IN a remote corner of Skye overlooking Loch Bracadale, a poet had a dream. Left debilitated by a stroke four years ago, Gillian K Ferguson wondered what she could do to further the case for an independent Scotland.

Discussing it with her husband, PhD student Richard Saville-Smith, they realised they had a powerful tool at their disposal that could overcome any physical or geographical limitations – the worldwide web.

Inspired by local scenery, the pair decided they wanted to create something beautiful and inspiring that would present a positive case for an independent Scotland and give a voice to people from all walks of life, wherever they live on the planet.

The result is A Million Reasons, a project designed to circumvent the mainly pro-Unionist media in Scotland and show that belief in an independent country is far from being the daft notion it is often portrayed as, but a rational, realistic, natural position held by many people in Scotland and supporters around the world.

The National: A million reasons to say Yes... A new pro-independence campaign to give people a voiceA million reasons to say Yes... A new pro-independence campaign to give people a voice

The website, launched today, is available for anyone to share their reason, or reasons, why Scotland should be an independent country. They can be written on a sandy beach, embroidered, painted, drawn on paper, tattooed on an arm – imagination is the only limit.

Written preferably in the person’s first language, the reason should be photographed against a striking background, with or without the author, and then uploaded to the website.

All styles are welcome – a granny’s poem, a cartoon, an artist’s or craftperson’s creative work – as long as they support the basic proposition of Scottish independence and do not contain anything offensive or negative.

They can be uploaded directly onto the website or via Facebook, Instagram or by email and it is intended that the website can be used as a campaign tool for people to share on social media or to print material for eye-catching indoor displays or laminated for outdoor use on bus-stops, lampposts and railings. The reasons also have the potential to be projected on to buildings or used as illustrations in conferences and cafes.

The National:

“A Million Reasons is what we are calling ‘folk media’, which can sidestep the Unionist bias which controls most of the Scottish media,” explained Ferguson. “As the next referendum arrives, the internet can be flooded with content which is not only unique and beautiful, but passionate, personal and persuasive.”

It is also hoped that by setting out their Reasons for Scottish independence, people will reinforce their own commitment to the cause.

Saville-Smith added: “While the website can operate as a local campaign in physical communities and generate physical artefacts, it can also provide a blizzard of online content, from people of every kind – a million voices calling for Scottish independence – with reasons.

“Once it achieves momentum, the data from A Million Reasons will be part of the wider independence referendum campaign, whilst the project can be presented as a powerfully positive story which reaches beyond the Scottish media to the international media in Europe, America and beyond.

The National:

“As we go through the referendum process it is going to be a barometer of what people are thinking and by the day of the referendum there will be authentic, personal reasons on every lamp-post in the country. And the social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook will be awash with the reasonable voices of Scots who want to achieve independence for Scotland.

“A Million Reasons is a metaphor for ‘a lot’ but it wouldn’t surprise me if we do get a million.”

The idea has been embraced by Skye Yes groups while former Yes campaign chief Blair Jenkins, writer James Robertson and actor Ken Stott, a frequent visitor to Skye, have also posted contributions along with artist Calum Colvin, poet, director and actor Gerda Stevenson and Alan Riach, poet and professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow.

“It’s amazing how diverse they are already and they are so powerful,” said Ferguson of the contributors. “They are very articulate and have that passion and depth of feeling that a political campaign just can’t capture.”

The National:

One of the attractions of the website is that even people unable to vote in an independence referendum, such as those living abroad, can contribute.

“One of the criticisms of the last referendum is that people with an affinity for Scotland felt they had no say in the referendum process,” pointed out Saville-Smith. “What we are saying is that anyone on the planet can have a voice by coming to the website and contributing their reasons in support of independence.”

Ferguson added: “It’s unfair at the moment because so many papers are pro-Union. People are rarely asked to defend the case for Unionism but independence supporters are always asked to make their case. Here there will be a resource of people’s voices in their own words, a mainstream, cogent, articulate response in their own voices.

“I think people deserve to have a means to express themselves which the papers are not giving. Everyone’s voice should be heard and until now that has not been happening but here is the way to do it.”

Want to take part, it's easy! Just write down the reason/s you support Scottish independence and take a photo, then upload it on Or Instagram Direct: amillionreasonsforsi; Facebook: A Million Reasons for Scottish Independence; email reasons to: Follow on Twitter @millionscottish. Share Reasons on social media; display printed reasons where permitted.