Dear members and friends,
My neighbour closed her outbuildings to the swallows this year and the small colony in my woodshed hasn’t prospered – so we now have a plague of flies. Two feral cats which prowl our clachan have decimated the rabbit population – allowing our plants a bumper year. The whole web of nature is so fragile and connected. Quantum physics is discovering what traditional religions have known for millennia – that the entire universe is interdependent (see article below).
Also with us humans – how many thousand causal links make this person flourish – and this one a broken alcoholic. Of all these influences, the most telling happen when we’re wee – learning what to expect. That great line of Larkin’s – “What was the rock my gliding childhood struck?” Long after we leave our parents – an inner voice remains – the arbiter of what we ‘deserve’. Larkin again: “For something sufficiently toadlike squats in me too….and will never allow me to blarney my way to getting the fame and the girl and the money all at one sitting.” It squats in me as well!
Whatever the causal links, I’m off to Spain for two weeks. Wee flat – quiet beach – no plans – just to chill – open to new imaginings – above my station. Last time I walked this beach, my only regular companions were the sandpipers.
Kenny MacAskill is not a natural communicator and I find it difficult to warm to his robotic style – but he shot up in my estimation last week with the honesty and courage of his handling of the Maghrahi business. We want our political leaders to make decisions based on values and principles not popularity and expediency. In spite of Westminster and Washington hypocrisy, MacAskill did us credit. I thought the Scottish media (what’s left of it) behaved without distinction – even the BBC going for maximum mischief. The online Scottish Review comes out of it well – outspoken – free of London bias – and Kenneth Roy can write. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8555
Every year Senscot hosts a gathering and Ceildh at New Lanark for Scotland’s social enterprise networks – this year on 19/20 November. We stick with this venue because facilities and services are first rate – but also because it’s a social enterprise – founded 200 years ago – by Robert Owen – one of the inspirations of our movement. I was thrilled to hear this week of the bold idea for Owenstown – a brand new ecotown 5 miles, from New Lanark. 8 thousand jobs – 8 thousand homes – a town of 20 thousand – self sustaining, environmentally and economically. What a marvellous vision. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8556
My favourite media platform for discussing Scottish current affairs just now is the ‘Opinions’ section of the Sunday Herald – where Ian MacWhirter, Ian Bell, Tom Shields, Muriel Gray (and full supporting cast) do their stuff. Scotland is well served by the quality of our best journalism. I’ve linked to Muriel Gray letting rip at the ritual celebration of hatred in sectarian marches – a shameful aspect of our culture which, to his credit, Jack McConnell was determined to face down. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8557
Everyone says that money is going to get tighter for the Third Sector in Scotland – which makes our Govt`s allocation of the Dormant Bank Accounts money even more important. Senscot has been asking civil servants for an update on progress – but while we get the impression things are happening – they’re not prepared to talk about them yet. The attached background note from Fiona Malcolm is a helpful summary of where things stand at the moment. http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8572
A radical reform of our financial system isn’t going to happen is it? The Treasury just wants to get back to business as usual ASAP. Toby Blume of the English Urban Forum invites us to respond (before the end of September) to the Treasury White Paper http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8558. Stephen Maxwell in TFN invites us to make submission to the Scottish Govt`s current enquiry into the global financial crisis. Stephen offers his own personal priorities. https://senscot.net/?viewid=8559
This week’s Briefings from Local People Leading carries an example of the obscure pretentious jargon of the community development profession as depicted by academia. The Briefings asks ‘Why did community development get lost – is it recoverable – does it matter?’ http://www.senscot.net/view_news.php?viewid=8560
NOTICES: We can’t flag all notices here, but submit jobs and events and we’ll post them on our site. See http://www.senscot.net/jobsevents.php. This week:
JOBS: The GRAB Trust, Send-it Fulfilment Solutions Ltd, Tailor Ed Foundation, Penumbra, Terminal One Youth Centre, Renfrewshire Environmental Trust, Keymoves, Forth Sector, DTA Scotland, Recycle Fife
EVENTS: From Ideas To Action, CWA/DTAS, 28 Aug; International Social Enterprise Business Models Conference, 2 Sep; Scotland’s constitutional future, Scottish Policy Innovation Forum, 4 Sep; Mental Health at Work, 9 Sep, Delivering Person Centred Services, 22 Sep;
NETWORKS NEWS: Colin writes: Graeme McKechnie, the new Procurement Issues Manager for the Scottish Government, has been in touch to highlight a number of opportunities the Government would like to see being taken up by social enterprises. These include Public Contracts Scotland which we’ve featured before and also the Suppliers Development Programme. By registering on these sites your organisation will be well placed to gain valuable information which could lead to new business opportunities. For more, see Networks News http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/showart.php?articleid=104
Networks 1st has linked up with Social Enterprise Magazine to provide LSENs with ready access to the latest news and developments within the social enterprise movement across the UK. The new feature is on the Networks 1st homepage and also will give us an opportunity to post LSEN news to a far wider audience. http://www.senscot.net/networks1st/
Numbers are growing for this year’s AGM – our 10th – at the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh on 24th Sept.. Edgar Cahn, founder of Time Banking, is our keynote speaker. The venue holds 100 – we expect to be oversubscribed. If you’d like to come along, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
John Pearce writes to remind us of the Social Audit Network Annual Conference. This year, it`s taking place in Liverpool on 13th November. See details. http://www.senscot.net/view_event.php?viewid=8562
This week’s bulletin profiles an emerging social enterprise in Moray. The Knockando Woolmill is a community-owned company and subsidiary of the Knockando Woolmill Trust. At present , the Mill is operated by a single weaver but this autumn a £3.5m restoration will get underway that will see the Mill transformed into a fully-fledged working Mill with visitor centre, providing at least 10 full time jobs for the local community. For more, see http://www.senscot.net/view_prof.php?viewid=8554
Peace activist and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh is also an accomplished writer – I often visit and savour his volume: ‘The Sun My Heart’. In it Thay (his nickname) shows how ancient traditions and religions have known intuitively for millennia what quantum physics is now proving: that all things are interconnected – that the whole of creation is interdependent. In particular he cites the work of nuclear physicist David Bohn in his book; `Wholeness and the Implicate Order’. Here’s a piece by Thay in the current Resurgence Magazine on this theme. For more, see https://senscot.net/?viewid=8561
A recent funeral set my mood once again – to doom and gloom. Grateful to a reader who sent me the end of Tennyson’s Ulysses – which has me back in the boat rowing with purpose.
“Come, my friends – `t is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off – and sitting well in order, smite the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds, to sail beyond the sunset and the baths of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; it may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, and see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’, we are not now that strength which in old days, moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are — one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your adventures
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