‘The success of Resilience in Scotland has not just taken the tour’s organisers by surprise. As no other country has engaged with the film in the way that Scotland has the filmmakers are also intrigued. It’s certainly worth trying to understand why the film has such resonance for us. Resilience is a great educational resource and is opening many Scots eyes to the source of our health problems and what has literally been ‘hiding in plain sight’.
‘But this is the sad truth about a would-be full European state: its references/comparisons on health issues (as at the opening First Minister’s Question Time of 2018) are always to/with England. In some cases, it borders on an obsession. At the very least, we should rather investigate how EU member states perform and what we can learn from them.’
‘Given all this why is it that over 9 million adults in the UK say they feel lonely all or most of time? Why has loneliness (often caused by a lack of kindness) come to blight contemporary life for so many people?’
Liberty and equality are both desirable, but too much of one can lead to too little of the other. Fraternity – the value of face to face relationships of respect and affection – can help establish a fair balance along with equity. In the third extract from Working for Equality the author pleads the case for a leaving certificate of equal value for all.
Scaling up successful interventions absorbs time and energy – and money – we can ill afford. Is there a way of making social and public policy more efficient as well as more effective?” In the second extract from Working for Equality Helen Chambers urges a different, more effective approach to policy.
In 2015 Professor Richard Freeman from the Academy of Government at Edinburgh Uni convened a group to discuss inequality. In 2017, after much further debate, all 22 participants contributed to a Postcards from Scotland book called Working for Equality: Policy, politics, people edited by Richard Freeman, Fiona McHardy and Danny Murphy. In the first of three extracts Philip Cooke reflects on the vital role of respect.
“It’s not an English problem any more than it’s a Scottish one, it’s a problem for us all.” Alan Milburn’s research report The Elite of Scotland revealed some uncomfortable facts of life in a nation that prides itself on fairness.
‘Under the Scottish Government’s proposed income tax policy, everyone earning under £33k will pay less tax in 2018/19 than they did this year (2017/18). BUT part of this is due to the increase in Personal Allowance, which would have happened anyway, i.e. irrespective of any announcement made by Mr Mackay today.’
‘I worry also about nest-egg building by those from high incomes, as a new form of hidden advantage, because of the low interest rate on student loans here. We could apply higher interest to loans to those from better-off households (but we won’t)….’
‘… the challenge remains for Derek Mackay as to how best to balance his resource budget with major commitments like additional support for the NHS, more money for childcare and public sector pay uplifts all to be paid for.’