Month: January 2011

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

What about the train? Well ‘our’ high speed rail network ends at Birmingham. Tory-Liberal Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond inadvertantly spoke the truth when he told the Conservative conference last year: “We have committed to a high-speed rail network that will change the social and economic geography of Britain”. But it’s not just our infrastructure disenfranchisement. It’s about the continued control of society by private business.

Marra, Gaughan and Mathieson

We kick off our Burns week (#bellasburns) with some great music from Michael Marra, Dick Gaughan’s favourite song of all time (which says everything it is possible to say about anything) and Karen Mathieson from last years Celtic Connections…

Analyse This

The idea that blogging was the new punk, that citizen journalism would help transform the Scottish news experience and political agenda, that the unionist grip on news coverage would be blasted away is overblown. Partly because politicians don’t believe in anything any more.

Dream State

“Appalled by the rigged referendum of 1979 which in closing the door to home rule, opened the gates to Thatcher, Morgan insisted on Scotland’s imaginative viability, as a place being transformed by artists whose cultural exertions would in time produce a politics worthy of their talent and tenacity. “

Addicted to Risk

Days before this talk, journalist Naomi Klein was on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, looking at the catastrophic results of BP’s risky pursuit of oil. Our societies have become addicted to extreme risk in finding new energy, new… Read More ›

Bread and Circuses

Harry, Zara Kate and ‘Wills’ are just as much parasites on the public as the bankers vilified for the public excess that is just the norm behind the closed-doors of bloated finance. Hyper capitalism bankrupts us all…

Oxfam Scotland’s 2011

It’s great to keep an international perspective with this the latest of our Hopes & Visions series which runs through January. See also Justin Kenrick here on a breakthrough for ecology and social justice, Pat Kane on ‘envisioning real utopias’… Read More ›

Red White & Green?

What scope is there for unity and collaboration between greens, nationalists, democrats and regionalists? This is the terrain explored by Philip Hosking of the Cornish Republican: Following some comments left on the blog post -Caroline Lucas’s New Year Message to… Read More ›

The Real Broken Society

In homage (and ‘linkage‘) to the irrepresible Variant, and as Scotland apparently aims to base its economy on Pandas (‘Panda Bonanza’) and RBS boss Stephen Hester pockets £9 milllion (‘Tough talk on bankers comes to nought’) we publish an extract from Tom… Read More ›

The Bodies

“…a study of ‘moral hazard’ not as risk but as organising principle, was that non-transparency united the ‘overextended’ financiers, the regulation-flouters, the outright crooks, and (most intriguingly), the upholders of laws which were impossible to enforce. If elites are built on synergy, this lot were glued together by malfunction.”

Something is rotten in the United States of Amerikkka

The attempted assassination of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was a terrible and cowardly act of homegrown American terrorism which is rightly sending shockwaves throughout the civilised world. It brings to mind the high-profile assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King Jnr, Malcolm X and many others who opposed the Vietnam War in the 1960s.

Support

Thanks to the great many of you who emailed us in support of an alternative press in Scotland. We’ve added a Support us page here with details of how you can donate and lend a hand. We are building a… Read More ›

2011 is a big year

Sometimes it takes a jolt to the system to realise that you can’t take someone’s consistent, innovative unsung work for granted. When Bella Caledonia was set up in 2007 myself and Mike tried to shoulder the workload evenly but more… Read More ›