Breathing Space

Living a Citizen's Income


Mini Essays

Work- in- progress

Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Fife Pilot Meeting

The second CBINS meeting was another sell out, held in the beautiful new Kelty Community Centre on Saturday 28th January. A central focus was Fife Council’s intention to carry out a local pilot in a small central/West Fife village in the next three years.  One of the aims of this meeting was to open up discussion early on,  to flag up perceived benefits and potential pitfalls. It felt like a real treat to be sitting listening to political philosopher Professor Karl Widerquist as he set the scene so passionately.  We are the only species alive he said, who  don’t have direct  access to the resources to fulfil our basic needs of food, shelter and connection. Continue reading “Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Fife Pilot Meeting”


A Reflection on Ellie Harrison’s Artist Talk

What can an artist/activist achieve in a place, given a year of not having to worry about money?

Livestream video of Ellie Harrison’s Talk

Even though she only revealed the tip of the iceberg of her research and activism  in her year of living within the boundary of Glasgow, I was impressed by the scope and scale of Ellie Harrison’s  investigations of the Glasgow Effect  She was inspired by   New Economics Foundation approach: Economics as if People and the Planet Mattered.  One of her themes was transport and the twin irritations of a city carved up by motorways and the sorry state of public transport, particularly the buses.  This in a city which has a lower than average car ownership.  Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to re-view what everyone else has stopped seeing,  just got used to. Pavel Buchler once said that one function of art is to stop and look after everyone else has moved on – wait a minute folks, look at this!  Not only had she looked – through her investigations, she had discovered that the monthly board meetings of SPT (Strathclyde Partnership Transport) are open to the public! She set herself up as undercover artist in residence at SPT and attended six Board meetings to learn and to lobby.

Continue reading “A Reflection on Ellie Harrison’s Artist Talk”

Launch – Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Sat 26th Nov, Pearce Institute, Govan

Article 25 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

It’s a great feeling to be in at the beginning of something – the launch of Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland – however unwieldy the title is! One young turk,  alluding to the clunkiness of the nomenclature, proposed we cut to the chase, get radical and call it the ef-off payment.  All credit to the panel, some of whom have been trailblazing the radical notion of citizens income for forty years, for  accepting the suggestion of a foff payment with grace and humour. Glasgow  and Govan rise to the occasion once more.

The keynote speaker was Guy Standing who in May this year gave the RSA SCOTLAND: ANGUS MILLAR LECTURE 2016 on Basic Income in relation to Scotland.   Continue reading “Launch – Citizens Basic Income Network Scotland Sat 26th Nov, Pearce Institute, Govan”

Lived Experience as a Model for Radical Practice 2of2

(1of2)When I consider whether the phrase  Lived experience as a model for radical practice is a useful idea for this project,  a question arises.  How do I make the mundane everydayness interesting and/or useful? Often ‘biographical’ work is charged with emotion.

Two answers emerge:

1. Listen to Kokomo Rocks poem on Billy Kay’s Scotland’s Black History on Radio Scotland @17min 50.  Kokomo situates a brief but highly emotional event in the context of the everyday, to great effect and affect.

2. Turn the whole thing on it’s head and ask myself if I can use the idea of lived experience as radical practice as a useful orientation device/ context to help validate this project, strengthen my resolve and help me focus. Then trust the process.  This answer is another question.

Lived Experience as a Model for Radical Practice 1of2

Last Friday I attended a symposium organised by Katie Bruce of Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art  round Jacqueline Donachie’s Exhibition “Deep in the Heart of Your Brain”, an artist’s response to her engagement with the science and medic of Myotonic Dystrophy.  This grew out of earlier work she created with her sister who has myotonic dystrophy.

Also featured was Karen Guthrie’s’s award winning film “The Closer We Get”  artfully documenting family life in the wake of her mother’s debilitating stroke.

In the description of the event, a phrase  that leapt out of the page at me was ‘lived experience as a model for radical practice’, which I found a useful way of encapsulating what I’m trying to do with this project, Breathing Space –  Living a Citizen’s Income. Continue reading “Lived Experience as a Model for Radical Practice 1of2”

Garden Plan 1of2

Lost Garden of 22 Queen Mary Terrace!


Harmony is a theme of both the Skidelskys book How Much is Enough and the Tim Infold video Sustainability of Everything.

Tim Ingold reminds us that harmony is a Greek word/concept which contains tension as well ease.  He cites the rope as an example of this where the strands which make up the rope are twined one way and then the rope is twined the other way.  It’s the tension between the two which holds it ‘in harmony’.

Harmony with nature is one of the basic goods in the Skidelsky book. They cite gardens and gardening as a good example of this – where we have to work with nature to get what we want.   In this scenario they problematise a philosophical approach which removes people from the eco-picture.

Continue reading “Harmony”

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