MSP In “Reconsideration Mode” Shocker

Posted: 17 December 2010, in Blog

In responding to a temporary extension of financial support, Margo McDonald MSP is quoted in the Edinburgh Evening News as saying that in order to save Dalry Baths; the baths could either be run in partnership with the Council, as a Co-op or as a Housing Association style operation.

Margo goes on to say that she would prefer things like baths to be run by the Council but admits that times are tough and that she is trying to think differently. Good for her. A little bit late to come to the party but whatever – a chink in municipalist thinking ought to be welcomed. She has further suggested that Campbell Christie’s Commission investigating public service delivery could examine Dalry Baths as a case study for future public service provision.

Now, where to start? Well I emailed Margo and told her to get in touch with DTAS and the SSEC for information and advice etc. I also pointed out that Edinburgh Leisure is not “The Council” and is de facto a social enterprise although I can’t find any Scottish social entrepreneurs who agree with that in any de jure sense.

So, in these times of revolutionary spirit viz Wikileaks and revolting students, here is what I think we should do. We should have a mass campaign and all write a letter!  This letter should be sent to every candidate at our next round of Parliamentary elections and it should ask 6 things. These are:

  1. Are you a dyed in the wool lumpen municipalist who hasn’t really cottoned on to the success and the potential of the social enterprise movement in Scotland?
  2. Have you visited a social enterprise in the last 12 months?
  3. Have you acknowledged receipt of and read the SSEC manifesto?
  4. Do you fundamentally believe that the State must provide our public services and that social enterprises are at best interesting but essentially marginal “things”?
  5. Do you know the difference between a voluntary organisation, a charity and a social enterprise?
  6. Would you support the development of new investment products for the next stage of social enterprise development in Scotland?

The letter should conclude – “If you can answer; No, Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Yes, then I might vote for you”. We should also include a photograph of 100 leading Scottish social entrepreneurs and tell the candidates that if they don’t know what these folk are up to then they are so way behind the curve that they should really reconsider their candidacy. Remember this when your candidates emote that “they want to reconnect with people and listen to their concerns”.