Keeping granny on the bus

Over the weekend Theresa May hinted that she’s going to go full out for a hard Brexit, and prioritises controlling immigration over retaining British membership of the single market. This is despite the fact that prominent Leave campaigners during the EU referendum insisted that leaving the EU didn’t mean leaving the single market. We’re facing the worst case scenario, the hardest possible Brexit, which is likely to wreak havoc on the economy and do appalling damage to job opportunities and living standards.

Then the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that a Britain outside the single market could find a new future as a tax haven, and abandon the current European style social model. That could have a catastrophic effect on social benefits, pensions, social security provision and the NHS. All the more so because the Dutch recently made clear that they’ll veto any trade deals with the UK if Britain seeks to make itself into even more of a tax haven than it already is. The future of the UK is looking bleaker and bleaker, our worst fears are becoming realised. This is not a country in which it’s safe to be poor, to be sick, or to grow old. If we want to maintain our commitment to a decent standard of living for all our citizens, the only possiblity is through independence.

If we want to win the next indyref, we need to do something about the substantial majority for No which currently exists amongst those of pensionable age. That means we need to speak to our grandparents and parents and try to find out what’s preventing them from voting Yes, and give them the answers that can put any fears they may have to rest. And while we’re doing that, we also need to speak to them about the very real threats that the Tories are making to dismantle the welfare state. There is a very real prospect that those of us of working age will have to work much longer than our parents or grandparents in return for a much lower state pension. That’s if there is such a thing as a state pension by the time those in their teens or twenties get to pensionable age.

It’s a fact that the longer Scotland remains a part of this dysfunctional UK, the more precarious the future becomes for those of us of working age or younger. We need to do all we can to reassure Scottish pensioners that their existing pensions are safe and secure and will continue to be paid after Scottish independence, but the truth is that if you vote against independence in the mistaken belief that it’s the only way to ensure your pension will continue to be paid, you are putting at risk the chances that your children and grandchildren will enjoy the same pension rights that you do. Another decade of Tory rule will see to that.

Before going any further, I need to make it clear that I don’t believe all pensioners are rampant unionists. I know that’s not the case. There are many thousands of older people who not only voted Yes, but who actively support and campaign for Scottish independence. But that said, it is a statistical fact that people of pensionable age are more likely to oppose independence, and that’s a problem that the Yes campaign needs to tackle. I believe that tackling it requires a two pronged approach, firstly to reassure older people that their pensions, the NHS, social care services and the like will be safer with independence than entrusting them to an increasingly right wing Tory government that’s hell bent on isolating us from Europe. And secondly we need to speak to people about the disadvantages, risks and downsides to Scottish public services, pensions, and social security provision by remaining a part of the UK.

I tweeted “We need to start talking to our parents & grandparents about how their fears for their pensions mean they’re depriving us of ours.” It must be a full moon, because Unionist Twitter went batshit mental. Although to be honest batshit mental is its baseline state. You’d think that I’d actually tweeted, “We need to tell our grannies that if they don’t vote Yes we’ll throw them from a bus.” And in fact that’s exactly the gloss that Labour stalwart Duncan Hothersall put on my tweet. Because talking to your granny about your own fears for the future is of course exactly the same as elbowing her off a number 60 bus and onto a busy road.

Others told me that what I’d tweeted was the most vile and disgusting thing they’d ever heard. And these are people who cheerfully retweet Brian Spanner. How dare I threaten pensioners in such a manner. It was far more of a vile and disgusting threat than when Better Together phoned up pensioners before the independence referendum to tell them that if they voted Yes their pensions would no longer be paid. Others insisted that it was greedy and selfish. Hoping that we can maintain a system that ensures that younger people continue to have the same rights to a state pension as their grandparents is clearly an act of utter selfishness on the part of independence supporters.

Having spent the day blocking and muting screaming people who insist that they are viscerally opposed to nationalism while having flegs in their avatars, it’s clear that any proposal from an independence supporter to pitch an appeal directly to older people in order to persuade them of the merits of independence hits a very sensitive nerve in the Unionist camp.

The projection is strong in them. They won their No vote in no small measure by terrifying the elderly, so they are convinced that any initiative from the Yes movement is likewise going to be similarly fear inspiring, negative, and bilious. The anger, odium, and sheer hatred emanating from the die-hardists in response to the idea was overwhelming. So clearly, it’s the right strategy. The Unionists are utterly terrified that older people might change their minds once they learn the truth about Unionist threats.

We don’t need to persuade everyone of pensionable age who currently doesn’t support independence. We only need to persuade 10% of them. And the very best people to address the concerns of older people are their younger family members. Sure, some are a lost cause and always will be, but if we can persuade just a minority to see why they should support independence, then we will win. So we need reassure our older family members that their own pensions and NHS services will be safe, but also let them know that they need to support independence in order to give the same assurances to their children and grandchildren.

No one wants to shove yer granny aff the bus. We want to keep her on the bus. But if Scotland votes No a second time, then the bus and all of us on it will head straight over a red white and blue Brexit cliff.

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87 comments on “Keeping granny on the bus

  1. grannymaggie says:

    As a granny Yesser, my work (still unfinished) is to convince my kids and grandkids that independence is the way to go! But I agree that pensioners should be our key target. I have been saying this for sometime, but to date I have found it very difficult to get Yes supporters to listen. Hopefully this will change.

