Tag Archives: Pensioners for Independence

Craig Berry talks about the SNP Commonweal Group

Julia Laurie, convenor of Edinburgh & Lothians P4Indy group, writes:

This is from our first meeting of 2021, and the year has not started well, with bad weather, rising Covid numbers, not to mention the end of the Brexit transition period with the awful consequences for Scotland becoming immediately apparent. So it’s good to get together again with our local members..

One of our members suggested that we invite Craig Berry. P4Indy does not support any individual political party, but whether you are a member of the SNP or simply lend them your vote, we do need the party to achieve our goal, and certainly need to know of developments within the party. So I decided to ask Craig. He responded very quickly, quite delighted to have the opportunity to talk to us, and I am very glad he did, as it was a really enjoyable meeting. You can listen to it here:

Background …

Craig started by telling us a little about himself, and how he came to set up the SNP Commonweal group. He is a fervent believer in the Common Weal think-tank aims and he wants to bring as many of these aims directly into the SNP, with the aim of trying to influence policy-making.

We had a great variety of questions from our members:

  • is there too much centralisation within the SNP,
  • are policies agreed at Conference by the members taken forward,
  • Do you think we can persuade the SNP to make the election in May a plebiscite?
  • How do you endeavour to engage with SNP policies?
  • What do you think of the Salmond/Neal recovery plan?
  • how we can influence the party,  which made the meeting very interesting, and indeed fun.

Overall, it was a very good meeting, and our members who were able to join, really enjoyed it. Craig comes over as a forward looking, passionate young activist, and boy, do we need plenty of them! I do hope you enjoyed listening to this recording.

At our next meeting….

… to be held on Tuesday the 9th February, we have Dr Kirsty Hughes, Director and Founder of the Scottish Centre on European Relations speaking to us. She has published extensively, including books, reports, and policy papers, as well as contributing to a wide range of national and international media outlets. Her research focus has included: the UK, Scotland and Brexit, EU democracy, the politics of the Eurozone crisis, the EU enlargement to central and eastern Europe, and Turkey’s EU accession process. Kirsty spoke to us in November of 2019, and much has changed since then, so we are very much looking forward to this meeting.

Colette Walker – Independence for Scotland Party

Julia Laurie, convenor of Edinburgh & Lothians P4Indy group, writes:

In our recent online meeting, Colette Walker, co-founder and leader  of the ISP, joined us to talk about the new party. There are a number of new Independence parties, standing solely on the List, who aim to increase the number of Independence supporting MSPs in the Scottish Parliament. One new party, Scotia Future, believes in an independent Scotland remaining out of the EU, and it may stand candidates on the constituency and  list seats.

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Scottish Constitution Project – Have Your Say

Have Your Say in the Future Governance of Scotland 

Some 11 years ago a small group of Scots decided to draft a ‘model’ written constitution for Scotland rather than just talk about the need for one.  The Constitution for Scotland Project (CfS) has grown from that modest beginning. It advocates Scottish independence as a matter of community democracy. And it exists to encourage consultation on a draft constitution.

The project has moved on to its next stage. The consultation provides an opportunity for anyone who wishes to contribute to the future governance of Scotland. Scots are invited to contribute suggestions for amendments and additions to the basic draft. In this way, it will become a real People’s Constitution. So we will create it from the grassroots up.

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Tim Rideout: the Timeline for Setting Up a Scottish Currency

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.
Last time that Royal Coat of Arms for UK will be seen. HM Government England and Her Majesty will have to change it appropriately.
  • 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.

Shorter version of Tim’s talk:

#EverythingMustChange

CommonWeal are starting a ReBuild initiative to address how we move forward post-coronavirus.

Here Mary McCabe tells us her thoughts on the subject:

There are two schools of thought about the world post Covid-19.

One: Plans to overhaul the system or to reform the constitution are navel-gazing. We must get back to where we were before considering radical change. If we ever do…

The Other: The place we were before, with the UK Government sacrificing Health and Social Care in England on the altar of profit, prioritising jingoistic wars over the war on poverty and ignoring the suggestions of the Scottish Government to take a different route was how we got in this mess. 

We must find a new way.

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