P4Indy at the Hague..

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.

Here is the video of Mary’s spot:

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The Greater Glasgow Unicorn’s Maiden Voyage

Yesterday saw the first of the AUOB marches wend its way through Glasgow. It definitely wasn’t the right time to try exiting the M8 at Charing Cross! Police reckon 35,000 made it Glasgow Green but unofficial tallies put it at nearer 80,000. Either way it was a lot of independence supporters.

Here’s how Mary McCabe, one of our Glasgow P4Indy members and co-convenor of the Nationial P4Indy Group , describes it:

Yesterday was a great success for the pro-Indy movementl. Depending on whom you believe, numbers ranged from 150,000 on the total march to 35,000 actually making it all the way to Glasgow Green. At the Green, there were lots of stalls including our Pensioners for Indy double stall, lots of speeches and live music – with an efficient sound system! Yet at the end the park was so pristine clean that the organisers proudly printed a picture of it on FB.

Our new unicorn Greater Glasgow Pensioners banner shimmered beautifully above all the flags made a great show and was photographed and commented on several times. We didn’t get to all march together as planned; those who arrived early at the meeting point at the Suffragette Tree were moved on to different spots by stewards so that when I arrived with the banner there were only two – Jeannie Campbell and Brian Watson – left. As the march advanced up Kelvin Way the three of us slipped into a natural space in the parade – we genuinely didn’t realise this counted as queue-jumping! Meanwhile the large Edinburgh Pensioners for Indy contingent had to wait for over an hour on a hill in Kelvingrove Park before being allocated a slot and given the go-ahead. Still, and we all got to Glasgow Green in the end.

We had a double stall using both new gazebos. There were half a dozen of us serving and we were all kept busy with queues the whole time. The food and drink flew off the shelves. All 20 of the T-shirts were sold and there’s a waiting list of folk who were too late to get one (I’ll be ordering more this week). Virtually all of Sheena’s jewellery sold too. We were kept busy till after 6.30. The takings haven’t been counted yet but they must amount to several hundred.

Want a T-shirt? Send us a message via the Contact Form from the top of the page and we’ll send you details of how to get one.

The remaining All Under One Banner marches for 2019 are: 

  • Galashiels June 1st
  • Oban 15th June 
  • Ayr 6th July
  • Campbeltown 27th July
  • Aberdeen 17th August
  • Perth 7th September
  • Edinburgh 5th October 

It would be great to have big turnouts of P4Indy. I will be bringing the banner to every rally and several Penioners have said they’re planning to go. If the Waverley is repaired by the end of July it’s a lovely sail down to Campbeltown. The turnout at the smaller towns is likely to be 10,000 to 20,000 and at Edinburgh at least 150,000.  Everyone smiling and singing with the crowds on the pavements waving and smiling back at us. At the end there’s music, speeches and stuff to eat and buy in a park. A great family day out. 

The serious purpose is even more important: when people witness thousands of friendly cheerful folk, some from far afield, demonstrating for independence down their own high streets it gets harder for Unionists and their friends in the media to claim “There’s no appetite for independence. Nobody wants another referendum. Everybody’s bored with politics. Referendums are ugly and divisive.” If anybody feels like going further afield The Netherlands for Scottish Independence rally is on Saturday May 25th at the Hague.  More details here:
Netherlands Scottish Independence Rally. I attended the previous two years and will be going again this year wearing the new unicorn T-shirt and singing our song on the platform. Usually around 200 turn up and there are good speeches and music. No requirement to speak Dutch!

Some more photos, mainly taken by members of our Glasgow group.

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 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.

WordClouds for Independence

Last month the Glasgow P4Indy had a visit from Bill Mills talking to us about Reframing. This month we wanted to explore his ideas from different angles so we created a workshop format looking at the values we associate with an independent Scotland. We did two workshops – one about values we as Yes voters associate with independence; and another about values which led No voters to reject independence.

Of course we’re Yes voters so we might not be correct in the values we think influenced No voters! But we’ve got experience of talking to No voters in our family, in meetings, on buses, and at our stalls. it was interesting to see what came out of this. We could understand why people were / are influenced by these things.

We’ve put the results of these workshops into word clouds.

Values & Ideas We Associate with Becoming Independent:

Values & Ideas We Think Led People to Vote No:

These are not definitive results. We could do the same workshop with a different group of people and get a different word cloud. But we think there would be a big overlap with what we came up with.

This is not in any way to denigrate the values we placed in the No cloud. Actually there is overlap between the two clouds. Some are sort of mirror images of each other. There is definitely a relatedness between the two and we think being more aware of that relatedness is helpful.


  • strong government
  • wanting to remain in EU
  • family ties
  • stability, continuity
  • not abandoning people


  • getting who we vote for
  • internationalism
  • sense of community
  • belonging
  • social inclusion

After going through this, we had a better sense of where our values and thinking overlaps with No voters. Of course there’s not a neat match. But it did suggest things that could help us in reframing our conversations.. Ways in which we might reframe our own thinking. And ways in which we might manage to suggest new frames for their thinking.

It’s not easy to change frames. This is definitely a work in progress!