    • Margo Sharp says:

      Agree, we are also yessers. In my experience the main stumbling block is the Orange order followed by Masonic. They are the ramosnt, braindead unionists.

      • grannymaggie says:

        They certainly are, but that doesn’t of itself account for the numbers. There are hearts and minds to be won here.

  2. Brian Powell says:

    Or say, ‘fuck em’, and hope May does a good deal with Canada, New Zealand and Australia, then we can move there.
    The old folk can stay here with the OO, SDL, NF, the Tories, Alex Massie et al.

  3. Anne says:

    It is frightening for the elderly to imagine how they would survive without the safety net of their pension.They mostly cannot run out and get a job and who’d hire them if they did.I had everything planned I thought to retire at 60, but then the rules changed and I had to wait almost three more years.In 2014 my father did not vote for the first time in years as he knew he didn’t have long to live and he said it was for the young to decide as they would have to live with the consequences.Most grannies want the best for their families but you can’t blame them for being worried.

  4. grannymaggie says:

    The problem is not just pensions – it’s far more to do with the culture and era we grew up. I was not taught Scottish history at school – it was policy not too. Many of my classmates were sent for elocution lessons to lose theories Scottish accents. We stood before the flag (Union Jack) and sang the National Anthem. We were taught to respect and not question those in authority; that the British Empire was benign and ‘civilising’. And so on. You have to understand this and face to face, gently discussion. Many are also still reliant on BBC and MSM, and do not trust or feel confident with the internet.

    • Still Positive. says:

      I’m a 66-year-old granny and I was taught pretty much the same as you but I have supported an independent Scotland since I was 17. Many of my friends and acquaintances my age or older voted Yes. I agree that we need to get more on board – maybe offering to make pensions better for all is one way to do it.

    • Deely says:

      And unfortunately some biddies just don’t like change…
      I’m in my fifties and remember the horror of the anthem, even at the pictures…hellish. No Scottish history, geography or cultural input. English only classes too. Hellish.

      • I remember they used to play ‘God Save The Queen’ at the start of films in cinemas in the 60s. My Mum (I was a very young child then) would remain seated and made my sister & I sit as well, “Don’t you dare stand” she’d tell us furiously!

        My mum did not give a toss for convention having been tempered to steel when she lost her husband at sea, no body ever recovered. ‘There’s only one thing worse than a funeral’, she’d say, ‘and that’s no funeral’.

        As a child, I was embarrassed because everyone else seemed to be standing (jings, some even sang) except us.

        ‘You’re not standing for a song about crushing Scots and a bloody family who would not give you a light if their house was on fire!’

        As I grew up and dreamed of Scottish Independence, I actually grew to enjoy sitting through the furious glares & loud tuts, even when Mum was absent. It felt sweetly seditious.

        But times changed. The cinemas started playing the anthem at the end of the film, when everyone rushed out to catch the last bus home, leaving just a few old traditionalists, glaring around, reminiscent of Alf Garnett.

        Of course, this was West Coast Scotland, where schools were segregated (they still are) and strangers were invariably asked ‘Which school did you go to?’ (code for ‘are you proddy or catholic’).

        Wee Maw’s favourite Burns quote (on the royal family), ‘An idiot race to honour lost. Who know them best, despise them most’.

        At 83 wee Maw’s looking forward to voting YES again in Indyref2. Waur meddle wi’ her!

        • Wee Maw – I salute you and I’ll salute you again on Independence day 😘

        • Alan Hendry says:

          I really enjoyed your story bibbit. I can see your mother there in front of me, just her defiance standing out against the critisisms of her so called fellow scots. I don’t blame them, because at some point in our upbringing everyone of us scots have had to endure this indoctrination. My own father, who ran away from home to join the british army at the age of fourteen, said to me that he was “taken in” by the promises of the recruiting sergeants. He said army life for him was great at the start, he travelled to far off lands, lived the life in his majesties colonial army in India, Burma, Hong Kong etc., only to return and to parade in front of the king himself. He was in the Gordon Highlanders, and they were turned out in full regimental dress at the height of summer. It was from that day he lost total respect for the royal family, and in some ways for the military too. They were on parade for four hours before the king appeard (3 1/2 hours late) and it was noticible he said, that his maj. Was pissed as a fart. It was from that day forward that my Dad, my Hero, became a republican. I will finish by saying that he was also a part of the “British” expeditionary force sent to Europe after the outbreak of WW 2. He was also among his fellow Scots (51st Highland Division) when they were sacrificed by churchill to fight the rearguard action at St. Valerie, to allow mostly the english regiments to evaquate from Dunkirk. He was wounded severely, survived, spent the rest of the war as a P.O.W., came home, could never work again, brought us up on a pitance of a war pension, never gave in, never surrendered. He was all for a Scottish Republic, and for Scottish independence. I’m certain that not all the elderly are too scared to vote for self determination. Greatest respect for you Mother Bibbi. Take care of yourself.

          • Bamstick says:

            I agree with bibbit and you Alan.
            My uncle was with the 51st Highland Divison and was captured at St Valerie. He was marched across to Poland and unfortunatley died in a POW camp. All he wanted was to come home to his family. He fought for his family first and Scotland second.

  5. Jennnifer Farquharson says:

    Well Paul, I’ll let my daughter know she’s got to give me and Jim a good talking to. But you’re right of course, many thousands of us crumblies are actively working towards independence, even if it’s just talking to neighbours and doubting friends. There must be a type of “wee blue book” which sets out the reality of what will happen if we stay with WM and the likely outcome if we become independent. It should be published under the Independence banner but by any political party if they want to take up the challenge.

