Its only #earlydays but together we can change Scotland.

We hope we are in the early days of a better nation. Let’s make it one.

Last week people turned out in their droves to change their country for the better. What if people turned out in those numbers to do something for their fellow citizens?

Early Days is an attempt to take the energy and hunger for change in Scotland following the results of the referendum on September 18th and put it to action. Whether yes or no, people power prevailed during the referendum, and this is a medium for people to channel their passion through mass actions. We encourage change from the bottom up to make Scotland a more socially just nation, without the need for politicians. Fuelled by the quote made famous by Alasdair Gray ‘work as if you live in the early days of a better nation’ Early Days is just a starting point.

Its only #earlydays but lets be the change by enacting one or more of our 10 calls to action:

1. #earlydays. Give in body: it’s clear from recent debate the NHS is dear to us all and blood is a vital commodity. If 1200 more people in Scotland donate each week, we’d be in surplus. The Government cannot help with this, only you can! If you can help to reach this target get on it and you’re at it sign up for organ and marrow donations. Or campaign for opt out organ donation

https://www.scotblood.co.uk

http://www.anthonynolan.org/

https://www.organdonationscotland.org/

2. #earlydays. Feed. That we have to have  food banks is a disgrace, but they’re here right now so help make them full to bursting point. Two days after the referendum there was an impromptu donation in Glasgow’s George Square why not make things like that a regular occurrence? Several of our members are already going to give their time as well. Or combat the larger problem and campaign to make them a thing of the past. Increases in minimum wage, adoption of the living wage, improvements to benefits, and increased levels of employment could all reduce this need.

http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects

http://www.byc.org.uk/news/join-byc%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-raise-the-national-minimum-wage-to-a-living-wage.aspx

http://www.livingwage.org.uk/

Current minimum wage is £6.31 p/h (set to rise to £6.50 in October) but living wage is £7.50 outside London.

3. #earlydays. Invest in children: It may be a cliche but our young people are our future, and if the 16-18 year olds who engaged in this debate are anything to go by, the future’s in safe hands. But many children and young people are in need of help. A campaign is already underway to donate to Aberlour: Scotland’s Children’s Charity. Sign up on facebook,  Text BUILD to 70660 to give £3 per month to Aberlour. (You can opt out at any time by texting STOP) and invite your friends. Other children’s charities are available.

https://www.facebook.com/events/309412892563820/

http://www.aberlour.org.uk/

4. #earlydays. Bring the politicians to account. Write to your MPs and MSPs to request they stick by the promises made over the last few weeks by the major party leaders. The changes which have been promised are not what everyone wanted but they are an improvement on the situation right now.

Sign the petition to hold Cameron, Clegg and Milliband to account https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/promise-for-Scotland

Sign the Electoral Reform Convention http://action.electoral-reform.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1754&ea.campaign.id=31898

Contact your MP http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

Contact your MSPs http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/help/32438.aspx

This Guy writes to No 10 every day to highlight issues facing the nation http://www.keithordinaryguy.org.uk/

5. #earlydays. Keep voting: These last weeks have been a triumph for democracy, wouldn’t it be great if we could keep voter registration and turnout high for the upcoming General and Scottish elections? Over the last few days people from both campaigns have been aligning themselves with political parties who most closely fit what they were campaigning for. You should consider it  and fight to keep the democratic process alive(following list is alphabetical to remove bias)

Conservative Party http://www.scottishconservatives.com/

Green Party https://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/

Labour Party http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/

Liberal Democrats http://www.scotlibdems.org.uk/

Respect http://www.respectparty.org/

Scottish Nationalist Party http://www.snp.org/

Scottish Socialist Party http://www.scottishsocialistparty.org/

Or if you don’t like any of the above, think about Bella Caledonia’s suggestion to stand for election yourself.

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/20/what-we-need-now-is-evolution-not-revolution/

6. #earlydays. Want real journalism. There have been many complaints about mass media bias of late. The protests at the BBC last week were one of many proofs of this. Sign the petition for an enquiry into bias, or contact ofcom direct?
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/independent-enquiry-into-bbc-bias-regards-scottish-independence-referendum
There are strict rules in place for media outlets about how they report on elections, we should make them stick to them.
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/

We can’t find a group talking about print media was skewed during the election? Have you found one, or will you set one up.

www.Fayyoung.org/sometimes-the-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-good-story is a pretty good breakdown of how one story in the referendum got away from the facts and the implications this has.

