Where we are and where we will be

Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Another Sunny day in Leith

Just in from another bright sunny Leith festival Gala day on the links. This years pageant started from Lochend park in my ward and was its usual display of multi-cultural leith. The first free black family record in Leith was in the 17th century in the records of South Leith Church Kirk Session so diversity is not a new idea to your average leither.

The festival is a week long affair but the day on the Links is always the climax with music, dance, stall, food and the ubiquitous tug of war.

At one of the many stalls we bought one of these churns and a plant... It seemed like a good plan at the time..

It did strike me though that once again what we talk of as a Festival or gala day or community event so often comes down to buying and selling. This is not in any way a criticism of Leith festival, or any other such event, simply a reflection of how we are so caught in the world of commercial exchange that it substitutes, or at least is seen as a necessary part of any community gathering.

This is of course, not new. Market day was the cultural highlight of the lives of our predecessors long before the advent of today's combination of burger vans, second hand goods , home made jewellery and wee toys for the weans. Again, this is not pejorative list, simply a question as to whether we could manage to gather together in community to celebrate what we have without having to have things to buy and sell. Maybe not, but I wish it were possible


Taexalia said...

Unfortunately buying and selling equals food on the table, particularly for small businesses/sole traders. In fact one might suggest that community events engaging small local traders equates to something more sustainable and meaningful than a trip to Princes Street.

If you want to promote positive community feeling then I suggest you make some real effort to stop anti-social neighbour noise. I'd adore my neighbour of I didn't have to listen to her every running footstep interrupting my thoughts like a badly played bass drum.

Well paid councillors and politicians are of course free to fob subjects off with "burden of proof" and "nothing will change".

You have to commit to dealing with the *real* issues that ruin people's lives before you can speak authentically about promoting community feeling.

Someone who feels entitled to a tax refund for the poor performance of Edinburgh councillors and Scottish politicians.

Ewan said...


Thanks for this.

You are right re buying, selling and food on teh table for some but my point bis more that we seem to have moved to a place where buying and selling are seen as a "necessary" part of any time of celebration of community an a wonder if that is a true reflection of what really makes human relationships work.

I do deal with the "real" issues the folk I am privileged to represent face despite not being able to solve yours as you would want.

The inflexibility of the legal system is not an excuse for doing nothing but it is a reality that means solving your problem cannot be achieved overnight. I wish that were not the case but that is the reality. I recognise that does not make your situation any easier but not having a simple, legal solution is not the same as "fobbing" some-one off.

Surgery Times

1st Wed @ Piershill Library, 30 Piershill Terrace.
2nd Wed @ Craigentinny Community Centre, Loaning Rd.
3rd Wed @ Duddingston Primary School, Duddingston Rd.

All 7:15pm -7:45pm

and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South
12noon -1pm

(no appointment needed, all during school terms)
Printed and Published by Ewan Aitken on behalf of the Edinburgh Labour Party, 78 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9NH