  6. […] Wee Ginger Dug Keeping granny on the bus […]

  7. Mirl says:

    I’m a Yes voter in the OAP age group. My husband, also OAP, couldn’t bring himself to vote yes. I could sort of understand that, he’s English, even though he’s lived in Scotland for over 40 years. He spoiled his ballot paper for the first time ever. But on the morning after Brexit vote as we watched the TV aghast at what the English had done, he turned and said – “OK, enough’s enough. Next time I’m voting Yes.” So that’s one more OAP Yes vote!

    So it really only needs 10% to change to Yes? How many people is that?

  8. FM says:

    My parents in law utterly regret their no vote. No lie. I tried and all that I heard was pension. Fair enough. We have to spell it out.

  9. Andimac says:

    OK – I’m “a pensioner” and believe that it is imperative that Scotland become independent. However, much as grannymaggie has already posted, I’m convinced that the reluctance of many in my age group to opt for independence goes way beyond fear for their pensions. People are resistant to change: we tend to cling to the familiar, what we’re used to. It’s why, even when a ship is foundering, some are reluctant to get into the lifeboats. In Scotland, our entire culture since the 1700s has been skewed towards the “benefits” of union. Our languages, customs, arts have been portrayed as provincial. I can only too clearly remember when young being told how important it was to “talk proper” – i.e. in an English (or Edinburgh?) fashion – so that people wouldn’t think you were “common”. You would “get on” in life that way. No-one should underestimate the strength and pervasiveness of the Unionist hegemony and, remember – the advent, or resurgence, of Scottish nationalism is a relatively recent political dimension, certainly for many “older” people. Certainly it is crucial to get older people who are apprehensive about independence (or even about their pensions) to see the potential benefits of independence and, maybe more so, the dire social and economic consequences of remaining shackled to the U.K. It is, in my opinion, just as, perhaps more, important to try to mobilise the votes of the many among the poor and disadvantaged who either through apathy or the belief that they can’t change anything never exercise their franchise. That will not be easy.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I think indy supporters like you and grannymaggie ought to start a group for Pensioners For Yes. You’re ideally placed to address the fears and concerns of older people who are reluctant to vote for independence.

      • Pauline Gage says:

        Absobludylutely right !!!

      • grannymaggie says:

        There is a Pensioners for Independence group which I have joined. I’d be keen to work with others to forward this. I think it’s going to be word-of-mouth in the main, and trying to get access to meetings etc.

      • Paul, you are absolutely right. I know Andimac well. He’d be ideal.
        Sorry for putting you in it, Andy, but you know it makes sense.
        If I still had knees I’d be up for it.
        Jennifer Farquharson’s description ‘crumblies’ describes me and many saggy ‘separatists’ to a T.
        I can lick stamps and address envelopes though but mind.
        Why do all the LisTory MSP’s sound as though they attended the Malcolm Rifkind School of Elocution and How To Get On By Sounding Posh.

      • Al says:

        Hello. Pensioners for Independence is getting going again (there was a group last time but we didn’t seem to hear much from them). Early days at the moment but there’s an initial meeting in Edinburgh this week to get things started. There’s about 50 members so far.

        • Margaret R. Lindsay says:

          I’m hearing about Seniors for Yes, Pensioners for Yes and other groups. How do we join all this up to make a vibrant, forceful group? I’m desperate to join but not sure which one, where they are based or whatever.

      • Toni Young says:

        Scottish Pensioners for independence are on Facebook. . They are trying to get going again, having retreated after September 2014.

      • Sheryl Hepworth says:

        Paul there is already a group ‘Pensioner’s for Yes’. It’s on FB!!

      • There’s already a Seniors for Yes group, mainly on Facebook. However, I must take issue with your statement that ‘the very best people to address the concerns of older people are their younger family members’. How about elderly Yes supporters taking on that role, since you acknowledge our existence? I found the implication that we old dodderers should sit at the feet of our youngers and betters most degrading. I’m not one of those old people who consider themselves to have authority over the young, but why should it work the other way round?

        • weegingerdug says:

          It’s not about “authority”. It’s because younger family members already have a relationship of love and trust with their elder relatives. That means that they’re more likely to get a hearing.

  10. Patience is a Virtue says:

    At the Scottish Indepenence Convention [Build, Policy Strategy, Movement] and if you weren’t there yesterday, I am sure you read all about it today in the media or simply caught up on it Sunday Politics Scotland !

    joklng apart…. certainly there were some interesting statistics presented, not least that the No side turned out 96% of their voters, (especially amongst the eldlerly) in 2014 i.e. the No side were very organised and had ensured as many as possible were a) registered to vote and clearly b) had transport / arrangements in place to ensure as high a turnout as possible.

    But ultimately those large numbers of elderly people, were at the time of voting unpersuaded of the merits of independence and (a good proportion at least) are unlikely even to have read e.g. a proposed White Paper or any other communication advocating independence that was sent e,g, by email (and that applies to Yes voters as well) – perhaps next time round hard copy format / short format, same for Wee Blue Book – and the benefits of independence can at least directed to those who voted No last time, and the case for independence be better presented and explained Including especially security of pensions).

    The same level of organisation (i.e. 96% turnout) is required at every level in the Yes camp for any future campaign.

