How To Get Involved With National Collective


There are times when a country needs troublemakers. This is one.”
— Ian Hamilton QC

National Collective is the cultural movement for Scottish independence, featuring artists, writers and activists creatively campaigning for a Yes vote through local groups, events, social media, published word and art.

We’re supported by some of Scotland’s top artists including Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead, David Greig and Karine Polwart. You can read why some of them believe that independence can make Scotland a better country here.

Please take a couple of minutes to sign up as a member, and if you’re looking to get actively involved in our movement, please enter your extended details into our resource pool. We’re attempting to build Scotland’s largest database of artists and creatives to ensure that we, with your help, can mobilise Scotland’s artists, creatives, writers and thinkers in the summer of 2014. We believe that only with a powerful and well organised cultural movement can we fully grasp the opportunities that independence presents us.

There are many other ways that you can get involved with our movement, including:


The National Collective website receives over 100,000 visitors each month and provides a platform for some of the freshest voices in the independence movement.

We have two main areas of focus:


The arts we cover are not restricted to Scotland or independence (although there will of course be a natural tendency towards coverage of this sort). We cover art from the world over which inspires, challenges and excites. If you want to write about an art form which hasn’t yet been covered on National Collective, then all the more reason we want to hear from you. We have left the boundaries of what we cover as broad as possible so as to let the writers define what the arts section will become. With this in mind we have four primary aims:

  • Promote worldwide grassroots and DIY art.
  • Encourage participation in local creative communities.
  • Support socially minded artistic activism.
  • Promote Scottish culture
To become an arts writer for National Collective please contact Hamish Gibson (including any links to previous work).


Our political articles are penned by some of the country’s most radical writers and thinkers, from varied party and non-party backgrounds. We have two main aims:

  • Argue the positive case for Scottish independence.
  • Imagine a better Scotland.

To become a political writer for National Collective please contact David Aitchison (including any links to previous work).


Our grassroots events are organised and run by our members. We organise debates, talks, community events, cultural showcases, pop-up gigs and parties at venues and locations across Scotland. Past performers and speakers at our happenings include Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, Scottish Album of the Year award 2013 winner RM Hubbert and academic Alan Riach.

If you have an idea for an event or would like to get involved contact Cameron Foster (including links to previous work).


Images have always played an important role in shaping our identity, our culture and our perspective on history. We believe that creativity has an immeasurable power to influence people, to inspire ideas and to motivate change. With this in mind, we have created projects that are designed to dispel political apathy and help our members and the public to imagine a better Scotland. Collectively we are creating art that we think will best spread our vision for a better Scotland. And we would like to invite you to join us in that endeavour.

If you have any self-initiated work that you wish to share with us send it to Andrew Barr and if you have an idea for a project contact Andy Summers.


The National Collective website has one of the highest social sharing rates of articles about Scotland’s Referendum, even when compared to the biggest mainstream media websites. By sharing our content with your friends, family and followers, you are helping to promote Scottish culture and spread the positive case for Scottish independence in a click.


Our branches aim to bring our movement to every Scottish city, town, village and community before September 2014. Contact your local National Collective branch to get involved with meetings near you:

National Collective Aberdeen [email protected]
National Collective Edinburgh [email protected]
National Collective Dundee [email protected]
National Collective Glasgow [email protected]
National Collective Stirling [email protected]

To create a branch in your area please contact Ros Hunter.


We aim to capture and record the historic Yes campaign through our Documenting Yes project, which is archived on our Flickr and YouTube accounts. You can help our movement grow by photographing and filming our events, and talking about them on social media.

To get involved with Documenting Yes or to add your photographs and films to our archive contact our Photo Editor, Peter McNally.


To win in 2014, we need to inspire and engage the Scottish public in a way that has never been seen before. For just a modest donation or a purchase from the National Collective Store, you can support our work convincing the sceptical, persuading the undecided and imagining a better Scotland.


