Blueprint for an Independent Scotland?

I know a number of people who voted for SNP but voted No in the independence referendum primarily because they did not believe we had the infrastructure in place to enable us to be a successful independent country.   They talked about the oil running out, we can’t afford to be independent, we’re too small we wouldn’t survive, the banks will move to London etc.,  and they believed the nonsense put forward by Project Fear.

Since the referendum there has been a lot of debate and talk on the economy, currency, banking, alternative energy sources, constitution of an independent Scotland but you will only find the facts on these subjects by finding alternative sources of factual information – not from the national press or television with the exception of The National.

The Common Weal Think Tank has introduced a White Paper Project. The aim is to produce a business plan for the establishment of a new nation state which would get Scotland to the first day of independence with the ability to collect taxes, defend its borders, negotiate with international partners and secure its energy supply.

If you are interested in reading the document click on the image to the left

 

 

 

WEST FIFE VILLAGES BURNS NIGHT

FAMILY BURNS SUPPER

28 January, Torryburn Hall
7.30pm to 11pm
All Welcome

Live music, excellent company and great banter.
Rabbie would have loved it.

Pay at the door:  Adults £10 and children free.

Included in the fee are haggis neeps and tatties and if you wish to bring along a dessert and cheese/biscuits please feel free to do so.    BYOB

Contributions to the raffle will be gratefully received.

Please advise numbers (adults and children) by Thursday, 26 January to jenniesmith576@gmail.com

Christmas Prize Draw Winners

merry christmas baubles

WISHING ALL OUR MEMBERS A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Thank you to all the folks who bought tickets for our Christmas Raffle.  

Our 2016 winners are:

Christmas Hamper:   Alasdair Morgan
Christmas Cake:   Tom Fahey
Christmas Bottle:  Fiona Thompson

St Andrew’s Night – Tommy Sheppard

The Dunfermline South SNP branch have put a lot of effort into Tommy Shepherdorganising a night of song, recitals, live music and food on Saturday 3rd December in Our Lady of Lourdes Hall, Aberdour Road, Dunfermline.  The guest speaker is Tommy Sheppard – selfie opportunity folks!

The invitation is for members and their guests so get out of your comfy chair, put away the ipad and games consoles, deal with your e:mail later, set your favourite TV programmes to record and come along and enjoy the evening.   Aye its cold outside but a warm welcome awaits you.

img_1899If you have problems with yapsody then you can get tickets from Sheila Nikolaidis on 01383 233610 or snikolaidis@hotmail.co.uk or Jane Glen on 01383 279676 or janeglen@hotmail.com.

November 2016 Branch Meeting Report

We had two very good speakers at this meeting.

The first to speak was Brian Goodall, SNPimage Group Leader on Fife Council who spoke on the possible branch affiliation to CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). Brian has been a member of CND for some time and has represented Fife Council on the NFLA (Nuclear Free Local Authorities) organisation.

CND’s strategic objectives are:
a) the elimination of British nuclear weapons and global abolition of nuclear weapons
b) abolition of other threats of mass destruction
c) nuclear free, less militarised and more secure Europe and
d) the closure of the nuclear power industry.

To learn more of CND’s activities go to http://www.cnduk.org/

There is also a Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Scottish CND) which aligns with these objectives.    To learn more of what they do go to http://www.banthebomb.org/

Ways in which these organisation have assisted us in this region are:
a)  reports on possible radioactivity waste from the processes involved in fracking.
b)  supporting Fife Council in negotiating with the Ministry of Defence regarding the radioactive presence in Dalgety Bay.
c)  what happens to the radioactive debris from the dismantling of obsolete submarines in Rosyth Dockyard and what are the MoD’s plans for disposal.
d)  campaigning against radioactive waste being transported on roads in highly populated areas of Scotland.  This may be pertinent to c) above.

We have all of this in our “backyard” so it is something for real consideration.   Come along to our next meeting and let us have your views and vote on whether we should become affiliated.

SAS and NSOur next speaker was our MSP and Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Shirley-Anne is delighted to be part of John Swinney’s Education team in Holyrood.   She has been working closely with John and the other members of the Education team on closing the attainment gap and this will be the key objective for that team.  Regular updates on their progress can be found on snp.org.

In order to meet job demand and to build our economy we must ensure we have appropriately skilled people in place.   It has been identified that we need more skilled personnel, particularly in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).   The majority of people studying these subjects are young men and there is a drive to encourage young women to enter into this skills path too.

The Autumn statement will be issued shortly and this will effect the budget being announced by our Finance Minister.   It is clear that there will continue to be cuts from Westminster which will impact our Scottish budget but the Scottish Government will continue to protect key areas such as health and police budgets.

In West Fife specifically:

a)    Shirley-Anne is a member of the Longannet Task Force and she updated the audience on its activities.
b)   She is also supporting the creation of the West Fife Rail Link between Dunfermline and Kincardine and beyond and will keep us updated on progress.
c)  One of her researchers is looking into what can be done to attract further tourism to both Dunfermline and West Fife.
d)  Held a meeting with Phil Verster of Scotrail to discuss an improved rail service in Fife.      There is an article in the Dunfermline Press which gives more detail on this subject and can be accessed at http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/14918842.MSP_meets_rail_bosses_after_trains_miss_West_Fife_stops/

There was a wide-ranging Q&A session covering a variety of topics e.g. the Edinburgh airport expansion consultation particularly in relation to new flight paths, student accommodation costs, abuse on social media, budget cuts and Scottish Power’s plans for the Longannet site.