    Whilst 16 and 17 years had turned out in condiserable numbers (the greater proportion of which had voted Yes)-there was only around 50% ! turnout of 18 year olds+ to around 30-ish ; so it is not just the elderly who need to be reminded to a) register and b) to at least become more engaged and understand that what is happening now will certainly affect them in the short medium and long term…. perhaps part of the problem is that even in this (early) age group there is a feeling of …how does that affect me?/what can I do about it ? or perhaps a resignation still that their future may not necessarily to be within Scotland, as many continue to migrate south /elsewhwere, where there have historically been more opportunites for work.
    Though opportunities to work ‘elsewhere / easily within the EU’ may soon no longer be an option! Independence is coming also as a career choice very soon.


    There had (interestingly been a 3% swing from even Conservatives in favour of independence in recent polls with also significant swings from Liberal and Labour,

    Ultimately Independence is about who decides, who decides = You not someone else,

    and if you are happy with the status quo, then that is that, but if for any reason if you think or have been told (perhaps in the media?) a Country such as Scotland is perhaps too wee, too poor or incapable of running its own affairs.

    Scotland has the following [pinched from a posting on WoS]

    Scotland has only 8.3% of the UK’s population.

    But does have …

    32% of the land area.
    61% of the sea area.
    90% of the fresh water.
    65% of the natural gas production.
    96.5% of the crude oil production.
    47% of the open cast coal production.
    81% of the untapped coal reserves.
    62% of the timber production.
    46% of the total forest area.
    92% of the hydro electric production.
    40% of the wind wave and solar energy production.
    60% of the fish landings.
    30% of the beef herd.
    20% of the sheep herd.
    9% of the dairy herd.
    10% of the pig herd.
    15% if the cereal holdings.
    20% of the potato holdings.
    …obviously 100% of the Scotch Whisky industry. 70% of all Gin.


    17 billion pound construction industry.
    13 billion pound food and drink industry.
    10 billion pound business services industry.
    9.3 billion pound chemical services industry.
    A 9.3 billion pound tourism industry.
    7 billion pound financial services industry.
    5 billion pound aeroservice industry.
    4.5 billion pound whisky exports industry.
    3.1 billion pound life sciences industry.
    Scotland still has 350 million pounds worth of textile exports.
    25% of Europe’s wave and wind energy potential….

    and 1.5 Trillion pounds worth of oil and gas reserves,

    • Robert Graham says:

      We also have a BBC to add to your list they hell bent on burying the information you present so clearly if i say , leaving School do not mean a total end to your education it should give you the tools to enable you to inform yourself about the world around , also learning new things keeps the brain active i wish more pensioners would waken up from their slumber some have but the ones who you see with their copy of the record – express- mail are beyond redemption you cant fix them .

      • RabMacPhoto says:

        I’m not so sure Robert; my mum still buys the Record, but now only for the puzzles, after I spent a little time going through some of the “SNP Bad” articles & showed her how they deliberately distort the facts to suit their Unionist agenda.

        I also “gave her the talk” about how voting Yes wasn’t for her, or even my, sake, but for the 2 and counting generations of grandweans & great grandweans in the family.

        Now, from a didn’t vote in IndyRef 1, she’s determined to make it to the polling station next time round.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      And that’s why the southerners need Scotland a few south of the border have just started seeing this of late but it’s to late in my opinion they did the damage long ago badmouthing scotland at every turn then playing the victim card when they get it in kind because of there anti Scottish remarks like basket case subsidy junkie to Scotland is a forigen country oh yes they said that south of the border many of times that’s just the minor badmouthing of Scotland

  11. Here’s Gordon Brown lying to pensioners Feb 2014 in that well known Socialist Trumpeter, The Telegraph:

    “Launching a campaign to “keep our British pensions”, Mr Brown said: “They (the separatists) haven’t answered the basic problem – you have paid into your pension, into the UK Exchequer all your lives, you’ve paid your national insurance, you’ve paid your taxes so that you have a right to a pension.
    “You are expecting, quite rightly, that you will get a British pension – but if there is independence, the British pension stops, the national insurance fund that you’re paying into is broken up.
    “There will be a separate Scottish national insurance fund, and the rest of the UK will have the lion’s share.”
    A big fat Project Fear lie.
    Subsequently DWP confirmed that existing pensioners, like me, would of course continue to receive our State Pension from rUK, and those in work would have a part pension from rUK based on NI contributions paid into the scheme prior to independence, just like Silver Swallows in Spain, or workers who have moved abroad, and have ‘banked’ so many year’s contributions in the UK system while working here.
    He lied, and from February until September ’14, he, Darling and the MSM and Broadcasters repeated this lie, unchallenged, and without a hint of remorse about the fear and anxiety they were inflicting upon our elderly, frail, and impoverished pensioners.

    £119.30 per week is the current rate of UK State Pension, the 6th worst in Europe.

    We must ensure that the YES Movement devises a Counter Propaganda Unit this time, although getting the positive case for Self Determination heard through the media will be more of a challenge now.
    Gordon Brewer’s Sunday Politics programme today was a sick joke. Brewer actually announced ‘system breakdown’ in the Scottish Health Service, where no system breakdown exists.

