It was one of those discussions, The Ghamellawallah going off at tangents, wandering, drifting, frustrated. But it leads somewhere, though he knows it not. For he has an idea, a good one, a commercial one; and he has invested in it, heavily. But like many entrepeneurs he faces a massive hurdle in getting it from his head to the market. He’s a long way down the road, but not there yet.
And as we blethered in circles, from bankers and their bonuses in this the fourth most unequal society in the developed world, to welfare, and the contempt that the current Westminster government has for those less fortunate, especially if they happen to be young. Now I don’t know about you but I tend to the view that today’s youth are tomorrow’s future; that we should be making an investment, not writing them off, increasing the divides.
It led us on to The Common Weal, a term of which my chum remained unaware. So let’s start at the beginning. Here’s footage from Robin McAlpine of The Jimmy Reid Foundation. Being of a certain age The Ghamellawallh had at least heard of the former champion of the shipyards, if not, perhaps his political journey. Last week at Biggar Robin set out the strategy behind The Common Weal. Take a few minutes with him:
Want to find out a bit more? Well here’s the information on the whole project. Go on explore, open your mind. You may even notice that they’ve got a wee funding campaign running, crowd funding, so chip in a few groats if you can. We really have to make this happen, and take Robin’s ideas further, outline firm plans. Reshape our broken society.
So knowing what we can do, let’s go back to what could otherwise happen. Let’s say a young soldier is serving on the front line, without thinking of why he’s in that part of the world, and suppose he falls victim to The Cuts. If he’s a Scottish soldier that’s quite likely, for in these parts job losses in the forces are running at 28%, and a mere 12% elsewhere. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well our soldier tomorrow will face no benefits for his family, no allowances, no housing help. Because he’s under 25 when he’s fighting those illegal wars. And where will his family end up in Dave’s Brave New World?
The Armed Forces; didn’t the Defence Minister come north a few days ago, to frighten us a bit more? Well time perhaps for a few facts nailing the scaremongering on defence. Straight facts, from Business for Scotland. Happy with that are we?
So, back to The Ghamellawallah. His proposal is to have our bankers, and those at the top ecehelons, compulsorily put a chunk of dosh into what is essentially business angel funding. Oh I can just see the accounting profession dreaming up schemes, tax breaks, money going round in circles for big fat fees and anti-avoidance disclosures- and the divide getting wider. When really what is needed is his idea to be submitted to The Common Weal project – for that is they want, ideas, proposals, new thinking – to be thrashed around. Just part of the opportunity to re-shape our society, to build a more equal and more prosperous society.
And to make it all happen, there’s just one small step that is essential. Vote Aye on 19 September 2014. If you don’t that soldier will be queuing at the food bank. Is that the society you want to build? Not in my name.