21-11-2012: Another good Blether - this time in Glasgow on the 20th November. Among the attendees was a researcher into monetary policy and he advises that only with control over our own currency can Scotland consider itself to be an independent country. Contrary to general opinion the procedure for Scotland to have its own currency and co-exist with the pound sterling is a proven and secure process.
19-11-2012: An interesting Blether at Inverness on the 17th November. Sandy Patience a director of FAL provided an update on the EU-CFP. He was convinced that the fishing industry would continue to decline as long as Scotland remained in the EU. His recommendation is to get out of the EU and join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In EFTA we would be able to rebuild the fishing industry within some 5 to 7 years. Similarly, the farming industry could also be re-energised once we left the EU. Another topic led by Sue Lyons was Social Wellbeing. Sue provided personal insight and work experience of the significant levels of unemployment and the related problems amongst the younger generations. The discussions highlighted the need for support required by the unemployed in most of the smaller communities around the Highlands and Islands. There appears to be justification for the view that government money is not being focused in the most effective manner.
17-11-2012: The Aberdeen Blether was joined by two members from Kemnay Academy pupil council. The issues they raised for debate centred on funding for higher education and defence. From the debate on education funding came a suggestion for an alternative form of funding which entailed a new style of public service to provide for further education fees. Other debates were about vocational training and the need for alternatives to fund public infrastructure without generating public debt.
Scottish independence: European Free Trade Association could be EU alternative
12-011-2012 Following the visit of the SDA Deputy Chair to the Secretariat of EFTA in Brussels the following article contains EFTA's response.
Scotsman - Published on Monday 12 November 2012 00:00
SCOTLAND would be welcomed into the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) if it votes for independence and then leaves the EU, a spokesman for the body has claimed.
The claim came after SNP grandees Gordon Wilson, a former party leader, and Jim Sillars, a former deputy leader, said that Alex Salmond should look at alternatives to EU membership such as EFTA whose members include Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.
EFTA senior information officer Tore Gronningsater said: "Scotland could apply, but it would be a question of whether the EFTA members would like to see more members."
Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said: "The SNP has to be straight with the Scottish people, and be clear what its idea of a separate Scotland would look like.
A government spokesman said: "An independent Scotland would adopt an approach based on international co-operation, working closely with our neighbours, our trading partners, and through bilateral relations with other nations."
A spokesperson from the SDA welcomed the claim from the EFTA spokesman.
08-11-2012: Bob, congratulations on organising the Blether at Perth to co-incide with the SNP conference. It was great to have the opportunity to discuss with local SDA members and friends the wide range of topics that were of interest to them. There we were in the George Hotel, resplendent with SDA bannersin full view of all the SNP delegates attending the fringe meetings within the hotel. I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet the new Deputy Chair of the SDA who had been attending the Big Debate with Brian Taylor - being broadcast live from Perth Museum. Well done. Alex Wilson from Edinburgh.
A Blether will be held in Inverness on Saturday the 17th November at the Thistle Hotel between 2pm and 4pm -all welcome.
01-11-2012: The next Blether will be held in Aberdeen Friday on the 9th November, 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Starbucks Cafe in Union Square, All members and interested parties are welcome for an informal chat which will be hosted by the SDA Deputy Chair James Trolland.
Amended membership Fee.
30-10-2012: The membership fee for Joining the SDA has been amended to a standard £12 for all.
19-10-12 On Friday the Deputy Chair and Chief Executive met with local members of the SDA to blether about current issues.
Outcomes from the Blether included:
a) Support Yes for Independence.
b) EFTA not EU.
c) Security of Scotland's energy, water and maritime assets.
d) Draft Constitution to be offered for public debate.
e) Citizen's Income.
f) [Scottish] National Sustainability Fund.
The Chief Executive with two members of the Perth Bletherin Group.
17-10-2012 Deputy Chair James Trolland represented the SDA at Brian Taylor's Bog debate - Referendum Special on Friday 19th at Perth.
15-10-2012 We have now launched the members only forum, when you login to the website you will find an additional option appears called 'Members' under this menu is the option "Forum".