Many people are talking about getting rid of their licence fee following the last few weeks, is this the best plan? Or do you still want to fund the things they do that you enjoy? Can we campaign to get journalists to concentrate on the 99%? Do we need an initiative for lobbying, media training, visits to newsrooms, meet and greets to foster mutual understanding between the media and the many?

7. #earlydays. Fight for peace. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the distance between the international ideals of people of Britain and the Foreign Policy of the British Government appears to have widened considerably. During the Referendum Campaign, this disconnect coalesced specifically around the UK’s nuclear weapons program and the housing of Trident at Faslane, for many people it became one of (if not THE) major issue.

Scottish CND have been fighting on this issue since the 1950s, you could join today http://www.banthebomb.org/

Here is a massive list of other campaign groups that are fighting for peace in different ways http://www.theguardian.com/antiwar/subsection/0,,884056,00.html

Choose the one you love the most and then dance away!

8. #earlydays. Bank ethically. Since 2008 our trust in the banking system has disappeared. The phrase ‘too big to fail’ became the mantra, and justification for increasing our national debt, but it doesn’t mean you have to prop up a company you don’t trust, or one which invests in things you don’t agree with. So why not move your money out of the banks you don’t trust? For a long time the co-op bank was the easy option on this front, so instead you’re going to have to do some work and decide amongst the other banks by preference, there’s some good advice here:

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/oct/23/ethical-alternatives-co-operative-bank

and a good bank search engine here:

http://moveyourmoney.org.uk/

Campaign for the regulation of asset based finance http://www.rabf.org.uk/about.html

Carbon Capital Campaign http://www.wdm.org.uk/carbon-capital

Get the banks out of coal http://action.wdm.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1784&ea.campaign.id=25274

9. #earlydays. Act internationally

Working just to make Scotland and Britain better, is not enough, we have to work as if we are living in the early days of a better nation

http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/tag/scottish-international-relief/

10. #greatscots change the climate: Stop Fracking, Reduce dependency on oil, increase use of renewable, buy energy saving lightbulbs, start a veg patch,

http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scotland

And finally…. keep the fire alive

Throughout the campaign people wrote, talked and shared coming up with countless ideas to make a better Scotland. Keep this fire alive by continuing what’s already been done and coming up with new ways to improve our nation.

We’re keeping a list of writing on a better nation, here’s what we have so far:

A list of groups working to make scotland better https://www.facebook.com/StayEngagedScotland/posts/1546773905555788?fref=nf

Evolution not revolution http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/20/what-we-need-now-is-evolution-not-revolution/

Let Scotland Flourish! http://wakeupscotland.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/let-scotland-flourish

The commonweal project and what it does next

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/19/wipe-your-eyes-on-your-feet/

52 small things for equality http://www.pinterest.com/citizensadvice/52-small-things-for-equality/

Public lecture on the result http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/socialpolitical/research/politics/stevensontrustforcitizenship/lecturesseries/lectureseries2013-2014/

After the referendum, what now event

http://glasgowskeptics.com/event/after-the-referendum-what-now-2

A positive way forward?

http://robertmorrisonpoetryandwriting.weebly.com/writing-blog/scotland-and-the-united-kingdom-a-positive-way-forward

New songs for a new Scotland http://bit.ly/XtVjAT

A political minorclass where everyone is welcome http://www.theguardian.com/news/bush-mail/2014/jun/16/voices-for-indi-give-political-minorclass-where-everyone-is-welcome

 

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2 thoughts on “Its only #earlydays but together we can change Scotland.

  1. I’m a Scottish economist living Seattle. I’ve just posted this on facebook.

    Scotland, here’s the plan (version 2).

    I have tried to tidy up a crazy idea, based on some online and offline feedback over the last 24 hours. Again, I would have voted ‘No’, but 45% of Scotland voted ‘Yes’ on Thursday so the door should probably not be closed on the independence question for another 30+ years. Westminster are going to take a while to straighten out the new powers, and even longer to offer the opportunity of another referendum, but the Scottish people can take the lead in doing two things while we all wait for that mess to be sorted out: (1) Improving the quality, reliability and transparency of ‘the numbers’ informing the independence debate; and (2) Preparing to robustly re-test Scotland’s appetite for independence 10 years from now (any sooner is probably too soon).

    I reckon the following could be done at a cost of £2-3 per person per year over 10 years, plus the cost of one text message in 2025.

