Guest Speaker Meeting Tuesday 13th at 7pm – Constitution for Scotland

Guest speaker meeting - Constitution for Scotland

Our October Guest Speaker Meeting is on Tuesday 13th at 7pm. 

I will be delighted to welcome the four trustees of Constitution for Scotland to give a presentation and answer questions: Robert Ingram, John Hutchison, Ronnie Morrison and Lorraine Cowan.

As many will know the draft constitution that the organisation has been working on was launched for consultation last month. If you want to find out more before the meeting you can read up on their website

To join the meeting attendees are required to register in advance. Please clink the Zoom link below – do it NOW rather than trying to find this email in ten days time!! You will receive confirmation and a reminder by email on the day.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you all then.
Best wishes
Ruth Barratt
Grassroots Oban for Independence

d’Hondt – The Holyrood Polling System & the Rise of List Only Independence Parties

d’Hondt – The Holyrood Polling System & the Rise of List Only Independence Parties

In September we invited a panel of four experts to discuss the Holyrood polling system and the rise of Independence parties standing for list seats only. Many thanks go to Keith Brown MSP (Depute Leader of the SNP), Lorna Slater (Co-convener of the Scottish Greens), David Thompson (Founder of Alliance for Independence Party) and Prof John Curtice (Polling expert, Strathclyde University)

If you missed this you can now watch the video and hear the arguments for and against using your 2nd vote to “game the system” in an attempt to increase the number of Independence supporting MSPs.

Minutes of Zoom planning meeting of 12th September.

Minutes of Zoom planning meeting of 12th September.

Ruth welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were just ten attendees.

Guest Speaker Meetings

The August meeting with Julian Smith and Andy Anderson was deemed a success.

The September meeting about the d’Hondt system and the rise of Indy list only parties is much anticipated. Speaker will be Keith Brown (Deputy leader SNP), Lorna Slater (Co-convener Scottish Greens), Dave Thompson (founder member of the Alliance for Independence Party) and John Curtice, (Polling expert, Strathclyde University).

The October meeting will be entitled The Constitution for Scotland. It will be held on 13th October at 7pm. The speakers will be the four directors of the organisation, Constitution for Scotland: Robert Ingram, John Hutchison, Ronnie Morrison, Lorraine Cowan.

Our membership of the Yes Highlands & Islands network

means we need four nominated delegates. All four have access to the WhatsApp group which deals with business arising between meetings. Two of the four delegates attend the meetings. We currently have two delegates: Colin Morrison and Ruth Barratt. A request was made for two more. No one volunteered. It was suggested we ask Gordon Wood to see if he might be interested. Ruth agreed to do this.

We have been invited by Aye2Aye in Fort William to join them on Sept 19th for a Flags & Banners Day.

Breege, Colin & Ruth agreed to go. Ruth told the meeting that she had been asked if Aye2aye could borrow banners for the event. She had to explain with much embarrassment that Grassroots Oban did not have any banners, the group having refused to join the library at the two previous meetings. Breege said not being member of the library – own own initiative – was presumably an oversight and insisted we join. The meeting agreed and Ruth was told to choose the banners herself and get them ordered.

Aye Spy Book.

Beatrice and Joy reported back that they had the content for the book finalised and had intended sending it to Nick for printing. Ruth pointed out that before it could go to print the content needed to be artwork ready which Nick would not be doing. He is happy to organise the printing via Amazon. Ruth said a member of Yes Forres was a graphic artist. She would contact him to see if he could help. It was agreed that the current artwork be sent to her in order to contact the artist.

Long Walk to Freedom

It was agreed to get involved (covid restrictions allowing) with the Long Walk to Freedom. (More info can be obtained at The walkers will be passing through our area between 25-30 October. They need various forms of support. Ruth has made contact but as yet heard nothing. Breege agreed to undertake making contact and co-ordinating our involvement. Other volunteers were asked for.

Believe in Scotland is hosting a Kickstart Conference in an aim to set the campaign for Indyref2 on track. The conference will be for Yes group leaders and committee members. The conference is on 25-27 September. (Note: in the meeting it was thought to be in October)

Colin gave an update on finances.