TradYES is the collective banner under which our talented traditional artists can join together and become part of the growing National Collective family. Our artists have a vital role to play in a national campaign for Scottish independence. We believe that the traditional arts have radical potential, both culturally and politically. Community, mutual co-operation and conviviality are embedded in what we do: music and song have the power to bring people together. Our collective is already backed by some of Scotland’s best known traditional artists, including; Sheena Wellington, Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart and Eddi Reader.

To get involved with TradYES meetings and events contact Mairi McFadyen.

If you have any press requests contact Andrew Barr and for any general enquiries contact National Collective’s Director Ross Colquhoun. Further information about National Collective can be found here.



There are 5 comments

  1. Scotty Mac

    Why are there so many non-Scots, especially English high profile personalities, mostly political ones pitching into the Scottish Referendum Debate when it has NOTHING to do with them ? Are these ‘South of the Border’ personalities trying to get involved because of some selfish personal financial reason or are they just ‘Plain Stupid’ !

    So if you do not possess a SCOTTISH HEART then just butt oot !

    That’s my ‘ten bob’s worth’ anyway ! ….oh, ‘Freudian Slip’ ……after independence the English are threatening to take away the pound. They ARE bluffing of course. Imagine if all Scots were forced to ‘cash in’ their pounds sterling and did so on the same day … would probably ‘clean oot’ all the cash money the Bank of England has at hand due to all banks trading mostly in ‘cyber money’.

    I feel the new Scottish currency should be called the ‘Sporran’.
    The new currency should be decimal of course where there are 100 ‘Oats’ to the ‘Sporran’. It would of course mean that ‘sowing one’s oats’ would now mean ‘investing one’s cash’ and ‘taking care of the pennies……’ would become ‘growing one’s oats’ and ‘the pounds taking care of themselves’ would become ‘one’s ‘Sporran’ always refilling itself’.

    Aye, I feel ‘The Bard’ would be proud of this new ‘Scots Currency’.

  2. Fin

    I am rapidly approaching my 62nd birthday; in fact by the time that I cast my vote on the 18th of September, that milestone will have past.
    My views on independence has never changed since I first was eligible to put a cross on my first voting paper. It has always been an easy choice to be a yes voter.

    When I was 18 I voluntarily joined the army, not any of the Scottish regiments, that would involve too much, hard, physical work, but The Royal Signals, as a radio operator. When I was filling out my application form, two things rankled me. One was the fact that it was not permissible to put the word ‘atheist’ in the box for my religion. The other being, that I wasn’t allowed to enter ‘Scottish’ in the section reserved for nationality.
    I have never been anti-English, nor, on the other hand, have I ever been a Braveheart style nationalist. Both of these options are narrow minded, and potentially dangerous characteristics.
    Not long after enlisting, there was an election of some sorts in Aberdeen. I remember getting my dad to vote by proxy for me, something I don’t believe one can do now. This is where I am not sure of my facts, but spurred on by the application form, I seem to recall getting him to vote for the SNP candidate. I am not sure who that would have been, but it was the start of the road to where I am now.

    In the seventies when Jim Callaghan’s Labour Government ( remember them? Real labour) cheated us out of our right to devolution, by stating that we needed to get at least 46% of the population to cast their vote for the victory to be assured, I was devastated that our proud people, couldn’t drag themselves along to the polling stations in the appropriate numbers.

    Fast forward to Tony Blair and his New Labour posse riding into town and delivering the promised, no strings attached, devolution referendum, the result of which is the position we find ourselves in just now. Getting the chance to decide our own future, hopefully the chance to stand on our own 2, or should I say five million feet in a few weeks.

    There are many reasons why I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone, I mean anyone, could even consider not voting to be 100% in complete control of their own lives, whilst still being in a close relationship with their partner.

    Scotland is not, and never will be a third world country. We have no need to have to go cap in hand to Westminster, no need for charitable aid donations. We have vast oil resources, and despite the fact that Alistair Darling and David Cameron call it ” volatile” and it will run out eventually, I always argue the fact that they have had oil in the a Gulf of Mexico area since 19th century and in the Middle East since somewhere in the middle of the 29th century, and I realise it is different geological circumstances, but it shows no sign of running out there.
    I have been hearing this in Aberdeen since it first started coming ashore in the seventies.

    Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since then, and will develop even further in the future, meaning it will be possible to get even more out. Never mind the Clair Ridge recent discovery. So why is it volatile here and not in other parts of the world? How come our oil-sharing neighbours, Norway, aren’t tearing their hair out worrying about the successful country they are?
    I have friends that continuously spout out about supporting local businesses as opposed to putting money into the pockets of the multi-nationals, and then support the Better Together side of things, not getting the irony in what they are doing and saying.
    By forever being beholden, at the end to another power other than our own. It’s like living at home as an adult, in a great, well paying job, handing over all your salary to your mum, getting some pocket money back, and still having to do your own laundry and make your own tea.

    In my day job, or should I say my afternoon and evening job, I am a self employed taxi driver. I have been for 37 years, and all but one of non Scottish people I have had in my cab, and discussed the
    referendum, have stated that they would have voted yes, or will vote yes, for those eligible. None of them can understand why any one would vote no. They just don’t get it. In fact one Indian guy stated that independence is in their blood from birth.
    The one who said she was voting no was a young English born girl of Romanian descent. Her reason was that when Romania became a free country, it didn’t fare well to start with.
    I asked her if she had the chance back then, would she have voted to remain under the control, effectively of USSR? She thought I was asking a stupid, irrelevant question. Totally failing to get the point, that, because of the fall of the aforesaid communist empire, she wouldn’t necessarily be free and here in Scotland just now.

    I have travelled to well over 30 different countries, and generally what happens is, that locals ask if you are English; when you point out to them that you are Scottish, a smile as wide as the Firth of Forth come across their countenance. This happened to us in August in Northern a France, when in a pizza restaurant ( don’t ask, it was all that was open) when the owner came over and introduced himself to us, and asked that very question. When we told him we were Scottish, he apologised, and got even more friendlier.
    Now this isn’t set up to be a slight on our southern neighbours, but more showing our standing in the world, despite the Better Together campaigners saying we are only good because we are conjoined to England via the Westminster umbilical cord. And despite the Better Together rampagers spreading fear and loathing about currency, our pound, pensions, (safe) health service. ( safe unless Westminster cuts funding, which they could do) and other spurious tittle tattle,every day more people are turning our way.
    We are a rich and diverse country fill of artists, inventors, discoverers etc. By saying that, I am not implying that we are unique in such a thing, there are many countries the same. The only difference is that they are independent and stand and fall on their own choice, unlike us, who have the burden of paying the price of Westminster’s failings and bullying.

    I am voting yes because I come from a proud country, and would like to leave the future totally in the hands of our own decisions, so my grand children and my soon to be born great grand daughter, and for generations to come, can be proud that we, Scotland the Brave, made the right decision, for the right reasons, and not immediately thinking of the penny in our pocket at thus precise moment, and not because we were fearful of being ejected from the EU, the rest of the UK may vote for anyway, and not because we hate anyone, but because we are Scotland, independent and have no wish to still live with our parents, paying our board and living off handouts .

    We are not a third world country, but a globally successful one.

    Fin Hall


  3. Philip

    Sometimes its just quite the right ‘point in time’ for independence. What the indyref showed, and the election after, was how strong the dynamic is – its huge, enormous. The difficulty is to channel this constructively and realistically. Going from 300 years of being messed about by the English but also being ‘dominated’ by them economically, to suddenly having to do everything ‘in-dependantly’ is a huge step, a leap of faith, but also a responsibility. 5 million Scots who deserve the best but need their lives not to be adversely affected by independence. Its just not that simple. It needs to be worked out in detail, planned for carefully and back up plans made. Not everything will work. Many Scots will become disheartened if the Magic doesn’t work after a year… It may take longer than that. Many will want to go back to England if the path to independence becomes tough. The SNP will have to manage the psychology of the dynamic as well as the socioeconomic. So maybe a little extra time to prepare for the inevitable is in order…

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