Author Archives: MmH

Possible New P4Indy Groups in Fife and in the Borders

Over the past few months, our membership secretary has been busy contacting people on our mailing list, telling them how many other people on our mail list are in their area, and asking if they would be interested in getting together to meet locally.

We’ve been speaking to people in Fife, Stirling, Hamilton & Motherwell, and Selkirk.

We know that it can be daunting to set up a new group. But we have people in our Edinburgh & Lothians Group and our Greater Glasgow Group who have acquired enough experience to offer a helping hand. We also have some funds which mean we can help new groups get off the ground with the expenses of hiring a meeting room or setting up a street stall.

And it looks like we will soon have a local group based in Fife!

Kirkcaldy Collage By Kilnburn and Duncan Cumming – Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

It was great to have two Fifers, Craig and Lorna, coming over to our national coordinating group meeting this week. If you’d like to be put in touch with what’s happening in P4Indy Fife, then let us know using the contact form from the top of this page.

After Fife, it’s possibly that the next new group will be in the Borders. We have a meeting set up with supporters in Selkirk.

This graph show where people on our mailing list live. As you can see, there are some areas that have quite a showing of people interested in P4Indy but where there isn’t a local group. If you would like to find others in your area to link up with, use the Contact form at top of the page.

Reframing Resources from June Maxwell

Some months back we invited Bill Mills to speak to us about Reframing at the Glasgow P4Indy group. He gave us a good overview of what is involved in Reframing and you can find some of that here. The month after that we tried our own hand at reframing in a couple of short workshops. You can see what we came up with here.…. and one thing we found out is that reframing is quite hard to do!

Since it is hard to do – for us beginners, anyway – I was very pleased to hear from June Maxweel the other day that she has a set of short podcasts called Subtle Signposts which back up what we learnt from Bill, expand on some of his topics, and develop others. I heard June speak at the National Yes Registry Day in Stirling last autumn and liked her approach. In these podcasts she focuses on one aspect of Reframing at a time. I’m currently half way through them and think they will be very useful.

P4Indy Goes Live!!

This is me, Marlene, on IndyLive Radio last week. I was a bit nervous about doing it but Norrie was very good at getting the ball rolling and keeping it rolling! Once I got into my stride, I really enjoyed it. I asked Val Gauld, our Glasgow Twitter person, along as well. As you can see she was tweeting as I was speaking. She joined in the chat, too.

Norrie asked me about how P4Indy got set up. Then I had lots of time to tell his listeners about our AGM, about our push to help new P4Indy groups get off the ground and the funding we have for doing that, about the street stalls we run in and around Scotland, and about the Warblers, our concert party.

I also talked about the low numbers, only about 1 in 4, of over 65s who supported Yes in the 2014 campaign, some of the factors involved in that, and how we might engage with those. It does seem from recent polling done at the end of 2018 that more of our age group are coming round to Yes and it’s more like 1 in 3 support independence. Still some way to go and as I said to Norrie, it’s to help push that figure up that I joined P4Indy.

In the Broomcupboard Studio…

The hardest question Norrie asked me was what song track I wanted to play as we took a wee break from speaking. I’m not much of a pop music fan but I lived through the 60s and 70s so I settled for a Beatles’ track. I suspect Norrie was humouring my very old choice! After that I got to present that week’s community announcements from The National. And I got to announce the “Walloper of the Week Award” which last week went to Labour MP Paul Sweeney for his rather over the top response to ScotGov’s wee video about us being open and welcoming country. He thought it was “smarmy, saccharine, bourgeois tripe”. If you want to find out what else the man said and what responses he got, look here.