    Gordon Brown, this 69 year old ‘separatist’ will hunt you down if you sneak North during Indyref 2. I’ll gatecrash any ‘meeting’ your organise, and challenge you personally if you try to peddle the lies I quote above again.
    But of course you and Lord Darling might be too busy working for the Money Men, the Masters of the Universe next time.
    My pension is safe; the rUK are legally obliged to pay it until I pop my clogs, and deo volente, thereafter pay my Everlovin’ a Widow’s Pension based on my contributions until she joins me in the Elysian Fields.
    I call you oot, Gordon Brown. You are a liar.
    Warn us that we can’t keep the pound, why don’t you?
    As soon as the Brexshit hits the fan, pensioners will realise the suicidal mess the UK Red Blue and Yellow Tories have tried to foist on us, at the supermarket checkout.
    We need only bide our time.

    • Robert Graham says:

      yes a total downright barefaced lie that the media refused to debunk , and that f/kr had the cheek to appear at a food bank the character has no shame , we wont forget your lies Broon .

    • Robert Harrison says:

      My independence supporting mum doesn’t even get £119.30 a week pension and she’s 66 years old her pension is the same as jsa 72 a week she’s been short changed in her pension and tryed fighting it but the tory bastards at dwp in Wolverhampton say that’s what your getting we need full fiscal autonomy at least up here and only independence will garantee that as we seen westminster won’t give up power

  12. jacquescoleman says:

    You should also have said that canvassing should target those older people because many are not really aware of social media and they are not going to learn the facts of Independence unless it is explained to them in person.

    Did the YES campaign target canvassing at the old like Better Together did during 2014?

    • Morag says:

      The Yes campaign put out an issue of the Yes newspaper with happy pictures of older people explaining how the state pension in an independent Scotland was proposed to be a little higher than the present pension.

      In about January 2014. In newspaper format, a format which pretty much begs to be used as firelighters, cat litter tray liners and failing that be put in with the recycling at the end of the week. I travelled many miles delivering these newspapers but when the time came that the information was needed I don’t believe one in a hundred was still in the house it had been delivered to.

      The literature produced by Yes Scotland was abysmal and it got worse as the campaign went on. A lot of it was patronising happy-clappy stuff that was going to do precisely nothing to satisfy someone with genuine questions and genuine fears. The format was also counter-productive – multiple flimsy leaflets and newspapers in a format that invited disposal. Only when the WBB appeared was there something that was likely to be kept. (Also, something that talked to people as competent adults rather than something out of a Mills and Boon novel.)

      I don’t know whether MI5 really did try to get its own people inside Yes Scotland when it was set up but you know, they’d have been negligent if they didn’t try. I do know that either that happened and the spoiler effect of a lot of what was coming out of Hope Street was deliberate on someone’s part, or the appointments of the senior people in Yes Scotland were the most ill-advised choices it was possible to make.

      • jacquescoleman says:

        I hope the indyref2 people are aware of these criticisms. I agree with you the leaders of the YES campaign were pretty much useless being outdone on news to the media and lack of people ON TV. And I did not like its acquiescence to the NO claim of cybernet abuse. It should have contested that vigorously, which people on social media have done and are doing with great success.

  13. Peter says:

    You could stop the grey yoons from preventing independence quite easily. Ban postal votes from the next referendum.

    We all know that the result was a lie. That thousands of postal votes were filled in by english labour activists before being delivered to the counts. Having been given the once over by ruth davidson of course.

    If the government is going to allow postal votes then we’ve already lost.

    • Morag says:

      Evidence for that allegation would be good.

      Sure, there were some people on the register who didn’t actually live permanently at that address. Mummy and Daddy’s home, a holiday home, whatever. Some people were even advocating renting a flat in Scotland for a month or two and registering to vote. It’s very hard to know how much difference that actually made. I suspect not a huge amount, especially as some of these people would be Scottish expatriates doing it to vote Yes.

      But it was individual private enterprise. They would have filled in the forms and the ballots themselves. And although the postal vote made it easier, it’s still perfectly possible to do that and vote in person – you only have to make a day trip up.

      I know there have been cases in Yorkshire in particular where Labour activists were registering large numbers of imaginary people in derelict addresses and then somehow getting their hands on the voting papers. That has probably been stopped now by the changes to the voter registration system. But I know of no evidence whatsoever that this happened in Scotland in 2014.

      Flinging around wild, baseless allegations doesn’t help. All the statistical evidence points to the result being valid. And kidding yourself that Yes really won is counterproductive in that it deters people from working to convert more people to Yes, and leaves them in despair that it’s not worth it as the alleged fraud will just happen again.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        Oh so Ruth Davidson admitting to sampling the postal votes before being counted on TV is not proof get lost morag or the fact that a bag was found of yes votes dumped and they was blank on the back or video footage of a clackmannan counter putting yes votes in a no pile or how about sky news showing a no table with yes votes on them you can find all that on YouTube if you don’t believe me no proof the Westminster lot fixed it to make sure the vote was no English torys leave nothing to chance

        • John McTernan on Andrew Neil’s Referendum Special 4 days before the vpte casually remarked that the postal votes clearly showed No in the lead. He ‘predicted’ 54-46 No.
          It’s the prog with George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan on it. It’s on YouTube.
          Now how could McTernan make such an accurate prediction, and refer to postal votes illegally being counted without Neil or the others, Alex Bell and Lindsay McIntosh among them, not challenging this?
          We need people monitoring this next time.
          Was McTernan interviewed by Police Scotland?

  14. manandboy says:

    The solution to the elderly No vote, is not to convert them, but to take care of them! Increase the pension to the European average and double the winter fuel allowance.
    It remains inexcusable that these steps were not taken in IndyRef14.
    It’s almost as if the SG has a blindspot for pensioners.
    C’mon SNP – take more care of the elderly!