    (1) Improving the numbers

    As we know, the Scottish people have lacked confidence in the socio-economic analyses (i.e. ‘the numbers’) informing the big independence questions around currency, public expenditure, the EU, oil, the NHS, etc through the whole referendum process. The answers are perceived as biased because they are (or appear to be) coming from the Yes campaign, the No campaigns, or the affiliated political parties. However, the Scottish people could improve their confidence in the numbers by bypassing the campaigns/parties and commissioning independent (and ideally, world-leading) think tanks and experts to present evidence and answer questions on each topic, themselves.

    One implication is that the Scottish people would need to pay for the required analysis. A ring-fenced and independently governed ‘independence analysis fund’ that the Scottish people pay a few pounds per year in to, would be one way in which to finance the creation of the required analysis, without relying on Government funding (or lottery winners or JK Rowling).

    An independence analysis fund would pay for the following activities (on a ‘draw down’ or ‘as needed’ basis): (i) consultations with the Scottish people to confirm which questions need to be asked, and who should answer them; (ii) the creation of socio-economic data, evidence and models that the experts can use to calculate the expected impact of (for example) a rise in the world oil price, an increase in the Bank of England base rate, a sharp depreciation of the pound, Scotland joining the EU, a change in income tax rates etc, on (for example) Scottish jobs, food prices, savings, taxes, public expenditure, trade, welfare, mortgages, education, healthcare, defense etc; (iii) expert assessments of the quality and validity of the input data/assumptions used to calculate the expected impacts, and expert validation of the results of the calculations and their implications for an independent Scotland; (iv) a website where the Scottish people can see what data/assumptions are being fed in to the impact calculations, how these assumptions are being refined and updated over time, and how the experts are interpreting the results; (v) a board of (unpaid) trustees (including representatives from each side of debate, civil society, the private sector, and other non-Government representatives) to make sure that the fund is being used in the way the Scottish people want it to be used; and (vi) a small secretariat to help formulate and prioritize the technical questions, and to administer all of the above (consultation logistics, contracting experts, maintaining the website etc).

    One million people (Scots, non-Scots, Yes voters, No voters, interested people living outside of Scotland) each donating of £2-3 per year for ten years in to an independence analysis fund would likely be more than enough to pay for the above activities. Some larger private donations would also help, but these individuals would need to be content that they would not have a disproportionate say in what questions get asked, or how they get answered.

    (2) Re-testing the appetite for independence

    The Scottish people can re-test the nation’s appetite for independence by holding a ‘shadow referendum’ in say 2025, informed by the improved numbers (see above) and several years’ of Scottish Government implementation of the new powers, but without any handholding from Westminster or Holyrood. The primary purpose of the ‘shadow’ referendum would be to support the case for holding another ‘real’ legally and constitutionally-binding referendum (or not – remember I’m a No), based not on opinion polls, but on the largest sample size possible (i.e. pretty much everyone 16 and over living in Scotland).

    A shadow referendum could be administered using mobile phone e-voting – I think this would roughly work as one vote per registered mobile phone contract address, tallied to the electoral register to avoid electoral fraud. There would be no need to finance policing costs, logistics around polling stations and the count, or a day off work. The e-vote could be administered by a pro-democracy NGO, financed by the Scottish people from the cost of their one-time text message vote (the payment would be made when you register to e-vote).

    (3) Aye mate, very good, it’ll never work

    Maybe I’m living in fantasy land (I am, it’s called America), but a few people have indicated to me that the above might be worth a go. It’s hard for me to make anything happen from 5,000 miles away, but if anyone knows anyone who might be interested in doing something to take this rough concept forward, share/like/tweet as you please, and I would be happy to throw a few more crazy ideas across the Atlantic to help make it happen. Also happy to take comments on how to refine or improve or abandon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Impartial information is indeed vital. But it is important to point out that we already have a great wealth of information provided by objective think tanks in Scotland. The problem is knowing where to find it. Your list is useful but it is missing at least one important resource. The ebook Scotland’s Decision: 16 Questions to Consider presents exactly the kind of evidence you describe – on the economy, constitution, European Union, welfare, etc – provided by leading academic experts in Scotland and the UK. This book was jointly published by the David Hume Institute, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Sir Tom Hunter Foundation to provide much needed clarity in the lead up to the referendum. There were more than 80,000 downloads of this ebook in just a month – and 1200 of those were in the last 24 hours before Scotland went to vote – a striking demonstration of public demand for clear facts. Scotland has made its decision. Change is now inevitable across the whole of the United Kingdom, but it will be difficult to disentangle political interests from objective analysis as arguments continue about when and how change is delivered. Access to impartial information is more important than ever.

    http://www.futureukandscotland.ac.uk/papers/scotlands-decision-16-questions-think-about-referendum-18-september

    Liked by 1 person

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