They call their studio The Broomcupboard! Aye, it is pretty wee. I liked it but it must be hard for Norrie and Kevin to work there all the time. Kevin showed me a bigger space in the same building that he hoped to be able to move to. And I hear that has now gone ahead. These guys are working on a shoestring when it comes to funding. If you can help them with a few spare pounds, please do. This is their website: IndyLive Radio

Glasgow Group Stall at Hope Over Fear Rally

Sheena Stephen one of the people who runs our P4Indy stall in Glasgow went to the rally held on 24 March in George Square.. Here’s what she said about it:

Despite the miserable rainy morning we decided to go for it and get the Glasgow Group stall along to the Hope Over Fear Rally. It was a good call. The sun came out. And Mary, Neil & dug. Heather, Valerie & myself all enjoyed the experience. Even with rather gusty winds which put our stock of leaflets in danger of being blown away!

The atmosphere was happy and positive – which cheered me. There was a good range of age groups and many 50+ men & women came from all over central Scotland. Some America visitors joined us too. One chap asked if we were celebrating our independence day!

People were very generous with donations and all our saltire earrings, flags, and painted stones were disappearing quickly. Heather’s pained stones were popular with children though she made them to hold down our leaflets in the wind!

We did find time to take some photos.

This was also the occasion of the first tweet in our @P4IndyGlasgow twitter feed and as you can see from the stats it was a well-received tweet. Two days after that we had 1700 Twitter followers. Well done Val for setting it up and being our tweeter person!

Old Tune, New Lyrics: “The Union – A Tragedy”

The singers and musicians of the Warblers are all members of the Glasgow P4Indy Group. We had our first outings during Burns Week. More recently we’ve been rehearsing to sing at the P4Indy AGM held in Edinburgh on 16March.

One of us had the idea of writing some new lyrics to an old tune. She started off using the Wee Cooper of Fife tune but someone else suggested that Johnny Lad might be better. And it was. Soon we had a collective lyric-writing effort going on. Someone would come up with the first line or couple of lines and get stuck and then someone else would finish it off. It was a lot of fun.

Come the week of the AGM we had settled on a set of verses. Here they are. Hope you enjoy them.

If you’d like a copy of the words, here they are:

Glasgow Group are Now Tweeting

Maybe it’s all the excitement about setting up The Warblers – Glasgow P4Indy music group – now we’ve also started tweeting!! Our first tweet was from in George Square, Glasgow, at the Hope Over Fear Rally last weekend.

Sheena, one of our stalwarts at the stall, wrote this about being at the Rally:

“Despite a miserable rainy morning we decided to go for it & the sun shone. Mary, Neil & dug. Heather, Valerie & myself. Rather gusty winds but the atmosphere was happy and positive – which cheered me. There was a big range of age groups including many 50+ men & women from all over central Scotland. And further afield. One American lad over on a visit asked if we were celebrating our Independence Day! People were very generous with donations and went off with our Saltire earrings, flags, and leaflets. The painted stones Heather had made were popular with children (these were made to hold down our leaflets in the wind)! Apparently we have been viewed by over 50,000 people – courtesy of Valerie our Twitter expert.”

That tweet now has 867 likes, 69 replies and 407 retweets. That’s a very encouraging start. The more we raise P4Indy’s profile, the more people see what we are doing to encourage older folk to engage with the Yes Movement.

An hour after our first tweet, we had 100 followers. Overnight that grew to about 1000. We’ve had lots of appreciative tweets and mentions. Five days on and our Twitter feed has 1740 followers. There’s obviously a good few folk out there who appreciate what were doing in Pensioners 4 Indy! Some of them were speaking to us this morning in Argyle Street at our regular Thursday spot from midday.

If you’re a Tweeter, follow us @P4IndyGlasgow for P4Indy news, updates from our website, photos, and news from around the Yes Campaign. There is also @P4Indy which is the Twitter feed for our National Group P4Indy.

Talks from Our AGM

The 16 March was that Saturday when Scotland was caught in a jetstream-powered downpour of rain, sleet and snow but 70 of us still made our way to our AGM in Edinburgh. We were very fortunate to have three speakers joining us: Edinburgh City Councillor Ashley Graczyk, Joanna Cherry QC MP, and Paul Kavanagh-Mosson with the Wee Ginger Dug.


