Several years ago it was the intention of the committee to have AGMs alternate between Edinburgh and Glasgow, but as our convenor dutifully pointed out the last time this guidance was followed was in 2014! In the years that followed our annual meeting has been regularly hosted in Edinburgh so it was lovely to return the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow.
We arrived mid-afternoon and were welcomed warmly by John Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the RFPG, who showed us the conference room and allowed the early birds a sneak peek of the main library upstairs. After a quick tea and coffee, a few blethers and a play with our secretary’s selfie stick, the meeting began at 4.30pm.
The business was short and sweet. With 17 members in attendance, apologies given, previous minutes ratified and no matters arising, it was swiftly on to the reports.
Faye spoke warmly in her convenor’s report, commenting on the camaraderie in the group and the importance of supporting each other through tumultuous times with Brexit and Indyref2 looming. We held six successful events this year including a walking tour, several SSNaPs and our beloved winter social, and Faye also mentioned several personal achievements with births, awards and marriages for members of the group in 2018/19.
The Treasurer’s report was presented by Debra and Lorna provided a Twitter analysis on behalf of our excellent social media team. Then committee member and office bearer nominations were proposed and accepted as follows:
Rona accepted the invitation to become treasurer from Debra who is stepping down from the committee after several years of holding a variety of roles.
Kayleigh McGarry and Julie McGregor joined the committee as ordinary members this year on a job-share basis, as did Katharine Calder and Kirstie Hustler, all of whom were confirmed by the attendees of the meeting.
Guest Speaker: Lesley Riddoch
After the close of the formal meeting Lesley Riddoch gave a fascinating and passionate talk on the topic of Scotland’s political landscape. She opened by asking us “What is ‘good enough’ for democracy?” and proceeded to outline some of the challenges of being a Scottish citizen in the age of Brexit. Lesley’s own experience of Nordic countries and their democratic systems have led her to consider whether theirs might be the very model that would help Scotland free itself from disproportionate representation in Westminster. She described significant differences between our voting, our land ownership, our management and commitment to our own democratic processes and made some of the Nordic models sound very attractive indeed. While not proposing a mirror image as a solution, Lesley highlighted from her own research that she feels these are the right kind of people to talk to if we want to find a better foundation for the future.
Lesley very kindly answered some questions from those present on the topics of taxation, whether she herself may stand for election in future, and the possibilities of Citizens Assemblies. It isn’t possible to accurately describe the honesty, enthusiasm and warmth with which Lesley spoke in just one blog post and we would highly recommend to anyone considering alternatives for Scotland’s future to take the opportunity to hear Lesley speak.
Fortunately for us, Lesley was able to stick around for our post-meeting networking event which we held in the Small Library, complete with wine, nibbles and an excellent cake to celebrate our 30th AGM.
Colleagues caught up, collections were discussed and current affairs mulled over in the small but perfectly formed room housing historic texts and decoration.
Many thanks to all who attended the AGM, to Lesley for her time and inspiring speech, to John and the RFPG for allowing us to use their beautiful venue, and to the committee for organising the catering.
SarahLouise MacDonald, SLLG Committee