We have a healthy bank balance that will hopefully be used for a hub once Covid is sorted out and it is deemed safe to open one up.

At the Yes Highlands & Islands network meeting we heard that YES, AYE and Saltire Facemasks are available to purchase. They can be bought for £3.50 with the RRP being £4.99. It was agreed Colin would buy 10 of each.

The date of the next meeting is to be 10th October at 10am

Zoom debate on the DeHondt voting system and the new Pro-Indy Parties

Zoom debate on the DeHondt voting system and the new Pro-Indy Parties
This month we have a panel of four to discuss the Holyrood polling system and the rise of Independence parties standing for list seats only. Many thanks go to Keith Brown MSP (Depute Leader of the SNP), Lorna Slater (Co-convener of the Scottish Greens), David Thompson (Founder of Alliance for Independence Party) and Prof John Curtice (Polling expert, Strathclyde University)
Hear the arguments for and against using your 2nd vote to “game the system” in an attempt to increase the number of Independence supporting MSPs.

July Grassroots planning meeting

July Grassroots planning meeting

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 990 8979 9094

One of the items on the agenda is the National YES Banner Library. On Saturday we will be making choices for the banners we will initially display around our area. Please can you all take a look at the banner designs on our website so that we can make a choice on Saturday without taking forever to look at the designs.

Please also read the letter (below) sent by YES Highland to our elected members. We will talk about this during the meeting.

Agenda for Planning Meeting July 11th 10am

  • Zoom Account
  • Monthly Guest Speaker Meetings
  • Scottish Indy Music Gig
  • National YES Banner Library
  • YES Highland letter to elected members (see below)
  • Indy socially distanced Cavalcade 1st August
  • Indy Live Radio – Breege
  • Invite from YES Highland to join them
  • Finance – Colin
  • Date of next meeting ( 8th August)

YES Highland Letter to Elected Members
16 June 2020

Yes Highland, a long-standing umbrella organisation of thirteen Yes groups, held its first digital meeting on Saturday 6 June 2020. It represents a substantial combined membership from the cardinal points of the region – Moray in the east, Skye and the Outer Hebrides in the west, Caithness in the north and Lochaber to the south – over a third of the land area of Scotland.

At this meeting, it was agreed that there was widespread frustration at the Section 30 impasse, and that Yes Highland should formalise our position in a letter to Highland and Islands SNP MSPs and MPs.

We acknowledge the reality of where Scotland finds itself; that the UK is now heading towards the category of a failed state, with a complete lack of democratic accountability at Westminster and an arrogant disregard for Scotland. This is apparent for all to see.

In our efforts to avert this very real threat to Scotland, Yes Highland wish to set down their belief that the Scottish Government must get on with playing the part that the Indy community expects of them, in obtaining independence for Scotland, and to do so with a far greater sense of urgency.

It is not enough to show that Westminster holds us in contempt, and it is naive in the extreme to imagine that Mr Johnson will have to concede a referendum on Independence for Scotland.

With the Holyrood election fast approaching, we need clarity on the path to independence. Much has been promised since the heady days of 2014 and all too often small steps forward actually feel more like steps backwards in the SNP’s pursuit of Scottish Independence which is, after all, its stated raison d’être.

We fear that in 2021, with a likely no-deal Brexit, Westminster will impose ‘British constitutional unity’ upon our sovereign nation. Now is the time to be much more vocal about our primary aim of independence.

The Yes movement is essential to the delivery of the independence message on the ground, just as the political strength and leadership of the SNP are crucial to unlocking the constitutional door. Our desire to see an independent Scotland unites us. We must work together with a real sense of urgency to gain our independence and not be content to think it will somehow just happen.

An urgent plan is needed. To this end Yes Highland, of which a substantial number are voting members of the SNP, would welcome your personal perspective as to what represents the realistic and practical way forward to achieving our shared goal of an independent Scotland.

