5 March meeting – How we can win our Independence

A panel of 3 speakers from the SSP (Hugh Cullen), Greens (Maggie Chapman) and unaffiliated to any party (Bob Murray) will give their views on “How we can win our Independence” and answer your questions. All welcome! Function room of the Newliston Arms, 78-82 Main Street, Kirkliston EH29 9AB.

https://www.facebook.com/events/136878470430117/

5 Feb meeting – How to speak about independence in the future

Audrey Birt will speak on “How to speak about independence in the future” and answer your questions. All welcome! Function room of the Newliston Arms, 78-82 Main Street, Kirkliston EH29 9AB.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1936508396676337/

Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes Mon 4 Dec 2017

1. Anne Donohoe opened the meeting by welcoming everybody, and introduced our speakers, John Bratton and Ross Grahame on the subject of Independence for young and old.

2. A Livestream is available for people who couldn’t make the meeting.

3. Apologies: Selma Rahman, Rene Hamilton

4. There were 19 Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.

5. John Bratton gave an overview of how Pensioners for Independence came into being, a personal view of the highlights of their Edinburgh conference, and his view of the path ahead. He noted Craig Dalzell’s statistics on the demographic timebomb (to which there is no single, easy solution), Maggie Chapman’s ideas on a cooperative approach to care, and George Kerevan’s views on the affordability of pensions (using a full range of VAT, Corporation taxes and a Sovereign Wealth fund) – with the observation that pensions weren’t even mentioned in the Budget leading to the suspicion that they could be targeted for another Treasury raid. He reviewed the status of Brexit (with the prospect of a low wage, low tax UK with hollowed-out public services), the lack of commitment to the triple lock on pensions, and the Rowantree Trust’s assessment that 300,000 over 65’s are about to enter poverty. In that context, our campaigning should highlight the risks of staying in the UK (for all age groups) and the fact that leaving would be exciting. We need to ensure that the Yes movement withstands the centuries-old British technique of “divide-and-rule”. Statistics and evidence are needed on pensions, currency, healthcare etc – but we also need to promote success stories in Scotland. Recognise that there is huge diversity in education, experience, prosperity and gender of pensioners, which colours their political thinking. And remember that Pensioners know and care about the problems of the 16-35 year-olds. We need to teach the kids, who will then teach their parents and grandparents what we want independence for – an end to Trident, fairer social policies, an end to neoliberalism etc.

6. Ross Grahame of Young Scots for Independence then gave his views on how to campaign for independence, combining the energy of young people with guidance from older people. A good example is that the young would be keen to knock on doors, but need advice on what are the best doors to knock. He was politically motivated after talking to a Big Issue seller, who answered a question about what he would like for his kids for Christmas by replying “shoes” – this shouldn’t happen in the 21st century in the 15th richest country in the world. Of course, the young are optimistic and idealistic, but the message needs to be clearer about how independence will change lives. The young are more interested in action than in meetings – we need to stop re-organising and start campaigning – action is the way to attract young people. The 2 major changes since 2014 are Brexit and Corbyn. Brexit is driving young people to Yes, which is the biggest force in politics in a long, long time. Corbyn is not as influential as Londoners think – like Sanders, he is seen as old, prosperous and white.

7. There then ensued a lively question and answer session. How do we attract a younger crowd? Could we offer to help them with issues that concern them (e.g. advice on benefit sanctions)? What transformative policies could we propose (e.g. eradicate homelessness). Why do so many young people have to move out of Scotland to find good jobs? Can young people get involved to drive the Yes social media? How do we persuade pensioners of the case for independence? (the critical thing being pension age rather than amount, as it creeps towards 72 and beyond – the strategy being to minimise pensions payouts). In talking to voters, we need to focus on micro campaigns – what are the issues for you? Can we help address them now? How will independence help address those issues? How do we get the young to vote as reliably as the old?

