Podcast #3: Two Closes, a Referendum & Much More

Continuing our Podcast Series, this is part 2 of the interview with Mary McCabe on IndyLive Radio. It was recorded on 18 Dec 2019 with Val Gauld and Marlene Halliday.

In this one we cover :

  • how Mary came to write her novel “Two Closes & a Referendum”
  • was the referendum really as divisive as it is sometimes described?
  • what was meant by “once in a generation”?
  • Sir John Curtice’ recent views on Scotland going forward
  • writing letters to newspapers
  • when is a mandate not a mandate?
  • post-general election how are we feeling?

Here it is. It may take a few seconds to get load up. Patience is a virtue 😀

Missing EU Already Rally and Vigil Jan. 31st


(We’ll be back)


31st January 2019     5-7.30pm and 10-11pm

Outside Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Thousands will gather outside the Scottish Parliament on “Brexit Day”, January 31st

to protest against Scotland being dragged from the EU and to call for a second independence referendum so Scots have the chance to re-join the European Union as an independent state.

More than a dozen Edinburgh-based groups are urging Remain voters and Yes

supporting Scots to join them at the “Missing EU Already” rally outside Holyrood

from 5pm -7.30pm on Brexit Day 31st January. There will also be a candlelight vigil

outside Holyrood between 10-11.30pm

The rally will be entertained from 5pm by musicians. Speakers start from

5.30pm, compered by writer and journalist Lesley Riddoch. The line-up includes Joanna Cherry MP, Tommy Sheppard MP, Ellen Hofer, artist, activist and German/New Scot and more to be announced. Musicians include Andrew Gordon and the Bells. During the candlelight vigil there will be a light show to commemorate Scotland’s forced departure from the EU and an “Au Revoir” farewell march with an EU flag display, plus 20 stalls, a catering van and mobile toilets.

The event is being organised by the Edinburgh Yes Hub and is

supported by the Commonweal, English Scots 4 Yes, Pensioners 4 Yes,

Musselburgh, Inch, Gracemount, Craigmillar, Midlothian, Morningside and Marchmont Yes

Groups, Edinburgh Women for Independence and the Scottish Independence Foundation.

Joanna Cherry MP said;

“At the 2016 EU referendum and at every election thereafter the people of Scotland have voted to remain in the EU. On 31 January as the British Government drags us out of the EU against our will it’s important that we come together in Scotland’s capital city to show Europe & the world our desire to be an equal member of the EU family of nations.”

Tommy Shepherd MP said;

“On 31st January, the debate on Brexit ends – but the campaign to get the power to determine Scotland’s own future relationship with Europe begins in earnest.”

Journalist Lesley Riddoch said;

“A large turnout in Edinburgh will represent Scots and also

millions of Remain voters across the UK in a much-needed riposte to the tasteless

triumphalism likely to happen as Boris Johnson celebrates Brexit in London. The SNP won a clear mandate for a second independence referendum to let Remain-voting Scotland choose its own future. Scottish campaigners will not go away, until that mandate is fulfilled.”

Organiser Mike Blackshaw said;

“We decided to call this demonstration because Scots must show our resolute opposition to this theft of our European identity. Scotland benefits from EU membership and has a lot to give back.”

Glasgow Group Christmas Shindig!

The Glasgow P4Indy Party with Everything!!

Act 1: a Scots Language Quiz

The quiz was provided by Liz Thomas. The team of Anne Clark, Mary Stuart and Vi Williamson carried off the prize with a perfect score of 26 out of 26. 

Act 2: Drama: “Coulda Been a Contender

This was a tragi-comedy featuring thespians Isabel Cooney (of the famous pink hair), Liz Thomas, Brian Watson, Sheena Stephen and Mary McCabe. There were surprise guest appearances from Willie Rennie and Jo Swinson (on her way to join Ruth Davidson in Never-Never Land). Despite the total lack of rehearsal the performance went well. Here’s a short extract (the incident of the £50 note is based on fact):

Willie (patting Jo’s arm): Och Jo!  Look on the bright side!

Jo: Is there a bright side?

