Rowan Foley’s Postcard from Edinburgh
The World Symposium on Social Responsibility and Sustainability was hosted by Edinburgh University, and all papers will be published. I gave a paper on the Core Benefits Standard for environmental, social and cultural values. It was well received however, it is self-evident Indigenous people and lands are not a priority in Europe. To pretend otherwise is foolhardy. To think any international standard devised by the former colonisers has our best interests at heart is as realistic as Harry Potter.
In going to Scotland, and also visiting Ireland and Wales, I was very impressed by their formal bilingual programs. It gave the feeling that their experience of colonisation was not entirely positive and they valued All signage is in their native tongue as well as English.
European priorities are their own economies, immigration from former colonies and matters much closer to home. Post colonial attempts to engage with colonised people is simply that, the reality is they have nothing better to offer than we can’t do for ourselves.
To misquote Oscar Wilde ‘life is too important to take (them) seriously’
The Scots, Welsh and Gaelic assert their own language, culture and socio-economic priorities through formal and informal channels. All people who have a love of freedom and their own customs view the colonisers legislation, policies and standards with increasing scepticism. When you analyse what’s actually being offered it soon becomes apparent the empire has no clothes.
The old slave trading nations have always acted with a natural self interest. Trump and Brexit are simply public examples of this in the modern era.
It’s best to forge a new path ahead with the Core Benefits Standard, mindful there are many supportive people of good will.