Building Our Common Future: The Common Weal Journey


Common Weal head of policy & research Dr Craig Dalzell outlines the journey the organisation has been on over the past 5 years, and why the organisation needs your support for the next five

IT SEEMS like time has passed in the blink of an eye. Five years ago several hundred of us, myself included, travelled to Glasgow and packed into The Arches – sadly now lost to us – to hear how a new, radically minded think tank called Common Weal would change Scotland. They asked for us to support them with a regular monthly donation. Like many that day, I signed up. Hundreds of you have followed since.

Five years on. We’ve done it. We’ve been on a journey together and we’ve accomplished so much.

We played a key role in proving the economic case against fracking and helping to ensure that it would not take place in Scotland.

We pushed for a lobbying register for Scottish politics so that we could all see who was talking to our politicians and what they were talking about. Starting this year, we got it. Lobbyists can no longer hide behind closed doors and private meetings.

We have made the case for a Scottish National Investment Bank that could allow us to break away from risky, “fast” finance, PFI and the “too big to fail” model of banking that failed us all when it collapsed and failed us again when it was bailed out and carried right on ahead as if nothing had happened. In last Spring’s budget, £340 million of initial funding was approved for the SNIB and the bank is now in the process of being established.

We have rebuilt and strengthened the case for Scottish Independence.

From clearing up myths about Scottish finances and statistics, through to showing how Scotland could build an efficient borders and customs agency, and on to showing how we could secure the foundations of our independent economy by building our own Central Bank and Foreign Reserves to underpin Scotland’s independent currency.

This journey would not have been possible without you. Without you reading our work, sharing it and talking about it. Without you spreading the message of All of Us First across Scotland.

We want to go further. We want to show how Scotland can build enough housing for everyone far more cheaply than can be delivered by the private markets. We want Scotland to create a publicly owned energy company so that we can afford to live comfortably in those houses. We want a network of public retail and savings banks to be built so that we can invest in our own local economies and not be at the mercy of banks leaving us without essential services as they abandon our communities.

We want to keep changing Scotland and we need your help to do it.

Common Weal is not a “normal” think-tank. We don’t rely on corporate donors or shadowy political party affiliations. We don’t receive government stipends. We don’t collect your personal data and sell it to the highest bidder. We don’t even have adverts on our website.

Instead, we rely on you, and people like you, to sustain our work and help us keep fighting for Scotland.

We are supported by donations of an average of £10 a month. It is only through this regular support that we are able to pay our staff and cover our bills. With that stability, we can plan for the future.

So I would like to ask everyone who supports us who doesn’t already support us with a regular contribution to consider doing so by visiting our donate page here.

Or would you be able to convince a friend, family member or colleague to sign up as a supporter themselves?

With increased regular support, we can expand and secure our team and we can continue building Common Weal up as the premier source of practical, radical policies in and for Scotland.

If you’ve supported what we have accomplished in the past five years then please consider helping us do even more in the next five. Let’s keep changing Scotland together.