Category Archives: Resources

Execution & Beheading on Glasgow Green

Mary McCabe, of Greater Glasgow P4Indy, writes:

On 30th August 200 years ago James ‘Purlie’ Wilson was hanged and beheaded on Glasgow Green for High Treason. A rebellious crowd of 20,000, held back by soldiers, watched him die. He gave an impassioned speech on the gallows. Did the Press report on what he said? No.

By Elliott Simpson, CC BY-SA 2.0, WikiCommons

“Scotland Free or a Desart”

Wilson was a 63-year-old weaver. He had long been involved in organisations seeking such political reform as votes for all men and the independence of Scotland. 

He had taken part in non-violent demonstrations and carried a banner proclaiming “Scotland Free or a Desart” (sic). And his home in Strathaven was a rendezvous point for those who wished to debate topical issues such as the abolition of slavery.

In the April of 1820, Government undercover agents persuaded Wilson to lead twenty-five men towards Cathkin to join in an uprising. However long before they arrived they thought the better of it and returned home without striking a blow. But it was already too late. They had now been identified. Soldiers burst into their homes and arrested them. 

The Radical Wars involved thousands of people across Central Scotland. By the end eighty-eight men were charged with High Treason. Yet the events of those years are shrouded in secrecy to this day.

Bi-Centary Commemoration

Tomorrow (Sunday 30th August) from about 2.45 there will be a Commemoration on Glasgow Green beside the Arch near the High Court – attended physically, with social distancing – to mark the bicentenary of Wilson’s execution at that exact time and place, 200 years ago.

Postscript by Marlene Halliday:

I’m sure there are honourable exceptions, but for many of us who went to school in Scotland in the 50s and 60s, the 1820 Rebellion was likely never mentioned in any history class. I am currently reading an account of the Rebellion by Murray Armstrong entitled ” The Fight for Scottish Democracy: Rebellion & Reform in 1820“.

You can listen to Murray talking on the subject here:

And find out even more in these videos:

The Declaration – the letter of Liberty

Yesterday, had things been otherwise, I would have been up in Arbroath celebrating the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. I’m sure that many of you would have been there too. And I’m sure that at some point we will be there enjoying a belated gathering.

In the meantime we have Lesley Riddoch & Charlie Stuart to thank for this film about the Declaration. And also to thank Patrick Doyle for the original score.

You can find out more about the making of the film in Lesley’s own blog post.

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YES #IndyRef2020 – Glasgow Rally

On Saturday 20,000 people (according to the organisers) or 10,000 people (according to the police) squeezed themselves into Glasgow’s George Square to listen to an array of speakers on the theme of Scottish Independence.

As is usual it was all videoed by the IndependenceLiveStreaming team and if you missed it, or couldn’t hear it, you can listen again now.

It was quite a line-up:

To help you find each of the speakers here are the timings in the video:

  • @ 18mins: Mhairi Black MP
  • @ 34mins: Maggie Chapman, Convenor of Scottish Independence Convention
  • @ 44mins: Valentina Servera Clavell from Catalonia
  • @ 1h 6mins: Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Greens
  • @ 1h 16mins: Paul Kavanagh of Wee Ginger Dug
  • @ 1h 26mins: Suzanne McLaughlin, Women for Independence
  • @ 1h 34mins: Janey Godley, Isa MacNamee and a’ the Sandras
  • @ 1h 42mins: Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations
  • @ 1h 51mins: Humza Yusaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice,
  • @ 2h Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland

And look – Glasgow Pensioners for Indy were there too!

SNP Conference Passes Motion on State Pensions

By coincidence, in the same week as we have been promoting our new leaflet on Pensions, a motion was passed at the SNP Conference calling for an increase of State Pension in an Independent Scotland to the same level as the OECD average and supporting the commissioning of a Scottish State Pension Plan. The data referred to in the motion echoes much of the information on our leaflet.

You can download a PDF file with all our data on State Pensions and how ours compares to other developed countries: Pension Data

Or for a quick idea of how another small country much the same size as Scotland is doing with their State Pension, this will give you the general idea:

There are two UK State Pension: Men born after 6Apr 1951 and women born after 6Apr 1953. are eligible for the new state pension, now £168 / week. Anyone born before that date receives the basic pension rate, now £129/week.. Ref: at Gov.Uk Pensions

Now I bet most of us would be pleased if our State Pension was the same as Ireland’s. But Ireland’s State pension itself is still below the average for EU countries. Here’s how UK, Ireland compares with average State Pensions:

OECD Figures Source for EU28 Countries. The graph shows the percentage of state pensions to pre-retirement earnings for each country..

The UK pension is 29% of average pre-retirement earnings. We’ve used the data for men only as the current changes to women’s retirement age makes their data more complex. Ireland’s pensions is 42% of pre-retirement earnings. But the average EU Pensions is 71%. In other words EU average pension is almost two and a half times ours, in terms of pre-retirement earnings. If you use £145 as UK Pension, ie somewhere between £125 and £163, then we’d be receiving £355 a week.

Is this going to be possible in a newly independent Scotland? Well, certainly not immediately, but at least we’d have a Parliament at Holyrood who’d likely be trying to get us up to that level. SNP would be trying to do that and it’s not a stretch to surmise that the Scottish Greens, Labour and maybe LibDems would also support it. And that would be much better than what we have at the moment : State Pensions are not devolved to Holyrood but are instead in the hands of Westminster and whoever the English electorate votes into power. A Scottish State Pension Plan is the first step. Oh, wait, the first step is an independent Scotland.

Generations Leaflet : Our Present, Their Future

Back in 2014, three times as many over 65s voted to stay in the UK as voted for independence. One of the reasons P4Indy exists is to persuade our age group of the benefits of Scotland being independent.

To that end we have produced an A5 double-sided leaflet that acknowledges the concerns of older people and compares them to the concerns of the younger generation. It’s meant as a simple small handout to give to friends, neighbours, families. Something that might get them thinking – whichever generation they are in.

We want to encourage grannies and grandads to talk to their grandchildren and great nephews and nieces about independence. And vice versa. Because we reckon that if we did more of that, we would all understand each other better and understand that there is an overlap between the concerns of different generations. And some of us unpersuaded oldies would realise that everyone’s concerns can be addressed in an independent country operating so as to strengthen our society and our values, and to look after our people.

If you want to use these images on a website, please do. If you want to print off some copies, this is a higher resolution PDF version.

Or if you would like to order some of the leaflets, please email us using the top menu “Contact Us” link. We can provide the leaflets at cost plus any postage.

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