Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Struggle for Equality

I have returned home after a weekend attending an historic conference for the Scottish Green Party in Edinburgh. It brought together over 400 members to share ideas, debate policies and plan for the future.

The highlight of the conference was meeting Beatrix Campbell and hearing her speak about her new writing, "End of Equality-The Only Way is Women's Liberation".  I am looking forward to reading her latest insights into gender issues and what is termed 'a new sexual settlement'. Of real importance to me,  post independence referendum, is that men recognise that more women are joining political parties and want to engage in Scottish Politics. I just hope that in this new era of increased participatory democracy, men commit to a power shift that enables women to have more influence in our public life and access better pay.

In the past, Beatrix has been inspiring through her research, most notably for "Goliath - Britain's Dangerous Places" written in the 1990s. She explored offending, policing and life in cities during the Thatcher era. This book investigates the issues facing local neighbourhoods in economic crisis and refers to the impact of disengagement from political parties.

My signed copy of the "End of Equality".

Another must-read, promoted by Sally Foster-Fulton of the Church of Scotland, at the conference, is the report, "The Lies We Tell Ourselves - Ending comfortable myths about poverty". In an age of austerity, we have to challenge the misrepresentation of people living in poverty in our everyday conversations. This report helps us to understand the reality of people experiencing poverty.

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