The Netherlands for Scottish Independence March & Rally was held on 25May in the Hague. One of the invited speakers was our own Mary McCabe, a member of the Glasgow Group an co-convenor of our National Group.
As well as showing off our P4Indy T-shirt, Mary told the audience how we are campaigning in Scotland. She also told them the background to setting up the Glasgow P4Indy choir “The Warblers” and did a solo rendition of our Warblers’ song “The Union – A Tragedy”. After all that she regaled the Hague audience with events from three years ago at the Yes Arts Festival – that’s YES as in Yarrow, Ettrick and Selkirk – and a conversation she had with the Duke of Buccleuch who was handing out the prizes, one of which was for Mary’s poem “The Merch o’ the Babyboomers”. She finishes by reciting the poem to much warm applause.
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.
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
*New Route* Albyn Place To Queens Links Gathering Early, Leave 1.30pm Sharp
Procession Route: Albyn Place, Union Street, King Street, East North Street, Beach Boulevard, Queens Links. Aye Aberdeen will be supporting AUOB to help make this the biggest pro independence demonstration the North East of Scotland has ever seen. Everyone is welcome to take part, no ticket required for the march or the rally. Just turn up. Bring your flags, banners, pipes & drums!
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.
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…
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.
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.