Once again, it’s the ‘8% of the UK population but much more of something good’ meme. This time it’s 33% of employee-owned firms in the UK


(c) themover.co.uk

A meme is like a cultural gene and I’ve been using the idea it tells us something about Scotland and, in particular, that it is different enough from Tory England in terms of dominant values to justify wanting to run our own show according to those values. Here are some earlier examples where I use the 8%:

8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?

Scotland takes nearly 26% of Syrian refugees settled in UK with only 8% of the UK population

Here are some others where I’m making the same point without mentioning the 8% specifically:

80 000 lowest paid workers in NHS England still on poverty wages as NHS Scotland follows Scottish Government policy to pay a living wage to all public-sector employees

Scottish care workers to receive Living Wage for ‘sleepover’ hours while English care workers receive only the National Minimum Wage.

Scottish Government to fight alongside UN to defend disabled against Tory cuts.

Yesterday, in Insider, under the headline:

Here’s how Scotland is leading the way with employee ownership

We read:

‘Selling a business to employees used to be a rare event. Now every month we hear of another company or companies becoming employee-owned. But why this surge in interest amongst Scottish businesses?’

It’s estimated that there are around 300 employee-owned businesses in the UK and that almost one-third are in Scotland. Insider offers two reasons for Scotland having more of them:

  1. The Nuttall Review identified two key obstacles to the wider adoption of employee ownership: lack of awareness and lack of practical support.
  2. Co-operative Development Scotland has undertaken some sterling work with advisers, evidenced by the amount of interest shown at its January 2018 seminar. The expert help provided by Co-operative Development Scotland goes a long way to support businesses, and importantly the employees, through the process.

Bottom of Form

Top of Form

Bottom of Form


I don’t doubt that this is part of the story, but it seems to me to be too much of a coincidence that Scotland also has more living wage employers and a more caring approach to the disabled and to refugees. Further, the Scottish Governments several anti-austerity and pro-human-rights policies suggest these values are stronger at government-level in Scotland too. See, for example:

Scottish Government continues to fight brutal Westminster austerity politics

Scottish Government fights to protect against the effects of Tory austerity cuts.

In a year of terrible events, we can still feel that this wee country is getting better as it drifts away from the callous, post-imperial, values of Tory Britain



5 thoughts on “Once again, it’s the ‘8% of the UK population but much more of something good’ meme. This time it’s 33% of employee-owned firms in the UK

  1. Clydebuilt January 28, 2018 / 10:29 am

    Peter Geoghegan . . . Was one of the BBC’s expert commentators on after 9am this morning on radio shortbread neither of them managed to cover the Heralds article on a “Right Wing Coup ” to oust Richard Cranium Leonard . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. daibhidhdeux January 29, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    Mmm… Mr Geoghegan. An asterisked mmm at Hassan level apropos his good self with Mike Small sirens going off.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s