  15. annelawrie says:

    I’m a pensioner. I’ve voted SNP since the 60s. I find that older people are more likely to listen to people of my age than some youngster telling them how safe their pension is. When Gordon started lying to the pensioners, I wrote to DWP (even though I already knew the answer) and had the letter with me to show to others when canvassing. I also discovered that local labour councillors were, helpfully, attending to the postal vote for elderly local constituents. The pensions are a target, but the Scottish NHS should be compared to the disaster in England. This could be a very real concern for older people.

  16. Fermerfaefife says:

    If yes canvasses an area then knows where soft no pensioners are, they could then allocate these households for our ‘older’ canvassers to target and persuade subsequently in later canvasses.

    • Morag says:

      I made large-print copies of the WBB and that pensions letter and the Yes material about pensions and a friend who had a pass-key delivered the lot into every letterbox in our local sheltered houseing complex.

  17. The demographic of the older voters is the only really slim upside the unionist liars can easily manipulate.
    The fact of their holy terror at this being flagged up and targeted by the YES people signifies just how important conning OAP’s about their pension is to these callous bastards.
    This needs to be the MAIN target audience for Indyref2 and no mistake.
    Happy New Year Yessers.
    It’s coming fer aw that but we need to make it happen.

    • Janet says:

      Spot on! About time someone realised that it’s a folly to write-off older people.

      Treat them as thoughtful and intelligent.

      Some activists cause despair by referring to the Grim Reaper as the way to win. We must be persuasive!

  18. Macart says:

    This link is for Betterthegither types having a wee visit:

    There is no such thing as a safe pension under Conservative government. There is no such thing as safe and inalienable human rights under the proposed BBoR. I could go on in the shape and number of services and subsidies which will be ‘under review’ come 2020, or the constitutional changes which will be visited upon all of us through Brexit, but you get the point.

    To be blunt. If you vote to have your human rights removed, your taxes abused and put your future, your familiy’s future in the hands of a system which doesn’t give a shit whether you live or die, then you are a living example of a turkey voting for Christmas.

    Make NO MISTAKE, the economy of the UK, where it concerns the majority, is going to tank and the austerity we’ve suffered through since the 2008 crash will be as nothing compared to what comes next for the poor, the working class and even lower middle classes. Government will ensure that the economy is just peachy for anyone beyond those pay scales right enough. If you earn enough or are born with enough readies you’ll have rights too. Isn’t trickle down a wonderful system?

    As for betterthegithers wee helpers themselves? They have absolutely no right to EVER lecture any supporter of YES Scotland on fear and intimidation, not after their frankly evil campaign of 2014. The effects of that campaign strategy, the actions of BTs political class, HMG and their media will be felt for decades to come in our society. It was the politics of the sewer and they know it. It is still practised to this very day. It was and IS beneath contempt.

    I’d say most folks are done ‘playing’ at politics. I’d say they’re sick to the back teeth of games, strategies, triangulation and manipulation. To paraphrase a movie quote, I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul who comes to the public looking to cause mischief at this time. We’re up to our necks in the UK’s greatest act of self fucking harm in living memory and facing life under one of the most reactionary, self obsessed, societally divisive, true blue tory governments since Thatcher.

    THAT is the reality.

    Help, or get out of the way.

    • If they’re not part of the solution, Sam, they are part of the problem.
      It is reported that EIGHT billionaires, headed by Bill Gates, own as much wealth as the lower 50% (THREE AN A HALF BILLION PEOPLE) of the world population.
      It is beyond obscenity.
      8 individuals control so much of the world’s wealth? That’s capitalism and globalisation for you.

      And Ruth Davidson gives the wealthy another 5% tax break, and 25% of Scots kids go hungry.
      It’s bit hard to get stuck into the larnin’ to close the attainment gap when your belly’s rumbling, Ms Davidson. But you know that anyway.

      These people are sick in the head if they think that this is the best way to run the world.
      There is a bedrock immutable core of the Scottish Branch of the English Establishment Up Here, the Haves, who will never opt for Self Determination. Why should they? They feed like dung beetles atop the pile of Manure that is Laissez Faire Dog Eat Dog ‘Capitalism’.
      The poor must always be with them, to be lorded over, excluded, marginalised, and reviled.
      It is essential for their very existence to have a Class system, sons following in fathers’ footsteps, into the ‘professions’, the world of snobbery, nobility, the wealthy, the landowners, the merchant and Banking Class, and so on.

      The Self Determination impetus has shaken the gentry the elite, the rich, to heir very core.
      They will fight tooth and nail to preserve their status at the top of the pyramid.
      Frankly they couldn’t give a Victorian fuck about the plight of the Lumpen Proles, the Great Unwashed, the Hoi Polloi.
      That’s just how the system works.
      The Yes Movement is not The Reign of Terror, Dublin 1916, Moscow 1917.
      We are doing it by the democratic book; and that’s what annoys them.
      We shall prevail, through the ballot box.
      Bring it on, but at a time of our choosing.

      • Macart says:

        It’s the only way to do it Jack.

      • Mike17 says:

        “They feed like dung beetles atop the pile of Manure that is Laissez Faire Dog Eat Dog ‘Capitalism’.” My thoughts exactly, they don’t care if they are sitting on top of a toxic festering pile of sh*t so long as they are on top of it and have people to look down on to confirm their illusion of superiority. The idea of true democracy terrifies them. The tide of history is in our favour but it’s still going to be a struggle.

