On November 9th the Pensioners for Independence were lucky enough to have Christina McKelvie come and talk to us in Glasgow. Members of Pensioners for Indy attended from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Dumfries and other branches as well as Glasgow.
The talk was organised by Mary McCabe, Co-Convenor of Pensioners for Independence National group. Here is her account of the event:
Christina is Minister for Older People and Equalities in the Scottish Government. However we introduced ourselves to her as a YES group rather than a support group for senior citizens and she addressed us not on behalf of the Scottish Government but as a fellow independence activist.
Her talk was informal but also inspiring. Apart from sharing her ideas (and listening to ours) about how the independence journey might be progressed, she told us how her past experience as a social worker helped her cover her current portfolio. She gave us a taste of what it’s like to be a Government minister and have to attend four or five different events in one morning, sometimes in different towns!
The questions afterwards came thick and fast and came to an end only because Christina’s time was limited to an hour. Topics covered a wide range:
- Land reform: what steps are the SNP government taking on getting land back into our own hands?
- Any progress on the WASPI women?
- What about local government organisation – can we get wards down to a manageable size so that people feel more involved with their representatives?
- How do you reach people who are not on social media?
- How do you answer someone who says we are not capable of running our own country? (Christina approached this by the topical angle of reframing the question).
We also ran a raffle which covered more than half the cost of the hall! Altogether it was a successful event which we will be repeating in the future with other speakers.