Someone asked me on Twitter the other day why I had stopped promoting the Scot Goes Pop fundraiser, and I said I was a bit conflicted about the whole thing, because there are a number of important SNP election crowdfunders ongoing and I don't like deflecting attention or funds from them. However, this is the first general fundraiser I've run for almost two years (the ones in the interim have been earmarked solely for our exclusive opinion polling), and with the unusual circumstances of lockdown my financial circumstances have been tightening alarmingly. I really, really wanted to wait until after the election before pushing hard to reach the target figure, but I've been having a hardheaded think over the last few hours and realised that is simply no longer an option. I've incurred some unexpected expenses in recent weeks, and that's been the final straw. So with apologies for the atrocious timing, this is the official launch of the Scot Goes Pop General Fundraiser 2021.
There are two pieces of good news: firstly, we've already made a great head start since I quietly set the page up in late January, so a million thanks to everyone who has donated so far. And secondly, I'm going to try to kill two birds with one stone this time - the original target figure was £10,000, but I've changed that to £14,000 so that this is now a dual purpose fundraiser, with up to £5000 of whatever is raised set aside for further polling. My hope and plan is to commission the next poll during the election campaign proper in April (ideally from Panelbase, although I can't guarantee that), so hopefully with some carefully chosen questions we can have a real impact and influence the trajectory of the campaign by putting the unionist parties on the spot.
As for the rest of the funds, I'm sure by now you know what you'll be getting: I try to cover all Scottish opinion polls as fast and as extensively as possible, and having an independent source of income helps me to do that, because otherwise I wouldn't have the time or the flexibility to drop everything when I see that a new poll is out. (However, just to stress for the benefit of passing trolls, the blog is not my sole income: I do freelance writing elsewhere, and until lockdown interrupted it, I also did some other work that thankfully had nothing whatever to do with writing or politics.) And of course, I also regularly provide general political commentary. The last few weeks have been bruising for me, especially on social media, but hopefully they've proved one thing: that I'm a genuinely independent voice within the movement, and I'm not a slave to any particular faction. Pretty much every grouping has lambasted me at some point, because I've just been calling things the way I see them.
Additionally, I've started a Scot Goes Pop podcast and I hope to keep that going. My free storage allowance on Soundcloud will run out after Episode 4, so at that point I'll have to make a choice between paid hosting or moving to a free platform.
On the whole GoFundMe has proved to be a good fundraising platform. However, I know a small number of people have run into payment problems, and others don't like the fact that there are processing fees (they're fairly minimal, but they do still exist). So for anyone looking for an alternative means of payment, my Paypal email address is:
That's different from the contact address listed in the sidebar, simply because I joined Paypal long before I had a Gmail account.
One or two people have encouraged me to make my bank details publicly available in the way that Craig Murray has done. It may be irrational of me, but I don't feel comfortable doing that. However, if anyone feels strongly for whatever reason that they would rather donate by bank transfer, by all means contact me privately.
Lastly, I'd just like to reiterate that the SNP election crowdfunders are absolutely vital and shouldn't be overlooked. Keeping a blog afloat is all very well, but it's winning the election that really matters.