“Blossom is an account of Scotland at the grassroots through the stories of people I've had the good fortune to know – the most stubborn, talented and resilient people on the planet. They've had to be. Some have transformed their parts of Scotland. Some have tried and failed. But all have something in common – they know what it takes for Scotland to blossom. We should know too. So this book poses a question as important as the one Scots answered on 18 September 2014. Why is Scotland still the most unequal society and sickest man (and woman) of Europe despite an abundance of natural resources and a long history of human capacity? Facts and figures are a vital part of any story. But they don't bring Scotland's dilemma alive. They don't explain why people with choices act as if they had none. They don't explain why Scots over the centuries have put on weight, not democratic muscle. They don't explain why cash and socialist tradition have failed to shift poverty. They don't explain why some Scots trash Scotland while others tiptoe round the place like it's only rented for the weekend. Why don't ordinary Scots behave like the permanent, responsible owners of this beautiful country? Is it because we are not the owners – and never have been?!"
In Blossom: What Scotland Needs To Flourish, Lesley Riddoch relates stories of Scots who’ve struggled against the odds to improve their communities – usually without help from any of the authorities. She describes the tumultuous years leading to the pioneering community buyout on Eigg; the brave decision by housing coop pioneers in West Whitlawburn to take over their crumbling estate; the 20 year project by Perthshire ecologists to prove arid, sporting estates along the A9 could become verdant community woodland, the unconventional methods of obstetrician Mary Hepburn who manages to reach Scotland’s sickest, drug-using mothers, the story behind the Scotswoman paper and Harpies and Quines feminist magazine – and much more. Weaving in comparisons with the Nordic nations, Riddoch contends that ordinary Scots have demonstrated their capacity to run Scotland time after time – yet continue to tolerate a remarkably elitist, top-down, centralised, “stand there till we fix you” society .
Where to buy 'Blossom'
Blossom can be bought in bookshops, online at https://www.luath.co.uk/politics-and-current-issues/blossom .