of the
kinds of awards SIS is making as we get the information from SIS.



This week’s profile is of the Loch Arthur Community in
Dumfries and Galloway. It now runs one of the largest and most established
organic farms in Scotland. The Loch Arthur Community is part of the Camphill
Village Trust, a charity which has established communities involving adults
with learning difficulties. At Loch Arthur, they run a bio-dynamic farm as well
as a range of other enterprises including a creamery, a bakery, a mail-order
scheme and a weavery. In addition to being part of a network of communities
around Scotland, Loch Arthur Farms are also actively involved in the Dumfries
and Galloway Organic Network, a network that is seeking to establish additional
links throughout Scotland. For further information:
(‘Project Profiles’)



Since our ‘Celebrating Social Enterprise’ conference last
year (with The Big Issue), we receive frequent prompts from members to host
another event – and we are proposing to do just that.  Our provisional date is Friday 31st October – in
Glasgow – for around 150 people.  Again
our target group will be front line, community based social entrepreneurs and
their enterprises.  Enquiries to



“Blair has too often minimised social injustice for fear of
frightening the middle classes.  But he
has never tried bringing the middle class along too in pursuit of fairness, not
as a class to be bribed, but as people to be enthused by a political
vision.  There are brave thinkers
surfacing inside government who know what renewal means.” – Guardian columnist
Polly Toynbee



“George Best is drinking again” was the lead story on the
ITV news bulletin on Sunday night.  Is
this really a national event?  I myself
haven’t had a drink for nearly two years but if I’m unfortunate enough to step
off the wagon at least I’ll be allowed to do it in private. Once spent some
hours in Best`s company – it was in his heyday – in some Spanish beach bar. I
remember him as charming, unassuming. He called me Leonard – but that’s okay.
He was more preoccupied with all the girls trying to get off with him. But now
it seems our drinking days are done -“They are not long, the days of wine and roses.”

George Best – just like so many of us – lives with his
personal demons.  Let’s try to be kind
to ourselves.

“One thing about alcohol: It may
destroy a man’s career, ruin his marriage, turn him into a zombie unconscious
in a hallway – but it works.  On short
term, it works much faster than a psychiatrist or a priest or the love of a
husband or a wife.  Those things…they
all take time.  They must be
developed…But alcohol is always ready to go to work at once.  Ten minutes, half an hour, the little formless
fears are gone or turned into harmless amusement.  But they come back.  Oh
yes, and they bring reinforcements.” – Charles Orson Gorham


That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures.

Best wishes,



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