Recently we’e been in contact with some of the folk who run the Brechin Yes Hub.
Here’s what they said:
The Brechin Hub, the aptly named Blether-In, was opened roughly two years ago in premises we rent in the centre of the town. The membership fund its operation by some monthly direct debit payments and some annual donations. Our finances are healthy.
It is staffed every Thursday, Friday and Saturday where we get a steady drop in off the street from people who want to know more about the Indy movement. We get the odd Unionist too from time to time and enjoy trying to persuade each other!
We sell a wide range of Indy and Scottish literature and goods and we are regularly involved in Flag days on the A90 and leafleting and canvassing in the Brechin area. There’s tele in the window, switched on every day from 9am until 8pm showing everything we think is topical and humourous. A lot of passer-byes stop to watch and some come in.
Roughly speaking our Hub team are 75% SNP members and 25% Independendistas and we work well together. Though maybe of real interest to the Indy Pensioners Movement is that all the staffing is done by pensioners. Our Tele and Internet guru is a pensioner and when the phony war ends the real hard-nosed, knowledgeable and committed door knocking brigade are all of our vintage too.
Of late we feel Indy movement has spent a lot of time talking to itself. We have decided that to win next year we must get the pensioner percentages up to at least the low 30%. Do that throughout Scotland and we are there.
Here at Pensioners for Indy, we completely agree : swing the pensioner vote a bit further over to Yes – 40% ? – and we’re there. We hope our new leaflets will be appearing up in Brechin soon. And here is the Brechin Yes Team’s own leaflet If you live up that way, it might already have dropped your letterbox.
Haven’t seen any estimates for the numbers at the Galashiels March yet. But P4Indy were there!
So far we have photos of our Glasgow and Edinburgh Group uploaded into our slideshow here. If you were there with another P4Indy group, send us your photos please!
The stall was run by Sheena and her team from our Glasgow Group. And as well as making jewellery, Sheena had been baking including our favourite Scottish sweetie – tablet! Val, another Glasgow group member, recounts this very funny story that happened at the stall…
On our Pensioners for Indy stall today a wee girl wanted some tablet but shook her head when Sheena asked : “Have you not got any pocket money?” So we just gave her some anyway. Ten minutes later back she comes she with a wee boy who asks: “Is this where you get the free tablet?” Wee lassie pipes up: “Only if you haven’t got any pocket money…”
The kids are in good company this is our FM demolishing a plateful of tablet a few months back!
This is a Wee Ginger Dugcast where Paul Kavanagh is talking to Elaine C Smith about her own Journey to Yes, about their reactions to losing the 2014 referendum, about how the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) has evolved since then, about the large numbers of supporters who have attend SIC events, about the success of the SIC crowdfunder and about what is emerging from that. P4indy is one of the SIC stakeholder groups. One of our National Co-convenors is on the SIC Board and the other co-convenor is on the Executive.
By 25 minutes into the podcast, Elaine is describing the process whereby the SIC Board employed Tangent Ltd to develop a range of possible Yes campaign strategies and then test them among Scots who are neither convinced No voters nor convinced Yes voters. SIC describes this as having “a particular intent to listen to people who haven’t made up their minds about Scottish independence or who support the union but have had their faith undermined by recent events”. It’s called the Voices for Scotland initiative.
Paul and Elaine talk about the best ways to get to those people we need to persuade. What works and what doesn’t?
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