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The independence referendum needs independent journalism.
Adam Ramsay
2,367 Facebook Friends
Edinburgh and London
United Kingdom
1 Team Member

Scotland's conversation with the world - on openDemocracy/OurKingdom

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”.

We publish Gerry Hassan’s and Adam Ramsay’s regular columns, including:

- Gerry on “The battle for Britain and why Alex Salmond and independence has already won”;

- 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:

- The EU;global justice; the BBC; disabled people; the environment; the constitution; England; the economy; citizenship.

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?

Adam Ramsay will be editing this series. Adam grew up on a farm in rural Perthshire and went to Edinburgh University where he ended up as student president in 2008-9. He spent four years training student global justice activists across the UK, being involved in anti-austerity, environmental and feminist movements, co-editing the blog Bright Green and writing for publications including the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Herald, the Scotsman, the Occupied Times and openDemocracy. He became co-editor of OurKingdom in September last year, and his piece “Scotland isn’t different, it’s Britain that’s bizarre” is now the most read piece in openDemocracy’s 13 year history. You can read what he writes here.

"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.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 92 people in 2 months
36% funded
No time left
£5,698 GBP goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 3, 2014
Select a Perk
  • £1GBP
    Adam Smith

    For the price of a week's subscription to the Economist website, you can help keep us going for six months, and have our eternal gratitude.

    5 claimed
  • £3GBP
    James Hutton

    For the price of one edition of the National Geographic, we’ll email you a photo of the Scottish highlands to enjoy when you’re trapped in your office, in honour of the Scottish founder of modern geology.

    7 claimed
  • £9GBP
    Catherine Trotter Cockburn

    For the price of a novel, you too can help to break down barriers. And we will ensure your good work is not forgotten - we’ll list you on our supporters page

    24 claimed
  • £26GBP
    David Hume

    For the price of a subscription to Philosophy Weekly, we’ll give you the most thoughtful analysis of what’s going on in Scotland, and list your name as the sponsor of a specific article (tell us if you'd rather we didn't).

    8 claimed
  • £52GBP
    Robert Burns

    For the price of the Herald a couple of times a week until the referendum we’ll list your name as the sponsor of a specific article, send you a personal limerick written by our co-editor, Adam Ramsay, and send you exclusive pre-releases of the Burns songs Ae Fond Kiss and Auld Lang Syne from the upcoming album of Scottish songs by critically aclaimed folk singer Sophie Ramsay (www.sophieramsay.com)

    4 claimed
  • £80GBP
    Elizabeth Montagu

    This philanthopist may have been born in Yorkshire, but, like you, she was a famous funder of Scotland's best writing. Our co-editor, Adam Ramsay, will write you a person thank you limerick.

    0 claimed
  • £129GBP
    Benjamin Franklin

    Centuries ago, Franklin learnt much from his correspondence with those involved in the Scottish Enlightenment. Today, for the price of the New York Times each Monday-Saturday ($216), you can help us take today's exciting debate in Scotland global.

    0 claimed
  • £206GBP
    Robert Adam

    For the price of the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday every day until the referendum, you can emulate the great Scottish architect and help to lay the plans for a new Scotland.

    0 claimed
  • £504GBP
    Adam Ferguson

    For the price of a subscription to the journal “the Sociologist”, you’ll be our Adam Ferguson, the Scottish father of modern sociology (arguably). In honour of the Perthshire born Gaelic speaker, as well as all of the above, we’ll give you a free copy of Perthshire folk singer Sophie Ramsay’s new album of Gaelic and Scots folk songs, as soon as its out (see http://sophieramsay.com/).

    0 out of 14 claimed
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