Latest articles and publications.
Wee Yellow Butterfly (2009)
Cathy McCormack’s family came from Glasgow’s Gorbals. They later moved to one of Europe’s largest public housing schemes. The Wee Yellow Butterfly is Cathy McCormack’s inspiring story of how, from unpromising beginnings, she has spent her life committed to seeking justice and finding fulfillment.
For those ‘trapped in a toxic mixture of economic circumstance and bad politics’, life can be hard. Yet, as Cathy McCormack’s story shows, a strong spirit and a refusal to accept what is given can release energy and creativity for individuals and their communities. Order the book.
My most recent article was published in 2012 when I was a Commissioner on the Church of Scotland Special Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity: Apart from exposing the evidence of how the policies of our presents coalition government are creating the biggest public health catastrophe and humanitarian crisis since the end world war two. It also details the political process and ideology behind the propaganda and attacks on the poor and working-classes since Thatcher unleashed her ‘there is no such thing as a society speech’ at the Church of Scotland Assembly in 1988. Read the report.
Republished in 2012, Professor David Fryer and I wrote this article which has been published in quite a few global journals including the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, and Puebla the Mexico.Universidad Iberoamericana. In this article we try to uncover and try to get to grips with what this ‘war without bullets’ is all about, and ask ourselves why unemployment is used as a Weapon of Mass Demoralisation (WMD) and then asks ourselves in the War without Bullets: Who is waging this war? Who are their enemies? What are the means of waging this war? What is the scale of the war without bullets? What is the goal of the war without bullets? What are the weapons of resistance? From whom can we learn? Read more.
In summer 2010, Cathy McCormack, a Church Action on Poverty supporter and community activist from Glasgow, was invited by the Australian Psychological Society to talk about her analysis of the ‘world war against the poor’. She found some striking parallels with our own situation in the UK and was shocked to discover the links between their ‘welfare reforms’ and ours. Read more.
I also wrote this article for Coracle which is the magazine of the Iona Community on return from my speaking tour of Australia ‘Whenever our country was in danger in the past, journalists were fond of quoting that old familiar saying from the Book of Proverbs: ‘Where is no vision the people perish’. Read more.
I still can’t believe I wrote this article for Scottish Education Action for Development (SEAD) away back in 1999 which is even more relevant today in our history as the people in Scotland prepare themselves to decide whether or not to vote for Independence. SEAD was set up in 1978 and still on the go. I have just had a look at their website and why they were setup and it give me a real fascinating reminder into the real civic development of the people in Scotland in our common struggle for justice both at home and abroad. Extract from this article. There is much talk of how a Scottish Parliament could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom. Over the past seventeen years I have already witnessed that break-up – a society full of broken families, broken communities, broken hearts, broken spirits, broken dreams, and broken minds. Read article.
This short article tries to explain of how the immoral structures that deny people their basic human rights to food; shelter and heat are the very same immoral structures that are destroying our whole ecosystem in the process and of how poverty really is costing us all the earth. Read article.
From the fourth to the third world – A common vision of health, Community Development Journal (1993)
In 1992 people both rich and poor enabled me to go a fact finding tour of Nicaragua. Not to see how I could help the poor and oppressed but to see of how they could help the poor and oppressed in my country to try and take back control of our lives and to witness ‘popular education’ in action. I was really gobsmacked when I started to get letters from people all over the world and then my article was picked-up by the World Health Organisation who asked if they could republish it in their world health magazine. Then I was sent a post card from New Mexico University addressing me as Doctor Cathy McCormack asking me if it was okay for them republish my article through-out their networks. The article details of how my community in Easterhouse spent ten years campaigning trying to come-up with a long term solution to damp housing, fuel poverty and our health problems which resulted in the first ever activist- led European Solar Housing Energy Project. Alfonso, a community leader from one of the barrios who were eking their life of a rubbish- tip was describing how his community was regarded as the lowest of low, and people often referred to them as ‘the underclasses. He laughed back when I told him that I came from poor barrio in Britain and that were no longer referred to as people either. We hugged each other, unashamed to embrace our common spirit of humanity. Read article.
This is my most favourite article published in 1988, A letter from a Housing Scheme – A mother’s Thoughts – about trying to bring children up in a society that has got a price for everything but regarded my children’s life as having very little value. What frustrates me most is that it is more relevant today than all those years ago.
It was then that I started to realise that no matter how hard I tried to look after my children-no matter how much I loved them-their health and their happiness were not really in my hands. Neither were they in God’s. Our children would love to ‘Be All They Can Be’ put the powers that be won’t let them. God’s plan for our children, I realised was being corrupted by the politicians…