  19. Wullie says:

    The U.K. State pension is now classified as a benefit. Benefits can be withdrawn. This might sharpen the thoughts of many pensioners if Indy ref2 fails.
    I am a pensioner and yes voter

  20. Tinto Chiel says:

    “I don’t know whether MI5 really did try to get its own people inside Yes Scotland when it was set up but you know, they’d have been negligent if they didn’t try. I do know that either that happened and the spoiler effect of a lot of what was coming out of Hope Street was deliberate on someone’s part, or the appointments of the senior people in Yes Scotland were the most ill-advised choices it was possible to make.”

    I had similar dark thoughts at the time, Morag, but thought I was being paranoid. Not so sure now…

    I spoke to a very senior member of the Yes campaign the Saturday before the referendum and was told we had it in the bag because of the high registration to vote. And on the afternoon of Refday we were told to stop knocking up the vote and prepare for a “historic night”. Complacency or something worse? Hmmmmmm. No such mistakes again, I hope.

    Anyway, what Macart and JC said.

    I think older Yessers are the ones most liable to persuade No voting pensioners. Or we get their grandchildren to give them the Bambi Eyes treatment and say, “What about my future, Gran?”

    The vitriolic response Paul got simply shows that the last plank in the Establishment’s armoury is getting shooglier. If a relatively small number of my generation switch, it’s Good Night Londinium.

    • Morag says:

      Well, let’s face it, it’s a hell of a lot more plausible than the daft stories about blank-backed ballot papers and postal votes being sent to England. They would know that the amount of actual ballot-tampering that could be achieved was minimal and restricted to a bit of fraudulent registration. But there were other areas where much could be achieved and answering adverts for staff at the inauguration of Yes Scotland is an idea that surely didn’t fail to occur to someone.

      • Les Bremner says:

        Not all of the stories were daft. The process is unsafe. The current process has a large hole in the transporting of the ballot papers to the counting stations. It reads : “In some areas, it will be the duty of the Presiding Officer to deliver the materials to the count centre while in others the Counting Officer will have arranged for materials to be picked up from the polling station and delivered to the count.”

        It is perfectly possible to open the boxes, replace papers and reseal the boxes en route.

        One solution, which I made in my submission to the Draft Referendum Bill, is to count twice. Count at each voting station, and then at the counting station. This has an additional advantage of minimising manipulation at the counting stations.

        We can campaign all we like but if the voting process can be manipulated then it will be.

  21. Robert Graham says:

    given the makeup of the audience at the latest yes event a lot of older folk have woken up well done them , at least some people have woken up and won’t be going back to swallowing BBC generated junk , the others will follow once the word gets out , there lies the problem .
    As for support for Independence is falling aye right who says , the usual suspects and i bet they are shittn them selves watching a sold out venue with hundreds watch via livestream we haven’t started yet and look at the support , so expect a ramping up of the usual pish the National being a target today .

  22. Clive Scott says:

    I attended the Scottish Independence Convention on Saturday and from where I was sitting there were a lot of middle aged and older like me in the audience, probably the majority (I will soon be 67). I think there is agreement on the Yes side that pensions and currency could have been handled much better in Indyref1. The mood in the hall on Saturday was that these two vital issues will be much more robustly claimed as positive reasons for voting Yes come Indyref2 rather than the back foot stance adopted in Indyref1.

    Currency should be a Scottish Pound with a Central Bank (indeed the Scottish Government should be taking steps now to establish an independent Peoples Bank via which all public sector transactions including payroll for central and local government are made). Many pensioners do not appreciated just how precarious there state pension provision in the UK is. There is not and never has been a pension fund. It is a gigantic ponzi scheme with contributions going in the front door immediately shovelled out the back door. An independent Scotland could not fix this on day one but it could re-engineer the way the economy is set up over time. Westminster are ignoring the demographic changes that will inevitably bring their pensions scam crashing down.

    The unfolding disaster of Brexit must surely sway No’s to reconsider and change to Yes. Even the prospect of the hapless Mrs May speaking tomorrow about Brexit has caused the value of the pound to fall further. My money is on Indyref2 in 2021 following a shambolic Brexit negotiation in the run up to the 2020 general election with a manifesto commitment from the SNP that Indyref2 would follow. I think Indyref2 pre-Brexit would be hijacked with ifs, buts and maybe’s on what the final negotiations would produce and the unionists would simply lie about the fantastic deal they will get. There will be no hiding place after the negotiations are concluded.

    • benmadigan says:

      am worried about leaving Indyref2 until after the brexit negotiations have been concluded because 1) scotland will never get the opportunity to hold it and 2) Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership. On the other hand if Indyref2 is held during the brexit negotiations, Scotland remains an EU member, pending arrangements being made and so forth. Therefore I thing summer/early autumn 2018 is probably the best time to go for indyRef2

  23. Dan Huil says:

    Unionists actively projected Project Fear at pensioners during IndyRef1. Unionists lied about state pensions being stopped if Yes won. Britnat hypocrisy never fails to astonish.

    • Robert Graham says:

      oh its ok Broon redeemed himself by visiting a food bank , it was just a coincidence all the Unionist media were on hand to record the event , we will never ever forget your lies yah trator broon .

