Bella is in reflective mood and wants to respond to the challenge laid down by Gerry Hassan about ‘the thinness of much of what passes for public debate’. We want to move beyond the ‘one-dimensional’, the tribal, the certain. The advantage of platforms like this is that we don’t need to behave like an institution. As William James said it: ‘Only small things can remain voracious and innocent’.
So here’s our top ten New Year’s Resolution and if we fall by the wayside in the year ahead you can call us on it citing this blog post.
1. We’re on a word-diet. Some articles need less words to make more sense. Expect shorter sharper posts (we’ll be bingeing on a lengthier print publication later in the year).
2. We already have lots of women writing for us from Rebecca Nada- Rajah (in Iran) to Fiona MacInnes (in Orkney) to Anna Arque (in Catalonia) to Moira Dalgetty (in Greece) and Clare Galloway (in Italy) to Hannah McGill (in Edinburgh). But expect more from these and others as the independence movement finds it’s feminine voice.
3. Let’s not bore on and on about independence. There’s a world out there and while it’s our driving force expect more and more on culture, arts, comics, film, theatre, language, music, writing and other stuff. Mostly music.
4. Collaborations. Expect lots. If you want to work with us get in touch.
5. Beyond social media. Social media’s a great tool, and we’re sharpening it. But we’re going to do other stuff too. Live (see 4 & 3, 7 & 8.)
6. We want a better debate so whilst we won’t step away from confronting imbalance, vested interests and hypocrisy in the mainstream media, and whilst we think there’s a role for passion and polemic, we’ll try and not be insulting or personal.
7. More international perspective. Let’s not get boxed in.
8. It’s not all bad. We’re kicking off a weekly column highlighting some of the positive inspirational projects and people that are leading the way all over the place.
9. This isn’t just about the constitutional.
As Seamus Milne wrote recently: “Those at the sharp end are being hit hardest: from cuts to disability and housing benefits, tax credits and the educational maintenance allowance and now increases in council tax while NHS waiting lists are lengthening, food banks are mushrooming across the country and charities report sharp increases in the number of children going hungry. All this to pay for the collapse in corporate investment and tax revenues triggered by the greatest crash since the 30s.
At the other end of the spectrum though, things are going swimmingly. The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £155bn since the crisis began – more than enough to pay off the whole government deficit of £119bn at a stroke. Anyone earning over £1m a year can look forward to a £42,000 tax cut in the spring.”
This is obscene. But it’s a state of reality formed and shaped by the powerful interests in British society. It’s unlikely ever to change within the confines of the British State.
10. We’ll be campaigning for Yes. But we’ll be campaigning by creating a pool of ideas and aspirations for us to swim about in.