On Wednesday last week, Glasgow's magnificent Trades Hall saw the launch of a new nationwide and grassroots focused independence campaign, Believe in Scotland.
As well as the hundreds of attendees at the event (including representatives of more than 61 Yes groups) and those watching live on the internet, our video, that we prepared for the launch, has been shared on numerous independence supporting pages and has been viewed around 35,000 times. Including 14,000 times alone on the “We are the 45%” Facebook page.
The initiative also launched a new website https://www.believeinscotland.org which asks people to share their questions about independence, so that we can answer their questions and address their concerns.
The first few #IndyFAQ articles have been published. Please have a look and feel free to ask a question or, more importantly, point some undecided friends and colleagues towards the site, so they can become engaged. The content on this site is unashamedly focused on undecided voters. We want to answer their questions so that they can use it as a resource whilst considering how they will vote in the next independence referendum.
Believe in Scotland was formed after dozens of local Yes groups complained that there was a lack of campaigning materials and co-ordination, and asked the established, successful and constantly active Business for Scotland to support the campaigns that local groups wanted to run. Believe in Scotland will supply campaign materials, design artwork for leaflets and adverts, help with message design, targeting and even, in some cases, funding. We have already supplied 65 local Yes groups with Scotland the Brief Starter packs (stage one in the Believe in Scotland campaign) at a cost to BfS of more than £7,000 and each pack should also help raise more than £250.00 for each group to spend. The event also featured talks from Yes Groups including Jack Gillies from Aberdeen Independence Movement, Kairin van Sweeden from Edinburgh North and Leith, Siobhan Tolland from Imagine Scotland and Wilma Veitch from Yes Musselburgh, all groups actively campaigning with the new Scotland the Brief materials.
The role that Believe in Scotland will play is clear. Whilst the politicians are discussing the process of holding a new referendum, we will be having conversations on the doorsteps, in pubs, at work, with friends and family so that when there is a new vote, we will have laid the groundwork to take the Yes vote to 60% or above. This may seem ambitious with current polls set at 50/50 but we believe that we can achieve a target of 55% Yes by June 2020 and 60% by the end of January 2021, assuming the Brexit transition period is not extended.
The Believe in Scotland Independence Ambassador programme is underway with new events being announced this week in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. We have already trained more than 600 Independence Ambassadors, whose task is to persuade undecided voters to support independence. We have also distributed 11,500 Scotland the Brief mini books and 1,500 Maxi versions (launched last week). We have distributed 80,000 Scotland the Brief leaflets (via our local Yes group partners), educating and informing undecided voters on the natural wealth of Scotland.
The launch of Believe in Scotland comes just over a week before Remain-supporting Scotland is removed from the EU, by the wishes of voters in another country.
It’s time to start campaigning and to start pushing independence support to unassailable levels even before the referendum is called. More and more people are beginning to see that it’s time to Believe in Scotland.