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’re producing a leaflet that acknowledges the concerns of older people and compares them to the concerns of the younger generation. What it boils down to is that we want to encourage grannies and grandads to talk to their grandchildren 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.
We are preparing a print run of the leaflet at the moment. If you want to use these images on a website, please do. If you want to print off some copies use this link to a higher resolution file (2MB). It’s A5 size.
Glasgow P4Indy group invited John Drummond to their August meeting today to talk about a Scottish Constitution. John, along with Canon Kenyon Wright, was one of the founders of the Constitutional Commission, back in 2005. And on the Commission’s website you find these three principles underpinning how they have tried to progress the idea of a written constitution for Scotland:
The work of the Constitutional Commission starts from three axioms. Firstly, that legitimate sovereignty in Scotland resides in the “whole community of the realm”, and not in the Queen-in-Parliament at Westminster.
Secondly, that a written and entrenched Constitution, endorsed by the whole community, guaranteeing the rights of citizens, and delimiting the powers, duties and responsibilities of the institutions of State, is necessary in order to establish the right relationship between the State and the people in a liberal democracy.
Thirdly, that liberal democracy cannot exist merely in procedural terms, but must be sustained by civic, humane and democratic values.
you can find out more here: Constitutional Commission John is currently giving this talk to Indy supporting groups all over Scotland so if you’re interested, contact him via this website.
The video below is John giving the talk a few months back. It’s approximately what he said in Glasgow today. But because since this version from March 2019, the UK is in the grip of a constitutional crisis, we heard a lot more about the current attempts by Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament and what that could presage for the Scottish independence movement.
There have been several news items about UK State Pension this week. The House of Commons library produced a briefing about country-by-country comparisons of state pensions back in May. Don’t remember it being much in the news in May but the National have reported on it this week.
Different countries have different systems for their state pension both in terms of how they collect pension contributions and how people are eligible for them. The Commons Briefing reckons that the two countries most similar to UK’s system and therefore the best comparisons are Eire and the Netherlands. Here’s what the weekly pensions on UK, Eire and Netherlands look like, using today’s £/€ exchange rate of 0.91. There are two UK levels of state pensions depending on when you reached pension age before or after 6 April 2016.
2. Raising Pensions Age to 75?
The UK State Pension Age (SPA) is due to rise to 66 next year. But reports appeared in the press this week about a proposal to raise the SPA to 75. (Guardian, Daily Mail ) 75? Can this really be true? It is true that the conservative think-tank Centre for Social Justice, which first proposed Universal Credit and is chaired by Ian Duncan Smith MP, have published a report in which they propose raising the SPA to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2038. Here’s their recommendation:
One of our National Coordinating Group’s interests is to take forward concepts and designs for campaigning leaflets directly of relevant to Scottish pensioners. It’s easier said than done! But our leaflet committee made a proposal to go ahead with three new leaflets.
One of them focuses on pensions. Jim Stamper of the Glasgow group has spent a great deal of time coming up with the basic concept, researching the information, and beginning to put it together in an actual leaflet. We are lucky to have the help of a professional graphic designer to take our initial ideas and produce the finished product.
When we have the leaflet design finished, it will be uploaded here. We’ll also have all the references to the source material here as well.
Some months back we invited Bill Mills to speak to us about Reframing at the Glasgow P4Indy group. He gave us a good overview of what is involved in Reframing and you can find some of that here. The month after that we tried our own hand at reframing in a couple of short workshops. You can see what we came up with here.…. and one thing we found out is that reframing is quite hard to do!
Since it is hard to do – for us beginners, anyway – I was very pleased to hear from June Maxweel the other day that she has a set of short podcasts called Subtle Signposts which back up what we learnt from Bill, expand on some of his topics, and develop others. I heard June speak at the National Yes Registry Day in Stirling last autumn and liked her approach. In these podcasts she focuses on one aspect of Reframing at a time. I’m currently half way through them and think they will be very useful.