  24. Claire Twigg says:

    One way to gain votes from older people is to deal with the injustice of the rapid rise in women’s pension age. Guarantee fair transitional arrangements and you guarantee many, many Yes votes.

  25. It’s a Labour MEP’s website but excellent, well worth reading. Don’t forget to check out the Mythbuster section. The Yes campaign needs stuff like this. –

    • I hope that Kezia’s read this piece by Richard Corbett: then she’d realise why NS has produced a Scotland specific strategy.

    • stewartb says:

      If the resources available to one MEP can produce this, what should we expect of the SNP’s present and/or a future, IndyRef2 campaign’s website? A lot more in terms of quality content than we have now and had in 2014!

  26. John Edgar says:

    The unravelling of international norms foreseen in May’s and comments, expressions and utterings will cause chaos. What a mess awaits us all.
    Trump has no intention of being benign to the UK. Leaving the EU puts us out and the hand of friendship from Trump,who is spitting threats to others via Twitter, is faux.
    Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts .

  27. Euan Whazermy says:

    I have long thought that we will need friends in this battle and that for as long as the battle is contained by the British media that it would be a very difficult one to win.
    Many older Scottish people (some in my own family) genuinely believe that we are incapable of governing ourselves, that we have some kind of inherent flaw that is not possessed by the English, and which makes us intrinsically inferior.
    Paradoxically however in some of those people the cringe is so strong and their respect for non-Scottish things is so great that they might well believe good news about Scotland provided it is spoken BY SOMEONE WHO IS NOT SCOTTISH.
    If what you or I said to someone on the doorstep about Scotland being a perfectly viable country would be rejected out of hand, the exact same words spoken by a man with a sharp suit and a European accent in Brussels or Strasbourg stepping out of a black limo into a battery of flashbulbs and microphones would have a much better chance of damaging or even piercing the cringe.
    The Westminster elite has always been the big boy who has taken our dinner money off us in the playground, and too many of us have gone along with this. Maybe it will take some even bigger boys to tap the bully on the shoulder and say “No”.

  28. arthur thomson says:

    I had thoughts of trying to start a ‘geriatrics for yes’ group prior to the referendum. But though I qualified as a pensioner I concluded that maybe it was an inappropriate thing for me to do since I moved from Scotland around 40 years ago. On reflection ….

    Maybe now is the time for all of us mature people to take the initiative and create a strong, very public organisation of older Scottish people who absolutley believe that Scotland should return to being an independent country. Maybe we should be giving a lead to our younger generations.

    The internet is obviously a wonderful tool for all of us but I think we need to create an organisation which has a public presence. We could have a membership which numbers in many thousands – reflecting the numbers of pensioners who support independence – with no affiliation to any political party, with a singular goal and with a determination to exercise our inalienable right to grow old disgracefully. In my mind I keep having images of Gay Rights marches on one hand and my mother’s coffee mornings on the other.Let’s do something! Let’s explode the myth that age breeds conservatism.

    I would be interested in the thoughts of others.

  29. Bamstick says:

    As well as targetting older people, myself included, have we given any thought to the requirement for all of those allowed to vote in Indy 2 having a set length of residency? I know of two families locally who only use their property for holidays and they made sure that they were in Scotland during Indy 1 so they could vote No. Permanent residency must surely be a requirement and something that must be proved before being allowed to vote. Maybe make it that those allowed to vote must have been permanently resident since August 2014??? Irrespective of nationality, of course.

  30. Anne says:

    Pensioners’ questions are legitimate and require honest, accountable answers.People don’t all of a sudden become thick on reaching pensionable age. Also please stop calling them targets.It’s no wonder some won’t listen when they feel they are being talked down to.

  31. ScotsCanuck says:

    Your ‘on the money’ (wee pun there !!) as usual, Paul.

    Is it not just priceless that the Project Fear mob terrified our OAP’s (and soon to be) with nightmares of “Pensionmagdon” during IndyRef1 …. but now when you suggest a family orientated conversation with Seniors around this subject, affecting not only them but the next generation and the one after that ….. YOUR the bogyman who is scaremongering !!!!

    Hypocritical doesn’t even begin to cover it …… as they say in the Scot’s vernacular ” got a brass neck”.

  32. Brian Fleming says:

    “since Thatcher” was a bit of a momentum-breaker, Macart. Why not just “ever”?

  33. Macart says:

    I take it you’ve clocked May’s speech Paul?

    It appears she has a want for many things…. Jings! 🙄

  34. Robert Graham says:

    Mayday has just all Scots even the ones who voted NO in 2014 you dont matter who cares what you say cant be any clearer can it ? , so seconds out ding ding round 2 .

  35. emilytom67 says:

    Do not teach the history then attack the culture or in our case promote the violent/drunken/dour Scot image,I knew nothing of James Clerk Maxwell recognised by no less a person than Einstein as the greatest brain that he ever knew,of the Scottish scientist who wen to the antartic an furnished mountains of scientific data the purpose of Shackletons mission who actually fcuked up but was of the English establishment and feted asa hero,can,t remember his name but the list goes on and on.

  36. Margaret Lindsay says:

    There are some terrific posts on here – so many stories about how we were ‘processed’ to accept Britain as Great and ‘the only way’. And stories of those who opposed it even then. Can we not get together and produce a little booklet telling our stories. it could be of use to younger campaigners in trying to change the minds of older voters, and also it might catch press interest and do some good that way. if anyone is interested, let me know. We could start something significant here, I think

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