Friday, July 23, 2021

Scot Goes Pop essay-writing competition

As a number of you have spotted, there's been a little flurry of below the line comments on another pro-indy blog attacking me and Scot Goes Pop.  The trigger for it was a lengthy comment from an individual who was formerly a prolific commenter here.  It contains a number of lies (I was going to call them "half-truths", but let's call a spade a spade - they're fully intended to mislead).  However, I'm not particularly worried about that - most people have long since clocked that he's a longwinded blagger who frequently contradicts himself.  What puzzles me more are some of the comments from others - for example, this one from "Tatu3"...

"Glad to see you here. I used to enjoy reading your comments on the other site, but gave up reading him just before the election when he sadly turned against the SNP and, I believe, independence."

It's debatable whether it can be reasonably said that I "turned against the SNP", given that I voted SNP on the constituency ballot in May and strongly urged my readers to do the same - even though that meant parting company with one or two other pro-Alba bloggers who advocated a more irresponsible course. But the idea that I've turned against independence is just bonkers beyond all belief.  The whole point of backing Alba was to press for greater urgency on independence, and indeed just for any movement towards independence at all.

Presumably what this is about is a conflation of the independence cause with the SNP - if you give anything less than wholehearted support to the latter, you must be attacking the former, even though there's considerable doubt over whether the SNP are actually serious about pursuing independence in the coming parliamentary term.  However, if someone can come up with a more rational justification for the claim that "Scot Goes Pop has turned against independence", I'm all ears.  I'm happy to receive submissions of 500 word essays on the subject - the best will be published (with a response from me, needless to say!).  Overly imaginative winter sport enthusiasts who think I'm an agent of the British state need not apply.

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I'm still fundraising via the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser for a comprehensive poll on GRA reform - if you'd like to help make the poll happen, please click HERE.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Spot the mystery location as I continue fundraising for a GRA / gender issues opinion poll

 For convenience (at least for the time being) I'm fundraising for the GRA poll via the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser for 2021 - everything donated over the coming period will go towards the poll.  To commission a poll in a similar way to most of the previous ones I've done would require around £5500 - that takes into account processing fees.  To give you a rough idea, the running total on the general fundraiser prior to me seeking funds for the poll was below £8000, so the earmarked £5500 will have been raised when the running total reaches a little over £13,000.  More realistically, I could shop around for a cheaper option and limit the number of questions, but even to do that the running total will probably have to hit a minimum of £11,000.  If you'd like to donate to help make the poll happen, please click HERE.

Monday, July 19, 2021

GRA poll fundraising update: around £1700 raised so far

I did a bit of totting up, and - as of two hours ago, anyway - we've raised around £1700 for the comprehensive poll on gender issues and GRA reform.  Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.  To feel really confident about going ahead, probably £5500 would be the ideal figure - that's based on prices I've been quoted in the past and takes into account fundraiser fees (GoFundMe no longer make a direct deduction, but their payment processer does still take a modest percentage).  However, if we fall anywhere between around £1000-£2000 short of that, I may still be able to make the poll happen if I shop around between firms and limit the number of questions.  Either way, though, we still have some distance to travel.  For the time being I'm still using the Scot Goes Pop general fundraiser for 2021 to raise the money - that makes it harder for people to tell how much is required, so to give you a rough idea, an earmarked £5500 for the poll will have been reached when the running total on the fundraiser stands at a little over £13,000.  But, as stated above, I may be able to go ahead with less than that.

I'm bemused by the suggestions in some quarters that an exercise in testing public opinion is in itself "transphobic".  I'd suggest that reveals rather a lot about the ideology of the people who say these things, because it appears to be incompatible with free speech or tolerance of alternative views.  That, really, is my own concern in a nutshell.  I'm a bloke, I'm not steeped in gender critical feminism by any means, but nevertheless I do worry that we're hurtling into an Orwellian world where language and thought is policed by the state. (And if anyone thinks that's a hysterical exaggeration, two words for you: Marion Millar.)

As for the other objection - "what does this have to do with independence?", the obvious reply is that not everything we do has to be about independence, as the SNP government have been helpfully demonstrating in the four years since they "called an independence referendum" in 2017.  However, the reality is that GRA reform has become a considerable problem for the independence movement - it's led to a breakaway from the SNP once, it has the potential to do so again. If high-quality polling evidence can increase the pressure on the SNP leadership to dial down somewhat on the GRA issue, it would be a good step towards re-unifying the movement.

Although the fundraising drive still has a way to go, feel free to make suggestions for poll questions in the comments section below - we might as well be ready for when the funds are there.  And if you'd like to donate to make the poll happen, please click HERE.