  1. AOCB: Anne finished with some announcements:

8.1 Gerry asked that we support the Catalan prisoners by sending Christmas cards

8.2 Peter Lynch’s new book is available for sale (£14.99, part of which will go to our Yes funds)

8.3 Future events:

16 Dec (Dunblane) Local group conference to discuss the SIC conference

7 Jan (Banshee Labyrinth) Film night – Atlantic

3 Feb (Waterside social club) YES Edinburgh and Lothians meeting

5 Feb (Newliston Arms) Audrey Birt – how to speak about independence in the future

You’ll find us on Yes Edinburgh West website, Facebook , National Yes Registry and Twitter. Have a look at our Eflets, book previews and film previews. There is also a library of useful information on our SNP branch Forum on Yes liaison.

Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes Mon 6 Nov 2017

1. Ian Grant opened the meeting by welcoming everybody, and introduced our speakers, Michelle Thomson and Roger Mullin on the subject of Brexit: what might it mean for business in Scotland?

2. A Livestream is available for people who couldn’t make the meeting.

3. Apologies: Rene Hamilton

4. There were 22 attendees. Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.

5. Michelle and Roger jointly presented their views on a lack of analysis into the impact of Brexit on business in Scotland, as a result of which they have joined forces to launch their own consultancy, Momentous Change. They have researched business attitudes and needs across a wide range of businesses, and a report of their findings has just been published. While SMEs are “waiting for an illusive certainty”, the largest businesses are best prepared and the smallest are the least prepared. They noted the lack of UK Government planning on Brexit (certainly nothing comparable to the 700 page “Scotland’s Future”) – when they asked for the 17 UK Government papers published to date on Brexit, they were surprised to find it amounted to an inch high, and was “remarkably superficial”. If you take the single issue of leaving the Customs Union, and businesses having to operate on WTO rules, it is estimated by HMRC that they would need 5,000 extra staff (50 million pieces of EU documentation would spiral to 155 million). Dover currently processes 10,000 lorries a day at an average of 2 per minute – if this were to double, there would be 17 mile tailbacks on the roads. There are 26 separate agencies involved in borders inspections – tax, immigration, health and safety etc. The level of planning to absorb this momentous change in this one area is clearly inadequate for the complexity that businesses will face, and businesses are facing a huge amount of uncertainty, and instability, as a result – what scenario are they supposed to plan for? The most important business asks of the UK Government are to establish transition arrangements specifically geared to assisting businesses, and to make explicit those matters that will be devolved. Their most important asks of the Scottish Government are to make explicit how it would seek to use any new devolved powers (difficult, since no clarity exists on this), and to increase direct engagement with the business community. The report indicates an urgent need for the Scottish Government to actively encourage joint efforts involving Scottish Enterprise, the relevant academic communities and business organisations in scaling up briefings on Brexit for the business community. These efforts should go beyond general briefings and involve practical workshops on surveying staff and skill needs, scenario planning and financial modelling. Based on the responses so far, it is estimated that 10% of businesses are in favour of Brexit, and 90% against.

6. There then ensued a lively question and answer session.

  1. AOCB: Ian finished with some announcements:

7.1 Launch of the NYR Indy App for your Android or iOS phone.

7.2 A report on the SIC Conference (6 of the group attended)

7.3 Anti-nuclear weapons group Ican winning the Nobel Peace Prize

7.4 Peter Lynch’s new book

7.5 And a note of future events:

Mon 4 Dec (Newliston Arms 7.30pm): Stewart McDonald MP on “Defence in an Independent Scotland

25 Nov (Broughton High School) Pensioners for Independence Edinburgh conference

16 Dec (Dunblane) Local group conference to discuss the SIC conference

7 Jan (Banshee Labyrinth) Film night – Atlantic

3 Feb (Waterside social club) YES Edinburgh and Lothians meeting

5 Feb (Newliston Arms) Audrey Birt – how to speak about independence in the future

You’ll find us on Yes Edinburgh West website, Facebook , National Yes Registry and Twitter. Have a look at our Eflets, book previews and film previews. There is also a library of useful information on our SNP branch Forum on Yes liaison