Building Community Wealth in Scotland

Our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation

As Sarah Longlands shared at the end of March, we have been delighted to be able to work with partners and friends across Scotland over the last few months to understand their views on the Government’s proposals for a Community Wealth Building Bill.

This legislations would be a powerful step forward in enabling the democratisation of our economy and would be progressive global first – that it could happen so close to home is immensely exciting. The government’s consultation closed on Tuesday this week and below we share our responses to the questions posed. We would be delighted to hear your thoughts too – please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspects of our response, the items under consultation or the development of community wealth building in Scotland or anywhere else.

Midnight in Edinburgh with Adam Smith

It was midnight and raining as I walked up a deserted Royal Mile in Edinburgh ahead of our event to discuss the Scottish Government’s proposed legislation for community wealth building. Out of the gloom, standing in front of a moody St Giles’ Cathedral was Adam Smith (well, his statue at any rate!).

Often credited as the father of modern economics and a proponent of self-interest characterised as “the invisible hand”, Smith was just as passionate about morality. 20th century economists, of course, made sure to keep the morality out of economics and we are all (quite literally) the poorer for it.
“we need to change our economic system so that it works in the interests of people”
Smith’s understanding of economics as a social rather than a mathematical science was a revelation to me when I was studying at The University of Glasgow. But Adam Smith was only the beginning of my enlightenment – I have since been lucky enough to learn from economists across the world who also believe we need to change our economic system so that it works in the interests of people, rather than the other way around.