Dear members and friends,
Have you noticed that there’s never any sex in P.G Wodehouse books; and one of my favourite writers, Ray Chandler, never lets his shining knight Philip Marlow, into the bedroom. My own sensibilities are similarly old fashioned – regarding sexual activity as a private affair. I’m not pretending though, that this is one of my strong subjects; the priests who shaped my formative years taught that outwith holy matrimony – sexual pleasure is sinful. For many years this is what I believed – and I’ve never shed a lifelong unease.
Listed as the fastest selling book ever – ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ has become the nation’s main small talk. Picked-up a copy from the pile at the till in Waterstones – “Do you realise that’s the second one you’ve got?” asked the till lady. “No, I want the first one.” “You can have the sequel as well – for half price.” “Just the one thanks.”
Predictably the book is almost total mince – and its success will now unleash mountains of this guff; but it’s still important to me that we are free to read what we wish. This is not a measure of my decadence – simply that I’m less concerned about soft porn than I am about fundamentalist religions. But I won’t be buying the second book; Anastasia’s shenanigans were starting to bore me. Enough already.
“We cannot underestimate the crucial part land reform will play in contributing to the future success of Scotland for the next generation”. These are not my words – but those of our First Minister – announcing this week a new review of land reform in Scotland. See, senscot.net/?viewid=12565. But as Andy Wightman says – the usefulness of this exercise will depend on the membership of the review group – and how wide its remit is. I would strongly advice Salmond to appoint Wightman – his reputation is international. Even if he dissents from the final report – he’s got to be there. See, senscot.net/?viewid=12571
The business model of Big Society Capital (BSC) is based on the assumption that it will attract billions of pounds from the money markets into a new ‘social investment asset class’; I don’t believe that this will ever happen. Reason one – is that any true charity or social enterprise is asset locked – can’t be sold – and this innate ‘illiquidity’ excludes the markets. Reason two – is the availability of ‘patient capital’ from sources which share the aims and values of our work – much more attractive. BSC is principally an ideological intervention – which seeks to convert us to a private sector mindset. Maybe the London village will buy it – but they’ll struggle up here. See, https://senscot.net/?viewid=12323
Many progressive networks, like Senscot, have been campaigning for years for a more useful way of measuring the ‘state of the nation’ than simple GDP. We therefore welcome the National Office of Stats. First ‘Measuring Wellbeing’ report this week – informing that the winners of the happiness stakes are ‘older, married, female, home owning, outer Hebrideans’. Seriously though, there must be some lessons here.
Recently we posted a piece by Isobel Spencer which estimated that the UK Third Sector is set to lose around 5,000 vital community organisations. See, senscot.net/?viewid=12505. Last week, Polly Toynbee wrote about Eco-Actif and, this week, Tania Mason tells us about Red Kite Learning. See, senscot.net/?viewid=12566. These are two midsized specialist service providers – used as ‘bid candy’ by the ‘big boys’ – then bankrupted by the Work Programme’s funding arrangements. Tory marketeers would argue that if 5,000 organisations fail – then the remainder will be stronger for it; but this is a fundamental category error. Like our High Streets – the free market will strip out everything except the big corporates. Which is exactly the opposite of ‘Big Society’.
Senscot will be holding our AGM on Friday, 5th October in Glasgow (venue tbc). We’ll be following last year’s format of holding it at the end of our 2012 Senscot Seminar. Title of this year’s Seminar will be, ‘A Scottish Community Bank?’ – with guest speaker, Malcolm Hayday ( Charity Bank). More next week.
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but more jobs, events and tenders available on our website. See www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php This week:
JOBS: The Village Storytelling Centre, Aberlour, Edinburgh Young Carers Project, Yoker Community Campus, The National Trust for Scotland, Turning Point Scotland, Scottish Community Safety Network
EVENTS: SCREE magazine presents, 4 Aug; Miss.Fit Sisters Vintage Circus, 11 Aug; MOJO Scotland, 19 Aug; Strengthening your Social Enterprise, 21 Aug; Energising Ideas for All, 28 Aug;
TENDERS: Print Services for Tayside Procurement Consortium, Glasgow City Wide Stress Services on behalf of the NHS, Consultancy for Belleisle Park Heritage Lottery Funding Stage 3 applications. For more details, see www.readyforbusiness.org
NETWORKS 1st: Kim writes: One of the main events in the SE calendar in Scotland is CEiS’ September Conference. Now in its 5th year, the CEiS Conference addresses many of the most topical issues affecting the SE community in Scotland. This year’s programme is now available in draft form. See, www.se-networks.net/shownotice.php?articleid=729. Senscot has reserved 20 ‘Early Bird’ places for SEN members (£95 + VAT). If you would like to book a place, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . For more Networks News, see
The Social Enterprise Academy runs an annual residential, called the Ignite Programme. This year, Ignite will be taking place over the weekend 19th-22nd October at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick. The programme will bring together approx 18 social entrepreneurs and allow them to work together in identifying their key motivations; clarifying their goals; exploring options; and planning next steps in growing or developing their social enterprise. Applications are now being considered. For info, contact Caroline St Johnston at Caroline@theacademy-ssea.org. To apply, see senscot.net/?viewid=12562
5 more ‘subscribers’ to the SE Code this week – all members of Fife SEN. To sign up, see www.se-code.net
You may be aware of the Guardian Newspaper’s online Social Enterprise Network. Each Friday, it hosts a Q&A on a ‘hot’ topic for the SE community – this week it’s on sport. One of the panellists will be our own SE and Sport Co-ordinator, Diane Cameron. Issues being discussing will include – using sport to connect with young people; how sport can help to transform disadvantaged communities; and how we can learn from the success of others in this field. To follow today’s discussion (12-2pm), senscot.net/?viewid=12567
The crowdfunding of Senscot’s new collection of bulletin ‘intros’ is going well (friends have been asked to pre-purchase 10 copies – £100). Your support is very much appreciated. We’ll be keeping this ‘open’ for a couple of weeks till folk come back their holidays. If you’d like to contribute, contact email@example.com . Here are extracts from the first collection, ‘You’ve Got Laugh’, (2001- 2006). See, www.senscot.net/downloads/Bulletin_Intros_-_July_2005.pdf
DTA Scotland (DTAS) hosts its 9th Annual Conference on 2nd/3rd September at the Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld. With almost 300 members (Full and Associates), DTAS’ annual bash is a key event in the community sector calendar in Scotland. To book, see senscot.net/?viewid=12532
This week’s bulletin profiles a recently established social enterprise that has the goal of bringing topical stories of global significance to the world stage. Aconite Productions, based in Glasgow, produces quality documentaries in collaboration with international partners. Their most recent production, Everybody’s Child, was aired on BBC 2’S My Life and Times last Sunday evening. Other recent productions include ‘To The Last Drop’ and ‘The Boy From Georgia’. See more, www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=12563
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali were compiled in India circa 300 years before Christ. They are not tied to any specific religion, culture or period – but remain a profound exposition of the mental processes which lead to the expansion of human consciousness;
“Yoga is the settling of the mind in silence:- When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature which is unbounded consciousness:- The quest for our essential nature is life’s main task and our only resting place:- Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind:- Yoga settles this mental activity and leads to a state of freedom:- Freedom is consciousness beyond the influence of desire, a state of choiceless awareness.”
That’s all for this week.
Good luck with your adventures
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