I was contacted last night by the Jimmy Reid Foundation, who asked me to give a mention to the fundraising drive for their Common Weal project. In the unlikely event that you don't already know about the Common Weal, it's a bold and imaginative attempt to flesh out a Nordic-style social and economic model for Scotland in advance of the independence referendum, as an alternative to the now firmly entrenched Thatcherite Westminster model. The fundraising target is £25,000, and at the time of writing £9350 has been raised so far, with just two weeks to go. The 'flexible funding' option is being used, which means that the campaign will receive the money raised even if the target isn't reached, but the fee deducted by Indiegogo will be higher in that eventuality.
During the podcast I took part in a few weeks ago, Andrew Tickell (aka Lallands Peat Worrier) argued the case that Yes supporters may have been unwise to help fund the recent Wings over Scotland poll, on the grounds that the money could otherwise have gone to Yes Scotland, who haven't exactly given the impression of being awash with resources. I don't agree with that, because the poll was so inexpensive and its impact so great (even with the media blackout) that it's very hard to see any way in which the Yes campaign could have used a few thousand pounds that would have provided a better bang for our buck. Likewise, the campaigns to fund Wings itself and National Collective were well worth supporting, as a high-quality alternative media is an invaluable complement to the work of Yes Scotland. And I don't think any of us need to be persuaded of the logic for helping to fund Women for Independence.
But the Common Weal project is arguably in a different category, and it's not immediately obvious whether money would be better spent on it, rather than the Yes campaign. The counterargument is that this isn't a zero-sum game - people may well be so inspired by the Common Weal that they'd be prepared to donate money over and above what they would have given to Yes Scotland or the SNP anyway.
If you'd like to make up your own mind by reading more about the fundraising drive, click HERE.