Fund the answers for #ScotRef: Common Weal launches fundraiser for White Paper project

Nathanael Williams

Pro-independence thinktank asks for funds for the work of tackling the issues that will swing people to Yes

“FUNDING THE ANSWERS FOR INDEPENDENCE” is now crucial for winning the Scottish independence referendum, the pro-independence Common Weal thinktank has said as it launches the fundraiser for its White Paper project.

The policy and activism group which has already produced in-depth research on issues as wide-ranging as customs, immigration and public investment has needs funds with which they can continue to research the policy options that will persuade many more to vote for independence.

CommonWeal’s White Paper Project fundraiser will support the production of detailed arguments dealing in the facts on pensions, currency and a central bank, borders and defence, trade and customs and broadcasting.

THE WHITE PAPER PROJECT from Common Weal on Vimeo.

 Lesley Riddoch, journalist and broadcaster said: “The Common Weal White Paper Project is not just important because it offers credible policy options for an iScotland based on what’s working for small nations across the world – though that’s impressive enough.

“The project also demonstrates the new Scotland at its very best. A place where folk with imagination and energy don’t wait for an official process to start when a job urgently needs doing. A place where genuine collaboration is second nature. And all on a budget of next to nothing.”

In its first White Paper project 1.0, the thinktank set out to frame a new case for independence with the knowledge that many voters felt they did not have the answers to many questions in 2014. The researchers behind the project are aware that a second referendum may be very different in its scope and direction and so will need new ideas to convince voters.

But authors of the first report state that their intent is far deeper than the debate around independence. The work, carried out by researchers and experts from across Scotland, will be a chance to look at how Scotland can build the institutions of a modern state.

“The project also demonstrates the new Scotland at its very best.” Lesley Riddoch

The White Paper project fundraising target is set at £25,000. This sum, Common Weal say, will allow them to continue as the only body dedicated to detailed policy-driven research around the case for Scottish independence.

The fundraiser has been welcomed by groups representing older voters in favour of independence. In the first referendum, pensions became a battle ground, with the No campaign claiming independence threatened their security. Winning over older voters will likely be a key task for the next Yes campaign.

Peter Swain, a founder of Pensioners for Independence said: “I was very keen to re-launch Pensioners for Independence because pensioners were a significant group of electors who were not persuaded in 2014 in sufficient numbers to vote Yes. The work being done on pensions policy will be crucial in helping to persuade former No voters of the benefits of independence, not just for them but also for future generations.”

You can donate to the White Paper project by clicking the link here.

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