Senscot Bulletin: 21.01.11

Dear members and friends,

Desert Island Discs has been around all of my life (since Jan 1942).  ‘Celeb Castaway’s’ are asked to select 8 pieces of music, a book, and a ‘luxury item’ – to ease their solitude.  After hearing Alex Salmond`s choices on Sunday – I thought it would be interesting to write down mine.  They disclose more than I realised.
 As a youngster, in the 1940s at boarding school, I came to enjoy church music – Gregorian chant still calms my spirit – so my first choice is the choir of Downside Abbey singing the Divine Office.  From the 50s, I remember Italian family gatherings, where folk sang – so I’d take Pavarotti’s medley of Neapolitan songs.  In the 60s, I didn’t fully appreciate the stature of Elvis – truly the king; I select his track ‘Always on My Mind’.  The 70s brought me in touch with my Scottishness – which I’ll mark with Eddie Reader singing Burns’ – ‘Ae Fond Kiss’.  I spent the 80s strutting my stuff – I identify this period with Frank Sinatra’s ‘Start Spreading the Noos…’.  Gradually in the 90s, the counter culture entered my soul – Bob Dylan symbolizes this for me – his version of ‘In the Early Morning Rain’.  I need a track that can transport me to a piano bar – in the wee small hours – nursing a serious glass of cognac; that’s Ella Fitzgerald singing ‘Everytime We Say Goodbye’.  I don’t use the term ‘genius’ lightly – but Louis Armstrong was one.  My final and favourite choice is Satchmo’s ‘What a Wonderful World’.
 With only the bible and Shakespeare, I’ll need some light reading; my book choice is the collected works of Raymond Chandler.  His Philip Marlowe steadies me.   My luxury item is a picture – one of Brueghel’s peasant festivals – teeming with ordinary folk – working, playing, drinking, snogging.  See Alex Salmond’s choices,


How much CEO’s of social enterprises should be paid is a bit of a taboo subject; not surprisingly our emerging movement has right and left influences which don’t agree.  Attached is a good balanced article in which leaders of the sector in England give their views.  My own position is that if we’re serious about social enterprise changing the world, we need to be setting an example of a less unequal society.  Senscot is tiny and there is no need for a differential of more than 2:1 between highest and lowest paid.  For larger organisations I like the policy of Hill Holt Wood – which is 4:1.  Apparently John Lewis has a differential of 75:1 – an insult to its founder.

At the start of every year, around 100 Senscot supporters volunteer as company members. See 2010 list, We also invite donations towards the cost of this bulletin – which we keep independent of public funding – and will be keeping this open over the coming weeks. Thanks to those of you who have responded already. To donate, see

I’m not among those who want to see David Cameron’s Big Society initiative fail (it points in the right direction) – but one of its initiatives – The Big Society Network – seems to be an embarrassing flop.  When I heard last July that it intended to charge for membership – I couldn’t believe it – like charging citizens to give blood. See,

Everyday since its birth, 10 years ago, Wikipedia has got better – now it’s the most widely used reference work in the world.  When I first heard about its basic idea – unmoderated editing – I said – ‘nae chance’ – now I use it nearly everyday.  What a triumph of optimism, over old cynics like me.  Good article.

In the last round of gongs – Ed Miliband ennobled Maurice Glasman – who it seems, is an academic cum community organiser.  Glasman is one of the key figures behind the London Citizens movement and wants Labour to get back to its roots – championing human dignity and cherished local institutions.  I hope he hasn’t shot himself in the foot accepting a peerage; he won’t have the same influence in Govt. as he had on the streets.

NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See . This week: 
JOBS: Glasgow Women’s Library, Impact Arts, Glasgow Homelessness Network, Cumbernauld Action Care for the Elderly, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Talk Matters, Carbeth Hutters’ Community Company
EVENTS: Rural Development Day, 26 Jan; Tender writing training, 30 Jan; Cash Flow Planning workshop, 8 Feb; Highlands & Islands Celebration Event, 11 Feb; Climate Change Effective Communication, 17 Feb
TENDERS: Supply of Electrical Equipment and Consumables; Provision of Contracted School, College and Social Work Transport Services for Children and Adults; Architects & Related Services Framework;

NETWORKS 1st: Colin writes: As you will be aware, the Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) are taking shape across the country. Senscot is encouraging SENs to make direct contact with their respective TSIs, if they have not done so already. Some are already well integrated into the process. Where SENs do not yet exist, Senscot will be contacting TSIs directly to encourage full engagement with local social enterprises so as to ensure the successful delivery of the `social enterprise development` function. Altho` subject to change, here’s the most recent list of current TSI contacts.
For more Networks News, see

Senscot Legal (SL) has been set up to provide the social enterprise community and wider third sector with a service that is accessible, approachable and, importantly, at affordable rates. Already, it has received numerous inquiries from across the country. Current activity on behalf of social enterprises includes advice relating to company structure; employment dispute issues; and a framework agreement regulating the relationship between like-minded parties seeking to work together for mutual benefit. We now have our two members of staff in place – Alan Dunipace (Solicitor) and Karina MacRitchie (Paralegal) – operating out of our premises in Bath St, Glasgow. If Senscot Legal can be of help to your organisation, please contact 

Last month, the bulletin highlighted Scotland’s first MSC degree in social enterprise, being in partnership between the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) and Glasgow Caledonian University. The course will start in March and recruitment is underway. 20 places are available with applications due in by the end of February. Here’s all the latest info` including an application form if you fancy getting your name in. See

The Community Resources Network Scotland (CRNS) contacted us this week to say that their Annual Report 2009/10 has been short-listed in the Best Annual Report Category at the Internal Communication Scotland Awards (IoIC). Here’s their report,

This week’s bulletin profiles Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) which will be operating as a social enterprise from 1st April this year. PAS has been on the landscape since 1993, helping people shape their communities by engaging with the planning system. It is supported by a network of around 300 volunteer planning professionals across the country who give of their time and specialist knowledge. PAS will be taking a more enterprising approach in the new financial year with particular focus on their training and mentoring services as income generators. For more, see

I’m not pretending that I grasp even the elements of quantum physics – but Monday’s Horizon programme on BBC 2 was a revelation.  I understood enough to realise that scientists are still puzzling the true nature of reality – including the possibility that we exist in an infinity of parallel worlds.  This is a quote from the American physicist Percy Bridgman:  “The structure of nature may eventually be such that our processes of thought do not correspond to it sufficiently to permit us to think about it at all… The world fades out and eludes us… We are confronted with something truly ineffable.  We have reached the limit of the great pioneers of science, the vision, namely, that we live in a sympathetic world in that it is comprehensible to our minds.” I think he’s saying that we don’t know how the universe works – and that we may lack the mental equipment to ever know.

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

Best wishes,


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