Please note there is no branch meeting in December.

 

 

 

 

 

Defence Select Committee report on state of Navy.

Douglas ChapmanOur MP, Douglas Chapman, who is a member of the Defence Select Committee at Westminster, says that the Committee’s report on the state of the Navy is “scathing” as reported in The National today (22 November 2016).

Here is the full article:

“MPs have criticised the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for failing to explain how it intends to replace its ageing frigates while continuing to maintain a “woefully low” number of operational vessels and skilled workers to renew them.

In an examination of the MoD’s plans to modernise the Royal Navy’s escort fleet, Westminster’s Defence Select Committee said the frigates were due to leave service at the rate of one per year between 2023 and 2035. But it added that there was no timetable for replacing them.

Failure to carry out modernisation would leave the UK lacking the “maritime strength to deal with the threats we face now, let alone in the future”.

SNP committee member Douglas Chapman described the report as “scathing”. He said: “When I raised these concerns along with my SNP colleagues at Defence Questions in Parliament, we were treated with the usual Tory contempt.

“This scathing Defence Select Committee report highlights how their pathetic attempt to cast asking difficult, and valid, questions as grievance-mongering has backfired badly on the Government.

“A litany of broken promises to the men and women who work in the Clyde yards hasn’t only impacted on these vital jobs and skills, it has left Scotland and the UK poorly defended and the Navy in crisis.

“The SNP will do everything we can do make the Government listen to this report, come good on their infrastructure investment promises, and start taking the defence of Scotland seriously.”

The report examined the MoD’s plans to modernise the Royal Navy’s escort fleet, including the introduction of two new frigate classes – the Type 26 Global Combat Ship and Type 31 General Purpose Frigate – along with the enforced refit of the Type 45 destroyers’ engines. It also considered the work in the light of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, to be published later this week, and how that should deliver a sustainable shipbuilding industry. It called for the strategy to provide the details on how and when the new frigates will be delivered. Without that information, the committee said the strategy can be little more than a collection of aspirations.

A skilled workforce is needed to build new ships and uncertainty over the funding and timing of the programmes has undermined the long-term sustainability of the shipbuilding industry, the report said.

It called for: a detailed timeline for the delivery of the Type 26 and Type 31 vessels; a comprehensive assessment of the potential to build a new complex warship every two years; the criteria against which the expansion of the UK’s share of the export market in warships will be judged; and the numbers of apprenticeships required in each of the key trades and how these will be monitored to ensure there are no longer-term skills gaps.

Dr Julian Lewis, Tory chairman of the committee, said: “For decades, the numbers of Royal Navy escort vessels have been severely in decline.

“The fleet is now way below the critical mass required for the many tasks which could confront it, if the international scene continues to deteriorate. What remains of our surface fleet now faces a prolonged period of uncertainty, as the frigate class is replaced in its entirety and all our destroyers undergo urgent, major remedial work on their engines.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said this month that work on an order of eight Type 26 frigates would start next summer at BAE Systems’ yards in Govan and Scotstoun.”

Branch Meeting, 17 November 2016

Our next branch meeting will be held in Blairhall Community Centre at 7.30pm.

We are delighted to have two speakers at this meeting:

Shirley-AnneShirley-Anne Somerville, our MSP and Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science and will be coming to update us on her ministerial and constituency activities and will hold a question and answer session.

and

imageCouncillor Brian Goodall, our SNP Group Leader on Fife Council, will speak on our possible branch affiliation to CND.

 

It is our intention to hold branch business at the end of the meeting and to keep this to a minimum.     The Agenda and the minutes of the previous meeting will be issued by our Secretary, Alison, nearer to the date of the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

Creation of Branch Policy Group

Media and Comms Off.
Chris Hanlon
Political Education Officer
West Fife and Coastal Villages

 

One of the responsibilities of this role is to keep members informed about how the Party works and to manage the process of policy development at branch level.

The following is a message from Chris to all our “armchair activists and keyboard warriors”.

I know a lot of you are new members of the Party since the 2014 Referendum, like myself, or are supporters of the Party who don’t necessarily have the skills or temperament for campaigning or the desire to get involved in the dry business of branch administration.  However, I bet most of you still yell at the TV screen at least once a week or spend an hour setting the world to rights with your ideas of what you would do if only you were in charge!

I would also be willing to bet that a fair number of you feel that some of the Party’s policies could do with being changed for the better.  Well, here’s your chance to have your say.

Our branch is setting up a Policy Group.  It’s going to be a regular, informal forum for members of the branch to learn about how the Party functions, how policy is developed and to participate in the process of forming the policies that might well shortly be the foundations of an independent Scotland.

We, as a party, are also about to enter into a process of internal reform and there will be an opportunity to learn how things function now and to have your say about how things could be improved in the future.

Initial plans are to have regular meetings, starting next Sunday, probably in the Glen Tavern in Dunfermline, although that is open to change if anybody has a better suggestion.   Hopefully, we can fit in another session at a different time and day to make it as easy as possible for everybody to have a chance to participate and any feedback you might have about that suggestion will also be gratefully received.   You can get in touch by emailing me at poled@westfifesnp.com.

If you are interested in taking part in our Policy Group then drop me a line and if there is anything else I can do for you don’t hesitate to let me know.

Please note, that if you are new to our branch please take your membership card with you to the meeting.

6 November 2016.