A few weeks back, IndyLive Radio broadcast an interview with Ruth Wishart called Bringing Chronologically Gifted Scots to Yes.
Chronologically Gifted is Ruth’s name for us older voters. Gifted because we’re still here, still breathing, and very importantly – still voting. You can listen to the interview here:
After broadcasting Ruth’s interview, the Daytime Show team talk to a panel of four people from four P4Indy Groups: Alan Logue from Greater Glasgow, Julia Laurie from Edinburgh, Lindsay Neil from Selkirk, and Morag Muego from Dumfries. Listen to what they think it will take to persuade more older voters round to Yes.
Got any suggestions of your own on how to get more chronologically gifted votes to Yes?
The article was published in the National on 28 May. We were asked to contribute to the series which they are running just now highlighting the groups who have received grants from the Scottish Independence Foundation.
Here’s the text of the article which was written by Alan Logue co-Convenor of our National Group.
Our age group had the highest proportion of those who rejected constitutional change in 2014. We reformed Pensioners for Independence in early 2017 because we considered that a group run by pensioners was better placed to put our message across, raise the issues that most concern us – especially those that failed to convince us to vote Yes in 2014 – and convince our peers of the benefits of constitutional change.
Edinburgh was the first group to be convened and after some months Greater Glasgow followed and some activities started in Aberdeen and Perth. Street stalls were run, speakers were arranged and local meetings held.
We were keen to spread out to other areas, so very soon a National Committee was created to focus on moving the organisation forward. Each local group sends representatives to this national coordinating group. Our website is set up so each group has their own page for their local news. We also set up central purchasing for materials that everyone can use. In March 2018 we had our first Inaugural General Meeting as a constituted national organisation
Our next step was to help build, coordinate and support more local groups. In early 2019 we approached the Scottish Independence Foundation and applied for funding detailing what we required and what we believed we could achieve with their support. The application was successful!. Thank you, SIF!
By this time we had a sizeable number on our website mailing list. Using that data to encourage clusters to start local groups, we liaised with those interested and organised local meetings to explain our objectives and what we could offer in the form of resources and initial funding to establish a group. As a result groups have formed in Ayr, Selkirk, Perth and Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire has held a first meeting to gauge interest and there is a very active group in Dumfries & Galloway which runs separate from our network.
We have also set up our own leaflet creation team for information on topics more closely related to our peer group, these are all on our website in pdf format for downloading, and encouragingly, our leaflets are now being requested by other Yes groups through our bulk purchasing arrangement.
As well as raising our profile in all the usual ways – stalls at rallies, street stalls, meetings, leafleting, attending and contributing to conferences and seminars- we have also set up an entertainment group,The Warblers, who take their concerts into sheltered housing, lunch clubs and local community centres. Two of our members in Glasgow were invited as guests on IndyLive Radio and were so good they are now co-presenters on the IndyLive Radio Team. And to further our influence, and as a constituted organisation, we have a representative on the Scottish Independence Convention. All this activity means we are increasingly well-placed to communicate our vision for an independent Scotland to those pensioners not yet convinced.
Our next step is to get involved with groups of the younger generation to exchange information that would be useful to both age groups in convincing each other of the positive benefits of constitutional change. Independence will be our generation’s present to their generation’s future.
At the moment, of course, active campaigning is being severely restricted. Video conferencing is now the method for meetings and discussions. As the current situation progresses we will have to rethink our campaigning methods. We will be more reliant on one to one conversations or in small gatherings as larger groups will likely be shunned.
But using our extensive mailing list, we have recently completed an exercise in sending leaflets out to those willing to distribute them in their own community. We need to build on this and encourage others to be more active in spreading the word. Using advertising / posters aimed at our peer group in the areas that would be most frequented might be another way to get our message across. As with other Yes groups, how we go about campaigning will be down to local conditions after the lockdown eases.
As our age cohort contains the highest proportion of those vulnerable to Covid19, we may be the last to emerge from this lockdown, and probably our anxiety about Covid19 will linger until there is a vaccine. Our Warbler’s visits to care homes etc. will very likely be restricted, our age group being the least users of social media, we have our work cut out – ideas on a postcard please.
Alan Logue, Co-convener National Pensioners for Independence
If you are interested in helping us, contact :-
Facebook: Pensioners for Independence National Hub
or write to the National and they will pass your message on
And once again, thank you, Scottish Independence Foundation for all the help you are giving to the independence campaign.
Our P4Indy group based in Selkirk have had their stall up and running for a few months now. they are reporting lots of positive conversations. though quite a few people have understandably been in ‘wait and see’ mode while the Brexit drama plays out.
But they reckon the results of their poll – even if it is total unscientific – are definitely encouraging!
And we’re off – Pensioners for Independence has a new group! We’re mostly based in or around Selkirk. So although anyone sharing our TD postcode is welcome to join, we’ve called ourselves ‘Selkirk and District’ rather than ‘Borders’ because folk in other Borders towns might want to set up their own group. We’re now up to 29 members, which is encouraging.
The June 1st AUOB march in Galashiels was a great start, and the first outing for our new banner (thank you Dumfries &Galloway – we liked yours so much, we used the same design!) Such a positive, friendly, inclusive atmosphere. It felt good to be among like-minded people of all ages, and to make links with our P4Indy neighbours – and buy some delicious cake from the P4Indy stall. It was very heartening to see support from local shopkeepers and bystanders – it’s starting to look like the tide is turning.
Future plans include a regular stall alongside the monthly Farmer’s Market, and inviting speakers. Some of us are looking forward to taking part in a Reframing workshop.
Over the past few months, our membership secretary has been busy contacting people on our mailing list, telling them how many other people on our mail list are in their area, and asking if they would be interested in getting together to meet locally.
We’ve been speaking to people in Fife, Stirling, Hamilton & Motherwell, and Selkirk.
We know that it can be daunting to set up a new group. But we have people in our Edinburgh & Lothians Group and our Greater Glasgow Group who have acquired enough experience to offer a helping hand. We also have some funds which mean we can help new groups get off the ground with the expenses of hiring a meeting room or setting up a street stall.
And it looks like we will soon have a local group based in Fife!
It was great to have two Fifers, Craig and Lorna, coming over to our national coordinating group meeting this week. If you’d like to be put in touch with what’s happening in P4Indy Fife, then let us know using the contact form from the top of this page.
After Fife, it’s possibly that the next new group will be in the Borders. We have a meeting set up with supporters in Selkirk.
This graph show where people on our mailing list live. As you can see, there are some areas that have quite a showing of people interested in P4Indy but where there isn’t a local group. If you would like to find others in your area to link up with, use the Contact form at top of the page.