The next Common Weal National Zoom is on Tuesday 26th October – book your spot here.
Common Weal is determined to push forward a vision of a better country which reflects our common goal toward achieving economic and social equality. There is already a bank of knowledge reflected in our publications, while some of these publications are produced by the team. Through a network of local groups and particular interest groups, people across the country who want to apply Common Weal ideas and thinking where they live or have a particular area of interest people will raise awareness of the issue more widely, which can include developing campaign for change.
Our work contributes to thinking which in turn can become a catalyst for action with our supporters’ and volunteers. This is a fluid arrangement to empower us all to act with a vision for change, and how we want to contribute to our common cause.
The following reflects on some of the highlights from our meeting on Tuesday 28th September with our Common Weal community – people coming together from across the country. We hope to have many more meetings, as there is no time like the present to re-engage as an existing supporter or join as a new supporter. Common Weal is continuing to do what it does best – while the world around us is changing – as we live through these challenging times.
Following the input from members of the National Care Review Working Group, the discussion moved on to related themes with our supporters and volunteers, discussing action they have taken in the past within their area or an area of interest. The work being undertaken across the country is diverse and inter-related, these links and connections are important to our understanding to co-ordinate our work and activities.
This week’s meeting was a chance for people to come together, from a grass roots perspective: it was energising and the message was loud and clear with a call for action.
Common Weal National Care Group and Community Hubs
Common Weal has produced a series of articles over the last two years with the forming of the Common Weal National Care Group which was started as a result of long-standing issues arising on how services are organised and how we can access them.
The group has representation from people with a specific interest and expertise in the field, along with members from local groups and volunteers. We all need access to health and social care, and this led to a discussion on the kind of reforms we need, and are of a magnitude, that reflect the 20th Century, the Beverage reforms. that created public services, for all of us, from the “cradle to the grave” those services need to be reimagined for the 21st Century.
Nick, along with members of the group, gave an overview of the key issues underpinning the groups work for a National Care Service, leading onto the proposals for Community Hubs. Services should be at the heart of our communities, accessible, visible, available and located within our communities. Nick highlighted how years of reorganisation; centralised control, combined with the outsourcing of public services, based on a business model, which is based on the assimilation of services. Nick made a compelling case for reform based on “not for profit” services and the need for democratic accountability.
“National Care Service delivery should be very different from Health and Social Care Integration which has come to mean the assimilation of social services on a centralised basis”.
Common Weal Dundee led a campaign on the Mary Barbour Bill, which would offer protection for people who rent their home, through their campaign and lobbying they were successful in getting this issue onto the Parliamentary agenda. See this article: Common Weal think tank is not party-aligned, and groups are autonomous | The National
This led to a discussion on Universal Basic Income, which has come to the fore recently, with Common Weal Glasgow and other groups who worked collaboratively with the Basic Income Network Scotland and the UBI Labs Network along with organising a hustings during the Scottish Election in May 2021.
National Energy Group
Craig spoke about the work of the group and the interrelationship of energy and the impact this has on everyone, ranging from the type and cost of energy and the urgency in respect of climate change.
Our Common Home
The discussion then moved on to other significant policies produced in the last year two years, for example, Our Common Home particularly relevant as Common Weal is an official observer at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) starting on the 31st October 2021. HOME – UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the SEC – Glasgow 2021 (ukcop26.org)
These are some examples of the range of work our supporters’, volunteers are taking forward they are all interconnected. The big take away of the evening was the commitment to action to build our networks, based on the wealth of experience and skills we have already and seek to develop these connections going forward.
Elaine has a background in social work and an interest in community development. She joined the team having been active within her local community. Elaine has found that Common Weal provides a unique opportunity, as a “think and do tank”, through critical thinking, “the reality behind the rhetoric”, to doing something about what matters, based on what we all have in common, a desire for a more equal, just society. So if you want to find out more about Common Weal and be part of the action get in touch with Elaine by email: email@example.com