You can listen to the talks below:

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All Under One Banner Marches 2019

This year’s marches, organised by All Under One Banner, will be happening in even more cities and towns of Scotland. Here are the dates:

Check out the All Under One Banner website for more information about:

  • travel directions,
  • how to book yourself a seat on an AUOB bus to get to a march,
  • if you can volunteer on a march,
  • if you can distribute leaflets for the marches.

If you haven’t been on a march, they are great fun. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. You can join at any part of the route if you need to cut down on walking. Go with your family. Take a picnic. Take your dog! Here’s a video of the march in Glasgow last year.

Want to Take Part in BBC’s Scottish Debate Night?

Debate Night is BBC’s new Scottish version of Question Time and so far it’s proving to be more nuanced, more balanced, with more listening and less interrupting. An example of how even BBC might do things differently in an independent Scotland? Fancy taking part? Got opinions to share? Here’s how…

Join the Debate Night Audience

It does seem ridiculous that BBC hasn’t given them a budget to record the programme in far flung Scottish places, like Fife or Dumfries for instance 😂 🤣. And don’t they want to hear from Scots in Orkney, Shetland, Hebrides?

Nevertheless, here’s what a recent participant says about their experience. They obviously enjoyed themselves. (Thanks to Yes Marchmont and Morningside for all this info)

BBC   Scotland  Debate Night 

  • Due to the fact that they don’t have a budget to travel around Scotland, the new BBC Debate Night is struggling for audience members particularly females  (and probably viewers) but this  is a great way to get some experience of such programmes prior to any  independence  referendum debates.
  • You are asked your voting record at Scottish Parliament Election, General Election, IndyRef1 and BrexitRef. You are asked if you are a member of a political party, if you are an activist, do you hold any paid or unpaid positions in the party structure. I said I delivered leaflets and was a member. They were happy with that. You can select which week you are interested in. I had a choice of 2 weeks, I chose 6thMarch. 
  • Notification of Acceptance You will receive a phone call in the week prior to the show to tell you, you will be in the audience. I received my call on the Monday evening before the show. They then confirm with you that you are not a paid member of the party and your involvement is only delivering leaflets. 
  • Photo ID  required on the day of the show I was shocked to receive an email telling me I require Photo ID to appear in the show. I offered them my work pass ID, they refused, so I had to drive home at lunch time to get my passport and driving licence, just in case they refused one of these forms of ID.. The email also said no logo or emblems on your clothing.
  • Your Questions Questions are 20 words max. You are invited to send two by email. On the night you are again invited to supply additional topical questions. I phoned the BBC on the day to find out the list of panellists on number 03700 100222. Chose selection 2 then 2 again to speak to an operative. The non-politicians on the show are there for a reason and there will be a question on a topic of interest to them. This week it was Brexit and charities. 
  • The Night You are asked to be at the show venue by 6pm and you will not leave before 9pm. If required use the Postcode of EH14 1DI  After registering by showing your photo ID, there is a security search using a hand-held device. Similar to an airport. You then enter a seated room with tea and coffee available and toilets are nearby. This time can be used to write topical questions on the cards provided. The audience is then invited into the auditorium. To test the camera angles and sound a series of test are performed. Audience members are asked if they are opinionated and 5 are selected to come and sit on the chairs of the panellists and have microphones attached and a pretend question is asked, each “panellist” and the audience are asked to have a discussion.
  • The audience members who were lucky enough to be selected to ask questions are then identified and positioned in distributed places in the audience. The true panellists then arrive and the show begins with the first question. I put up my hand up early in the first question and was selected to make a comment. I tried to keep my hand up throughout the show but the arm does get sore.
  • You should have a comment handy for each question. Bring a pen and paper into the show and write down points that come to mind as the questions unfold. Do not be afraid to vocalise to show agreement or disagreement with any points made. Liz Smith Tory MSP said we voted for Brexit and more than half the audience shouted her down by saying “no we didn’t”. This came across well on TV.
  • Stephen Jardine the host is great.