We thought that this would be a good time to update you on the progress of the Scottish arm of the campaign. Time flies and although we have been busy, we wanted to let you know what is happening now and to give you some dates for your diary.
At our meeting on 15 April in Glasgow, 22 people volunteered to come onto the steering group. Not everyone is able to make it to every one of the monthly meetings but we have still managed to attract a core group of around 9 people who attend.
We are keen to have the steering group as representative of the wide cross section of society who are affected by the cuts as possible and we are delighted that, for example, Jim Elder-Woodward of Independent Living in Scotland will be attending our meetings from now on. We are also hoping to elect office bearers in the near future so if you did volunteer but haven’t made it along so far, it’s not too late to get involved. Even if you didn’t volunteer at the time but feel that you have something to contribute, please get in touch.
In addition to the Scottish committee, there is now a Welsh and English committee and the UK organisers hope to establish something similar in Northern Ireland in due course.
You will remember that one of the very positive outcomes of the April meeting was the development of a Scottish manifesto. We have agreed that our priority over the coming months will be to officially launch this and promote its values. We hope to do this later in the year.
Other exciting developments have been:
- Approval to place a Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society display in Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Cathedral during the Edinburgh Festival. We are hoping that our display will help to get the message across to the general public that the language of ‘shirkers’ and ‘work shy’ people is unhelpful and hurtful to the many deserving people who rely on welfare benefits to lead an ordinary life. This is the very language that was used in the press recently when releasing new statistics on benefit claims reduction. Many thanks to People First Scotland who gave us a loan of two of their silent witness silhouettes to use as part of the display.
- Working with a designer commissioned by our English colleagues to develop a range of publicity materials to help get our message across. These are now available for printing.
- We have also been invited to take part in a Scottish Hardest Hit march which will take place in Edinburgh on 22 October 2011. Different events will take place across the UK on this date. It is anticipated that this will be the largest coordinated protest of its kind and we are delighted to be involved. As this goes to print, details have yet to be finalised but you can find out more through our various new ways of giving information which will be listed at the end of this article.
Campaign for a Fair Society will mark its first anniversary with events of its own on 8 February 2012. We have a blank slate for what we should do in Scotland so would be delighted to hear any ideas. Bear in mind what the weather will be like in February though!! It would be good to show the many skills and talents that people have and to celebrate these in some way whilst also campaigning for a fair society.
In the age of new media, we know that we must use every possible method to get our message across so we have lots of different ways that you can stay informed.
These are as follows:
You can visit our Facebook page at Scottish Campaign for a Fair Society
You can follow us on Twitter at @fairsociety
There will be regular Scottish updates on the Scotland page of the website at www.campaignforafairsociety.com/scotland
You can email, Norma Curran, the interim Chair at [email protected]
Or if you just prefer to talk to someone now and again, you can give us a call on 0141 880 9055
We believe that the true impact of the cuts haven’t even started to bite yet and that we have to stand together and strong during the coming months. Individually, no-one is likely to listen but together then surely someone must before it is too late!