James Kelly Scot Goes Pop General Fundraiser 2021

Hi, I'm James Kelly, and I'm the author of the pro-independence blog Scot Goes Pop.  

It's one of the most-read and also one of the oldest pro-independence websites in Scotland.  It began way back in 2008, but gained in popularity in 2013 when I launched the Scot Goes Pop Poll of Polls for voting intentions in the independence referendum. I had become quite cynical about the way anti-independence newspapers repeatedly seized on individual No-friendly polls as 'proof' that the campaign was supposedly over before it had even started.  The intention was clearly to sap the morale of Yes campaigners.  The Poll of Polls was a useful corrective, helping to put unfavourable polls in their proper context by comparing them to the average numbers across all polling firms, and emphasising the high degree of uncertainty about the true state of public opinion.

More recently, Scot Goes Pop has also commissioned several polls of its own with your help.  One of them was the first poll to show that the events of the pandemic had pushed Yes back into the lead, and turned out to be the first in an unprecedented long unbroken sequence of polls reporting a pro-independence majority.

There have been a number of spin-offs from the success of the blog. I'm currently a monthly columnist for the wonderful iScot magazine, and I occasionally write polling and election analysis for The National newspaper and its Sunday sister paper.  For many years I was a columnist for the International Business Times and then the Talk Radio website.  I've been interviewed on BBC Breakfast, CTV News (Canada), Al Jazeera, the Bauer radio network, Radio Sputnik, BBC Radio 5 Live, and last but not least IndyLive Radio!  I've also taken part in numerous podcasts, short films and livestreams.

Blogging is a very time-consuming process, especially during election and referendum periods when there may be several polls a day to cover.  Like all writers, I have to keep body and soul together while I write, and running a general fundraiser every year helps me to do that, while also giving me the flexibility to drop everything and write a blogpost whenever a new poll comes out.  However, I didn't run a general fundraiser last year for the first time since 2013, and one of my other usual sources of income has also been completely cut off due to lockdown, so things are now a bit tight.  (The money raised from the poll fundraisers over the last twelve months were / are ring-fenced for polling.)

If this crowdfunder succeeds, I'll be able to keep the blog afloat during what is sure to be a crucial time in Scottish politics, with opinion polls very much to the fore.  The Holyrood election is just around the corner, and afterwards we'll hopefully move closer to a second independence referendum.  Polls could help to make the case for that - if we make sure they're not misreported and distorted.  Scot Goes Pop can assist in that regard with its unique coverage of the polling situation from a pro-indy perspective.  I'm also seriously toying with the idea of starting a podcast (which, let's face it, would inevitably be called the Scot Goes Popcast).

To get a better idea of what the blog is all about, please watch this short promo film that I made with Phantom Power.

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James Kelly
Mollinsburn, SCT

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