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 recently it’s mainly been Mike putting his shoulder to the wheel with regards to the important strategic planning, editing and regular writing. This was unsustainable. I think we all realise how important Mike is to this project. He deals in the most important currency we have: ideas.
2011 is a big year. The London government is hellbent on destroying our much-needed frontline public services as well as penalising those least able to defend themselves. We need to keep reminding people that the banking crisis and widening budget deficit was entirely of London’s making. It doesn’t need to be this way. Especially as we consider that the Scottish economy is currently operating in surplus not in deficit.
The Tory posh boys at Number 10 and their LibDem accomplices know the DisUnited Kingdom is on the road to economic ruin and instead or making those most able to stump up they’re using what Naomi Klein correctly described as opportunistic Shock Doctrine tactics to asset strip the poorest. This is a neo-liberal smash-and-grab operation and the barbarians really are at the gate. We know it. They know it. But the unionist/mainstream media sings from a very different song book.
Here in Scotland a crucial election looms large with Independence creeping back up the agenda following a rocky period of disorientation following the banking crisis and bail outs of 2008. There is everything to play for.
All of this is bringing home the need for what Pat Kane calls ‘Thoughtland’ to make its voice heard in a calm and considered manner. Bella Caledonia, along with the vitally important Newsnet Scotland, and the rest of pro-independence blogosphere, considers itself a small cog in the greater whole that is Thoughtland. Our objective is not just helping towards Scotland’s much-needed national independence but to engage and constantly re-evaluate ideas such as ‘democracy’, ‘progress’ ‘cultural engagement’ ‘fiscal autonomy’ ‘environmentalism’ and ‘economic growth’. Clear innovative ideas are vital to counter disillusionment, apathy or plain old confusion.
With that in mind I’m taking over the helm at Bella while Mike has a breather to recharge his batteries. He’ll be back soon enough. All the suggestions and offers of help have given us both a lot of heart and will be responded to. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve too. The Vote Independence AV referendum campaign announced on St Andrew’s Day is right at the top of the agenda for May 2011.
Keep the suggestions coming and spread the word.