Swing/Jazz night. The Colin Steele Quintet, featuring vocalist Ali Affleck

9 Nov at 19.30. World renowned Colin Steele quintet, featuring award winning swing vocalist Ali Affleck and Peter Curran on sax, will be performing music from the great American Songbook in aid of ICUSteps Edinburgh at the newly refurbished function suite of the Clermiston Inn EH4 6HH. Everyone welcome! £15 including buffet – tickets from Eventbrite. Why not join us for what promises to be a very special evening, with all profits going to a very good cause!


Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes, Clermiston Inn 1 Oct 2018

1. Ian Grant was in the chair.

2. The speaker was Philippa Whitford MP, on “Brexit and the NHS”. There is a Livestream for people who couldn’t make it on the night. Scotland has had 2 recent referendums – we were told to vote No to stay in the EU and keep the NHS in 2014, and we voted to Remain in the EU in 2016. Circumstances have now changed dramatically – we are heading out of the EU against our will, and the Tories are pressing ahead with their privatisation of NHS England. People are bored with talking about Brexit, and hope it won’t apply to them – but it will. The media talk as though Brexit is only about trade, but it’s about a whole lot more:

  • Workforce – there are 40,000 nurse vacancies in England. There is a 90% drop in EU nurse applications. 14% of doctors are from the EU, and could leave. The situation in social care is even more dramatic. The NHS runs on people.
  • Reciprocal healthcare – what you get with your EHIC card, will be lost. Retired in Europe, without ever having paid taxes in that country, yet you expect virtually free healthcare after Brexit?
  • European Medicines Agency – at the moment, we get US drugs released in Europe almost as quickly as in the USA – there will now be delays before we get them. Pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies are expected to stockpile drugs – at no cost to the consumer? Quality control of drugs must be carried out in Europe, so jobs and investment will be lost. Quitting Euratom may lose us access to radioactive isotopes used in cancer scans and treatments.
  • Research – the EU is the biggest research unit in the world, and depends on EU funding, collaboration and freedom of movement. The EU has made more progress in child-related research than any other union – partly because, with a 500 million population, you get better research results.
  • Public Health – the EU has been a driver in improving water quality, air pollution, beaches, acid rain etc.
  • Erasmus – students will no longer be able to study easily in Europe
  • Travel – will be more difficult, and more costly
  • Level playing field – has been an EU goal. That’s not the case in the UK.

Brexit is being used by the UK to drive through a power grab from devolution. Why does that matter?

  • Food labelling – the USA is totally against this, and we will need a trade deal from them. The UK will negotiate on behalf of England – so Scotch whisky can be made in the USA.
  • Food regulation – it’s virtually certain that EU protection against chlorinated chicken etc will be lost.
  • Agriculture – at present, 17% of farm subsidies go to England, 80% go to Scotland. Unlikely to continue.
  • Fracking – is likely to be forced through, as it has in England.
  • GM foods – are likely to be forced through.
  • NHS procurement – will give the UK leverage to privatise more of NHS Scotland.

Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act in England mandates that all contracts must be put out to tender. This makes the NHS competitive rather than collaborative – but collaboration is the secret behind the success of NHS Scotland in improving healthcare, in areas such as cancer treatment. Allowing a situation where Virgin can drain £2 million out of the NHS by taking them to court will not lead to improved healthcare.

1 in 5 people in Scotland (and 1 in 4 children) are living in poverty (it’s worse in England). Poverty is the biggest driver in health and mental health, and Westminster is not going to improve things – it’s deliberate.

We’re approaching a fork in the road with Brexit – we have to campaign NOW. Last time there was the choice of a status quo – this timethere isn’t.

3. Future meetings

  • Oct 6 All Under One Banner march in Edinburgh – please attend if you can. They also need stewards (contact Manny Singh on 07939211814).
  • Nov 5 A film evening and discussion – Lesley Riddoch’s NATION films on Norway, Iceland Faroes
  • Dec 3 Iain Wright on “Energy in an Independent Scotland”
  1. AOCB:

4.1 Condolences to Bob and Adrienne Murray on the loss of their daughter Caroline.

4.2 Ian Grant is working with SIF (Scottish Independence Foundation) – monthly donations always welcome.

4.3 We are working with Yes2 Edinburgh and Lothians on a leaflet promoting Edinburgh as capital of an Independent Scotland.

4.4 We are working with the Scottish Independence Movement on a “Clean Currency” leaflet.

4.5 We have “NHS for Yes” leaflets.

4.6 We have “Scotland the Brand” leaflets.

You’ll find us on Yes Edinburgh West website, Facebook , National Yes Registry and Twitter. Have a look at our Eflets, book previews, film previews and our Library of topics on Scottish Politics, including Independence.

What is the Living Rent Campaign? Our June 2018 meeting

We’re back at the Shandon Snooker Centre (99 Slateford Road, EH11 1QY) for our June public meeting at 7.30pm on Mon 4 June 2018 with a speaker from the Living Rent campaign in Edinburgh. Maddie from Living Rent will speak on the campaign’s activity in Edinburgh followed by a Q&A discussion.

RSVP on Facebook.

7 May meeting – Media platforms workshop






As we campaign for independence, Yes supporters are increasingly concerned about how we get our message across in the face of a largely hostile mainstream media.

For our meeting on 7th May, Yes Edinburgh West will be holding a workshop-style event to discuss ways to overcome this.

The subject will be “Media Platforms”, and the workshop will aim to explore what the various platforms are; how best to make use of them; and what actions participants would feel confident in taking themselves going forward.

As always, everyone who is interested is welcome to join us. Our meetings in May and June are at 7.30pm in the Shandon Snooker Centre


Feb 2018 meeting livestream – Audrey Birt

This was a very valuable meeting for us and Audrey’s advice is essential for all activists for Scottish Independence. Ultimately support for independence is increased and imaginings of a new nation are created, one conversation at a time. “People follow people”, Audrey said and ultimately it will be one-to-one conversations, which will shift the balance towards independence. Changing one’s point of view on an issue is a process which can sometimes ebb and flow, so listening to the fears and concerns of others in conversations related to independence is an important first step to establishing a relationship, where any cycle of change has room to proceed at everyone’s individual pace.

Watch what Audrey had to say in full in these livestream videos.

5 March meeting – How we can win our Independence

7.30pm, Monday 5 March 2018

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.

RSVP on Facebook

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.


7 Jan Film night – Atlantic

Narrated by Emmy-award winning actor Brendan Gleeson, Atlantic follows the struggles of three fishing communities in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland, as they battle with the oil explorers and international fishing companies for control of the resources in their waters. Venue The Banshee Labyrinth.


Lessons the Yes Campaign must learn to win Indyref2 with Dr Iain Black

Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes, Clermiston Inn, 7.30pm Mon 6 February 2017

  1. Ian Grant opened the meeting by welcoming everybody.
  2. Gerry Mulvenna posted a Livestream broadcast for the benefit of people who couldn’t make the meeting.
  3. There were 27 attendees. Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.
  4. Ian introduced Dr Iain Black, Associate Professor in Marketing at Heriot-Watt University, who spoke on the Lessons the Yes movement must learn for Indyref2 from a Marketing perspective – which is all about persuasion. He noted that over-zealousness doesn’t persuade – you have to allow people to make their own decisions. Continue reading “Lessons the Yes Campaign must learn to win Indyref2 with Dr Iain Black”