Scotland is a small nation that has again and again voted for a politics different from the big business-dominated consensus of the British State. In 2014 the Scottish people will get to vote on whether or not it wishes to become independent from Britain. Whatever that outcome, it has provided a chance to re-imagine a nation from scratch – its economic strategy, its employment relations laws, its land ownership, its environmental protection, its international relations and even its currency.
The vision for Scotland’s future which has emerged from the debate with the greatest grass-roots and civic support has become known as ‘Common Weal’, an old Scots phrase meaning both ‘wealth shared in common’ and ‘for the wellbeing of all’. It is a project to outline a comprehensive alternative political philosophy to the market-based policies which have dominated in Britain and across the western world. Where market politics are based on conflict and ‘winner takes all’, Common Weal politics are based on mutuality and the best outcome for all. You can find out much more about Common Weal and the wider project at wwwscottishcommonweal.org
The project is being developed by the Jimmy Reid Foundation (www.reidfoundation.org), Scotland’s only left-of-centre think tank. We are working with an enormous number of individuals and organisations in Scotland to build a deep, wide base of policy alternatives. We are also attracting international attention from people who believe that it is possible to transform politics from the failing neoliberal model.
We are doing this on a shoestring budget with only one member of staff paid minimum wage and the good will of volunteers, academics, trade unionists and political activists. The Reid Foundation is an independent think-tank with no wealthy backers or party affiliation funds. We rely on the goodwill of our supporters. But we only have a year to finish this work before people vote in the referendum on Scotland’s future.
We desperately need:
To be able to secure some full-time administrative and research support over the next year
To be able to support some properly funded internships to help with the work and to provide opportunities for young people who want to work in progressive politics
To be able to afford some key communication resources such as website development and social media management
So we have launched a £25,000 fundraising appeal on the Indiegogo website to this end. If we can secure this amount, we will have the capacity to build a fully fleshed out vision of a better Scotland in time for the referendum. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-common-weal-we-need-you-to-build-a-better-scotland/x/4518115
Over the course of the sixty day Common Weal Appeal, we will post quotes from prominent supporters of the Common Weal, from musicians to architects to trade-unionists, to show the breadth of support for Common Weal across Scottish society.
Most importantly, we want to hear from you about what your hopes are for a Common Weal Scotland: if you donate, tweet @Common_Weal and tell us what you want to see in a vision for a better Scotland.
To read the full Common Weal Appeal statement and to donate click here