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10th August

<p class="MsoNormal"><span>&ldquo;But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought&rdquo;. As much as any writer, George Orwell understood the power of language to shape how we think. And in recent years we have seen how spin has come to define the big ideas of the political age. In particular, how our once revered system of welfare has been diminished and demeaned by a concerted campaign of pejorative sloganising – &lsquo;<em>strivers not skivers&rsquo;</em>, &lsquo;<em>on the side of hard working families&rsquo;</em>, &nbsp;&lsquo;<em>workfare schemes</em>&rsquo; and so on. &nbsp;Stigma and indignity have become the badges that ‘<em>claimants'</em> are forced to wear. All of which presents Scottish Government and indeed the Scottish people with a real challenge as preparations are made to bring a significant chunk of that system under the control of the Scottish Parliament. Last year Scottish Government asked what it would take to make Scotland a fairer country and the answer it got back was unequivocal &ndash; treat everyone with dignity and respect.&nbsp; And so as its <a href="">consultation</a> begins on how a new system of Social Security in Scotland might look, subtle shifts in language become crucial instruments of culture change. <em>Welfare</em>, out. <em>Social security as an investment in people</em>, in. Language really matters.</span></p>

In the most recent briefing…

  • On the ground

    One of the notable successes to come out of COP26 was the wide range of community based climate actions organised both in Glasgow and elsewhere around the country.  In the run up to COP, during  September, a Climate Fringe Festival became the focus for hundreds of climate based events which were being organised across Scotland. Mirroring Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe, an amazingly eclectic mix of events, performances and climate actions were promoted through the Climate Fringe website. The Climate Fringe is happening again this September. Look out for the big launch this Friday.

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