The debate in Scotland right now is of global significance. The Scots deserve the ear of the world and international input; expertise from everywhere and a chance to tell everyone what this is really all about; an international platform for writing that is informed yet passionate, Scottish yet global: somewhere the Scots can talk with the world and the world with the Scots.
We want to make this happen. But we need your help.
We’re talking about a whole new country on the world stage
The debate matters to people everywhere. A new member could be joining the UN, a people could have the chance to choose a different path from that upon which they have been set by the global orthodoxy. Britain could be about to break up, marking the final end of the biggest empire in human history and requiring the English, Welsh and Northern Irish to build a new relationship with each other and the world.
“We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation” (Voltaire)
The mainstream media is failing
The mainstream media is failing to provide a platform for this conversation. It is a part of the British establishment and is firmly lined up behind a No vote. As the referendum approaches, the people in the rest of the UK and the rest of the world need a forum through which to understand and engage helpfully with Scots and with this debate. The alternative is that they misunderstand and engage unhelpfully.
Serious insights, facts and analysis
And that's what we need your help with: a platform to publish the best articles and essays which will cast light on the issues as they arise, and help people everywhere understand what's really being talked about. We've already been doing this for a long time: ensuring key voices in the Scottish debate, like Jean Urquhart, Robin MacAlpine, and Gerry Hassan can be heard outside Scotland, that the plurality of the conversation is heard, and that democrats from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and further afield who want to understand and discuss have a space to gather: independence has profound implications for all of the Home Nations.
The best arguments from every angle
Whilst we seek to counterbalance the overwhelmingly negative and scorn-filled coverage, we are no one's cheerleader. Whilst our editors Adam Ramsay (Scottish) and Oliver Huitson (English) hope for a Yes vote, we exist to support debate and understanding, not fan the flames of propaganda. We welcome interesting and thoughtful arguments from every side of the conversation.
How much do we need to raise?
Our Scottish coverage has been hugely successful: read by hundreds of thousands of people in the last month alone. To keep it going until the referendum, though, we need to raise at least £5,698. Otherwise our editor will have to find another way to pay his rent.
What we’ll spend the money on:
- £4,000 will pay for around 1/3 of our editor, Adam Ramsay's, time for the 6 months until just after the referendum.
- £1,299 will buy web hosting space and tech support, and will make sure Adam has a desk and a chair to work from.
- £399 pays for Indegogo to make it easy for us to do this fundraiser (they take a 4% cut, assuming we reach out target), and for credit card transactions (they charge 3%).
What that means:
If we raise the money, we'll make sure we get you at least two essays a week giving insightful analysis into the big issues and the twists and turns of referendum campaign.
If we raise more than £5,698, Adam can spend more of his time doing this, and we'll make sure we'll get you more for your money.
So, please, give what you can, support the project, your donation makes all the difference to us.
What we’ve done so far
Our Scottish coverage so far has been read by hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland and across the world. Highlights include:
- Jean Urquhart’s criticism of the London media “No, Catherine Bennett, the independence campaign isn't about bagpipes and Bannockburn”;
- Robin MacAlpine’s “Dear England” and his “What's really happening at Grangemouth and what it tells us”.
- Adam’s “Scotland isn’t different, it’s Britain that’s bizarre” - which is now the best read piece in openDemocracy’s history, and was read by around 1% of the Scottish electorate within its first week and40 reasons to support Scottish independence.
We’ve had input from across Scotland’s social movement, with expert analysis of what the SNP White Paper means for:
We’ve hosted podcasts of debates so the world can hear what Scotland’s discussing, and, though we support a yes vote, we’re always willing to publish the piece which challenge us the most. You can find all of our recent Scottish coverage here. Enjoy.
Who are we?
openDemocracy is a global platform, with readers in every country on earth in which we aren't banned. We have access to experts across the planet and an editorial team who have been involved in Scottish and British politics and social movements for more than a decade. We are known globally for our experience in facilitating serious, pluralistic and mature online debate – exactly the kind of discussion we want to support in Scotland and between Scotland and the world
Unlike the mainstream London media, we are not a part of the British establishment. Unlike most websites, we are more pluralistic than partisan. Unlike most online writing, we prioritise insight over populism, depth over brevity, new ideas over churning out endless repetition. OurKingdom is the UK section of openDemocracy. We aim to balance the mainstream media, not provide meaningless neutrality, and so will lean towards more articles generally supportive of independence in the face of a sneering London media, but will not shirk from publishing good writing from any angle.
Who will do the work?
"Scotland is absolutely alive with big thinking, creative writing and new ideas, perhaps the most exciting place in Europe just now. But you will struggle to find much of it in the mainstream media. If it wasn't for the work done by people like openDemocracy you might well think that Scotland is still nothing more than a discussion between a banker and a big businessman. So get your hands in your pockets and make a donation - it'll be a tiny price to pay for a plural democracy." - Robin McAlpine, Jimmy Reid Foundation
"The referendum gives us all a chance to talk about the big issues which
really matter - economic justice, inequality, and how Scotland can have a
positive impact on the world - regardless of the result. It is vital
that there is a forum which allows everyone (and not just people in
Scotland!) to access interesting and exciting views about the future of
Scotland and the UK, and openDemocracy has already shown itself to be a
leader in this. By supporting this appeal, you'll be ensuring that
informed and intelligent debate about the referendum can continue to be a
breath of fresh air among political wranglings and media hysteria." - Alys Mumford, Director, Jubilee Scotland
"The Scottish referendum is a shaping moment for the relationship
between England and Scotland, whatever the outcome, which means it is
about the future of Wales, Ireland and even Europe. This is why
OurKingdom has been pioneering fierce but intelligent cultural as well
as political debates about the nature of the British nations, almost
uniquely for a London website its view of politics is not defined by
Westminster, Whitehall and the City."
Anthony Barnett, Founder, openDemocracy, Founder, Charter 88.