Julia Laurie, co-convenor of Pensioners for Independence Edinburgh and Lothians, writes:
The following recording is from our meeting held on Tuesday the 28th July. Some time ago, the Greater Glasgow P4Indy invited me to one of their meetings when Bob Ingram of A Constitution for Scotland was speaking. I found it wonderful listening to Bob, and my reaction was almost visceral.
I have read some of the Draft Constitution written by Professor Mark McNaught, of the University of Rennes. It is very good. But it was not until I heard Bob speaking that I realised how important it is that a Scottish Constitution should be written by the people for the people.
I contacted Bob, and was delighted when he agreed to talk to our group, the following recording is the outcome. Before listening, I urge you to read the Constitution Summary.
I really hope you have enjoyed Bob’s talk as much as I did. I have now heard it 3 times, and it affects me the same way every time. As you will have heard Bob say, they started with 22 people 11 years ago, and now they are ready to launch their Constitution.
Have a look at their web site Constitution for Scotland . If you can donate, no matter how small the amount, it will enable them to launch the Constitution. As a well-known supermarket says “every little helps” or as we might prefer to say “Mony a Mickle Maks a Muckle”.
I believe this constitution is vitally important, please spread knowledge of its existence to all your friends, colleagues, and any other groups you are part of, and remember political parties come and go, but a country’s constitution is forever.
Our Greater Glasgow Group are meeting via Zoom every couple of weeks in this lockdown period. This week they invited Dr Tim Rideout to talk to about setting up a Scottish Currency. The video below isn’t from the meeting today but it’s pretty much the same talk. There is a shorter version of the talk at the end of this post.
Tim lays out a timeline for getting ourselves from a successful independence referendum to a Scottish currency operating in Scotland for Scots and Scottish business and in the international foreign exchange markets. Here is his timeline, taken from the Scottish Reserve Bank website The website has been set up by Tim and it has a lot of information on it. Setting up a reserve bank is one of the first steps on the timeline. Well, after the referendum has been won and the UK PM has acknowledged the result.
Thursday 9th September, 2021 – Scotland votes Yes in a second Scottish independence referendum.
Saturday 11th September, 2021 – UK Prime Minister concedes that Scotland has voted to leave the Union.
Wednesday 15th September, 2021 – Westminster Parliament approves a Statutory Instrument to add Scotland to the Statute of Westminster 1931. This means Scotland joins Canada, Australia, etc., as countries for which Westminster will no longer pass legislation except with the full consent of the relevant Parliament, in Scotland’s case, Holyrood.
Monday, 4th October, 2021 – The Scottish Government introduces the Scottish Reserve Bank (Establishment) Bill into Holyrood, Stage 1.
2022 The Scottish Reserve Bank Act receives Royal Assent. The new bank occupies the old Royal High School Building in Edinburgh. The Bank’s President and Directors are appointed.
2023 Aims of the Monetary Policy Committee of Scottish Reserve Bank are agreed: First Priority: Full Employment; Second Priority: +/- 2% inflation
Mid 2023 Commercial Banks write to Scottish customers using a Scottish sort code or postal address to invite them to open a Scottish Currency account(s). Any other customers, eg., Scots in London or with English sort codes, may contact their bank to request a Scottish currency account. Companies apply to have sterling and Scottish currency accounts, card payment facilities, etc. Designs for Scottish notes and coins finalised after a national competition. Sent to De La Rue Plc for manufacturing.
Thursday 30th November, 2023 – Independence Day Queen Elizabeth I & II attends lowering of the Union Flag for the last time at Edinburgh Castle.
December 2023 Banks start to post new Scottish Currency bank cards and cheque books to clients.
Mid January 2024 Starter packs of Scottish Currency go on sale.
Saturday 27th / Sunday 28th January, 2024 Sterling account balances sold to the Scottish Reserve Bank. Replacement Scottish currency deposited to new accounts. Vending machines converted. Cash machines converted.
Monday 29th January, 2024 – Currency DayNew currency on public sale. New debit and credit cards go live.
Monday 4th March, 2024 Peg to sterling ends. ForEx trading starts. Bank charges apply to transactions.
December 31st, 2024 Scottish currency stands at £1.12, but more or less unchanged against the Dollar and Euro. Pensioner Guarantee in operation. Scottish Reserve Bank has £50 billion Foreign Reserves, now converted in a balance mix of Euros, Dollars, Yen, etc.
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.
Mary McCabe, co-convenor of our P4Indy National Group writes:
Many of you will have heard of the Radical Wars which swept across West Central Scotland in the early 19th century and which culminated in the 1820 Scottish Uprising. This is a little-known episode of Scottish history, with the reports of what happened suppressed at the time and to some extent suppressed ever since.
Because 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bonnymuir and the trials, executions and transportations which followed, there had been lots of plans this year to stage commemorative events in local communities. These have mostly fallen foul of Covid-19 and the lockdown.
The aims of the Radicals were political as well as economic and included better wages for weavers, the universal male franchise and independence for Scotland. The play is performed (there are folk-songs as well as drama) by senior citizens.