Senscot Bulletin 28-11-2003



Dear members and friends,


Ronda – Espana.  Me
and my two pals have found a wee gem of a hotel in a restored townhouse –
ancient, rustic, friendly – the gracious hospitality of old Spain.  Wine, beer and beautifully prepared food is
available all day – free.  We agreed
that you couldn’t offer this in Scotland – it would be abused. Yesterday
between them they had only 27 beers. ‘Finca hunting’ – we are sad seeing the
end of a whole way of life.  No one
wants to work the land anymore – the olives – the almonds.  “All the young ones have gone to the coast –
to the cities”. 

The track to one of the properties
was too rough for my poor neck this afternoon. 
“I’ll wait here” – “But we’ll be an hour” – “that’s okay – the sun’s
out”.  Find a comfy rock – sit in the
stillness looking at shimmering lake five miles away.  Presently a guy in his 50s wanders by with a beautiful Husky
pup.  We chat.  Harry – from Sussex – a toff – lives in a cottage over the hill –
three years.  He slowly peels an apple
with a penknife – shares it.  “You seem
settled” – “at peace” I say.  “You have
to decide what you want”, he replies. 
“That’s exactly my problem,” I say, “when I’m in the hills I want
civilisation – when I’m among people I want the solitude and simplicity of
this”.  We look at the lake in
silence.  Harry says, “I suppose it’s
possible to have both – but that runs the risk of having neither”.  Harry and Husky move off.  Stillness returns – sun – the lake – a
buzzing insect – goat bells.  At my feet
ants have found the apple peel – no indecision here – a chunk of apple is
already on the move.



Senscot was at the official launch of CESEL down in Kelso
last Friday. It was an excellent evening. 
Sir Archy Kirkwood, Liberal Democrat MP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire,
told the gathering that his party had requested – as part of the last coalition
negotiations – that Social Enterprise should be supported within Jim Wallace’s
portfolio at the Enterprise Department. 
This would bring Scotland into line with England where Social Enterprise
benefits from a dedicated unit within the DTI. Kirkwood implied that this
decision is being resisted somewhere (wonder where that can be?).  An important meeting took place this week –
watch this space!  For more info’ on
CESEL and its recent launch, see



A US dotcom billionaire is donating a huge chunk of his
fortune (£4.4m) to Oxford University to create a centre for social
entrepreneurship. Jeff Skoll, former president of eBay, says, “Social
entrepreneurship has been around for a long time but there has been a huge
groundswell in the last 10 years. It is a global movement.” Skoll’s next
project is to make films about individuals who have tackled social injustice
through business – maybe he’ll get started in Scotland.



This week Senscot attended a seminar in Glasgow hosted by
the Scottish Centre for Regeneration. 
Held at the Tulip Inn in the Gorbals, the purpose of the seminar was to
share experience of good practice and innovation in regeneration across
Scotland (as well as launching their new website).  It was also an opportunity for the Centre to launch two new
funds, ‘Seeing is Believing’ and ‘New Ideas’, which will be available to
community groups, charities or local projects and organisations across the
country.  Further information is at



Two pieces of interest in this week’s Regeneration and
Renewal magazine.  Senscot member and
financial journalist Antonia Swinson argues that as regenerators pull in one
direction, Britain’s systems of land ownership and taxation are pulling in the
other. She calls for a fresh look at the idea of land value taxation, pointing
to its success in other countries:  Meanwhile Nick Loney, who attended last
week’s Senscot conference, examines how to retain income in deprived areas
where development money may be flowing in, but the effect on the local area can
be negligible if it flows out just as quickly:



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


JOBS: 37 vacancies, including posts at Ardalanish Farm,
Fairbridge Edinburgh, Glasgow Association for Mental Health, Monklands
Association for Voluntary Services, SCVO, Youth Scotland, CVS, GCVS.


EVENTS: “Finding Hidden Profit” event, Edinburgh, Dec 4;
SEDA ‘Christmas Ceilidh’, Edinburgh, Dec 5; Social Enterprise Partnership focus
groups, Edinburgh, Dec 5; ‘Promoting Race equality’ conf, Edinburgh, Dec 8;
‘Radio Morning’ on community radio & cultural development, Glasgow, Dec 9;
Glasgow CVS ‘Managing Change’ training course, Glasgow, 10 Dec; Gallus Network
AGM, Penicuik, 12 Dec,  “Deepening
Democracy” free workshop, Edinburgh, 18-20 Feb 2004.


The Upstarts Awards for social entrepreneurs are calling for
nominations, which must be made on line at
before January 7th 2004. Six award categories, and the winners will win a dream
trip to San Francisco for the 5th gathering of the Social Enterprise Alliance
conference in March 2004


For details on these and more:



Voluntary sector portal ‘Workwithus’ has just started
compiling a ‘shared research database’ for the sector in Scotland.  It welcomes the submission of research of a
good standard (i.e with supporting data). If you are interested, visit www.workwithus and click on Shared Research
Database on right of screen.



A new survey on the state of the social economy in Scotland
was released this week.  ‘Revaluing the
Social Economy 2’, commissioned by Community Enterprise in Strathclyde, found
the sector has doubled in the last five years, employing between 70,000 and
90,000 people in 2003, up from 42,000 in 1997. Story and the document itself
are here:



This week’s bulletin profiles an Edinburgh-based  ICT Training Centre for disabled  and disadvantaged people that is looking to
set up a trading arm.  Microbeacon, set
up by the Edinburgh University Settlement in 1983, has been located at New
Parliament House since 1994. 
Microbeacon offers a flexible approach to ICT and call centre training
as well as providing a level playing field for those who have been excluded
socially, educationally or vocationally. 
Microbeacon is not about targeting the token creation of “special” jobs,
but mainstream jobs that add value to the company.  In addition, Microbeacon recently hosted a European Year of
Disabled People Conference in Edinburgh earlier this month.  More info:



The enduring strength of the USA has been that it is an
immigrant society – subject to continual waves of replenishment from
outside.  These ‘new’ people have not
only been vital for economic health – they have also brought the new narratives
which found expression in the art and culture of the nation.  With the celebration of ‘Thanksgiving’ last
week it is fitting to reflect on the different welcome immigrant communities
receive today.

September 11th the present administration, in the name of security
has launched a sustained attack on immigrants – because of their ethnicity or
religion they are hounded and prosecuted. 
John Quincy Jones said in 1821 that if the US were tempted to become
“Dictatress of the world, she could no longer be the ruler of her own
spirit”.  This has happened, by
targeting immigrants, the lifeblood of the nations, the US has betrayed itself.  It has: ‘Stepped on the throat of it’s own

            “Give me
your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the
wretched refuse of your teaming shores. 
Send these, the homeless tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the
golden door”. (inscription on the Statue of Liberty)


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

Best wishes,



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