As mentioned in a previous post, our third meeting was an unexpected hothouse of ideas from all in attendance. We promised you we would feed back your ideas about the Red Lines Campaign to Common Weal Central and that we would share with everyone the ideas for how we would use a Common that the various tables submitted.
Red Lines Feedback
It is worth noting that our critique of Red Lines was sharply analytical and showed that Fife Common Weal have very definite ideas of our own when it comes to how we want to shape the future of Scotland. The summary is as follows:
- It was suggested that “returning power to the people” and “fixing Westminster” might be different ways of saying the same thing. We also wondered why there was no mention about proportional representation (PR) or the House of Lords?
- Others felt that ‘fixing’ Westminster should not even be a Red Line – why is it up to us in Scotland to do this? Isn’t Independence the end game – so why have this on there at all?
- On the idea of what our Red Lines would be: a democratic system underpinned by Proportional Representation; abolishing the House of Lords; an end to privatisation; the renationalising of essential services; a Citizens’ Income and absolutely no fracking (combined with investment into sustainable energy).
- Finally, people felt that the graphics were too vague and more detail would have been helpful – for example the ‘Stop Cutting, Start Investing’ line – invest in what, exactly? Some members felt that the sound bite and slogan elements of the campaign detracted from the overall substance of the content.
Plans for the weekly Common Space/ Gathering
While we search for a suitable venue, we want a discussion around how we would plan to use the space for the benefit of the group. The ideas were varied and numerous. They are listed below as a starting point to build on for the future; anyone who would like to take the lead with any of the suggestions, please don’t hesitate to make a start:
- Book club
- Craft night
- Skill share forum
- Sign language classes
- A platform for political conversation
- Politics For the Terrified Evening
- Highlight campaigns happening elsewhere on a local or national level
- Discussions around Independence or the shape of Scotland’s political future
- As a place to offer support with transport, community engagement and inclusion
We were all agreed that the ideal situation would be an opportunity to meet at least once a week and some people were happy to host smaller meetings at their house, if necessary. The discussion around a Common also highlighted a few issues, primarily the group as it stands is not particularly diverse and we need to work to address this. One idea was that we could invite organisations that represent specific groups along to speak at meetings (Frae Fife, Fife Migrants Forum, Kingdom Credit Union and the Polish community were suggested.) We also looked at outreach visits to local youth groups as a way to get younger people involved in the same way they were during the Referendum campaign. Finally, it was suggested that we have Open Mic evenings where anyone who wants to speak about a particular issue will be given the floor and our support with taking action where appropriate.
We continue to scour Fife for a suitable venue but will use the St Clair Tavern for meetings until such time as we find the perfect place to call home.
Comments, as always, are welcome.