Peaceful independence

There is a common assumption that independence fromthe UK is difficult to achieve, and armed revolt is often necessary. In fact, this is a myth – since 1948, 48 countries have been granted Independence by the UK – all except 2 (Kenya and Yemen) peacefully. Since 1776, 89% of countries gained their independence peacefully.

Tue 4 June 19:30: Public finances in an independent Scotland

A reminder that Craig Dalzell, head of Head of Policy and Research at Common Weal, will speak on “Public Finances in an independent Scotland”, and answer your questions.

In the function room of the Clermiston Inn EH4 7EG.

All welcome!

Indy cruise 27th July to Campbeltown AUOB rally (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

Unfortunately this option has been cancelled

Sadly boiler problems have forced the Waverley out of service for emergency repairs, which make the paddle steamer unavailable for at least 3 months.

Continue reading “Indy cruise 27th July to Campbeltown AUOB rally (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)”

Public Finances in an independent Scotland

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 from 19:30-21:30

Craig Dalzell, head of Head of Policy and Research at Common Weal, will speak on “Public Finances in an independent Scotland”, and answer your questions. All welcome! In the function room of the Clermiston Inn, EH4 7EG. If you want to do your homework on some of Craig’s articles, you’ll find them at

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.

4 June 2018 meeting, Shandon Snooker & Pool

  1. Anne Donohoe was in the chair. The speaker on “Living Rent” was unable to attend.
  2. We discussed the information available on Mailchimp – compile an analysis and contact responders with a view to preparing lists of the various activities that they have indicated they can help with.                     BG

Thanks to Gerry, we are now GDPR-compliant

A large proportion did not re-subscribe – try a follow-up                             GM

  1. We discussed the venue and format of the monthly meetings
  • Check the possibility of a return to the Clermiston Inn                                   BG
  • It was agreed that we should have a summer break, and restart meetings in September
  1. We discussed possible topics for future meetings
  • A film evening and discussion – Lesley Riddoch’s new film on the Faroes (ask David Henry to advise on how to get a film to the general public)  MK
  • Stuart McHardy on History
  • A social night (Peter Curran is considering another jazz night)
  1. AOCB:

5.1 Peter Curran has had some success with a letter-writing campaign (to local/national newspapers)

5.2 Ann Rayner has attended several “Scotland the Brand” market events, and could use some more volunteers

5.3 Contributions were requested to cover the venue hire of £30.

5.4 Full version of NYR IndyApp has been launched                                    BG

5.5 SNP street stalls at Drum Brae and Corstorphine had a positive reception – we should consider taking a table next year

5.6 There is a rising wave of activism, particularly with the Glasgow and Dumfries rallies, which a number of us attended. Bannockburn, Dundee, Inverness and Edinburgh are being planned.

We should obtain a Yes Edinburgh West banner                                          GM

5.7 Yes Edinburgh and Lothian have a meeting on June 11 to discuss how to publicise campaigning events

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 Scottish Politics.

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

Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes, Shandon Snooker, 2 April 2018

Yes Edinburgh West meeting minutes, Shandon Snooker, 2 April 2018

1. The format of the meeting was a structured workshop led by Peter Curran, to discuss the issues raised by last Friday’s “Hands off our Parliament” rally.

2. Apologies: Ian Grant, Paul Haldane

3. There were 12 attendees, with no Livestream as it is impossible to cover separate workshop groups. Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.

4. Peter set the scene for the discussion by covering the UK Withdrawal Bill, the Scottish Continuity Bill, the Sewell Convention in the Scotland Act (which was supposed to protect the Scottish Parliament from interference from Westminster in devolved areas, but which has been proven to be an empty promise). As a result of Brexit, there are 24 powers which are not reserved to Westminster, but which it wants to deal with at UK level. It has now accepted that there is a “presumption” that these powers will be devolved.

5. The question was posed: “do you support devolution as a path to independence, are you happy with devolution as is, or are you undecided”? All joined the first group (split into 3 groups), one opted for the third. The groups were asked to discuss if they understood Withdrawal, Continuity and Sewell.

6. The next question tackled was “what could go wrong”? The groups were moved around for this discussion. Clearly, looking at the 24 powers, there are things such as fishing and food protection that Westminster could formulate a UK position on that would be damaging to Scotland (for example, they could concede fishing rights in order to obtain a better deal for the City of London, or they could cause substantial damage to Scotland the Brand). Alternatively, the Scottish government could accept an offer of a partial return of powers – this was met with vehement opposition, as it was felt that this is an issue which goes to the root of the question of Scottish sovereignty – are we always to submit to Westminster preferences? Thirdly, the UK could decide to reverse direct and cancel Brexit.

7. The last question was “should we do a range of things to protect the Scottish Parliament”? Again, with different group members. The following action points arose:

  • A letter-writing campaign (to local/national newspapers)
  • Isolate HooP as an issue from Independence, Brexit and any other factors
  • Apply pressure on politicians by email
  • Support HooP petitions and demonstrations
  • Set up a Communications Group (and try to enlist the support of respected journalists)
  • Have more doorstep, social and workplace conversations
  • Street stalls – but indirectly, such as for Scotland the Brand, with openings for HooP discussion
  • Social media – continue with efforts to provide information, but try to get out of the Yes bubble. Use the NYR IndyApp as much as possible (launch is soon).
  • Support efforts to re-establish awareness of Scottish Sovereignty – a new Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Covenant
  • Use drama, art and music to reach out to people.

8. AOCB:

8.1 Ann Rayner has attended 2 “Scotland the Brand” market events, and could use some more volunteers

8.2 We are planning a voter survey and a leaflet drop in local areas in April

8.3 Contributions were requested to cover the venue hire of £30.

8.4 It was agreed that we should continue with this venue for at least 2 more months

8.5 Check if the Clermiston Inn is still unavailable on Monday nights (BG)

8.5 Next meeting will be 7th May (another Bank holiday). This will be a workshop on Media.

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 and our Library of topics on Scottish Politics, including Independence.