Yours sincerely,

From: Aye2Aye Lochaber InverYess Loch Yes North West Lochaber for Indy Outer Hebrides for Independence Yes Badenoch & Strathspey Yes Caithness Yes Forres Yes Moray Yes Nairn Yes Ross & Sutherland Yes Skye & Lochalsh Yes Speyside Glenlivet

Sent to: Mike Russell MSP Alasdair Allan MSP Ian Blackford MP Fergus Ewing MSP Kate Forbes MSP Drew Hendry MP Richard Lochhead MSP Angus Brendan MacNeil MP Gail Ross MSP Maree Todd MSP

National Banner Library

National Banner Library

The National Banner Library is up and running! The first YES groups have joined and the banners are on order from  Edinburgh banners.

We are very excited about this. We are making sure the first seven or eight groups all have a different selection of banners, then as more groups come in we will start to duplicate these and arrange the monthly swaps so each area always has new designs each month.

If your group has not signed up yet do it today!

Minutes of the Online Meeting Saturday 16th May 2020

Minutes of the Online Meeting Saturday 16th May 2020
  1. Robin McAlpine event
    Breege updated group, numbers are looking good. The virtual meeting has capacity of 100, 35 signed up at present, expecting well over 40. We should still try getting the message out to other groups – open to all.             ACTION: All

  2. Next Online Event
    Breege will arrange a second online event with Graham McCormick on the subject of ground rent. Aim for 2/3 weeks after Robin’s date.              ACTION: Breege

  3. Website
    Nick has completed items previously discussed for the Grassroots website. Has put notices about meetings etc. The group could hold a fundraiser via the web site or set up to take PayPal payments.

    The directory is now on the web site – Nick is looking for suggestions for inclusion. The Fact Check area could be expanded. Everything on the website is public access but Nick could create a Members Area.             ACTION: Ruth, Nick

  4. Social Media
    Joy recorded her appreciation of the high quality appearance of the web site and how useful this will be going forward. Ruth mentioned the good work that Lucy is doing on social media for the group, keeping information moving out and the profile visible.

  5. Aye Spy Book
    Beatrice updated the group on progress and we were able to share the graphics in the zoom meeting. Nick has assisted with the design which is very impressive and eye catching. Beatrice suggested that we hold back publishing until later in the year when activity may be more normal sales easier to make. (cover page attached) Any additional ideas for content will be welcome.                  ACTION: Beatrice, All

  6. Finance
    Colin updated the meeting, everything outstanding has been paid although the account owes Colin £287.00 for items which has has paid for directly. There is one signed check in reserve. There is currently a balance of £3,755.42 in the bank. Breege suggested that in light of the bank balance the group makes a donation to charity. Following discussion it was agreed that the existing funds are held to cover the rental costs of any premises which may be rented to establish the Independence Hub. At the moment those costs are not quantified, but will be significant and we would hope to proceed at the earliest possible time following lock down.

    Nick suggested that he creates links on the website to charities and people may donate if they wish. Charitable activities will be carried forward for future discussion.

  7. Future Meetings
    Ruth asked if Breege would be willing to take charge of organising all future online meetings, and Breege agreed to do so. ACTION: Breege

  8. Leafleting Area maps
    John Beaton joined the meeting. There has been no further activity on developing the area maps and John asked if anyone might be willing to assist with the project and provide some oversight to the layout. Colin advised that the Cowal group are using an app based on GPS, some discussion was held whether this could be helpful with – Colin will find out more and share with John. Liaise with Nick / Ruth. ACTION: John, Colin

  9. AOCB -none

  10. Date of Next meeting:
    Online – Saturday 13 June 2020 at 10am.

The New Normal

The New Normal
“It’s time to move to a 25-hour working week. It can be done with no loss of salary , I’ve done it and it works”. Graeme McCormick


Grassroots Oban’s  YES  next online monthly Guest Speaker Meeting is on Tuesday 23rd June at 7pm.

Our guest speaker will be Graeme McCormick.

Graeme is keen to see a new way forward.

His keen area of interest is in reducing the hours of the working week without loss of money. He ran his own company on this basis.

Join us to hear his vision. 

New Normal – by Graeme McCormick

Click the Eventbrite link below to book your place. Feel free to forward this email to friends, family and others across Scotland who might be interested in joining us.

Get your tickets here – they are free!