Willie: It’s true we lost one seat in Scotland, but we… we won another seat in Fife!

Jo:  WRONG thing to say!

Willie:  We …we…didn’t lose every single one of our deposits…

Jo: Pah! (pushes him away). That reminds me…

Willie: (Puppylike, panting) Yes, Jo? What is it, Jo?

I need to write a receipt for this donation from Don Luigi DeAngelo of the Cayman Islands.  Go and buy a pen at that stall.

Willie: All my money fell out my pockets this morning when I was walking on my hands for the BBC. 

(Snorts contemptuously)  Here. 

Willie: A £50 note! I can’t hand that over at a stall. They won’t have change.

What do you mean? (Looks at note) Do notes come smaller than that?

Willie: (to stall holder): Can I buy a pen?

Stallholder: Here you are….wait…whit’s this? 

Willie: £50 note. Smallest I’ve got. We don’t weigh ourselves down with chingle. Sure we don’t, Jo?

This is a play which (unlike Ms Swinson) is set to go places. I hear that a famous Hollywood producer has already expressed interest.

Act 3: Song

Four members of the Pensioners for Indy Warblers (Bill and Meg Lindsay, Mary McCabe and fiddler Anne Cumming) performed an updated version of the Warbler theme song “The Union – a Tragedy”. The audience cheered, stamped feet and clamoured for an encore. (See here for the original version of The Union – A Tragedy )

Unfortunately the Warblers in their modesty had not anticipated such a request. As they huddled together to come up with a number which they all knew well enough to perform without notes or rehearsal, Meg Lindsay stepped up to the plate with a song composed there and then. “Now independence it is coming” (to the tune of ‘Now the summertime is coming’) She performed it as a solo, accompanied by Anne, to thunderous applause.

Act 4: Santa

There was another surprise guest when Santa Claus turned up to call the raffle prizes. The fact that in height he resembled Robert Littler, one of the regulars from the Thursday stall, was one of life’s coincidences. The good quality prizes – no recycled Xmas presents from nineteen-nineteen – included a bottle of Glenmorangie bearing a signature from the First Minister and with its own back-story to tell.  Also author-signed copies of three of Mary McCabe’s own books: EverwindingTimes, Stirring the Dust and Two Closes and a Referendum.

Thanks to…..

In the intervals between activities Sheena Stephen provided a background of music from Scotland. England and Ireland:  the Beatles, the Corries and the Clancys. The Bacchus provided a large spread and the bar was open all night. 

With 31 attendees our first Greater Glasgow Pensioners for Indy Christmas Party made an overall profit for our funds. It won’t be our last! Mary McCabe

Podcast #2: with Mary McCabe, Part 1

Our podcasts are all listed on the dropdown menu at the top of the page.

This is our second podcast recorded on 18th December in the IndyLive Radio studio in Glasgow as part of the IndyLive Daily Show. It was an all women team that morning with Val on the mixing desk and me doing most of the chat with Mary McCabe. In fact it was not only a women’s takeover it was a P4Indy takeover, since we are all three of us involved with P4Indy. LtoR: Mary, Marlene, Val:

Val introduces Mary. We talk about how P4Indy came to be set up in the aftermath of the 2014 referendum and why Mary and I decided to get involved with the group. We talk about what approach Mary thinks works best to persuade more over65s to support independence. We find out about The Warblers entertainment group. All this in just 20 minutes. But Mary stayed on for the rest of the programme and there’s another podcast to come from our chat later on in the programme.

The podcast may take some seconds to load…. patience is a virtue.

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Emergency Indy March in Glasgow on 11 January2020

AUOB is quick off the mark after the GE result and is now organising a march through Glasgow on 11th Jan leaving at 11.30 from Kelvingrove Park and heading through the city centre to Glasgow Green

Kelvingrove Park, Kelvinway, Gibson Street, Eldon Street, Woodlands Road, Sauchiehall Street, Pitt Street, Blythswood Square (S), West George Street, Renfield street, Union street, Jamaica street, Clyde Street, Bridgegate, Saltmarket, Glasgow Green. 

Pensioners for Independence on a previous Glasgow AUOB March
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