Bits & Pieces, Jan 2024

Bits & Pieces is a monthly roundup of topical clips and snippets from Holyrood, Westminster and around the Indy Movement. It’s compiled by Scottish Independence Podcasts.

Bits & Pieces Podcast. Scottish Independence Podcasts

Main themes covered this month are:

  • 00:53  Calling out war crimes
  • 05:47  Covid enquiry
  • :09:35  Scottish budget
  • 15:48   Holyrood snippets
  • 21:15   UK General Election 
  • 34:59   Westminster hot topics
  • 40:23   Horizon scandal
  • 44:57   Lesley Riddoch chats with Jim Byrne
  • 51:02   Indypodcasters out and about
  • 54:02   Time for Scotland by the Singing Councillors

Previous snippets are in the Bits & Pieces Playlist. You can listen more of Jim & Lesley’s West End Chat. And you can watch Lesley talking about her new film, Denmark, here.

Richie Venton, of Scottish Socialist Party, is mentioned in the section about UK General Election. He will feature in a podcast this week which commemorates Red Clydesider John Maclean.

Denmark the State of Happiness. Lesley Riddoch. Scottish Independence Podcasts. Pensioners for Independence

Is Scotland being Cheated? Denmark definitely isn’t.

Award winning broadcaster Lesley Riddoch joins us to chat about her new film Denmark – the State of Happiness.

The film is currently on tour all around Scotland with a Q+A session with Lesley at each screening. The Scottish Independence Podcast team managed to catch up her in between gigs to find out more about her trip to Denmark, who she spoke to, and what most strikes her about Denmark as a model for an independent Scotland.

Award winning broadcaster Lesley Riddoch joins us to chat about her new film Denmark - the State of Happiness.

The film is currently on tour all around Scotland with a Q+A session with Lesley at each screening. We managed to catch up her in between gigs to find out more about her trip to Denmark, who she spoke and what strikes her about Denmark as a model for an independent Scotland.

Here’s the content list:

00:54 Dan Jorgensen – happiness is important
01:46 Introduction
02:41 The Danish Empire & losing it.
06:00 Audience reactions to the film
11:15 The film is not just for Indy supporters
17:39 Danish Education system
18:20 Larissa Albus – taxes are a good thing!
20:56 Jannick Marshall – Efterskole
24:12 Samso Islanders cut their fuel prices
26:40 A cause for optimism?
30:24 National self confidence

32:23 We need issues based conversations in Scotland
33:30 Cultural summer school and other ideas
40:53 The future for indy media

Watch here:

Want to see the film itself ?

For details of dates, times, venues and to book tickets, go to Lesley Riddoch Events. But be quick, they are selling out fast. If there’s no event near you then maybe contact Lesley and help her set one up?

This is the fifth film in Lesley’s series looking at the Nordic Countries, you can find all her other films on her website at Lesley Riddoch Films. We posted about her Estonian film.

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TalkingUp Scotland

TalkingUp Scotland – November Picks


November Picks from TalkingUp Scotland…

John Robertson’s blog TalkingUp Scotland is an excellent media fact check source if you’re interested in Scottish news reporting. Every now and then – like now – we write up a couple of his articles. This month we’re going to look at the Herald’s take on road traffic accidents in the Highlands, and then return to that long-running favourite of how long people have to wait in A&E

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SNP Independence Strategy Debate. Pensioner for Independence. Scottish independence Podcasts

SNP Independence Strategy Debate

Posted with permission of Scottish Independence Podcasts.

Independence Strategy

The route to independence concerns everyone in the Yes movement and there is by no means consensus on the path that will lead to success. Pensioners for Independence supports Scottish Independence but we are not party political. We will be dropping in on the various party conferences to see how they propose to get us there.

We start with the 2023 SNP conference. The SNP independence strategy debate was a key – and lengthy – item on the agenda. Here a 1min summary of the proceedings. It might help before you listen to the debate.


Key Points

Here are the key points from the debate with commentary from the IndyPodcasters. There’s a contents list below to help you navigate through the video. We think the speeches by Tommy Sheppard and Joanna Cherry are particularly interesting. But there are a lot of thoughtful contributions all the way through. And if you think we’ll end up engaging in civil disobedience then make sure you listen to David Buckley.



Content List:

00:01:16    Humza Yousaf proposes the resolution, followed by Stephen Flynn, seconding.

Followed by key speeches in favour or against the various amendments:

00:17:22    Tommy Sheppard – proposing Amendment A

00:23:22    Tony Guiliano – proposing Amendments B and C

00:29:43    Joanna Cherry – proposing Amendment D

00:37:19     David Buckley – Remitting the resolution back, in other words go back and think again.

00:41:27     Graeme McCormick – Direct negative, vote the resolution down.

00:45:43     Chris Hanlon – proposing Amendment F

00:48:22     Mike Russell, speaking against amendments F and G

Followed by speeches summing up the amendments:

00:51:21     Tommy Sheppard summing up Amendment A

00:53:56      Joanna Cherry summing up Amendment D

00:57:03       Pete Wishart summing up Amendment G

00:59:37      Graeme McCormick  summing up the direct negative

And ending with the final summing up in favour of the resolution

01:02:11      Humza Yousaf summing up

The full SNP independence strategy debate can be watched on SNP’s Youtube channel.

You’ll find podcasts featuring other independence-supporting Parties on Scottish Independence podcast playlist of Scottish Party Politics.

Chain of Freedom Pensioners for Independence

Chain of Freedom – We Did It!

Mary McCabe, of our Greater Glasgow group, organised our section on the Forth & Clyde Canal for the Chain of Freedom Event on 14th October. Here is her report back:

Mary writes:


The Chain of Freedom on October 14th was more successful than we had dared to hope. And Pensioners for Indy played our part in it!

At the time I left the house to go to our allotted section 3E at Bishopbriggs, I had exactly 40 on my list. I was thinking well I don’t expect all 40 will actually turn up. If we get 25 that’ll be a good showing. In fact 54 turned up for our section! Not my figures: the count was carried out by Christian the official appointed steward for our section.

The weather was glorious and we looked and sounded cheery and lovely with our flags and banners strung along the bank of the gleaming canal.


Rumours Are Spreading : Did Unionists try to sabotage the event?

Apparently there were  a few blank sections where nobody appeared. Mary heard that this was because Unionists (either human or bots) had registered by the hundred and filled up some of the sections thus stopping genuine activists from getting in. Next time – and there will be a next time of some kind – the organisers will be wise to the possibility of underhand tactics.

Thanks, Mary, to you and all your companions on Section 3E. Meanwhile on Section 2A at Knightswood and Clydebank in Glasgow more of our members were enjoying themselves. You’ll maybe recognise some of them in this clip.



Our friends, Marlene and Fiona of the IndyPodcaster Team (they’re also members of Pensioners for Indy) have made this longer souvenir video of the event. It’s got more footage from Knightswood, some from near the Falkirk Wheel, from Bonnybridge, and from Kelvinhead, a drone’s eye view, and the Silent Clansman in his canoe!


See you all next year! Because we’re sure the Chain of Freedom team are thinking about a possible follow-up event….