Hope it wasn’t too chilly over in the Capital. Nice for Joanna Cherry to stop for a chat. She’s coming to our AGM on 16th March. Here are the banners they had on show today:
And if you’d like to see state pension figures on a graph, here they are the equivalent figures (source) shown as percentage of average wage. The red bar is the average EU state pension which replaces half the average EU wage. UK is 7th from the right and replaces only 30% of UK average wage.
You can find more information about pensions under the Resources tab at the top of this page.
A couple of months back I wrote about the Glasgow P4Indy group’s choir – The P4Indy Warblers. In December we were practising carols and hoping to be able to sing in pensioners’ sheltered housing complexes or in residential homes. We didn’t manage to get any gigs for our carol singing 😟. But we thought maybe we could get some for Burns week.
So we kept on practising together and moved on to Burns songs. We even practised a few Burns poems. We had one appearance lined up at the Maryhill Women’s Centre to sing, recite and play for their Burns Lunch on the 22 Jan. Then suddenly we found ourselves with another two requests for later on that week, one in Carntyne and one in Dennistoun. It was a busy singing week and throat sweeties were a necessity!
We took photos and shot some video footage. I’ve put it together in a short video. Here it is:
We really enjoyed those gigs. We were a bit rough round the edges but we had very forgiving audiences! And we’ll be carrying on practising together. We have other appearances lined up over the next few months. We could do with more people in the singing group….. so if you can sing a bit, or play a bit, or recite a bit…. get in touch using the Contact Page.
Put the afternoon of Saturday 16th March into your diary: 1-5pm at Augustine United Church Rooms, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL. Please come and bring your friends with you – especially if they haven’t quite made up their minds about Scottish Independence yet.
Doors are open at 1pm. We’re hoping to have some video footage of the Glasgow Pensioners for Indy Warblers choir. During Burns Week, they sang at three Burns Lunches for pensioners in Glasgow.
The formal business of the AGM will begin at 1.20pm. We will also be announcing our plans to expand our activities – encouraging and supporting new P4Indy groups around Scotland, more street stalls, training, and organising national events.
Tea Break will be at around 2.25pm
Followed by our three speakers
Ashley Graczyk, Edinburgh City Councillor
Paul Kavanagh, blogger extraordinaire and Yes! activist
Joanna Cherry MP, QC
Ashley Graczyk was elected to Edinburgh City Council in 2017 as a Scottish Conservative in the Sighthill / Gorgie Ward. But after a year, she quit the Conservative Party and now sits as an Independent. In 2014 she voted No to Scottish Independence but is now a Yes supporter. We’ve asked her to speak about her journey from No to Yes. This is how she described some of what led to that charge of mind:
Along with all the other City of Edinburgh councillors, we have the privilege to govern the Capital city of Scotland, and in my first year as a councillor I saw with my own eyes how we run our city via the council. We also received some insight into the various roles MSPs and MPs have due to working cross-government on various issues. Over time, it became more glaringly obvious to me the absurdity of reserved matters being dealt with by Westminster and not by the Scottish Government (bear in mind I voted No in the 2014 independence referendum), as Scotland is capable of governing on reserved matters too. I became more convinced that Scotland needs political independence to build a different and better Scotland.
Paul Kavanagh is well known for his blog Wee Ginger Dug – Biting the hand of Project Fear. And since 2014 he has made many, many appearances at Yes! events. This is a photo of the Dug at the anti-Trump demo in Glasgow last year. He was being very patient as Paul kept being stopped by people expressing their appreciate of what he does for the Yes Campaign. Of course we’re hoping the Dug will be with Paul on the 16th March.
Joanna Cherry is MP for Edinburgh South West has been in the news recently amidst all the Westminster Brexit Bourach. Here she is giein’ it laldy to Sammy Wilson of the DUP (from 3 minutes into the video) with Jacob Rees-Mogg looking dumfoonert.
Please come to the AGM and bring your friends with you – especially if they haven’t quite made up their minds about Scottish Independence yet.
Ever had a simple argument put to you even though there is no evidence to support it? Ever wondered why you had clear facts rejected? Facts alone do not change people’s opinions. What is going on here? How you we deal with these situations?
Reframing is a technique which shows us how to to put our point across without reinforcing other people’s existing preconceptions. In many cases presenting clear facts actually reinforces people’s existing misconceptions. How we reframe establishment propaganda is perhaps the biggest single challenge facing us in working for self-determination for Scotland.
So this month, our Greater Glasgow Group has invited Bill Mills to come and talk to us. The session will introduce the concepts of Framing and Reframing, and relate them to the current situation in Scotland. Followed by Q&A.
We’ve already posted about the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) new fund-raising campaign This Is It. With over £103,000 in the kitty from the current fund-raiser they are beginning to take on staff.
Currently they are looking for a Campaign Co-ordinator. The role will involve developing and delivering a campaign to lift support for Scottish independence to well above 50%, and will require effective responses to rapidly moving news and political agendas. A track record in organising and running campaigns and the ability to manage staff in a small organisation are essential.
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.
In 2016 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a Growth Commission to look at the issues that face Scotland’s economy and the opportunities we can seize with independence. The Commission has now published its final report – click on the image to go to the report website where you can download the report.
In November economist and former Edinburgh MP, George Kerevan spoke at a public meeting organised by the Edinburgh & Lothians Group of P4Indy who asked him to talk about the Growth Commission Report.
Keith McLeod, of the Edinburgh group, reports that there was an audience of around 35 folk to listen to the former MP and a lively Q&A session afterwards. His talk was recorded by Edinburgh RIC. Here it is… it’s easier to catch what he says if you use headphones!
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening
in the lane snow is glistening
A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight
walking in a winter wonderland
Yesterday was the first meeting of the Greater Glasgow P4Indy Choir!
Alan Logue, convenor of the Greater Glasgow group, suggested at a recent meeting that if we had an entertainment group then we could offer to go to pensioners’ lunch clubs, and day centres. Alan’s idea has been enthusiastically taken up by Mary McCabe, another Glasgow group member, who suggested that we could form a choir!
There are around 350,000 Scotswomen affected by the transition to equality in men and women’s State Pension Age. The initial Westminster Pension Age Act was in 1995 and it set out a gradual pathway to equalise the pension age for men and women. But in 2011 a second Pension Age Act increased the rate of change for women and increased the overall pension age to above 66. This has created a group of women who are partially badly affected. Women born in the mid-50s are losing six years of their State Pension.