Common Weal to launch new ‘independence guide’ after fundraising win

SCOTLAND’s leading pro-Yes think tank has announced that it is publishing a book which will set out its case for fundamental change in the first decade of independence.

Common Weal said it was set to publish Sorted: A Handbook for a Better Scotland in time for Christmas.

The book, co-written by staff at the left-wing think tank, paints a picture of what Scotland might look like with the full powers of independence.

With 19 chapters and over 300 pages, the book will delve into issues such as designing an industrial strategy for Scotland, tackling poverty, tackling climate change and raising wages, Common Weal said .

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It was funded by donations through a crowdfunding campaign, with over 130 generous supporters pledging £5,500 for the book.

The think tank has now increased the amount of money it hopes to raise with a new funding target of £9,500, which they say will allow them to double the draw.

It has also been bolstered by a grant from the Scottish Independence Foundation, an organization that helps Yes groups and other movement members raise funds to support their activities.

It comes after the Scottish Government’s independence papers were launched this year, with more expected to be published in the coming months.

They have been criticized by some members of the independence movement for failing to answer some key questions about Scotland’s future, including when Scotland could join the EU and create its own currency after sharing the pound with the UK.

Robin McAlpine, head of strategic development at Common Weal, called the Scottish Government’s post-independence economic policy paper “pish”.

Common Weal Executive Director Amanda Burgaue said: “We are truly amazed at the support for this crowdfunding campaign and the interest in the book.

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“While we know crowdfunding has played an important role in the Scottish independence movement over the years, it is not something Common Weal has used before.

“As an organization, we rely on small donations from many people to fund our policy development work.

“I guess it’s a fairly low-key approach to fundraising, but it has worked well for us over the years and allowed Common Weal to engage and respond in a meaningful way to those who support it.

“In recent years, our members have asked for a global vision of what an independent Scotland might look like, a glimpse of what might be possible.

“The idea behind the book was to bring together a decade of policy work to create this overarching vision.

“Ultimately, this is a book of hope. Hope for the potential to do things differently in an independent Scotland.

The book was illustrated by artists Charity May and Lauren Boyle.

Dr Craig Dalzell, Head of Policy and Research at Common Weal, said: “Over the past ten years, Common Weal has created the most wonderful body of policy work.

“We are a small think tank, but we have been so influential in shaping ideas and policy recommendations, many of which have been adopted and implemented.

“When we decided this year to create this book – a compendium of the last ten years of work and a vision for the next 10 years of an independent Scotland – we could never have imagined that people would have supported with such enthusiasm.

“Thank you to everyone who supports our work, those who support Common Weal with regular donations, and those who supported the publication of this book.

“We look forward to helping co-create a hopeful vision for a Scotland in which we all come first.”

Sorted: A Handbook for a Better Scotland will be released over the next few months, with pre-ordered books to be delivered to those who have supported the fundraiser by December 20.