A MAJOR independence fundraising effort is ahead of target – and has passed a key milestone.

The Believe in Scotland initiative aims to ensure the grassroots Yes movement is well placed for a major Yes push in 2023, and is now at 56% of its overall target despite not being halfway through its runtime.

Believe in Scotland’s sister ­campaigning group, Business for ­Scotland, is matching the first £50,000 raised pound for pound.

As of last night, a total of around £28,500 had been raised – which, including matching donations, takes the total to £57,000.


Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, the founder of the Believe in Scotland campaign, has been pleased by the response to the campaign – and stressed that the money would have a huge impact at a grassroots level.

He said: “There are three key ­beliefs that underpin the activities of Believe in Scotland.

“Firstly, that it’s the grassroots Yes movement that will deliver ­independence, not the political ­parties. Politicians have taken us as far as they can, and political tribalism is a barrier to getting the majority of the undecided over the line.

“Whether Yessers are participating in our Facebook groups or pages, manning stands in town centres, ­canvassing or delivering leaflets, they must be non-partisan.


“Like the sheriff in those old westerns, telling the cowboys that everyone must leave their guns at the ­entrance to town, we tell people to take off their party affiliation badges and work together as Believe in ­Scotland.

“The feedback we have from many seasoned campaigners is that they have never – often in decades – had the ability to engage with the ­undecided and even have ­reasonable ­conversations with No voters as they can when they say, ‘no it’s not the SNP/Alba/Green party, we are ­Believe in Scotland’.

“It’s how we win, and I have no ­respect for anyone on either side of the deeply damaging internecine ­political party conflicts – that is a distraction from winning independence.

“Secondly, a strong functioning ­civic movement must be democratic. 127 local Yes Groups have ­affiliated to Believe in Scotland. We split them into 17 local campaign regions, the groups in each region elected a ­regional representative to our ­campaign steering group.

“The steering group meets once a month and makes the key strategic ­decisions about how we campaign. The steering group is made up of a mix of people, some with no party affiliation and some who are Alba, Greens and SNP. However, they all get on and work together in harmony because we leave party politics at the door.

“And finally, if a broad-church civic Yes movement is to deliver independence, then it must be professional, conduct itself properly, have access to funding, materials, messaging, polling, canvassing systems and branding and have central support systems that allow them to concentrate on campaigning. That is what Believe in Scotland was set up to deliver and that is 100% what we are crowdfunding for right now.”

MacIntyre-Kemp said that more big plans were in the works – and revealed that the crowdfunded cash would help create a database system for grassroots groups to utilise.

He said: “The money from this crowdfunder will be used to create a national database for grassroots groups, every local group will have a login and be able to manage their members and canvassing data online, print off street maps and analysis data, send email and text blasts to ­volunteers. etc.

“They will also be provided with canvassing apps so that their volunteers can collect canvas data from their phones and add it to the database. We will conduct polling that the Yes movement can trust and use it for messaging and targeting which will be shared with all groups and parties.


“In short, we are laying the ­foundations for the most professional ­political campaign ever run in Europe and we will win. That’s just the tip of the iceberg and I won’t give too much away.

“We had hoped that the Supreme Court would say yes to a referendum, and if they had, our Crowdfunder would probably be even further ahead of target. However, the way to react now, to force the issue and get closer to independence, is not to sit around blaming one another for there not ­being a referendum. It’s to take the campaign to the next level and get independence support to 60% so that it’s over before we even get to the start of the next General Election campaign.

“That’s my challenge to the Yes movement: Give to the crowdfundfer if you can and we will deliver for the grassroots, but if you can’t, then please share the link online and tell your friends about it, then get down to your local Yes Group and ask, ‘How can I help?’”

To support the crowdfunder, visit https://www.believeinscotland.org/crowdfunder2022/